Terence Culleton

1993 Poet Laureate

Terence Culleton lives and teaches in Newtown PA. A semi-finalist in THE NATION/POETRY contest, he reads widely throughout the Philadelphia area, as well as in northeastern Pennsylvania and New York City. He has published poems in The Amherst Review, The Birmingham Review, The Cumberland Review, Edge City Review, Janus, The Schuylkill Valley Journal (featured poet), and various other magazines and journals. Terence Culleton has appeared on TV and radio shows in both the Philadelphia area and New York City, and his poems have been featured on NPR. His work has been set to music and recorded both by Vermont composer Donald Jamison for his book and CD Far Heaven, and by Darryl Harper and Onus for their CD Stories in Real Time. Of the poems in Terence Culleton’s debut book, A Communion of Saints (Anaphora Literary Press, 2011), Anna Evans (editor of The Barefoot Muse and The Raintown Review) writes, “Culleton gives free rein to his lively imagination and mischievous sense of humor. . . . But although the poems are often wildly funny they often serve to elucidate some nugget of philosophy or spiritual angst, and many resonate with an almost unearthly beauty.”


Down at the blind end of the breezeway Lust
incarnate in a vase of peonies
perpetrates the cha cha on a gust.
It sings your love has brought it to its knees.
Like you it wants to marry everything
and never ever would divorce its kind.
It croons its heart is tethered on a string
of gold lamé to yours, and you’re entwined
in it -- warbles and throbs that your affection
is a sanctifying dream of ocean light.
Forthwith the sea breeze loses its direction
as it did a time or two throughout the night
and Lust stands still --  and I’m inclined to go
upstairs, and wake you up, and let you know. 

(For N.)