Terry Ehret’s third collection, Lucky Break, responds to our fractured times with a lyrical blend of levity and gravity, whimsy and horror, like the sculpture that inspired the title poem. From the opening musings on the origins of writing, to the sequence of poems based on the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space, to the final lyrics set against the war in Iraq, Ehret reminds us that every catastrophe also opens us to possibilities: new ways of imagining and perceiving our own history, landscape, language, time, and relationships. Here are poems, crafted with intelligence and vision, that speak to this moment, living as we are in a world “at the edge of all our changes.”


"Cupid & Psyche in the City of Light"

Terry Ehret’s fine poems create small resurrections. She recognizes that “the dead are shifting, making room for the living,” but knows as well that words shape-shift the world.  In a world where voices of men “control all the channels,” here is a strong woman’s voice, clear and haunting . . . . Drawing on art, history, poetry, and dreams, her words house us in “the world at the edge of all our changes,” and explore what allows us to close or to open our hearts.

—Peggy Shumaker, author of Just Breathe Normally


Terry Ehret's poems are splendidly original. There is a willingness to speak the truth about large, dark aspects of our world, as well as a hint of humor lurking in phrases like "promiscuous vegetables" and "time arranges itself into bouquets." She takes the philosophical ideas of Gaston Bachelard, whose words serve as epigraphs to several poems, and breathes life into them with deep explorations of personal experience and stunning images that continue to vibrate long after the book is closed.

—Judith Barrington, author of Horses and the Human Soul


The sentences in Terry Ehret’s poems act like  spells to alter the expectations of logic. Intellect is so thoroughly integrated with heart and body that a kind of alchemical transformation takes place. Lucky Break is a collection full of the force and variety of this world and others—too large to hold, too wild to still.

—Killarney Clary, author of By Common Salt

In Terry Ehret’s Lucky Break, the present is not a moment fixed in time, but a dangerous realm where the poet searches for “something worth worshipping.” Pulled by history and memory into the past, and propelled toward the future by the possibilities of what “might be,” Ehret makes her negotiations with contingency. She insists emphatically that “There is nothing to fear,” but it’s the brave honesty of her poems that make this so. By turns tender and fierce, Lucky Break offers the reader courage in lieu of consolation. Ehret quotes Mallarmé’s dictum: “Each book a tomb in miniature for the soul.” A soul could rest easy in Lucky Break.

—Gary Young, author of No Other Life