Ehret, Terry 1955-

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Ehret, Terry 1955-


Born November 12, 1955, in San Francisco, CA; daughter of Stephen Henry II (an accountant) and Adelaide (a teacher) Ehret; married Donald Nicholas Moe (a teacher), April 7, 1979; children: Allison, Caitlin, Annelisa. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Stanford University, A.B. (with distinction), 1977; attended Chapman College, 1979-81; San Francisco State University, M.A. (with honors), 1984. Politics: "Socialist/Green." Religion: Roman Catholic.


Home—Petaluma, CA. Office—Santa Rosa Junior College, 680 Sonoma Mountain Pkwy., Petaluma, CA 94954.


Children's Health Council, Palo Alto, CA, tutor and researcher, 1975-77; high school teacher of English, psychology, and art history in Salinas, Belmont, and San Francisco, CA, between 1977 and 1990; Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA, instructor in English, 1991—. Sonoma State University, lecturer, 1994—; San Francisco State University, lecturer, 1995-99. Gives readings and public lectures on poetry.


Academy of American Poets, Associated Writing Programs, Poets and Writers.


National Poetry Series Award, 1992, and book award for poetry, California Commonwealth Club, 1994, both for Lost Body; Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, Nimrod, 1995; poet laureate of Sonoma County, CA, 2004-06.



(With Steve Gilmartin and Susan Herron Sibbet) Suspensions, White Mountain Press (San Francisco, CA), 1990.

Lost Body, Copper Canyon Press (Port Townsend, WA), 1993.

Travel/How We Go On Living, Protean Press (San Francisco, CA), 1995.

Translations from the Human Language, Sixteen Rivers Press San Francisco, CA), 2001.

Lucky Break, Sixteen Rivers Press (San Francisco, CA), 2008.

Contributor of poems to Feminist Poetics, Paragraph, Five Fingers Review, Nimrod, Runes, Parthenon Review West, Fourteen Hills, and Double Room.


Terry Ehret is a California poet whose volumes examine emotional, physical, and artistic boundaries that women transcend on their way to self discovery and creative fulfillment. To quote Andrew Jowers in the Press Democrat, Ehret explores "how women and their bodies are defined by men, by society, by themselves, becoming estranged from their needs, and the struggle, the rush experienced when boundaries of body and spirit and language are tugging at each other for identity."

Ehret told CA: "One of the greatest obstacles and greatest sources of insight in my creative life has been motherhood. I began writing poetry in the light of the emerging feminist critical theory and spent several years struggling to reconcile my definition as a writer and as a mother, categories which I tended to view as mutually exclusive. Consequently, I have been drawn to the lives and works of women who have confronted these often conflicting roles, and especially to those who have invented ways to nurture their artistic ambitions as devotedly as they have nurtured their children: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ursula LeGuin, Carolyn Kizer, Kathleen Fraser, Sacajawea, and many more I have yet to discover.

"In general, I'm intrigued by definitions, how they can empower and limit us, and what lies beyond their boundaries. I'm interested in the source of Western culture's concepts of violence and desire, and so I am trying to explore this in a retelling of the Trojan War legend. I want to know how relationships define us, particularly those of the most intimate nature where boundaries between self and other break down. This is the motivation behind most of the poems in Suspensions and Lost Body, as well as the series … based on Spanish painter Pablo Picasso's portraits of women. As a writer, I'm interested in how language defines our thoughts, our lives, our experience, how certain poetic forms embody assumptions about beauty and the meaning of our experiences, how the act of composition itself can be a deeply political act.

"As part of an effort to explore what lies beyond the reach of definitions, I often work outside the boundaries of traditional form. When I do choose to adopt certain formal limitations, my intention is generally to push against the form, explore the tension the form exerts. The controlling devices I most often employ are patterns of rhythm and repetition, believing, as German poet Rainer Maria Rilke did, that sound is the root of poetry and that listening, not to the self, but to a deeper singing inside the heart, is the source of inspiration."



Press Democrat, November 25, 1992, Andrew Jowers, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Mother."


Metroactive Books, (February 15, 1996), Gretchen Giles, "Woman with Book."