top of page
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

Poetry Coach
Marin Poet Laureate Head Shot_edited.jpg

Terry Lucas

Award-Winning Poet, Author, Editor, Poetry Coach, & Reading Series Host

Terry Lucas Poetry Coach Banner.png
Transparent Sturgeon Moon banner.png


Saturday, March 23, 2024, 1:00 PM PST (4:00 PM EST)

(Email for Zoom Link)



Fred La Motte headshot.jpg

ALFRED LAMOTTE has authored four volumes of poetry with Saint Julian Press, including Strangers & Pilgrims, and co-authored three coffee-table art books with artist and earth-centered activist, Rashani Réa. With degrees from Yale University and Princeton Theological Seminary, Fred has been an interfaith college chaplain, instructor in World Religion, and a meditation guide who loves to explore the liminal space between word and silence, poetry and meditation. He lives on the shore of the Salish Sea near Seattle WA with his wife Anna. To read a review of Strangers & Pilgrims, click HERE. To learn more about Fred and his work, check his website HERE.


Ron Starbuck Headshot.jpeg

RON STARBUCK is a poet, writer, and the Publisher/CEO/Executive Editor of Saint Julian Press, Inc., in Houston, Texas. Ron’s four poetry collections are There Is Something About Being An Episcopalian, When Angels Are Born, Wheels Turning Inward and, most recently, A Pilgrimage of Churches, a mythic, spiritual journey in verse and photos that crosses onto the paths of many contemplative traditions.  To learn more about Ron and his work, check the SJP website HERE. Read a review of A Pilgrimage of Churches HERE. Ron will be reading from his own work and from the work of the late poet, Kevin McGrath.


Terry Reading at Rebound Books.jpg

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 most recent poetry collection, The Thing Itself (Longship Press, 2020) with photographs by Gary Topper, is now available for order HERE. His previous books are Dharma Rain (Saint Julian Press, 2016), In This Room (CW Books, 2016), If They Have Ears to Hear, winner of the Copperdome Chapbook Award (Southeastern State University Press, 2013), and Altar Call (a winner in the San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival, 2012). His poems, essays, articles, memoir pieces, short fiction, and reviews can be found in numerous national literary journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, Columbia Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Green Mountains Review, Prime Number Magazine, and The Sun. 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, and serves as a guest editor of The Banyan Review.

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 sixth poetry collection, Everything: New & Selected Poems. He is also working on a manuscript of centos, one for each of the volumes in the Best American Poetry Series. Terry continues to write reviews of poetry collections and provide support and feedback to poets from California to Toronto to Dublin through his poetry coaching business (see "Poetry Coach" below for details).

CONTACT: Terry Lucas : Poetry Coach at or call at (415) 283-7058 and leave a message.


Terry Lucas Poetry Coach Banner.png



  • Held Saturdays 1:00-3:30 PST via Zoom

  • Limit of 10 attendees.

  • Enroll by December 21 for $25 off all workshops. 

  • Attendees automatically have a reservation in the open mic at a future Sturgeon Moon Poetry Reading.

  • See below for workshop details and to reserve your spot.

December 2-16 (Three Sessions): Prepping Poetry for Publishing. $145.


Three weekly Zoom sessions (Saturdays, December 2, 9, & 16) are designed to result in 3 poems ready for submission to top and middle-tier literary journals that are currently open for submissions. Emphasis will be on making your poems' language, imagery, form, and content as strong as possible. Do's and don'ts in submitting, as well as a comprehensive list of journals now open for submission (with analyses), will be provided. Lucas has been successful in getting his work published in top- and middle-tier journals for over twenty years. CLICK HERE to reserve your spot. You may pay via PayPal or scroll down to pay with a major credit card. NOTE: If you wish to take advantage of the "early-bird" rate of $120, email Terry Lucas at and you will receive an invoice for that amount. 

January 6-20 (Three Sessions): Sound & Structure in Poems. $145.

Three weekly Zoom sessions (Saturdays, January 6, 13, & 20) will focus on sound and structure in your poems, emphasizing the line as the basic syntactical unit and determining whether each poem's sound-work and form make poems stronger. CLICK HERE to reserve your spot. You may pay via PayPal or scroll down to pay with a major credit card. NOTE: If you wish to take advantage of the "early-bird" rate of $120, email Terry Lucas at and you will receive an invoice for that amount. 

February 3-March 9 (Six Sessions): Writing The Prose Poem & Other Cross-Genre Forms. $295

Six weekly Zoom sessions (Saturdays, February 8, 15, 22, 29, & March 2 & 9) will look at your cross-genre poems in light of the following questions: What makes a paragraph or paragraphs a poem rather than prose? How can I write poems on the edge of other genres or between genres? How can I subvert forms or create new (nonce) forms of poetry? These are some of the questions we will address as we workshop your poems that skirt the edges of poetry. CLICK HERE to reserve your spot. You may pay via PayPal or scroll down to pay with a major credit card. NOTE: If you wish to take advantage of the "early-bird" rate of $270, email Terry Lucas at and you will receive an invoice for that amount. 


Refunds. A 100% refund will be issued upon email cancellation of enrollment up to two weeks prior to the first session. After that, but before the first session, an 80% refund will be issued upon email cancellation. After the first workshop and before the second workshop, a 60% refund will be issued upon email cancellation (40% refund in the case of 3-session workshops). After the second workshop, no refunds will be issued. Email for cancellation is


Terry Lucas is the author of two prize-winning chapbooks and three full-length poetry collections, most recently The Thing Itself (Longship Press, 2020) with photographer Gary Topper. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous national and international journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets (2012), B O D Y, Crab Orchard Review, Great River Review, Green Mountains Review, Puerto del Sol, and The Sun Magazine, among others. Terry taught as a master poet for the pilot poetry program in Von Steuben High School in Chicago, was a founding editor of Trio House Press, and a regular guest speaker for the Dominican University of California's low-residency MFA program. He holds a Master of Education degree from Southwestern Seminary and a Master of Fine Arts from New England College. He has completed additional graduate studies at Columbia College Chicago and New Mexico State University as well as participated in numerous workshops such as Tin House Summer Workshops and Napa Valley Workshops (panel member) and AWP panels. For ten years, as Terry Lucas : Poetry Coach, he has mentored beginning, emerging, and established poets, helping them to produce their best work and see it published. Terry is Poet Laureate Emeritus of Marin County, California. Learn more about Terry, his work, and his poetry book reviews at and



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,

I'm not exaggerating when I write that Terry Lucas is the reason that I'm a published poet. Based upon his thoughtful review of my work and his broad knowledge of the literary journal universe, I followed his advice and received three acceptances in one month. He's the best!

Merna Skinner, President, Satori Communications, Inc., Los Angeles, California, 

Terry Lucas is a poetry consultant who guided me through writing revising, choosing, and submitting my first three published poems over a period of four months! His personal understanding and encouragement, his artistic skill and insight, and his professional knowledge and experience took me and my poetry writing to new places and possibilities. I went from the guy writing a poem entitled "If I Were a Poet" to getting that poem published, and at long last, to seeing myself as a poet. He welcomed me into that community of poets that is so important to him, and that had seemed so closed to me before I met Terry. What gifts he has as a poet. What a gift he is as a mentor.

Jim Benton, retired schoolteacher and poet, Ft. Worth, Texas

Terry Lucas is an editor whose insight and precision strengthens the writer's aim as he points to what must be tightened, developed, or reconsidered. He is an editor who never fails to find the pulse of a writer's work, making sure that what is on the page is aligned with the writer's vision.

Tayve Neese, poet, essayist, Co-Executive editor of Trio House Press and Founder of The Banyan Review,,,

My experience with Terry Lucas has profoundly changed my relationship with poetry writing.  Prior to working with Terry, I would have never considered submitting poetry to journals.  I do that now, with some confidence, and I feel that my poems have something to offer.  He has helped me to feel that I have something genuine and worthwhile to give through my writing. 


I greatly admire Terry’s wonderful musical ear, and his careful and thoughtful approach to meter. I strongly feel that he could provide concrete help to any aspiring poet.


He is also incredibly patient.  He combines a consistently supportive and sensitive presence with an unfailingly kind approach.  Having worked with other poetry coaches in the past, I know that not every would-be mentor is fortunate enough to possess these invaluable strengths!


Terry has also brought a willingness to understand my particular situation.  He has always been sensitive to the constraints I face in developing my writing while simultaneously trying to meet the demands of a fairly strenuous “day job”.  Yet, he also consistently challenges me to grow as a poet.


Without hesitation, I would recommend Terry Lucas to anyone seeking a poetry coach or mentor.


Brian Collinson, Registered Psychotherapist (CRPO) & Jungian Psychoanalyst (IAAP), Ontario, Canada

One of the best things I’ve done for myself is to hire Terry Lucas as a poetry coach. I had written plenty of poems but had no idea how to develop my work into a manuscript. Terry walked me through his process of selecting and ordering my poems, and over six weeks we went through each individual piece to improve it. He provided insight into word choice, word placement, enjambment, decluttering, and so much more, without changing my poetic voice. He gave me fresh ideas for the overall structure of the manuscript to ensure it stands out. Through the process, he was always available on email between our weekly calls. His expertise, knowledge of the publishing industry, and intense focus on my work left me with a manuscript I’m proud of, as well as new skills to improve my poems. Terry is a pleasure to work with. I recommend him to all my writing friends.

Lisa Alletson, Toronto, Canada, author of prize-winning Good Mother Lizard, 



The Thing Itself

This is really a magnificent book. Asking myself what the hinge is between [Lucas's] poems and [Topper's] photographs, I think of words like "intensity," "clarity," "acceptance of what is, or was," and above all, incredible attention to detail. But below all, there's mystery. And spirit [that] wants the presence of spirit.


Alicia Ostriker, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and New York State Poet Laureate

Dharma Rain (Saint Julian Press, 2016)

From grim realities to wry humor, these poems confront the mysteries of science, faith, and desire in exquisite forms, delicious language, and keen intelligence. 

       Wendy Barker, The Pearl LeWinn Professor of Creative Writing at the         University of Texas at San Antonio

In his fresh new visions of the world stripped of its former fashions, ideologies, and mythologies, Lucas writes as if he's observing the world for the first time on his own heuristic terms, in both dexterously form and free verse. 

       Chard deNiord, Poet Laureate of Vermont


In This Room (CW Books, 2016)

A look into our American life--steadily remembered and imagined, rich with detail, by turns languorous and startling. 

       Carol Frost, Holder of the Theodore Bruce and Barbara Lawrence     

       Alford Chair of English at Rollins College

"The Gate" is an enormous poem--of course, it's Hart Crane more than anybody else, though it's not entirely Hart. Though it is entirely "Heart." The language is absolutely lovely--very unusual for these days.

       Gerald Stern, winner of The National Book Award and The Lamont

       Poetry Prize



If They Have Ears to Hear

(Southeastern Missouri State University Press, 2013)


In poems both meditative and painterly, Lucas acknowledges silence and mystery as he charts our "voyage through the dark" of a non-receptive yet always redemptive universe. If They Have Ears to Hear is a meticulous and compelling collection.

       Michael Waters, Guggenheim Fellow, Fullbright Scholar, former chair 

       of the poetry panel for the National Book Award, and author     

       of thirteen poetry collections, most recently Caw (BOA, 2020).


Terry Lucas's poems, essays and reviews, and memoir and fiction pieces have appeared or are forthcoming in over fifty print and online, national and international journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, The Banyan Review, Best New Poets, Cider Press Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Crab Orchard Review, Crosswinds Poetry Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Free State Review, Grain Magazine, Great River Review, Green Mountains Review, Naugatuck River Review, New Millennium Writings, Nostos, Pandemic Puzzle Poems, Poetry Flash, Prime Number Magazine, Puerto del Sol, Rosebud Magazine, Sin Fronteras: Writers Without Borders, Solo, South 85 Journal, The Citron Review, The Comstock Review, The Sun, THIS Literary Magazine, Voetica, Zocalo, and many other journals  and anthologies. 

For links to his online work, go to his blog, The Widening Spell, by clicking "View More" below. 




Terry Lucas : Poetry Coach

(415) 283-7058

bottom of page