A Careful Hunger

A Careful Hunger

Poems

by Judy Young

Edited by John K. Young

Foreword by Mary Ann Taylor-Hall and Susan Starr Richards

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky

72 pages, 5.50 x 8.50 in

  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9780813177847
  • Published: September 2019

$19.95

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Judy Young (1940--2015) was a gifted but private poet. Over the years, she established provisional collections of her best work but refrained from seeking publication due to her trepidation with sharing her deeply personal poems with an audience. She found her voice in a collective group of creatives that included Susan Starr Richards, Mary Ann Taylor-Hall, and the late Donna Boyd, Jane Gentry, Audrey Robinson, and Carolyn Hisel. This illustrious circle of friends met monthly for almost thirty years and gave her the courage to share her work -- a lyrical medley of pain, beauty, strength, and redemption.

Revealed is the story of a woman's inner life -- an intimate tale of abuse and personal struggle -- from a traumatic childhood through marriage, parenthood, and lifelong friendships. Based on the final manuscript that was drafted before the author's death, this compilation traces the path of a woman finding her poetic voice in middle age, returning to an often-harrowing upbringing while closely observing the natural world -- especially the populations of birds moving through the space between her back porch and the lake below -- and meditating on the nature of creativity. With a submerged narrative behind the poems and several calls to nature through repeated motifs, the poet shares seminal emotions and experiences.

A Careful Hunger is the last creative testament of this extraordinary artist -- her final act of fearlessness in a troubled yet joyful life. In the words of the poet: "I am alive and must say so / one way or another."