Catherine Young

Poet, Creative Nonfiction Writer

Author's Bio

Catherine Young is a writer and performing artist whose work is infused with a keen sense of place. She is author of the poetry collection Geosmin (scent of soil) released in 2022 and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her memoir Black Diamonds: A Childhood Colored By Coal is forthcoming in 2023 from Torrey House Press. Catherine's writing has been published in the anthologies The Driftless ReaderContours, Permanent Vacation II: Eighteen Writers on Work and Life in Our National Parks, Imagination and Place: Cartography and is forthcoming in Essential Voices: A Covid Anthology. Her work appears internationally in Reliquiae and The Island Review and in AscentMinding Nature, Flyway, Fourth River, About PlaceHippocampus, Literary Mama, Midwest Review, Kestrel, and Wisconsin Review, among others. Her poetry has been published as broadsides for Fermentation Fest Farm Art / Dtour Passwords and Madison Metro Buslines and most recently in Stillpoint Arts QuarterlyAbout Place, Tiny Seed, Cold Mountain Review, Passager, and River Heron. Her children's fiction, nonfiction, and poetry appeared in Cricket

A nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays, Catherine Young is the recipient of a Terry Foundation Edenfred Fellowship and a residency at Write On Door County. She worked as a national park ranger, farmer, educator, and mother before completing her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. She holds degrees in Environmental Science, Physical Geography, and Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked for International Crane Foundation in prairie restoration and woodland ecology, as naturalist for Aldo Leopold Head Nature Center and naturalist-writer for Wisconsin State Parks. Catherine is poetry editor of Midwest Review, leads writing workshops, and records the weekly Landward podcast for WDRT community radio.

Rooted in farm life, Catherine lives with her family in Wisconsin's Driftless bioregion where she is totally in love with meandering streams.

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Publications & Prizes

Creative Nonfiction

Essential Voices: A Covid 19 Anthology (West Virginia University Press, 2022)
Permanent Vacation: Eighteen Writers on Work and Life in Our National Parks, Vol. 2 (Bona Fide Books, 2018)
The Driftless Reader (University of Wisconsin Press, 2017)
Imagination & Place: Cartography (Imagination & Place Press, 2009)
Black Diamonds, Blue Flames: A Childhood Colored By Coal (Torrey House Press, 2023)
Journals: , ,
Foliate Oak
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Humans of the World
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Contours (Driftless Writing Center, 2020)
Geosmin (Water's Edge Press, 2022)
Journals: ,
Barstow & Grand
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River Heron Review
Tiny Seed Literary Journal
Prizes won: 

3rd Place Winner in Humans of the World Covid Writing Contest, Spring 2022 for "Invisi / dis ability Pre and Post Covid" 

Hal Prize Honorable Mention in poetry for "Curling Hair While Watching Shindig" 2021

Black Diamonds, Blue Flames memoir longlisted for Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, 2020

Semifinalist Hippocampus Remember in November Nonfiction Contest 2020 "In That River I saw Him Again"

Reader’s Choice Award for poem “Gathering Acorns,” Cold Mountain Review 2020

Best American Essays Nominee, 2018

Pushcart Nominee, 2017 & 2019

National Finalist in "Little House Big Story" celebrating 150th Birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder,

 Wisconsin State Historical Society, 2017


Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Robert MacFarlane—such a fine writer. His language is poetry of place.
What I'm reading now: 
Love from A to Z by Ali, The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Appalachian, Disabled, Other, Swiss
Prefers to work with: 
Adults, Any, Children, Disability, Naturalists/Environmentalists, Schools, Seniors, Teachers, Women
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Aug 04, 2023