Connecticut Audbon Society
Trail Wood Sanctuary

Trail Wood Sanctuary

The Edwin Way Teale Artists in Residence Program was started at Trail Wood in 2012. The Connecticut Audubon Society invites writers and visual artists to spend a week of creative solitude in residence in the historic home of Pulitzer-prize-winning naturalist writer and photographer Edwin Way Teale and his wife and collaborator Nellie Donovan Teale.

While in residence, artists are encouraged to practice their craft in a way that is inspired both by the site’s natural beauty and its important role in American natural history writing. Enhancing the experience, visiting artists are provided with access to Edwin’s writing study in the main house which is preserved as it was at the time of his death in 1980 and to his rustic writing cabin.

What kind of creativity does Trail Wood inspire? Check out the work in Trail Wood Reflections, a commemorative publication available in pdf and in paperback at the Center at Pomfret. 

Residencies are offered for six weeks in July and August to three writers and three visual artists. Applications are accepted from early January until March 1 for the upcoming summer’s residencies. Finalists are chosen through a juried process. All applicants are notified by the mid-April. There is a $25.00 application fee. If chosen, accepted applicants are asked to pay a $100.00 donation to defray costs of running the property, the Teale’s historic 1806 farmhouse pictured below.

Download 2024 Application 

Accommodations and Expectations

Accommodations at Trail Wood

After the completion of the residency, participants are expected to participate in two follow-up events:

Trail Wood Under the Harvest Moon-
a fundraising event held on the lawn at Trail Wood on the 3rd weekend of September. Each resident artist is asked to read or present a sample of work completed during the residency and to speak about the residency experience itself. This work can be in progress.

Annual Writers & Artist Exhibition
A month-long exhibition at Connecticut Audubon’s Center at Pomfret gallery starting in late January. The participants will help organize the event and attend the opening.

Download 2024 Application 

Past Participants

Our artists- and writers-in-residence come from across the country and from all walks of life. Here are a few examples:

Katherine Hauswirth

Writer Katherine Hauswirth (2015) released The Morning Light, the Lily White: Daily Dips into Nature and Spirit published in January, 2023. A previous book, The Book of Noticing, earned Honorable Mention ASJA 2018 and finalist, Book Excellence Awards.

Roxanne Steed

Painter Roxanne Steed (2017) continues to be involved with Connecticut Audubon, conducting sketch booking and watercolor workshops at the Center at Pomfret and Trail Wood. She collaborated with writer-in-residence 

Judy Benson

Writer Judy Benson (2017) collaborated with Roxanne on Earth and Sky: Nature Meditations in Word and Watercolor, published by New London Librarium and reviewed by the New London Day.

Maria Sangiolo

Musician and songwriter Maria Sangiolo (2017) wrote a record called “Songs of the Wood” about her Trail Wood experience. Maria’s Website

Debbie Slack

Writer Debbie Slack (2018) is a Roundtable Listener Essayist at NPR’s WAMC. Included in the produced essays is “Taking Note” which was inspired by her visit to Edwin Way Teale’s study. Debbie’s essays are available here.

Denise Coffey

Writer and journalist Denise Coffey (2018) not only created poetry for her residency year she also wrote about Teale’s legacy and attending an Alison Davis writing workshop at Trail Wood.

David Joly

Visual artist David Joly (2019) produced a variety creative works during his residency including this emotional video.

Meg Sodano

Illustrator Meg Sodano (2019) features work from her residency and describes the experience in a blog article on her website.

Elizabeth Lehman

Painter Elizabeth Lehman (2019) completed a series of oil paintings based on sketches made during her residency.

Sally Rogers

Folk singer, songwriter Sally Rogers ( 2020) produced quilts during her residency and subsequently performed at the Trail Wood under Harvest Moon event.

Charlotte Pyle

Charlotte Pyle (2016) wrote A Fern Identification Key, published in the Eastern Connecticut Landowners/Wolf Den Land Trust Fall 2020 newsletter.

Thomas Fuhs

Thomas Fuhs (2022) been curated into New York’s White Columns artist registry:

Tom Oullette

Photographer Tom Oullette (2021) returned for visits before and after his residency to create Ten Weeks at Trail Wood.  Check it out!

Laura Tedeschi

Inspired by a trip to the North Cemetery in Hampton to see the Teales, designer/Illustrator Laura Tedeschi (2018) is exhibiting a show of work entitled Afterlife: Reimaging 18th Century Grave Carvings.  

Download 2024 Application 

Inspiration from the Original Residents

Edwin Way Teale’s site observations, as well as some of Nellie’s, are documented in the two books he wrote about Trail Wood, A Naturalist Buys an Old Farm (1974) and A Walk Through the Year (1978). Program participants are encouraged to read one or both to more fully understand the site and the important legacy of the Teales. To see daily posts from A Walk Through the Year, join the Edwin Way Teale Facebook Group.

For even more inspiration, the nearby Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut houses Edwin’s private papers and photos, including four 500-page journals he kept while at Trail Wood. A full catalog of the Teale archive can be viewed here.

See the latest exhibit! Download the latest flyer!

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