I am fascinated by perception of landscape and how it shapes our movements in the world. My prose, poetry, and songs arise at the intersection between ecology and art, and I believe we are all artists.
Catherine Young is a writer and song crafter living in Wisconsin. After having worked as a national park ranger, farmer, and mother, she completed her MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. A nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays, Catherine is a Terry Foundation Edenfred Fellow and a Split Rock Arts scholarship recipient. She also holds degrees in Physical Geography, Environmental Studies, and Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Catherine's prose and poetry is published in Midwest Review, Fourth River, Ascent, Hippocampus, Punctuate, About Place, Wisconsin Review, Foliate Oak, Freshwater, Kestrel, Literary Mama, Feile-Festa, Aqueous, among others, and
in the anthologies The Driftless Reader, Imagination & Place: Cartography,
and Permanent Vacation II. Her work appears internationally in Reliquiae and The Island Review. Catherine's poetry has been broadsided in Fermentation Fest and on a Madison Metro bus in Wisconsin's capital city. Her food writing appears Edible Madison online. She has written interactive stories for children for museums and state parks. She serves on the Editorial Board of PRISM International.
Catherine has completed a memoir of coal country and is currently at work on a poetry collection, and food memoir of stories, recipes, and songs she has crafted.
I was born in the largest coal mining valley in the world at the time of its collapse in the 1950s. Drawn by the writings of Aldo Leopold, the landscape of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods and the birthplace of the Environmental Movement, I eventually moved to Wisconsin for my education.
With her family, Catherine raises her food on a sustainable organic farm in Wisconsin's Driftless Area. Her home is located on a trout stream, one branch of the giant water tree called the Mississippi River.
In everything that I do, in every object I welcome into my life, I consider three questions in the stream give-and-take:
Where does it come from? Where is it going? What is my part?
My work as a naturalist, educator, and folk artist has been filled with preserving and sharing story. Like a bountiful harvest of farm produce, stories preserve sustenance. Publishing, performing story, and crafting songs is like lifting the preserves from larder shelves and opening them up for a feast.
I invite you to partake!
Listen to recordings through the Podcasts page
and sample writing linked through the Essays & Poems page.