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Joyce Young ’75

Alumnae Poet

Joyce Young’s chapbook, How it Happens, Nomadic Press (2018), was nominated for a California Book Award. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and recently appeared in West Trestle Review, Essential Truths: The Bay Area in Color, Poem of the Day at The San Francisco Public Library, and The Bloom. Her prose has been published in Smith Alumnae Quarterly. She is currently writing a memoir. She has received fellowships at Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Smith College and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary consciousness studies from JFK University.

Select Poems

Why worry my spleen, my mad?

I deserve a better gig

than holding these cinders

Fire has a purpose, but

not one I am always

able to understand.

I love to hold a torch,

which is not the same

as carrying a torch.

My mind swirls orange, red,

yellow, flame-like.

80 mph winds sweep through.

Fire’s wake requires tearing down

or rebuilding. Your choice.

I’ll wait; hold a cup of water.

Drink it slowly as you consider

my offer. Your hair is gray,

You don’t have much time.


Published in the January/February 2023 issue of West Trestle Review.