Sunken Garden Poetry
Preludes (pre-performance lecture/discussions on featured poets) take place 5–6:00 pm; music begins at 6:15 pm; poetry begins at 7:15 pm. In inclement weather, events take place under the tent. Come picnic with us and enjoy a relaxing evening on this lovely estate. I will probably not be able to get there until about 6:15 - 6:30 or so. If anyone wants to get there at an earlier time and hold the fort for us, I would greatly appreciate it!!!
JULY 24 – Richard Blanco / music by Martin Hayes
$10.00 admission fee
Gats open at 4:30
Prelude on Richard Blanco (5:00-6:00 pm) led by Bessy Reyna. Bessy has been involved with Hill-Stead’s festival since 1993. She has read twice at the festival, presented writing workshops and participated in the Hartford Poetry Outreach. Her most recent publication is “Memoirs of the Unfaithful Lover” (tunAstral, Mexico, 2010)
President Obama’s inaugural poet 2013
“The poems … croon about journeys from Cuba and Spain to Florida and Maine; mourn languages, lovers, and names that were or could have been…If all loss is like exile, Blanco tells us, then searching for love (in the self, in others) is healing, is finding home, because ‘love is thicker than any country.’” —Rigoberto González
Richard Blanco was made in Cuba, assembled in Spain, and imported to the United States”—meaning his mother, seven months pregnant, and the rest of the family arrived as exiles from Cuba in Madrid where he was born. Only forty-five days later, the family emigrated once more and settled in New York City, then eventually in Miami where he was raised and educated.
His acclaimed first book of poetry, City of a Hundred Fires, explores the yearnings and negotiation of cultural identity as a Cuban-American and received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. His second book, Directions to The Beach of the Dead, won the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center for its continued exploration of the universal themes of cultural identity and homecoming. A third collection, Looking for The Gulf Motel, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2012.
His poems have appeared in top literary journals including The Nation, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Michigan Quarterly Review, and TriQuarterly Review; and several anthologies including The Best American Poetry, Great American Prose Poems, Breadloaf Anthology of New American Poets, and American Poetry: The Next Generation. He has been featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and at various conferences and venues including the Miami Book Fair, The Southern Writers Conference, The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the Dodge Poetry Festival, and The Poetry Center at Smith College.
Blanco is recipient of two Florida Artist Fellowships, a Residency Fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; he is a John Ciardi Fellow of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. A builder of cities as well as poems, he holds a bachelors of science degree in Civil Engineering and a Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing.
In January of this year, Blanco read his work at the second inauguration of President Obama.
Click here to hear Colin McEnroe’s interview with Richard Blanco on National Public Radio.
Martin Hayes is one of the most extraordinary talents to emerge in the world of Irish traditional music. His unique sound, his mastery of the violin, his acknowledgement of the past and his shaping of the future of the music, combine to create an astonishing and formidable artistic intelligence. He is the recipient of major awards: most recently the prestigious Gradam Ceoil, Musician of the Year 2008 from the Irish language television station TG 4; previously Man of the Year from the American Irish Historical Society; Folk Instrumentalist of the Year from BBC Radio; a National Entertainment Award (the Irish ‘Grammy’); and six All-Ireland fiddle championships before the age of nineteen.
Martin Hayes was raised in Maghera, Feakle, East County Clare, a region rich in traditional music, where the music which he learned from his father, P. Joe Hayes, profoundly influenced his musical accent and ideas forever after. He has drawn musical inspiration from sources as diverse as the Finnish composer Arvo Part, the Spanish viola da gamba master, Jordi Savall, and the jazz genius, John Coltrane, but remains grounded in the music he grew up with. He has traveled the world with his musical partner, guitarist Dennis Cahill, from Chicago, and their resulting collaboration continues to reveal the often hidden emotional depth of the music. The three duet recordings of Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill have been widely praised and cherished by fans throughout the world.
Books and CDs available for sale 5:30–8:30 pm.
Venue: All performances will be at Hill-Stead Museum, rain or shine. Hill-Stead’s poetry tent will be up all season for use in inclement weather.
Admission: For 2013, entrance fee is $10 per person. Now young people 18 years and under are free! Parking is free. **Payment at gate by cash or check only, no cards please.
Seating: Bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating in and around the garden.
Parking: Free on-site parking available.
Food: Al fresco dining is allowed on the West Lawn, at picnic tables and in the Sunken Garden on performance evenings. Participants are welcome to bring their own picnic suppers or purchase food and beverages on site from Tallulah’s Caterers of West Hartford. www.tallulahscatering.com