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(Aldrich Press, 2014)
Spiraling into Control
(The Lives You Touch Publications, 2010)
Alarie Tennille listens to the things of this world, hungry to transform them into a language and tone that will linger long in a reader’s mind. By turns amused, fascinated, repulsed, and deeply moved, she explores the vagaries and brilliances and sorrows of her surroundings and reports back. With the eye of a painter—indeed, many of the poems are informed by paintings—Tennille notes that “every green is its own green,/sometimes not green at all.” Here is mystery and beckoning and surprise. While her style is straightforward and clear, it’s the passion for her subjects that characterizes Tennille’s work—no skating merely on the surface here. We may not become better human beings after reading Running Counterclockwise, but if not, the fault will be our own. In this collection, Tennille offers us our chances, poem by compassionate, wise, and ironic poem.. – Jo McDougall, author of Dirt and Satisfied with Havoc
Running Counterclockwise is rich in surprises. Alarie Tennille creates an accessible journey into the unexpected. She consistently startles us with lightning in a quiet storm…a stapler hurled at dad on Christmas morning…a game of pinochle…“mamma and daddy” slipping to the sink to “gulp a shot of Seagram’s"…for "a glimpse at the dwindling day.” Tennille draws the reader behind the scenes of the day to day. If the moments of our lives run clockwise, then these poems ratchet them back a quarter turn, counterclockwise for a second look. Tennille is a master of the subtle bump, the tap on the shoulder—the hey, look again. These poems “cover the track around the sun at 69,000 mph.” – Al Ortolani, author of Cooking Chili on the Day of the Dead
Illustrated by Alarie Tennille's keen eye for observation and told with honesty and clarity, the poems in this collection are written from her perspectives as a child, daughter, and woman. With a strength of character I can only define as determined optimism, Alarie inspires us to explore life as she pauses to take in the beauty of a moment or the starkness of daily realities, indulging our senses along the way.
– O.P.W. Fredericks, Editor, The Lives You Touch Publications