The first writers in residence came to the James Merrill House 25 years ago, shortly after James Merrill’s death in 1995. Since then, over 80 writers have stayed in his home, a National Historic Landmark, to work on projects of their own. Thanks to Merrill's generosity, the house now belongs to the Stonington Village Improvement Association and is an ongoing inspiration for writers and poets from around the world.
James Ingram Merrill was an American writer of poetry, essays, fiction, and plays. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1977 for Divine Comedies. He purchased 107 Water Street in 1956 and left it to the Stonington Village Improvement Association (SVIA) when he died in 1995.