Margaret Young: Willow from the Willow

Margaret Young: Willow from the Willow

Book Alert Although this summer was a tough one for the UC Davis Creative Writing community, as we lost both Walter Pavlich and Louis Owens, one happy result was that I found my old friend Margaret Young again. I ordered her first collection, Willow from the Willow months ago, but for some reason I’m still not able to pin down, I’ve been unable to read poetry for a couple of months. It happens sometimes. My brain just won’t work for poetry and it all just sits there on the page looking like words that have been arranged, words that fail to cohere. This never has to do with the quality of the work, just some strange thing in my brain. The other day, while waiting for a friend to come pick me up to go hiking with the dogs, I opened Margaret’s book and found myself transfixed. I spent half an hour standing in a doorway reading these poems. And then I came home and read them all again, slowly. They’re beautiful and tough, full of vintage dresses and inconsolable grief, food and landscapes. This is a collection deeply engaged with the beauty and heartbreak of the Ten Thousand Things. This book is a treasure and my heartfelt thanks go out to Margaret for not only writing it, but for opening up my poetry-head again. Check it out.

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