Terry Wolverton

Antioch University
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Terry Wolverton is the author of eleven books of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Her most recent collection, Ruin Porn, consists of poems she created using the dis•articulations process she pioneered. Her twelfth book, a novel, Season of Eclipse, is forthcoming in February 2024. Her novel-in-poems, Embers, was a finalist for the PEN USA Litfest Poetry Award and the Lambda Book Award.

Insurgent Muse: Life and Art at the Woman’s Building, a memoir published by City Lights Books, was named one of the “Best Books of 2002” by the Los Angeles Times and was the winner of the 2003 Publisher’s Triangle Judy Grahn Award, and a finalist for the Lambda Book Award.

Her novel, Bailey’s Beads, was a finalist in the American Library Association’s Gay and Lesbian Book Awards for 1997; Kirkus Reviews said of it, “her ambitious debut…features…a stark but melodious prose style…confident style and affecting characters.”

Her fiction, poetry, essays, and drama have been published in periodicals internationally, including Crab Orchard Review, Prairie Schooner, Glimmer Train Stories, The Stinging Fly, and Zyzzyva, and widely anthologized. She has also edited several successful literary compilations, including the Lambda Literary Award-winning His: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Men and Hers: Brilliant New Fiction by Lesbians, Volumes 1, 2, and 3. She recently co-edited a posthumous collection of works by Gil Cuadros, My Body is Paper, forthcoming in June 2024.

Wolverton spent her early years working in experimental theatre and performance art. She has collaborated as a writer with Heidi Duckler Dance Theater on the site-specific performances subVersions, Under Eden, After Eden, Cover Story, Cleopatra, and Catch Your Breath. Wolverton also worked with composer David Ornette Cherry to adapt Embers as a jazz opera and produced concert readings as part of the ALOUD series at the Central Library and at Grand Performances. Wolverton has taught creative writing since 1977; in 1997, she founded Writers at Work, a center for creative writing in Los Angeles, where she offers several weekly workshops. She spent thirteen years at the Woman’s Building, a public center for women’s culture, eventually serving as its executive director.

Terry Wolverton, CNF Faculty

Affiliate Faculty

MFA in Creative Writing Program

  • BPh in Creative Writing and Theater, Thomas Jefferson College
  • Feminist Studio Workshop, Certificate Program, Los Angeles
  • Certified Instructor, Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, Level 1 and 2

My work with writers is as individual as the writers themselves. Some need skills or tools, some need an expanded perspective, some require a practice to help them overcome internal and external obstacles, some are seeking permission that it’s okay to risk exploring your vision or telling your story. Working with someone’s creativity is an intimate relationship; it requires nerve and trust on both our parts. Writers need to know I will honor your voice and vision, your language and your life experience, and at the same time believe I will support your excellence. More than forty books of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry have been published by writers I’ve worked with.

  • Season of Eclipse, novel, 2024
  • Blue Hunger, poetry (2018)
  • Ruin Porn, poetry (2017)
  • Wounded World: lyric essays about our spiritual disquiet, essays, with photographs by Yvonne M. Estrada (2013)
  • Stealing Angel, novel (2011)
  • Breath and other stories, short fiction (2010)
  • The Labrys Reunion, novel (2009)
  • Shadow and Praise, poetry (2007)
  • Embers, novel-in-poems (2003)
  • Insurgent Muse: Life and Art at the Woman’s Building, memoir (2002)
  • Mystery Bruise, poetry (1999)
  • Bailey’s Beads, novel (1996)
  • Black Slip, poetry, (1991)
  • Blue Moon, poetry and prose (1977)
  • City of Santa Monica Proclamation for Pride Month (2021)
  • Monette-Horwitz Trust Awardee (2020)
  • The Durfee Foundation Artists’ Resource for Completion Grant (2009)
  • City of Los Angeles (COLA) Artists’ Fellowship, Creative Writing (2006)
  • Judy Grahn Award, the Publishing Triangle, for Insurgent Muse (2003)
  • The Durfee Foundation Artists’ Resource for Completion Grant (2000)
  • California Arts Council Artist Fellowship in Poetry
  • Lambda Book Award, Gay/Lesbian Anthology, Fiction, for His 2. (1998)


  • Organizer, “Animating the Archives: the Woman’s Building,” a Metabolic Studio Special Project in Archiving, including fellowships to fifteen artists, an exhibition at Avenue 50 Studio, and ten public events. (2016-2017)
  • Co-founder, The Future of Publishing Think Tank, (2007-2010)
  • Member, Southern California Advisory Committee, Poets & Writers. (2007-present)
  • Organizing Committee, “InterSexions: Queer Culture at a Crossroads,” national conference, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) and the Queer Caucus of the College Art Association (CAA)
  • Co-founder, Los Angeles Artists Organizations (1986-88)
  • Founder, White Women’s Anti-Racism Consciousness Raising Group (1980-1983)
  • Co-organizer, Incest Awareness Project (1979-1981)
  • Co-founder and co-director, Lesbian Art Project (1977-1980)
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