Some Opening Words on the Late Great Terri Brint Joseph

Earlier this month I posted My Own Stab at Less Than Zero Many Moons Ago, and in the preface, mentioned Terri Brint Joseph, who was an internationally known poet, academic, and expert on The Cantos of Ezra Pound. She was also (lucky me!) my adviser at what was then Chapman College (now it's Chapman University).

A few weeks after my post, Stan Rowen, stranger to me (but not to Terri Brint Joseph) was kind enough to leave a comment (see the comments to "My Own Stab at Less Than Zero..."). Since leaving his first comment, we've corresponded several times, relaying our memories of Terri. He knew her when she was in Paris, circa '87-'88, just after her divorce, while I didn't become acquainted with her until the Spring semester at Chapman, 1989.

Stan had found a couple of Terri's poems while going through some papers of his, and then went online to look his old dear friend up, and found my blog. I'm sorry that he learned of her death reading my post, but I'm thrilled that he found it, and that together we could share our fond memories with each other regarding this brilliant and always buoyant adviser, scholar, poet, writer, friend.

Stan scanned and sent me the two poems of Terri that he'd found. I'm very grateful, and will be posting them here momentarily. Unfortunately, while I read several of her published poems she'd pass out to us on occasion in one of her fabulous creative writing classes, in my youthful folly -- my ignorance that greatness was staring me in the face, Terri Brint Joseph -- I failed to keep her poetry in a safe spot. Thanks be to you, Mr. Stan Rowen, for taking better care of Terri's poetry than me, and taking the trouble to scan and send it.

But enough said. Terri Brint Joseph can speak for herself. Her poems, the two I have, are up next. My tribute page to Terri is right here ... a work in progress ...


  1. I knew Terri in the early '60s when we were both English majors at UCLA and both in love with our professor, Jack Hirschman. Between us, we probably bought a dozen copies of his first book (A CORRESPONDENCE OF AMERICANS) at the Westwood Bookstore and gave them to friends.

    She was Terri Cutchall then, daughter of an Oklahoma City men's wear store owner, whose father had given her a credit card for her expenses and a compact Buick to get around in that had been mislabeled on the back -- it read "BUCIK." We both loved that. I helped her move into a tiny apartment near Westwood, and remember her saying she was going to paint the bedroom a bright white with ice-blue trim and curtains "so it'll seem really cold and one will want to stay in bed." I was very much in love with her, but it was not to be.

    I looked her up on Google some years ago and was dismayed to learn she'd died. I bought two of her books: THE ROSE AND THE THORN, which she did with her husband Roger (who I met not long after she did), and her poetry book, THE DANCER. The latter is inscribed and is #103 of 250 -- and is most valuable to me for the photo of her on a street corner in Paris, smiling the smile I remember so well....

  2. What a fabulous comment, Robert! Thank so you much for sharing it. Just beautiful and so bittersweet, your recollections ...

    I knew of The Rose and the Thorn but was unaware of The Dancer. What a treasure you've got there! I knew she must have published something of her poetry in book form but I've never been able to locate any. I will begin hunting down The Dancer.

    Thanks again. Truly. I'd hoped back in August that creating a tribute page to Terri might help connect more of the lives she touched. I think she'd be pleased (if not embarrassed) by this.

    Please drop by again anytime and feel free to share any other remembrances. I'm grateful for them.


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