Biography

terry godbey

Photo by Julie Fletcher

Terry began writing poetry in earnest in 1999, inspired by her 5-year-old son’s fascination with trains. Since then she has published four books and more than 130 poems in literary magazines including Poet Lore, Rosebud, Passages North, The Florida Review, CALYX, Rattle,  Slipstream, Harpur Palate, Connecticut Review, The Café Review and Pearl.

Terry’s poem “Produce Man” won the 2008 Rita Dove Poetry Award, judged by Naomi Shihab Nye, and her pantoum “Rwandan Mother, 1994″ won the 2009 Editors’ Choice Writecorner Press Poetry Prize. She has twice been a finalist for the Dogwood Poetry Prize, the William Stafford Award for Poetry and the Paumanok Poetry Award.

She has read her work at several Florida venues including the Miami Book Fair International, the Kerouac Festival in Orlando, The Casements cultural center in Ormond Beach and the St. Augustine Poetry Rendezvous. She was a featured poet at Niagara County Community College in New York. Terry has been involved in several collaborations with visual artists, and her photograph “Osprey on a Windy Day” was chosen for inclusion in Orlando magazine’s 2014 Paint the Town exhibition. Her poem “Infusion  Fridays” was performed by an actor in The Pink Ribbon Project, a show featuring dance, drama and visual arts inspired by women battling breast cancer, in September 2011.

Born in Bangor, Maine, to an Air Force family, Terry grew up in Texas, Canada, Ohio and California’s Mojave Desert, the scene of many of her poems about adolescence. She thinks she just might go crazy if she couldn’t write poems. When she is not writing, she is riding her bicycle, reading, playing guitar and singing slightly off-key, or feeling guilty about not writing.

Terry lives in Orlando, Fla., with her son in a brick-street neighborhood near a lake that is home to great blue herons, egrets, limpkins and an occasional alligator, which she enjoys photographing.  She has a pet blue-crowned conure, Oliver, who laughs exactly like she does, calls out her favorite sayings and “answers the phone.” After decades in the newspaper industry, Terry works as a writer at Darden Restaurants.

terry & car

Terry’s father bought this 1957 Chevrolet Bel Aire Sport Coupe right before she was born to bring her home from the hospital.

terry & scouts

That’s Terry, with her shoulder cocked in the front, feeling glamorous even though she was only 9 and wearing a Brownie uniform.

Oliver, a blue-crowned conure, likes to swing from his cage bars by one foot for as long as the applause lasts.