Young, Terence 1953-

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YOUNG, Terence 1953-


Born 1953; married Patricia Young (a poet); children: two. Education: University of British Columbia, M.F.A., 1996.


Home—Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Raincoast Books, 9050 Shaughnessy St., Vancouver, British Columbia V6P 6E5, Canada; fax: 604-323-2600.


Writer and educator. High school creative writing teacher. Founder and editor, Claremont Review.


British Columbia Governor General's Literary Award nominee in poetry, 1999, for The Island in Winter; Fiddlehead fiction contest winner; This Magazine fiction contest winner; PRISM International fiction contest winner; Journey Prize nominee.


Fooling Ourselves (poems), Reference West (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada), 1996.

The Island in Winter (poems), Signal Editions (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1999.

Rhymes with Useless (short stories), Raincoast Books (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 2000.

Contributor of fiction and poetry to publications such as Event, Grain, Arc, and Malahat Review.


Poet and short-story writer Terence Young teaches his craft to high school students in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He has given readings at various schools and universities, including Trent University, and conducted writing workshops at the Victoria School of Writing and elsewhere.

A sense of family, and of what emotional havoc family members can inflict on themselves and each other, infuses Young's short story collection, Rhymes with Useless. "In sharp, colloquial prose, Young traces the cracks just beneath the surface of familial life in his haunting, sometimes heartbreaking tales," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. In one story in the collection, "Yellow with Black Horns," Evelina finds evidence of her parents' deteriorating relationship and escalating arguments in her drinking cup, smashed on the floor and left where it lay. A young husband considers a marriage-breaking dalliance with his temporary worker at the same time his wife visits an investment counselor, seeking ways to secure their future in "Fast." In the book's title story, a wife's conversion to vegetarianism has an unexpected result for her husband: no meat also means, inexplicably, no sex. And the mother in "The Berlin Wall" is cut off from her children after her husband is caught selling marijuana out of their house. Other stories include "Dead" and "Maintenance." In the first, seventeen-year-old Anna agrees to have sex with her boyfriend, but she discovers that her search for all the pleasures and distractions that life has to offer does not always live up to her expectations. And in "Maintenance" a mourning widower realizes that "the real cataclysm was not that the world would end all at once but that it was ending one person at a time."

"These are fine, sensitive stories, chronicling loss and disaffection without resorting to bland generalities," the Publishers Weekly critic remarked. Young's "stories work to elicit sympathy in his readers, as his characters go about their jobs and try to understand their beloveds; as they try to act dutifully to others, to themselves, in their attempt to ward off what one of his poem's speakers calls 'whatever hunts us down,'" observed Harold Hoefle on the Danforth Review Web site. The repetitively downbeat tone of Young's stories "starts to leave the reader numb," commented Aaron Hamburger in Village Voice. "Still, his sharp renderings of oddballs in distress remind us that stories can do more than amuse with clever conceits—they have the power to disturb us, to bump us out of our comfortable grooves." Hoefle concluded, "In Young's stories, much of humanity breathes; because of his art, we want these characters to breathe easier."



Publishes Weekly, February 5, 2001, review of Rhymes with Useless, p. 67.

Village Voice, January 23, 2001, Aaron Hamburger, "Oddballs with Problems," p. 62.


Canada Council for the Arts, (October 19, 1999), "The Canada Council for the Arts Announces Nominees for the 1999 Governor General's Literary Awards."

Danforth Review, (April 4, 2004), Harold Hoefle, review of Rhymes with Useless.

Trent University, (April 4, 2004), biography of Terence Young.

University of British Columbia, (April 4, 2004), biography of Terence Young.

Victoria School of Writing, (April 4, 2004), biography of Terence Young.*