Billy Merrell was born on January 7, 1982, in St. Louis, MO, and raised in Jacksonville, FL. He studied writing and journalism at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and the University of Florida before receiving his MFA in Poetry from Columbia University.
In 2003, at the age of 21, he published his first book of poetry, Talking in the Dark with Scholastic’s PUSH imprint. In 2006, he co-edited (with David Levithan) The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing about Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities, which received a Lambda Literary Award.
His poems have since appeared in the print anthologies Best Gay Poetry 2008, The Best Young Writers and Artists in America, Divining Divas, 21 Proms, A Face to Meet the Faces, and in David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary.
Merrell also writes stories for children. Co-author of Spirit Animals: Tales of the Great Beasts, he has also written original ebooks for Scholastic’s Infinity Ring Secrets series: Blood and Ink and Up in Flames.
From 2006 to 2013, Merrell served as front end developer for Poets.org, providing web analysis and content strategy for the Academy of American Poets website.
Billy Merrell currently lives near the gates of the historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY, with his husband, the writer Nico Medina.