A Cage To Welcome is a full-length poetry collection published in 2023 by Stephen F. Austin State University Press.
Praise for A Cage To Welcome:
“This collection opens up to us, opens us up, brings us close. In segments short and poignant, Youngdahl wrestles with the act of creating life, the act of carrying life; she explores the story of a body that is tasked with birthing. And we are that body’s cohort through its detailed quest. “I’m nipple aware: / my body holds sunlight.” A howling body, a red body, a dizzy body, a body with lines that show the sensitive underside of all our lives – this work holds the body close, and the reader closer.”
-Lauren Haldeman, author of Instead of Dying
This is an urgent and arching book: an imagistic-majestic, plum-hued sheaf of wonders. The poems of A Cage to Welcome are bright leaves pressed between weighted pages so that we may press our palms against their vein-throbbed stories. I love so much the feeling-ness of Youngdahl’s poems, but even more their willingness to share all: the pungent moments of love, the strange alacrity the body knows when carrying child. It’s simply a remarkable collection.
-Cate Marvin, author of Event Horizon
Shana Youngdahl’s A Cage to Welcome is a calendar of the ordinary events and attentions that, day after day, become what changes our lives forever. Sisters and parents, DNA and zygotes, birch trees and white-nosed bats, plums and the wrong turn hiking a canyon: at any moment we might double, shift, or metastasize. In these poems, human babies are born into being-with an animal- and plant-rich place, a world of relation where spines and strands tie us to one another. Childhood, shadowed by parental knowledge of danger, aging, and death, is a dreaming close to prophesy, with an eye to the future that each day brings into place. In these poems, the everyday work of looking, housemaking, thinking shows us that hope is an act and not a feeling. Hope is the practice of continuing to live together, while writing and germinating, growing and changing.
-Éireann Lorsung author of The Century
History, Advice and Other Half-Truths (Stephen F. Austin State University Press 2013) explores the intersections of Western legends, landscapes, love, terror, as a range of characters struggle to live passionate lives. Here Doc Holliday is turned in by his worn-out lover, Jim Younger laments from his prison cell, Carl Jung builds sandcastles, women find freedom as ranchers and outlaws, grandmothers give advice and haunt bridal bedrooms as the poet grapples with her own transition into a wife and mother.
Praise for History, Advice and Other Half-Truths
“Shana Youngdahl writes poems that wed the myth of the American West with the brutal materiality of ‘how the West was won.’ Her muse is history, her matter the female body. Her gifts are on abundant display in a poem like ‘Help Manual from Great Grandmother’s Bookshelf: cool, dry-eyed, alert to how the self adheres in this doubleness.”
-Tom Sleigh, author Army Cats
You can read a review of the collection here.
Winter/Windows is a two-poem twenty-page chapbook hand-bound in 2013 by Miel. An exploration of parenthood in the time of climate change. This chapbook is sold out and occasionally available through used and collectible book markets. For more on this chapbook check out this review. The poem Windows is available in A Cage to Welcome.
The author’s first chapbook explores the West in Donner: A Passing.
A third chapbook, Of Nets, is a letter-press edition of a ten-page poem published in 2010 by Gendun editions. This poem is reprinted in History, Advice and Other Half-Truths. Like Winter/Windows letterpress edition is sold out.