GEOSMIN – Local Author book launch

When: Sunday, April 24, 2:00pm
Where: East side yard of The Commons (if inclement weather, move to the Theater)
Cost: Free

On SUNDAY, APRIL 24, 2:00 pm Catherine Young will present her latest book of poetry, Geosmin in the east side yard of The Commons.  Bring a chair or blanket, a snack/dessert to share afterwards and tune into Catherine’s lovely, experiential original poetry. Books will be available for sale. If the weather is inclement it will be in the Theater.
Geosmin (scent of soil) was released in February from Wisconsin’s Water’s Edge Press. It is a beautiful hardcover book of eco-poetry grown from her work as an organic farmer, ecologist, and mother in Wisconsin’s Driftless region. Her writing is published internationally and nationally and it is included in the University of Wisconsin Press anthology, The Driftless Reader.
Catherine is a writer and performing artist whose work is infused with a keen sense of place.  Her writing has been published in the anthologies Contours, Permanent Vacation II: Eighteen Writers on Work and Life in Our National Parks, Imagination and Place: Cartography and is forthcoming in Essential Voices. Her poetry has been published as broadsides for Fermentation Fest Farm Art / Dtour Passwords and Madison Metro Buslines.

A nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays, Catherine Young 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. Catherine leads writing workshops, and records the weekly Landward podcast for WDRT radio.

Rooted in farm life, Catherine lives with her family in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area. Her writings and podcasts are available at

Praise for GEOSMIN:
Catherine Young celebrates land in such a wholehearted way that she nearly becomes the fir tree, “sheathed in resinous green, pulling at the sky / drinking sun,” and, back in her own skin, apologizes profusely for being “rootless” and “warm-blooded.”  One might purchase Geosmin simply for its rich and varied vocabulary, beginning with the title, which we quickly learn, means “earth odor.” This tribute to the poet’s life in the Driftless bioregion of the Upper Midwest is also an homage to the humble and capable people who inhabit the area—as well as a warning that the earth is fragile and in danger.

—Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota Poet Laureate

Worlds within worlds unfold, ambered in words, as we follow her wanderings on the land. Linguistic sensuosity matches the touch of skin on bark, the rocks’ dance, time and space openings from trilobite murmurings to the purple shimmer on Lake Superior’s shore. We roam through a year of change, visit with dairy and goat farmers in the Driftless region, browse in antique shops, and explore the workings of memory. Young’s Geosmin envelopes us in the sense texture of a region, and distills its perfume. 

—Petra Kuppers, author of Gut Botany

Catherine Young writes from the heart and from the land, with the keen eye of a geologist and the soul of a poet. In the tradition of Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver, and Louise Glück. These poems honor rural life and the earth itself, poems concerned with the soil, with water, with the changing seasons, and with language. In short, they grapple with what it means to be human and one part of this fragile and natural world. 

—Christopher Chambers, editor Midwest Review

Please email with questions or comments.