At The Gates of Dawn is an anthology of Ella Young’s work, featuring her poems, prose and mythical storytelling, and will be read by Willow Moonfire.
Born in Ireland in 1867, Ella Young was educated in Dublin, obtaining a master’s degree in Celtic mythology. She published her first book of poems in 1906, and her first work of Irish folklore, The Coming of Lugh, in 1909, and followed in 1910 by Celtic Wonder-Tales.
She first travelled to the United States in the early 1920s, and in 1924 she was hired by the University of California, Berkeley to replace William Whittingham Lyman Jr., who had vacated his post as “Instructor in Celtic”. Re-entering the United States in 1925, she was allegedly briefly detained at Ellis Island as a probable mental case on the grounds of her apparent belief in the existence of “fairies, elves, and pixies”.
As a lecturer, Young was known for her colourful and lively persona, often addressing her audiences whilst wearing the purple robes of a Druid and expounding on legendary creatures such as fairies and elves, and praising the benefits of talking to trees.
Her sheer enthusiasm for, and depth of knowledge of, Celtic mythology attracted and influenced many of her friends and won her a wide audience among writers and artists in California, including poet Robinson Jeffers, philosopher Alan Watts, photographer Ansel Adams, and composer Harry Partch, who set several of her poems to music.