Caoilinn Hughes signs novel at Bank Square Books Thursday

Caoilin Hughes (Danijel Mihajlovic)
Caoilin Hughes (Danijel Mihajlovic)

You have to be a significant talent to earn a writer-in-residence fellowship at the James Merrill House in Stonington. And while those so honored are presumably going to have (or continue to have) fine literary careers, it's still fun for us local folks to have a proprietary sense of pride for the Merrill alums.

Consider Caoilinn Hughes, a poet-novelist who — when not spending a few months in Stonington as she did as a Winter Merrill Fellow in 2017 — splits her time between Ireland and the Netherlands. Hughes came to the borough well-established for her poetry collection, "Gathering Evidence," which won the Irish Times' Shine/Strong Award and was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Prize for Best First Collection 2015.

At the Merrill House, though, Hughes was working on her debut novel, "Orchid & the Wasp," which was just published by Hogarth Books. Back in the region on tour for the book, Hughes will read from and sign copies of "Orchid & the Wasp" tonight in Mystic's Bank Square Books.

Caoilin Hughes, 6:30 p.m. tonight, Bank Square Books, 53 West Main St., Mystic; free, copies available for purchase; (860) 536-3795.

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