HISTORY: Terry grew up in Farmington, New Mexico about 30 miles from Shiprock, the peak visible behind this page. Although he fell in love with poetry as an undergraduate at New Mexico State University, studying under Keith Wilson, it wasn't until after he had graduated from seminary, spent three years in the ministry and more than two decades as a retail executive, that he returned to graduate school for an MFA in creative writing. He first attended Columbia College Chicago, studying under David Trinidad and Suzanne Buffam, and later graduated from New England College, after spending two and one half years studying under Gerald Stern, Maxine Kumin, Michael Waters, Alicia Ostriker, Carol Frost, Malena Morling, and other acclaimed poets.
PUBLICATIONS: Terry's first published collection, Altar Call, was a winner in the 2013 San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival and is one of four chapbooks published in the anthology, Diesel. His second chapbook, If They Have Ears to Hear, won the 2012 Copperdome Chapbook Contest from Southeast Missouri State University Press. Terry's first full-length poetry collection, In This Room, was released by CW Books in February of 2016, and his second, Dharma Rain, was released by Saint Julian Press in November of the same year. His poems, essays, articles, memoir pieces, short fiction, and reviews can be found in numerous national literary journals, including Alaska Poetry Review, Best New Poets, Columbia Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Green Mountains Review, and Prime Number Magazine. See "Publications" below to purchase books and for a complete list of journals and links to his online work.
TEACHING & CONSULTING: Terry has taught as a master poet for Chicago’s Von Steuben High School pilot poetry program, providing guidance for student poets to write and publish their work. Since June of 2017, Terry has been a regular guest speaker, presenter, and reader for the new MFA program in creative writing at Dominican University of California. In 2019, he was appointed the sixth Poet Laureate of Marin County, California. Currently he is a free-lance poetry coach, helping other poets achieve their writing and publishing goals. See "Poetry Coach" below for more information about his consulting business.
EDITING: Terry has served as a guest editor for MiPOesias Magazine, Fifth Wednesday Journal, OVS, and The Marin Poetry Center Newsletter. He has been an editor with Trio House Press since its founding in 2011 until recently, serving as lead editor for five of its book projects, before stepping down in order to devote more time to his writing and teaching. He now is affiliated with the press as a member of its advisory board.
AWARDS: In addition to the prizes his chapbooks have won, his numerous awards include The Crab Orchard Review Special Feature Award in Poetry, the Littoral Press Poetry Prize, and seven Pushcart Prize nominations, among others. In 2019 Terry was selected as the sixth Poet Laureate of Marin County California.
CURRENTLY: Writing projects include finalizing his first memoir, Flight: One Man's Escape from Religious Fundamentalism (recently excerpted in issue #66 of Great River Review), finding the right agent to bring it to market, and completing his fifth poetry collection, The Thing Itself, in collaboration with Marin County photographer Gary Topper (November of 2020 from Longship Press). Terry continues to write reviews of poetry collections and provide support and feedback to approximately 6-8 poets through his poetry coaching business (See "Poetry Coach" below for details.) Terry resides in Mill Valley, California.