The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival is a unique outdoor arts event located on the grounds of this National Historic Landmark in the heart of Farmington. Beginning on June 22, the festival presents the first of five performances, scheduled for three Wednesday and two Sunday evenings throughout the summer. Adding to the humanities-rich content of the festival, Hill-Stead offers poetry writing workshops prior to all performances. 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 pre-performance Prelude conversations with the headlining poets.
Kwame Dawes is the author of sixteen collections of poetry, including, most recently, Duppy Conqueror, Wheels, Back of Mount Peace, and Hope’s Hospice. He has also published two novels, Bivouac and She’s Gone, winner of the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Best First Novel. An accomplished actor, playwright, and producer, fifteen of his plays have been produced, and he has acted in, directed, or produced several of these productions himself; most recently One Love at the Lyric Hammersmith in London. His essays have appeared in numerous journals including Bomb Magazine, The London Review of Books, Granta, Essence, World Literature Today, and Double Take Magazine. Until July 2011, Dawes was Distinguished Poet in Residence, Louis Frye Scudder Professor of Liberal Arts, and founder and executive director of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative.