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Sebastian Merrill

January 17 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Bank Square Books presents an author talk and signing with Sebastian Merrill for the book, Ghost :: Seeds. Sebastian Merrill will read from GHOST :: SEEDS and engage in a conversation with his mother, Martha Merrill, about identity, place, and family.

GHOST :: SEEDS is set on a remote island on the Maine coast and incorporates elements of magical realism and myth. The central tension of this collection is a dialogue between a transmasculine speaker and a figure that he conceptualizes as his ghost, the girl-ghost of the self that he left behind to become the man he is today. Putting a queer spin on the myth of Persephone, the girl-ghost speaks from an underworld lit by glowworms, cut through by dark rivers, and connected to the world above through a sea cave. The ocean serves as a throughline connecting the speaker and his lost self, providing a setting in which everything is continually in flux: the cycle of the tides, the pounding surf against the rocky coast, and the ever-present threat of pollution and climate change. Kayaking through a coastline studded with islands, alongside seals, porpoises, and herons, amid swirls of floating plastic, we are invited into a world in which the only constant is change. Alternating between prose-like elements and lyric meditations, the book’s expansive form makes full use of the page from margin to margin, creating space and breathing room for complicated investigations of memory, gender, and grief.

GHOST :: SEEDS has already found fans in Kaveh Akbar, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, and Jason Schneiderman. Mark Wunderlich, author of God of Nothingness, describes the collection as “a moving, nuanced, and memorable book, one of the most exciting debuts I’ve read in years.”

About the Author:
The winner of the 2022 Levis Prize for Poetry from Friends of Writers, Sebastian Merrill was selected as a member of the 2023 Get the Word Out inaugural poetry cohort for debut writers from Poets & Writers. A staff-scholar for the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2022 and 2023 and the Summer 2023 Warren Wilson MFA Alumni Residency Fellow, Sebastian has also received support from Tin House Workshop and the Juniper Summer Writing Institute. The recipient of the Rodney Jack Scholarship from Friends of Writers, he holds an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College and a BA from Wellesley College.

About Martha Merrill:
Martha Merrill served for 14 years as Dean of Admission & Financial Aid at Connecticut College where she worked for nearly 30 years in both admissions and advancement. She now volunteers for various community organizations and is currently the treasurer of Calvary Nursery School and serves on the Board of Directors as past president of the Christmas Cove Improvement Association in Maine. She lives in Waterford with her husband John.


January 17
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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Bank Square Books
53 West Main Street
Mystic, FL 06355 United States
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