This year’s Sunken Garden Poetry Festival on Sunday, August 7th, at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT, will have a Latino flavor. The U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, is the featured poet.
Considered by many the premier Latino poet in the U.S., Herrera has a distinguished record, having published thirty books ranging from collections of poetry to books for young children. His awards include fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Book Award, a National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, and a Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement.
The position of U.S. Poet Laureate has been held by such distinguished figures as Robert Penn Warren, Billy Collins, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and Rita Dove. The first Latino to hold the position of U.S. Poet Laureate, Herrera was born in San Joaquin Valley in California and is the son of migrant workers who came to the U.S. from Mexico in the late 1800s. He holds degrees from UCLA and Stanford University, and is an alumnus of the famed Iowa Writers Workshop.
This year’s festival also features a Latino Poets Panel that includes: Jose B. Gonzalez, author of the International Latino Book Award Finalist, Toys Made of Rock, based on his life in El Salvador and Connecticut; Cindy Rodriguez, author of When Reason Breaks; and Marianela Medrano, author of Oficio de Vivir’ Peg Boyers, author of Hard Bread (2002).
Herrera’s presentation is scheduled for 7:15, while the panel is at 2:30. For more information on the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, visit www.hillstead.com