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James Merrill House Writer-in-Residence Program

The Merrill House residency program offers poets and writers an opportunity to work in renowned poet James Merrill's apartment and live in the fully furnished adjacent David Jackson apartment. The spring residence term is 4-1/2 months and provides a $5000 stipend. The fall term offers three brief residencies of 2 - 6 weeks, with stipends pro-rated according to the writer's length of stay.

Serious writers and scholars from each literary genre will be given consideration. Please note that the apartments are third floor walk-ups and that the village of Stonington, though beautiful and directly on the coast, is cold and quiet during the winter months.


Stonington, Connecticut: United States

The James Merrill House is located in Stonington CT, an historic seaside village located half-way between New York and Boston. The Merrill Apartment is located on the third and fourth floors of a late 19th century building that houses several commercial spaces at the street level, two residential apartments on the second floor and the Jackson and Merrill Apartments on the third and fourth floors. The building is within walking distance of great restaurants, shops, a farmers' market, a library and the scenic duBois Beach. Today, the apartment looks much the way Merrill left it. The spirit of the place, the singular décor, the famous wallpaper, the views, the light, the privacy, and perhaps Merrill’s spirit remain. In the years since Merrill’s death, twenty-eight writers have used this space as a residence and retreat. They differ in age, experience, and approach, but all have been enriched by the opportunity to live and work in these inspiring rooms.


  • Residency Length: Residency periods range from 4-1/2 months (Spring Term) to 2-6 weeks (Fall Term).
  • Average number of artists in residence at a time: 1-5
  • Number of artists accepted in most recent year: 2
  • Total applicant pool in most current year: 70


  • Application type: Open application
  • Collaboration: Must apply and be accepted individually
  • Geography: Open to US artists, Open to non-US artists
  • Application deadline: January 15
  • Additional deadline info:
    The James Merrill House Writer-in-Residence Program offers one 4-1/2 month residency between mid-January and the end of May, and three shorter residencies of 2 to 6 weeks during the months between Labor Day and mid-January.

Past Residents & Quotes

Past residents: 
Peter Hawkins Scott Westrem Dainel Hall Ted & Annie Deppe Aidan Wasley Brigit Kelly Molly McQuade Sarah Gorham & Jeff Skinner Paul Merrill Matthew Zapruder Michael Tyrell Jeff Marcus Jason Zuzga Michael D Snediker Anna S Potter Nancy Reisman & Rick Hilles Langdon Hammer Piotr Gwiazda Ivy Pochoda Cate Marvin Bruce Snider Josh Weil Jedediah Berry Will Schutt
"My time at the Merrill House was absolutely crucial for my development as a writer: the beauty of the natural surroundings, the respectful friendship and support of the community, and most of all the ineffable yet very real presence of Merrill as a guiding creative spirit helped me write the bulk of my second book, for which I remain grateful beyond measure."
— Matthew Zapruder

Facilities & Services

  • Housing: Private housing (individual apartment/cabin/house)
  • Meals: No meals/food provided
    The apartments have fully furnished kitchens and writers do their own shopping and cooking.
  • Computer/internet access: Wireless Internet
  • Companions: Spouses/partners allowed for full stay
  • Accessibility: no

Stipends / other support

$5000 for Spring Term of 4-1/2 months. Varying stipends for Fall Term of three 2 to 6 week residencies.

Additional expectations / opportunities

Fellows accepted for the Spring Term are expected to give a reading in the community and participate in one additional project agreed upon by the fellow and the Merrill House Committee. It is understood that the residency is designed to provide maximum opportunity for study and work and any community contribution will be decided upon with that in mind.

Contact Information

107 Water Street
Stonington, Connecticut 06378
United States