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Terry Lucas

Award-winning Poet,


Author, Editor, and Poetry Coach


About Terry Lucas

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.

Poetry Coach

As Terry Lucas : Poetry Coach I Offer:

  • Written feedback on Poems and Poetry Manuscripts​

  • Phone Consultations

  • Unlimited Email Access

  • Contracted Time Periods or One-Time Sessions

One Time Introductory Free Offer:


Send up to three poems (each poem 40 lines or fewer) in one word document  to lucas.t274@gmail.com. At no cost, I will provide written comments, and a 15 minute consultation about your poems, so you can experience how I work. Write "Free Offer" in the subject line, and include anything about you or your writing you want me to know in the body of the email. (NOTE: For poets not currently or previously clients of Terry Lucas : Poetry Coach.)


Terry Lucas is a word master who brings to his editorial work a keen poetic eye and ear. Attuned to his authors' needs, acute in his assessments, and generously proactive in his editorial collaboration, he can make a manuscript truly sing.

--David Groff, Lambda Award-Winning independent book editor, writer, poet, teacher, publishing consultant, and literary agent scout, New York, New York

When I first met Terry, I was in love with writing but riddled with self-doubt. Each time I put my pen to the page, I felt a little bit like a fraud. In the three years since then, my weekly sessions with Terry have helped me gain confidence in my own voice. They've also helped me understand that I can allow room for my voice to change as I become better attuned to both the mystery and craft of poetry.

Since meeting Terry, I've stopped dabbling in poetry and now actually write it. I've been honored to have several poems place, become finalists, or win in major competitions. In 2019, I was the second-place winner in the Frontier Poetry OPEN competition and the first-place winner of Frontier's Industry Prize, Terry helped me assemble my first full-length manuscript, which was a semi-finalist for the 2019 Philip Levine Poetry Prize. I was also recently accepted for admission to Trinity College Dublin's M. Phil. in Creative Writing program.

None of this would have taken place without Terry's generous guidance and support, and to say I'm grateful would be a remarkable understatement. I can't recommend his coaching services enough.

--Elizabeth Oxley, Poet, www.elizabethoxley.com



Thank you for browsing my website that is under construction. To reach me with questions about my poetry coaching or how to purchase my books, contact me at: 

Terry Lucas : Poetry Coach


(415) 283-7058

You can also see my online work by checking out my blog at www.thewideningspell.blogspot.com