Prospect Street Writers House

Prospect Street Writers House’s philosophy is embodied in poet Donald Hall’s maxim – “The friendship of writers is the history of literature.” Situated in the Vermont village of North Bennington, Prospect Street celebrates written language and fosters literary discourse. Peace and quiet, time to think and write, and good company form the basis of what this writers residency will offer. The House is under construction now, with a completion date of October 2021 and a planned start of programs in June 2022.

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Community

The experience of a Prospect Street residency can open the gate to creativity, jumpstart a stalled project, renew lagging confidence, put finishing touches on a manuscript, and restore the solitary writer’s sense of community. The time and the place are yours to do with as you will. The evening meal is the only time everyone will gather together.

Prospect Street brings together writers regardless of genre and experience for a minimum two-week stay. What the Writers House will provide is tranquility and geniality. Because the population at Prospect Street is unlikely to exceed twelve writers, the residency format supports interpersonal give-and-take by providing the opportunity for conversations between peers deeply interested in the same thing. A writer’s greatest resource being other writers, the congenial atmosphere at Prospect Street can be conducive to making lifelong friendships as well as professional contacts. 

Occasionally, informal readings and discussions led by visiting writers will take place after dinner. The Writers House’s Library is full of works by writers who’ve read at Prospect Street Readings, our monthly online reading series, as well as reference titles and classics. Your book belongs on these shelves. 

Accommodations

Prospect Street provides twelve bedrooms for resident writers. They are configured in three suites of four bedrooms, each with kitchenette and sitting room. Two suites offer bedrooms with private bath, while the other suite shares two bathrooms. The entire first floor is on grade, containing a handicap-accessible bedroom. There’s parking for sixteen cars. A Library, a Dining Room with a full kitchen, and a Hall for public readings comprise the first-floor common areas.

A large garden terrace provides a place for alfresco dining, outdoor conversation, or a quiet place to read or write. The grounds harbor a half dozen secluded areas with seating, perfect for creativity or contemplation.

The Writers House’s layout flows easily from private to public. Our rooms are comfortable and quiet. Focus on your writing in any number of private places in addition to your room. Enjoy the company of writers only to the extent your creative process can accommodate.

The Orange Suite has four large bedrooms without private bath. Its two bathrooms are located just outside the rooms, dorm-style. The bedrooms of Grey and Blue Suites include private baths. Small groups applying together can request a suite.

Neighborhood

The Village of North Bennington is a short walk down Prospect Street. One of Shirley Jackson’s North Bennington houses is the one with the columns on the righthand side of the street. At the bottom of the hill, The Roasted Bean is a haven for a good cup of coffee and, next door, The Pangaea Lounge offers terrace dining overlooking one of Paran Creek’s millponds. And across the fountain square is the public library.

Crossing Main Street and heading up the hill, one arrives at the Park-McCullough House, a mid-nineteenth century mansion, home to two Vermont governors. The veranda has wicker chairs for reading and on summer Sundays there’s Farmers Market. Beyond the House winds a network of bridle paths, Mile-Around Woods, where, in early spring, the forest floor is carpeted with ephemeral wildflowers.

Across Prospect Street from the Writers House a path leads to the Bennington College campus. The College’s beautiful white Georgian buildings frame a breathtaking vista of Mount Anthony. The quad opens and seems to drop away: no wonder it’s called The End of the World. Bennington College’s evening literary programming is open to the public.