Tess Gallagher is known primarily as a poet, although she authored a teleplay, The Wheel (1970), early in her career. Gallagher began writing prose in the 1980’s, probably because of the influence of her husband, writer Raymond Carver. She wrote the screenplay The Night Belongs to the Police (1982) and joined her husband in writing the screenplay Dostoevsky (1985). In 1986, Gallagher published The Lover of Horses, and Other Stories and A Concert of Tenses: Essays on Poetry. She published At the Owl Woman Saloon (1997) and Soul Barnacles: Ten More Years with Ray (2000).
Gallagher’s body of work also includes columns for American Poetry Review and poems, short stories, and essays published in such prominent periodicals as Antaeus, Ironwood, Missouri Review, The New Yorker, and North American Review.