In the Makeshift Theater
5:00 pm Connecticut High School Poets perform
In the Sunken Garden
6:00 pm Fresh Voices Student Poetry Competition winners perform
6:45 pm Musical performance
7:15 pm Ocean Vuong performs
8:00 pm Book Signing
Ocean Vuong is the author of Night Sky With Exit Wounds, winner of the 2016 Whiting Award. Vuong also has two chapbooks: No and Burnings. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, Ocean has received honors and awards from Poets House, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets and a Pushcart Prize.
The Fresh Voices Poetry Competition offers students the opportunity to write and prepare poems suitable for presentation and publication. Since 1993, student poets from all corners of Connecticut have entered this competition and mentoring program. Fresh Voices winners perform their work in the Sunken Garden on Young Poets Day each season.
Hill-Stead Museum’s renowned Sunken Garden Poetry Festival is a unique outdoor arts event located on the grounds of this National Historic Landmark in the heart of Farmington. The community cherishes this series of readings and music concerts in the informal outdoor setting of the Hill-Stead estate.
Visitors can come early to tour the museum’s world-class Impressionist art collection, walk the trails, or attend the prelude conversations with headlining poets. Picnics are welcome and food and wine can be purchased from festival vendors. Guests bring their own chairs and blankets and relax among the flower beds in the historic Sunken Garden, surrounded by eight foot stone walls and the sounds of nature.
Purchase tickets here. $12 advance online purchase, $15 at the gate, ages 18 and under free. Parking is free.
Bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating in and around the garden, or join Hill-Stead’s Live Poets Society to receive premier reserved seating. To join Live Poets Society, contact Kirsten Fuchs at 860-677-4787, x181, or see Live Poets Society Benefits 2017
Al fresco dining is allowed on the grounds. Festival attendees are welcome to bring their own picnic suppers or purchase food, wine, and other beverages on site from gourmet food vendors.