Catalog-Martin, Terry


In The Secret Language of Women, Terry Martin paints a portrait of a world in which the most crucial language is often wordless and mystical. In these powerful poems, the sublime is housed within the domestic: kitchens are cathedrals, and the "geometry" of rituals sustained by women teach us how to sing. Even as she acknowledges the transience and fragility of all things, Martin finds constancy in the patience of boulders, and locates hope in the brilliant firelight of the firefly.

This is a collection about what we dare to love and what dares to love us back. It's a celebration of the many paths we take as we edge toward "the warm, the changing light."

Lucinda Roy
The Humming Birds, Wailing the Dead to Sleep, Lady Moses, Hotel Alleluia

September, 2006


Now I am breathing my way
on a quiet journey, trusting
the ground I walk on, leaning,
like seedlings, toward light.

And I’m learning that
whatever I touch will lead me on:
the solid promise of closed buds,
tender shoots reaching upward,

iris blossoming beyond paper.

from Whatever I Touch

Titles point the way in Wishboats and don’t disappoint. This is a writer setting out. The first three poems: The Best Ever, Training Wheels, Getting Ready. Terry Martin, recipient of the Distinguished Professor of Teaching Award from Central Washington University, is using what teaching and literature has given her to pursue something wilder, and more uncertain, in the exploration of internal and transformational imagery. Loss of her mother along with childhood memories fuel the search, and right from the get-go, she lets the reader know she’s a trustworthy guide. “Not the cowboy hat, guns, and holster set,/ though wearing them I was strong,/ tough and cool. Ready to take on any/ troublemakers that might hit town.”

Joan CawleyCrane, papermaker and bookmaker, collaborated with Martin on a book design that matches the poem to the page. Her monoprints are exquisitely placed throughout 426 copies of the book that have been printed, signed, and hand-sewn into two editions: 400 numbered and 26 lettered A-Z, in which CawleyCrane has hand-set special illustrations and successfully integrated a fold-in/fold-out page large enough for her vision. Her daring textures and use of collage keep readers alert, not allowing them to relax in Martin¹s traveling and telling.

Winner Most Significant Contribution Bumbershoot Book Festival Seattle

Handmade / Handsewn $15.00
426 signed copies.
400 numbered and 26 lettered A-Z.


Summer of 2006

Terry Martin teaches in the English Department at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. She is the recipient of CWU’s Distinguished Professor Teaching Award, and in 2003 was honored as Washington Professor of the Year by the CASE/Carnegie Foundation–a national teaching award given to recognize extraordinary commitment and contribution to undergraduate education. She holds a Ph. D. from the University of Oregon.

Her first book of poems, Wishboats, published by Blue Begonia Press in 2000, won the Judges’ Choice Award at Bumbershoot Book Fair. Over 200 of Martin’s poems, essays, and articles have appeared in numerous publications.

Hiker, river-watcher, and lover of the arts, Terry lives with her family in Yakima, Washington.