Nomadic? Rover by Days Singing These Gang Plank Songs of the Ambler (Paperback)
39 West Press, 9780990864950, 64pp.
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Hugh Merrill, the printmaker, has a dirty little secret: for many years, he has been covertly writing ... poetry. His debut book of poems, Nomadic? Rover by Days Singing These Gang Plank Songs of the Ambler, reflects the intense and unguarded energy of a vital artist and natural storyteller who has deep connections to both historic and current movements. His subject matter ranges from childhood memories of racial inequality to contemporary ideas of gender fluidity, and his absurd ditties tickle the what the fuck bone in all of us. Littered amongst the poems are moments of prose and snippets of email exchanges between Merrill and his editor. But perhaps the most dynamic aspect of this book is the inclusion of Merrill's original drawings and handwritten notes, which occupy the space around the poems: visual expansions from the poet's haptic nonce of a squirrelly soul.
About the Author
In the early 1990s, Merrill began grappling with the injustice and inequality present in our society and launched a near 30-year commitment to engage art and activism together. While serving as Executive Director of the not-for-profit group Chameleon Arts, he has directed outreach to homeless and at-risk youth and facilitated countless projects that unite artists with activist groups. Merrill is currently a professor in the printmaking department at the Kansas City Art Institute, where his social practice curriculum teaches young artists to engage in community development and advocate for social issues.