About the Poet

Richard Young was born and grew up in London. He graduated from Oxford with a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, then taught in Italy and China before settling in the United States in 1983. His PhD is from the University of Pennsylvania and his abiding research passion is been to understand the relationship between the use of language and the social contexts that language reflects and creates.


Richard has published his research in five books and over sixty essays and articles. Thirty-nine of his students have graduated with PhDs, and he has worked as visiting professor in Germany, Sweden, Italy, China, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. He retired in 2019, and was happy to start a new life. He cleared out his professional books and donated them to universities in Africa. He found it harder to get rid of his favorite books of fiction, poetry, and art, but said a sad farewell to them and donated them to a friend’s bookstore.


Much of Richard’s poetry describes desire. By expressing in writing his desires, he has followed the Buddhist teaching that eliminating desire is the only way to overcome pain. Though he is far from eliminating desire, he nonetheless believes that making himself aware of his own desires is one step forward on the path. He has expressed sensual pleasure in nature in the poems “Winter Rain,” “Your Woods,” and “Snowfall.” Just as he desires pleasures of the senses, he also desires kindness, beauty, and love for and from people, some of whom he has named in his poetry and others who must remain “Unsubstantial Obsessions.”