Appointed Connecticut State Poet Laureate on July 1, 2010, Dick Allen has published seven poetry collections and won numerous awards including a Pushcart Prize, the Robert Frost prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Ingram Merrill Poetry Foundation.

upcoming events

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Jun 24 2015
2015 Poetry Festival

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 2015 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival begins on June 24, with the first of five performances, scheduled for three Wednesday nights and two Sunday afternoons during the summer (with workshops on Saturdays prior to Sundays’ 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 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.The Festival opens with United States Poet Laureate (2004-2006) and Pulitzer Prizewinning Poet Ted Kooser.Admission:  $12 advanced on-line purchase, $15 at the door, ages 18 and under free.For more information:

35 Mountain Road
06032 Farmington, Connecticut

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Connecticut poet laureate

Dick Allen

Dick Allen is the author of several poetry collections, including Present Vanishing (Sarabande Books, 2008). He has received fellowships from the...


Her sickness brought me to Connecticut.
Mornings I walk the dog: that part of life
is intact. Who's painted, who's insulated
or put siding on, who's burned the lawn
with lime—that's the news on Ardmore Street.

The leaves of the neighbor's respectable
rhododendrons curl under in the cold.
He has backed the car


Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.


I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.


The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part

Even the sky here in Connecticut has it,
That wry look of accomplished conspiracy,
The look of those who've gotten away

With a petty but regular white collar crime.
When I pick up my shirts at the laundry,
A black woman, putting down her Daily News,

Wonders why and how much longer our luck
Will hold.  "