Terry Lee Schifferns lives south of the Platte River in the Big Bend Region of Nebraska and taught writing at Central Community College in Grand Island Nebraska. In 2015, she was awarded Distinguished Artist in Literature from the Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship. Her poetry has been published in numerous literary journals including: Many Mountains Moving, Black Bear Review, Poets On, Poetry Motel, and Kinesis and anthologies: Bison Poems, Jane’s Stories, Times of Sorrow, Times of Grace, and Slamma Lamma Ding Dong, and Nebraska Presence. The essay, “Is This Work?” appeared in Leaning into the Wind: Women Write from the Heart of the West. And today, she is still writing from the heart of the West.
She recently retired from teaching writing at Central Community College in Grand Island Nebraska and built a yurt for writers and artists, Dancing Crane Writing Center and Artist Retreat. She supports artistic creativity not just in the Kearney area but also in the region. She built her Yurt to give other writers and artists the silence of nature and respite where they might find the magic of of their own voices.
Terry Lee’s poems center on her personal experiences – love, life, family, nature, and even her pets. She able to bring together the beauty of all her subjects and a fear of losing them. And her readings dramatize her visions and speak directly to the audience.
For 28 years I have slept and
dreamed beside the braided river.
Once when Earth drew the moon close
in a perigean embrace of desire
geese and cranes in a cacophony
of honk and coo, flew overhead
all night long casting
pterodactyl dream shadows.
After 7 years of drought, the rive
remains in a constant state of wait
yet even without rain
the cranes return year after year.
I once claimed to be a poet of place
and wonder if I leave here,
will I leave myself behind? For now,
I remain here beside the braided river
praying for rain.
Written by Kate Benzel and Terry Lee Schifferns, poet
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