The Merrill House Committee works to preserve James Merrill’s residence in Stonington CT as a tribute to him and a cultural asset to the local community. In this spirit, the Committee wishes writers-in-residence to be enriched by and also to enrich the community of Stonington. We ask those who are spending an extended (4-1/2 month) residency to present a reading of their work. We can also assist in arranging workshops, school appearances, or other literary activities in the community. Opportunities for readings or workshops will also be available during the brief term.
In the past, this has included workshops for interested members of the community, small discussion groups, a class at a local school, and reading by guest writers of the fellow’s choosing. We encourage applicants to devise their own contributions as imaginatively as they are inclined.
In an effort to make the James Merrill House Writer-in-Residence Program available to a greater number of qualified candidates, the Merrill House Committee has adjusted the fall residency periods to include three or four shorter residencies (2 to 6 weeks) as well. The specific dates of these brief residencies will be determined according to the needs of the Merrill House Committee and the applicants.
The Writer-in-Residence program includes a $5,000 stipend for an extended term. Smaller stipends will be offered for the brief residencies.
For more information about the living arrangements available for our writers, please consult our Merrill House Guide. It is a useful tool to understanding the community and the accommodations.
Partnership with Yale University Press and the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition
Each year, a Merrill House Brief Residency and stipend will be reserved for the winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition.
The Yale Younger Poetry Prize is the longest running and, arguably, the most prestigious poetry contest in the United States. Since 1919, it has celebrated the most prominent new American poets by bringing the work of these artists to the attention of the larger public. The award is reserved for poets under the age of 40 who have not yet published a book of poetry. More information about the prize and application instructions and be found here.
Our partnership with Yale University Press and our association with the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize is a natural one given our Connecticut location and the fact that James Merrill served as judge for seven terms during the 1980s. Two winners from that era, Daniel Hall and Brigit Kelly, went on to become Merrill House Fellows. Earlier winners of the prize include such talents as Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, and Robert Hass.
This year’s prize winner is Eryn Green for his manuscript ERUV. Click here for more information.