RE: TERRY REIS KENNEDY, 2008
Terry Reis Kennedy
3-882 Coconut Grove
Prasanthi Nilayam, A.P. 515134
Telephone: 0091 8555 287953
American poet, publisher, Tibetologist, and journalist Terry Reis Kennedy became a resident of India 18 years ago. She is presently a freelance journalist for Deccan Herald, Bangalore office. She writes on modern-day spirituality, Tibetan culture, the teachings of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, His Holiness the Karmapa, as well as those of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Her articles can be read on-line at http://www.deccanherald.com/
She publishes spiritual and literary books under the Tiger Moon Productions logo. Among the authors whose works have appeared in Tiger Moon books are Madison Morrison, James Fowler, and Mary McGrath. The most recent book available from Tiger Moon is The Pleroma, a collection of the poems and letters of the late poet laureate of Gloucester Massachusetts, Vincent Ferrini.
Her recent essays, articles, opinion pieces, and poetry appear in international publications including Confrontation (Long Island University Press), House Organ, Number 58, Winter 2007, and Vol. No. Magazine.
Right now, she is seeking an agent and publisher for her completed novel, Impure Thoughts, a fictional memoir about growing up in small-town Vermont, USA, Commentary on the Teachings of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, and The Dakini Diaries, an autobiographical journal of her experiences as a spiritual seeker living in India. The Dakini Diaries, though autobiographical, is also a Tantric work sprung from the foundations of Tibetan mysticism. The Dakini Diaries is still a work-in-progress and Kennedy is applying for grants to allow her to complete the manuscript.
Terry Reis Kennedy and the Canadian prize-winning author, Ginette Bureau are working on a project together, a memoir of motherhood, feminism, and spirituality. .
Ms. Kennedy’s present areas of expertise as a journalist are Eastern Spirituality and Tibetans Living in Exile, primarily in India. She also teaches English to Tibetan monks—as a volunteer.
She is the author of four books of poetry: Durango, the Smith, NY, NY, 1979; Ludlow Fugue, Wampeter Press, Green Harbor, Massachusetts, 1980; and Heart, Organ, Part of the Body, Second Coming Press, San Francisco, California, 1981.
Of her most recent collection of love poems, Bangalore Blue, December, 2005, published by noted poet, writer, and literary press revolutionary, Roger Taus, (Split Shift , Los Angeles), poet and critic Simon Perchik has written:
“It will not escape the reader that Terry Kennedy’s milieu is that of Anna Akhmatova’s and that the comparison is fortunate. Both poets gain their strength from a truthful admission of their remorse from love that no longer exists except in memory. Perhaps all love poems are rafts to which the drowning clasp. And when the reader senses that the poet is drowning, is using the poem to survive, to reach shore alive, well, then the poem did what is was intended to do. Save lives. Bangalore Blue is a necessity for anyone who has lost someone they still love.”
Essays, fiction, and poetry by Kennedy have appeared in numerous anthologies and publications, including the Split Shift commemorative issue on the late Beat poet, Jack Michelene.
Confrontation Magazine, C.W. Post of Long Island University, with Martin Tucker as Editor-in-Chief, published her story of the childhood sexual trauma she survived, perpetrated by her parish priest. “Bless Me Father, for I Have Sinned,” is a gripping account of Kennedy’s abuse, her confrontation with the Catholic priest and the eventual legal action she took against the priest, against the Archdiocese of Vermont, and against the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish. In spite of the fact that she received a settlement of $26,000 and “won” a moral victory, she said she felt that she had lost money, time, friends, and even family members in the process.
Earlier, she received a B.A. in English Literature from Regis College, Weston Massachusetts; and she minored in Drama there. While an undergraduate and following graduation from Regis, Kennedy worked as a professional stage actor, a teacher of Theatre Arts, and a private drama coach.
In 1973 she received an M.A. from Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont, (a sister school of Harvard University). During her M.A. program, Kennedy was apprenticed to the late poet Anne Sexton who was her Field Faculty Advisor. This relationship allowed for Kennedy to work independently with Anne Sexton at her Weston, Massachusetts home. Morgan Gibson, Japanese Literature expert and biographer of Kenneth Rexroth, was Kennedy’s Core Faculty Advisor.
Terry Reis Kennedy’s 1973 thesis, Moon in Virgo, is a study of the feminism and mysticism inherent in the work of Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, May Sarton, and Marge Piercy. Recently, Kennedy sent the manuscript of Moon in Virgo to Kenneth Warren, editor of House Organ, and he accepted it for publication (Summer 2008).
Paradoxically, perhaps, Kennedy turned her pen from poetry to journalism after completing her thesis and receiving her M.A. from Goddard. She said she did this in order to support herself financially. While teaching English in community colleges and working at a variety of odd jobs, she wrote articles for several US-based magazines and journals including the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, New York Times, Houston Post, and Guideposts.
Her investigative series on cocaine smuggling along the eastern seaboard of the US won several awards for the Patriot Ledger, a Quincy, Massachusetts newspaper where Kennedy worked for some time.
During her years as an investigative journalist, she has traveled and lived in a variety of places including Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Poland, Fiji, Italy, Switzerland, The Virgin Islands, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand and India.
But her heart-link to poetry has been her real life support. In 1981, her second book, Ludlow Fugue, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by poet/producer Philip Hackett. Later, in 1984, the book was banned in parts of California where critics labeled it “blasphemous.” But in 1990,excerpts from the book (a long, autobiographical narrative poem which includes themes of rape, incest, and childhood sexual trauma) was performed by Indian writer Ambika Talwar in Los Angeles and it was heralded as a “masterpiece” by judges at the Censored Work—Now Uncensored International Book Festival.
From approximately1983 through 1990, Kennedy, in addition to her career as a journalist, worked as an adjunct professor of Basic Fundamentals of English Grammar, English Literature, Creative Writing, Business Writing, and the Fundamentals of Marketing Writing for: Orange Coast Community College, Victor Valley College, and Rancho Santiago College (all in California).
In 1985 she became a Field Faculty Advisor to graduate students for Norwich University, Vermont in the area of Creative Writing. She was field faculty advisor to novelist and short story writer Mark James Miller.
Much of her teaching was for students whose first language was not English. Ms. Kennedy’s native language is Polish, so she could easily empathize with the problems encountered by her non-English speaking students.
In 1982 Ms. Kennedy studied Polish Literature and Polish Current Affairs at Harvard University in preparation for her stay in Poland where she was on assignment to cover the imposition of Martial Law there by the Russian communists.
Terry Reis Kennedy has read from her anthologized essays, her fiction, and her poetry on radio, on television, and at places as diverse as prisons, public squares, cafes, Harvard University, Boston City Hall, and at Native American Indian Reservations. Many of Ms. Kennedy’s readings and tours were produced and promoted by poet Philip Hackett.
For a period, while working at Victor Valley Community College, Kennedy worked as Editor-in-Chief for Victor Valley Magazine, a regional 62,000-circulation publication.
As Public Relations Writer and Manager for Antoinette Sullivan Enterprises, Art Consultants and Dealers in Contemporary Southern California and Baja Mexico paintings and sculptures, Kennedy worked with and wrote about an international community of artists based in Southern California, including Swedish stone carver Runa Powers and Hungarian sculptor Martin Varro.
Terry Reis Kennedy has handled public relations for individual artists, business executives, and corporations.
She is the recipient of Villa Montalvo, MacDowell Colony, and Barbara Dunning Fellowships for her writing.
From 1995 through to the present, Ms. Kennedy has been studying Eastern Spirituality. Based in a small, rural village, she continues her studies of Tibetans living in exile in India. She has traveled throughout India and has lived in the Himalayas. She writes extensively on Tibetan affairs, Tibetan Buddhism, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and women’s issues.
In 1999, her three-act play, Joy to the World, debuted in Bangalore at the Joythi Seva Home for blind orphans.
Ms. Kennedy’s social service activities include helping the blind, the homeless, and the handicapped. She has volunteered at rural health projects, eye camps, and AIDS awareness programs. Her efforts have been cited by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s Charitable Trust, Gaden Monastic Institute of Buddhist Studies, Mundgod, India, The Eye-Bank Association of India, and the town elders of Pedakakani Village, Guntur District, India.
The year 2001 found her working as a volunteer speaker on the subject of childhood sexual trauma for THE RIGHTS OF THE GIRL CHILD IN INDIA, a symposium for mental health professionals. This was the Indian government’s first attempt to address the problems girls (and many females) face in India, a still largely misogynist patriarchy.
In 2007 Ms. Kennedy returned to the US for the first time in 12 years. She met all her five grandchildren, who’d been born while she was in India,
In 2008 she will be going back to give a series of readings, talks, and workshops there. To book her for an event or private consultation, please contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org