Thomas Zvi Wilson Reading Series Presents Maril Crabtree and Alarie Tennille

  • Johnson County Library 9875 West 87th Street Overland Park, KS, 66212 United States

Alarie Tennille was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, with a genius older brother destined for NASA, a ghost, and a yard full of cats. She graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. Alarie misses the ocean, but loves the writing community she’s found in Kansas City. After a career ranging from technical editor to greeting card writer, Alarie is retired and has more time to focus on her poetry. She also serves on the Emeritus Board of The Writers Place and coordinates Rose Garden Readings at Loose Park.

Alarie is celebrating the publication of her new poetry collection, Waking on the Moon, by Kelsay Books. Her husband, Chris Purcell, designed the cover. Her last collection, Running Counterclockwise, was first runner-up for the 2015 Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Poetry East, Coal City Review, I-70 Review, Midwest Quarterly Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Southern Women’s Review, and The Whirlybird Anthology of Kansas City Writers. She hopes you’ll visit her at alariepoet.com.

Alarie’s writing philosophy is “if you don’t surprise yourself, you won’t surprise the reader.” Of course, surprising yourself isn’t easy. You must tap into your subconscious, so it’s a bit like sleepwalking on paper.

Alarie Tennille

Alarie Tennille

Maril Crabtree grew up in Memphis and New Orleans but has called the Midwest “home” for many years. A former French teacher, lawyer, peace activist, environmentalist, energy healer, and yoga instructor, she is grateful for poetry – hers and others’ – as the loom that weaves her life-threads together. She agrees with Ed Hirsch that poetry is a “way of knowing, of honoring our solitudes and recognizing our interdependencies” (How to Read a Poem & Fall in Love with Poetry) and believes that a poem’s apothecary of words, of sounds spoken and absorbed, can be a healing force in our culture.

Her full-length collection, Fireflies in the Gathering Dark (Kelsay Books), was published in May, 2017. In addition, she has authored three chapbooks and edited four anthologies of poetry and essays published by Adams Media. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including I-70 Review, Main Street Rag, Persimmon Tree, Third Wednesday, Literary Mama, and Poet’s Market. She previously served as a poetry editor of Kansas City Voices and is a contributing editor for Heartland! Poems of Love, Resistance & Solidarity. More of her work can be seen at www.marilcrabtree.com

Maril Crabtree

Maril Crabtree


Thomas Zvi Wilson initiated this reading series in 2001. The Writers Place cosponsors this series with the Johnson County Central Resource Library. Mr. Wilson’s objective was to broaden outreach for The Writers Place and create an additional venue for poetry and prose writers to read. After Thomas’ health failed, his wife Jeanie Wilson, an emeritus board member and poetry and short story writer, curates this popular reading series in his memory. The readings take place at the newly remodeled Johnson County Central Resource Library from 6-8 p.m. located at 9875 W. 87th Street in Overland Park, Kansas. The readings are free and include light refreshments. Donations to The Writers Place are welcome. The contact number for questions is 913-826-4600.