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Listening In: Echoes and Artifacts from Maryland's Mother County
by Merideth M. Taylor
Foreword by Jeffrey Hammond, with a poem by Lucille Clifton

St. Mary's County is where colonial Maryland began, when St. Mary's City was established as Maryland's first capital in 1634 on the site of an ancient Yaocomico village. Southern Maryland has been home to human occupation for at least 12,000 years and, since 1634, has seen the rise and fall of tobacco agriculture with its associated enslaved labor and the shift to a modern economy based on aerospace technology. Home to the Patuxent Naval Air Station since 1942, the county is on the threshold of becoming a bedroom community to Washington, D.C., Annapolis, and Baltimore. As the area's rural character slips away, ties to the past become increasingly important.

In Listening In, Merideth Taylor provides a captivating, even pioneering approach to capturing the land and life of Maryland's "mother county." She integrates her own engaging photographs of buildings of all kinds, many of them in disrepair, with imaginative text called "ghost stories" that are based on living oral histories and relate to the photographs in one way or another. And so we gain a true sense not only of what life in historic St. Mary's County was, but also the place it is becoming.


St.Mary's College of Maryland hosted a celebration on October 1, 2018, for Merideth Taylor and the publication of her new book, Listening In: Echoes and Artifacts from Maryland's Mother County, which has already received glowing attention in The Washington Post, WPFW in DC, and Southern Maryland magazine. Left to right: publisher George Thompson, author Merideth Taylor, and Dr. Sabine Dillingham, Director of Research and Sponsored Programs at SMCM. George has conducted his Publisher-in-Residence program at St. Mary's College since 2014.

$39.95 U.S. (trade discount) No e-book has been authorized.
164 pages with 148 color photographs by the author
8.0" x 10.0" (upright/portrait)
ISBN 978–1–938086–55–7

Published in April 2018

Distributed by the University of Virginia Press cart
University of Virginia Press
No e-book has been authorized.

About the Author

Book Events & Exhibitions
November 15, 2021 - January 17, 2022
Two images included in the Maryland Regional Virtual Exhibition Series, Maryland State Arts Council.
View online here.

February 2021
Collage accepted to Maryland State Arts Council Identity exhibition. View online here.

September 27, 2018 at 9am
On-air interview with E. Ethelbert Miller
"On The Margin" on WPFW 89.3 (archived podcast)

Taylor's photos were published in the October, 2019 Burningword Literary Journal.

Taylor's non-fiction prose was included in the 12th Annual Delmarva Review. A new book review of Listening In, provided by Crystal Brandt, is included in the same publication.

Taylor's short video "Mapping for the Future" was selected for the 2019 Southern Maryland Film Festival.

Read an essay and see photos by Taylor here.

Read a Q&A with Taylor here.

Read a conversation with Taylor on The Past is Alive, here.


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