In May 2016, I received an email from a person in Belgium who had come across my work and Dickinson House. They were interested in the fact that since fall of 2014 we have run the house without any institutional or other support, getting by on very little and using our resources to make space for other writers and artists, and they asked whether they might be able to visit. I said yes, and we scheduled a meeting for August.
August came, and the visit, and with it the possibility of some funding for the house—a financial gift, with nearly no strings attached. And then, a few days after the visit, I was astounded to receive an email with a figure that would allow us to offer four fellowships instead of our planned two, as well as grants to nearly every resident in our 2017 season. These Henry James Grants (so named as a condition of the funding, because of the donor’s special interest in James) have made residencies possible for almost thirty writers, and the funding means that for the first time since opening we will receive (small) salaries for our work here. We are grateful and still a little in shock—unbelieving that this is possible. But it is, apparently. And in about two months, the writers will begin to arrive. Thanks to our donor and thanks to all who applied for a residency or fellowship this year.