Sunken Garden Poetry Festival at Hill-Stead Museum Presents: Juan Felipe Herrera, Current United States Poet Laureate & Peg Boyers

August 7, 2016 @ 2:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Hill-Stead Museum
35 Mountain Rd
Farmington, CT 06032
$12 advance online purchase, $15 at the gate, 18 and under free; parking is free
Lisa Lappe

Juan Felipe Herrera, Current United States Poet Laureate & Peg Boyers

August 7, 2:30 pm8:30 pm

© Carlos Puma/UC Riverside

Sunken Garden Poetry Festival


Experience remarkable performances of live music and poetry in the midst of the exquisite natural setting of the historic Sunken Garden.

Festival Schedule

  • 2:30 pm   Latino Poets and Authors Community Conversation
  • 4:00 pm   Museum Open House
  • 5:00 pm   Prelude conversation with Juan Felipe Herrera
  • 6:00 pm   Peg Boyers
  • 6:30 pm   Music by The Latin Heartbeat Orchestra
  • 7:15 pm   Juan Felipe Herrera
Related Programs

Featured Poets

Juan Felipe Herrera – United States Poet Laureate

Juan Filipe HerreraJuan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United State (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012–2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal TaxiHalf of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include SkateFate; Calling The Doves, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.

Peg Boyers

Peg BoyersPeg Boyers was born in Venezuela but lived her childhood and adolescent years in Italy, Spain, Cuba, Nigeria, Indonesia and Libya before settling in the United States. Descended from an Irishman and a Cuban whose Catalan origins were very likely originally Jewish, she insists with Whitman, that identity is multitudinous.  Her three books of poetry, HARD BREAD(2002), HONEY WITH TOBACCO (2007), and TO FORGET VENICE (2014) are written from the perspective of a very complicated, layered consciousness. She teaches poetry workshops at Skidmore College, the New York State Summer Writers Institute and Columbia University and edits, with her husband, the journal, SALMAGUNDI.


The Latin Heartbeat Orchestra

The Latin Heartbeat Orchestra’s (LHO) commitment to sustaining its cultural music has been the driving force behind this talented ensemble of dedicated musicians. This group has taken pride in being recognized as a preservation band, and the cultural responsibility that comes with it. Now in its seventh year, this group has gained popularity for interpreting the style of music that popularized the Salsa scene in the 60’s and 70’s. They have had the honor of participating in major events at some of New England’s premier venues, such as Foxwoods Casino’s B.B. King Lounge and The MGM Grand; the Connecticut Salsa Festival – 5 years in a row by popular demand; the Boston Salsa Congress; and the Providence Rhode Island WaterFire Festival, where they performed before an audience of over 5,000 people. The Latin Heartbeat Orchestra was also invited to participate and represent the State of Connecticut at the 2006 National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City!

Festival Information

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.Poetry2016_logoVisitors 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. For all poetry events, see our Calendar.


$12 advance on-line 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, [email protected] or 860-677-4787, x181.  For more information, see Live Poets Society Benefits  or visit Make a Gift to Hill-Stead.


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.