Each year, a Merrill House residency and stipend is reserved for the winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. The Yale award is the longest running and, arguably, the most prestigious poetry competition in the United States. Since 1919, it has celebrated the most promising new American poets by bringing their work to the attention of the larger public. The competition is open to emerging poets who have not yet published a book of poetry. More information about the prize and application can 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 Pegeen Kelly, went on to become Merrill House Fellows. Earlier winners of the prize include such talents as Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, and Robert Hass.
Intended as a resource for scholars, students, writers, and teachers, the James Merrill Digital Archive currently provides digital access to a small cross-section from the James Merrill Papers housed in Special Collections at Washington University in St. Louis.
The James Merrill Papers consists of original manuscripts, drafts, typescripts, diaries, reading notes, college materials, ephemera, and photographs, extensive correspondence with his family, friends, and business associates. Audiovisual and personal material document other aspects of Merrill’s life.