About Teddy

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About Teddy2023-02-18T23:20:58+00:00

Teddy Norris

Some have described poetry as “a light and sound show.”

I have always revered the world of language and story, and I have a profound respect for the magic and power of words. After years of teaching literature and writing, in my middle years I began to write my own poetry and to look for ways to share.

There are many kinds of poetry, and many definitions. Some have described poetry as “a light and sound show,” and Robert DeMaria has written that poetry is “prose set to music.” The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge described poetry as “the best words in the best order.” Leonardo da Vinci said, “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”

I am committed to the idea that, just as with music and other types of art, anyone can understand and enjoy poetry, and helping someone “discover” poetry gives me great satisfaction. I believe my own poems come from the deepest and best part of who I am, and creating them is, for me, a form of spiritual practice. As difficult and frustrating as writing can often be, for me writing poetry is like entering a place of sanctuary, a place where I find serenity. When I create a poem that seems meaningful, perhaps even beautiful, then I feel I have been the recipient of a special kind of creative grace, a grace to be shared.


  • B.S., Education – University of Missouri, St. Louis

  • Master of Liberal Arts – Washington University in St. Louis

  • Emeritus Professor of English, St. Charles Community College – 20 years of teaching literature and writing

  • Editor of Mid Rivers Review, the St. Charles Community College literary journal, 2006-2010

  • Regional judge for annual Poetry Out Loud high school poetry recitation competition

  • Member of Friday Writers Workshop, Saturday Writers Group, and St. Louis Poetry Center

Participation in Workshops, Conferences, and Festivals

  • Washington University Summer Writers Institute, 1998 & 2001

  • The Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference, 2009

  • Dodge Poetry Festival, Waterloo, NJ, 2004, 2008, &  2010

  • Writing and Knowing Poetry Workshop with Ellen Bass and Dorianne Laux, 2009

  • Iowa Summer Writers Festival, University of Iowa, 2011 & 2018

  • Participation in numerous readings, panels, and presentations

Writing Awards

Finalist, Poets and Writers Missouri Writers Exchange Contest, 2006

Second Place & Pushcart nomination, Inglis House Poetry Workshop Wordgathering, 2010

First and Third Place, Saturday Writers “One Page Poetry Contest,” 2010

First Place, Springfield Writers Guild 20th Annual Literary Contest, 2013

Third Place, The Country Dog Review Argos Prize Poetry Contest, 2013

Switchgrass Review Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation Poetry Prize, 2013

Honorable Mention, St. Louis Poetry Center 55th Annual Poetry Contest, 2014

Honorable Mention, The Wednesday Club of Saint Louis 88th Original Poetry Contest, 2014

First Place, The Wednesday Club of Saint Louis 90th Original Poetry Contest, 2016

Second place, Palettes & Quills 5th Biennial Chapbook Contest, 2017

Honorable Mention, The Wednesday Club 92nd Original Poetry Contest, 2018

Second Place and Third Place, St. Louis Poetry Center 59th Annual Poetry Contest, 2018

Second Place, The Wednesday Club of Saint Louis 93rd Original Poetry Contest, 2019


Teddy’s poetry chapbook Pillars of Salt was selected for publication in 2015 by Finishing Line Press, as part of their 2014 New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition.

Other publications where Teddy’s work has appeared include these journals and anthologies:

  • Mid Rivers Review

  • Love and Trouble: An Anthology of Teachers’ Writing

  • Their Buoyant Bodies Respond

  • The Country Dog Review

  • Soundings Review

  • Cuivre River Anthology, Vol. III & V

  • The Mom Egg

  • Through a Distant Lens: Travel Poems

  • Little Patuxent Review

  • The Broad River Review

  • Red Earth Review

  • Switchgrass Review

  • Flying South

  • Seven Hills Review

  • Kakalak

  • Adanna


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