Congratulations to Natalie Young for the release of her first book, titled All of This Was Once Under Water, published by Quarter Press. The collection is “part of a manuscript that mixes factual scenery and history with speculative fiction, in order to explore peculiarities in human nature, culture, identity, and environment.”
The book’s cover art and illustration were done by Maximiliane Spieß. Maxi is from western Germany where she works as an illustrator and writes novels in her free time. The Limited Edition hardcover book includes 8+ illustrations by Maxi in offset printing on matte pages. The book is printed in full color and comes with a blue vellum dust jacket.
The book has received many reviews regarding the beautiful narrative it establishes and the themes it is able to intertwine across each poem. Read them below:
“All of This Was Once Under Water is entrancing, beguiling, disquieting—a collection of poetic dispatches from a terrain of lost faith and ecological decline. A genderless alien from another world, a philosophical monster residing in the Great Salt Lake, and a human “She” with a long-buried trauma: these are just some of the dramatis personae in this compendious collection that make the familiar strange again. Interspersed fragments of history about the birth of the Mormon Church comment ironically on our current state. The tone isn’t elegiac. There is hope in these searching poems, in their sensuous encounter with nature—not to mention a love affair between alien and human. The wondrous attention, the wry melancholy, and the sly humor of these poems will allow readers to glimpse their own lives with new eyes.” —Dan O’Brien.
“In All of This Was Once Under Water, Natalie Padilla Young conjures a physical and metaphysical universe in which the history of the Great Salt Lake and the struggles of her Mormon ancestors intertwine. Narratives of suffering, phantasmagorical legend, environmental threat, science, faith, love, and gender fluidity unspool in language as pristine and biting as salt. A great imagination is at work in these poems as Young probes the enmeshed lives of an alien, a lone human She, and a mythic monster in startling diction and syntax and haunting imagery.” – Teresa Cader, History of Hurricanes, The Paper Wasp, Guests.
Natalie Young is a founding and managing editor of Sugar House Review, a poetry magazine. She also works as an art director for an ad agency based in Salt Lake City. Her poems from this series have been published in Green Mountains Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Rattle, South Dakota Review, Terrain.org, Drunken Boat, Pilgrimage, and elsewhere.
View her poem “Notes on Earth Life” in issue 18 of Superstition Review.
The limited edition is currently in preorder. Only 250 copies have been printed. Order yours today here.