Meet New WITS Writer Terry Portillo

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September 17, 2012 by witshouston

New WITS Writer Terry Portillo

Terry Portillo lives at the southern tip of Tornado Alley, with her husband, her horse, a donkey, two cats, a motley crew of rescue dogs, some chickens, and whatever else the wind blows in. When Terry isn’t teaching ESL classes for Lone Star College, she likes to read, write, walk her dogs, and prepare lavish dinner parties for friends.  Terry has had numerous poems published in literary and mainstream magazines, was a juried poet at the 2003 Houston Poetry Festival and is a five time Pushcart Prize nominee. She has also had three short stories published in Ellery Queen.

Terry looks forward to sharing her passion for literature and writing with her WITS students. She hopes to increase their sense of self-worth as she offers them a safe venue in which to unleash their creative energy and express their thoughts and feelings.

One of the books which inspired Terry as a child was J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit:

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort. It had a perfectly round door like a porthole… The door opened onto a hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with paneled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats — the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill.”

Now that she thinks about it, the house Terry lives in today is very much like the hobbit’s!

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Writers in the Schools (WITS)


Writers in the Schools (WITS) is the #1 arts education organization in Texas. With 80 writers and educators on staff, WITS reaches over 23,000 students a year in classrooms, community centers, museums, parks, and hospitals.

The glory of WITS is best expressed by the students--in their own words -- so this blog features essays, stories, and poems that were created by K-12 students in our program. All material (c) Writers in the Schools 2007-2013. If you wish to republish this work, please credit both the organization and the author and link back to this site. This material may not be used in commercial ventures of any kind.

Supporting WITS will help bring the pleasure and power of reading and writing to more Houston children helping to improve writing skills, build confidence, raise test scores, and enhance creativity.

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