Creativity can be expressed in many ways: through art, music or cooking. Karen Terrey expresses herself through writing and helps others do the same at Tangled Roots Writing in Truckee. As a teacher and a writer, she understands what it takes to help people write.
“I love the diversity of projects I get to
work on and the people I get to work with.”
Terrey is also a poet. Her poetry explores a range of topics, from the complexities of the human connection to nature and the Donner Party, from the serious and dark places of her youth to the banks of a river in another time. Her poetry is often laced with humor and a depth of imagery that plants the reader in unexpected places. Her recently published book, “Bite and Blood,” is a compilation of poems that offers a glimpse into the various topics in which Terrey so loves to delve.
Originally from Massachusetts, Terrey felt called to the West and she moved to Crested Butte, Colo., where she worked as a ski instructor in the winters and a wilderness guide in the summers. At one point she moved to Pueblo, Colo., for a season and worked as a reptile curator and handled rattlesnakes and 12-foot boa constrictors that were so large two people had to carry them.
Her feet still restless, she moved to San Francisco and worked for a number of start-up companies — for one Terrey dressed up as 6-foot tall bunny to arrange book readings for bookstores. Eventually, she relocated to Tahoe, went back to school to receive her Fine Arts masters and started her own business.
Terrey has immersed herself in the Tahoe community. She volunteers for the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe and Adventure Risk Challenge, a nonprofit organization that empowers underserved youth through integrated literacy and wilderness experiences. She is also involved with the Pet Partners Program along with her beloved Queensland Heeler, Stolie, who was recently certified as a therapy dog. Terrey and Stolie visit the Truckee Elementary School, where the children have an opportunity to read to Stolie to help gain confidence and enhance their reading skills. Terrey is also the coordinator of both the Reno Art Salon and the Literary Arts & Wine reading series that feature regional writers and poets.
“I am always looking for opportunities to help build the literary community,” says Terrey
It’s no wonder Tahoe called to Terrey: she loves the outdoors and is an adventurer. A recent three-week trip on the Colorado River illuminated Terrey’s vision to expand her life, overcome her fears and re-energize her life and work. She is planning to learn how to be a river guide. She’s been a ski instructor at Squaw Valley, as well as an avid road and mountain biker. It’s not unusual for Terrey to pack up her car and head off into the wilderness for a spontaneous camping trip.
The best part of her job she says is talking to people about their stories.
“I love the diversity of projects I get to work on and the people I get to work with,” Terrey says.
Whether helping someone with his or her book, business writing, Web sites or editing, Terrey loves the art of writing. She continues to educate herself to help others learn the craft of writing in addition to exploring, growing and stretching herself personally. Terrey teaches at Sierra College in Truckee and offers workshops through her business. For Terrey, inspiring people and helping them be a better writer is an important part of her life.
For more information, visit karenaterrey.blogspot.com.