An "Elegiac and Jubilant" Collection of Poetry by Alice Templeton
Writing from her “share of solitude,” Alice Templeton calls up beloved places and people from the infinite field of memory: the Memphis suburbs of her childhood, the family farm in middle Tennessee that was a touchstone for her adolescent and adult life, and the relatives with whom she shared those places. Templeton’s language conjures “the hour creatures draw close,” and within the bounds of these singular poems, time is arrested. The decline of her parents and the destruction of the family home by fire compel her to reinspect the past and fully claim her present life in California. Taken together, these poems tell a loving liberation story as the poet moves on from a way of life spent close to the land.
”Written at the crossroads of reverie and history, Alice Templeton’s poems are at turns both elegiac and jubilant as they move through the rural and urban landscapes of Tennessee and California. Muscadine vines, loosestrife, hobblebush, and California jasmine punctuate these deftly revealed pastorals. THE INFINITE FIELD is slow poetry at its best. Fully embodied, the poet returns home and takes her final leave, reminding us that we are ‘slips of the sequential tongue, confounding our biographies.’” — Rebecca Black, author of Cottonlandia
”Alice Templeton’s poems in THE INFINITE FIELD possess a dreamlike beauty, haunted—or I should say inhabited—by memories of childhood, family, spiritual community, and the culverts, creeks, and rivers of Tennessee. I think of these poems as quilts, arrangements of the remnants of the past put into fresh and surprising combinations: No matter where they go, they carry the texture and warmth of home.” — D. A. Powell, author of Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys
”Intimate and engaging, these poems by Alice Templeton hold the reader with sure lines that never get fussy, never spill over aesthetically or emotionally. If the ‘air has grown rare and precise,’ so has the body of American poetry, enriched by these classic verses. Templeton's varied lyrics are companions we can carry with us to remind us of what poetry at its best can be.” — Marilyn Kallet, author of Even When We Sleep
Alice Templeton's poems have appeared in Asheville Poetry Review, Bellingham Review, Calyx, North American Review, Poetry, and other publications. Her work was a finalist for the 2020 Neruda Prize from Nimrod, and her chapbook Archaeology won the 2008 New Women's Voices Prize in Poetry from Finishing Line Press. She is also the author of a critical book on Adrienne Rich's poetics and scholarly articles on contemporary poetics, cultural criticism, and literary theory. Originally from Tennessee, Templeton has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2002.