I Live Near the Village, by Wendell Hawken-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

I Live Near the Village, by Wendell Hawken

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Wendell Hawken
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Poetry, chapbook, 36 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

In her chapbook I Live Near the Village, Wendell Hawken invites urban dwellers into her rural world, a Shenandoah Valley farm on the edge of the wild. These fifteen first-person poems range from elegies for her mother (“Wheat Straw for Bedding Horses” and “Waking with Thoughts of My Mother”) and for her late husband (“February Morning” and “Hawk”) to a light-hearted look at the poet’s own creative self absorption. (Spoiler alert: The village of Hawken is located in the county of Wendell!)

Collectively, these poems evoke a powerful sense of place seen through the rear-view mirror of time, the dawning wisdom of accumulated years, and the approach of Hawken’s own “sell-by date.” Other contemporary poets who have explored this same territory — Tom Lux, William Carlos Williams, and Ross Gay — make cameo appearances. Also Sylvia Plath.

Wendell Hawken (she/her) earned her MFA from Warren Wilson College’s Program for Writers decades after her college degree. Previous publications include three chapbooks and five full collections. Hawken was recently named the inaugural Poet Laureate of Millwood VA, an unincorporated quirky village in the northern Shenandoah Valley where she lives on a grass farm with two dogs. The cat died.