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 working as a national park ranger, farmer, educator, and mother, she completed her MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia.
Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and for Best American Essays, Catherine is a Terry Foundation Edenfred Fellow. She holds degrees in Environmental Science, Geography, and Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Catherine's writing has been published in the anthologies The Driftless Reader, Contours, Permanent Vacation II: Eighteen Writers on Work and Life in Our National Parks, and Imagination and Place: Cartography. Her work appears internationally in Reliquiae and The Island Review, and in Ascent, Still Point Arts Quarterly, Tiny Seed Journal, Minding Nature, Cold Mountain, Passager, About Place, River Heron,
Hippocampus, Literary Mama, Midwest Review, and Wisconsin Review, among others. Catherine's poetry was published as broadsides for Fermentation Fest Farm /Art Dtour Passwords and Madison Metro Buslines in Wisconsin's capital city. Her food writing can be found in Edible Madison online. Her children's fiction, nonfiction, and poetry appeared in Cricket, and she has written interactive stories for children and families for museums and state parks. Catherine serves on the Editorial Board of Midwest Review and she is wildly enthusiastic about Little Free Libraries.
Catherine has completed a memoir of coal country, Black Diamonds, Blue Flames: A Childhood Colored by Coal which was longlisted for the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. She has also completed 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 of published writings through the Podcasts page
and sample writings linked through the Essays & Poems page.
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