Wendell Hawken

has poems for you

Full collections and chapbooks


Currently available- Full Collections

The Luck of Being 

The Backwaters Press, 2008. 76pp   $10.00

Praise for the collection:

"Wendell Hawken is a lyric poet who weaves dense imagery that catches her readers up and wraps us tight while a story pools darkly, beautiful as unfinished fringe, around us. .." - Betty Adcock, poet and teacher

"Beyond the farm, news of the "current war" steadily strikes the speaker's consciousness, as in the sequence "In Bow Season" whose refrain contains the names of young soldiers dead in Iraq. "Within the Confines of the Pasture How the Universe is Understood" is the title of one poem, but it expresses the accomplishment of the whole collection; a reader of The Luck of Beinig is lucky to have these poems, which will lodge, as Frost said, where they will be hard to get rid of."  - Joan Aleshire, poet, teacher and environmentalist

White Bird:  A Sequence

FutureCycle Press, 2017. 67pp.   $15.00

Praise for the collection:

"...wonderful  book! ...A life lived  in all its joys and sorrows ...great at the list poem, the long narrative and also the shorter lyrics."  -Gail Peck, poet

"The book echoed my experience: the frustrations, the diminishment, the falling away of idle concerns." - Deb, a fellow caregiver

"...beautiful and moving book--moving because it is so beautiful, your gifts of eye and ear everywhere present with exacting and evocative image and singing, singing from start to finish. 'Keening,' yes, as the Irish say, but this volume is as much a praise-work as it is an elegy, and that comes from sheer force of character, which you always had plenty of." 

-- a mentor, teacher and, of course, a brilliant poet

**Honored by the Library of Virginia, Richmond, at its annual literary awards gala in 2018.

* An extract of these poems won Fish Publishing (Ireland) short memoir contest 2016.


Stride for Stride: A Country Life      

Bartley Books, 2020.  pp. 71       $20.00


"I am entranced by Wendell Hawken's work and her knowledge and ability to articulate the essence of foxhunting. Images flash in my head and I ache for the  saddle again because she captures those sublime moments in the field which I would consider inexpressible."  - Norman Fine, editor Foxhunting Life

Wendell Hawken's poetry brings to mind Peter Taylor's visual acuity and Mary Oliver's immortal imagery...Put this gem in your pocket. Carry it around. 'Gift yourself the nerve to follow.'"  - Martha Wolfe, biographer and historia

Currently available - Chapbooks

The Spinal Sequence

Finishing Line Press, 2013. pp 28   $10.00

Praise for the chapbook:

"When fate collides with us and a loved one is injured, the catastrophe comes at us like a coyote on a deer, and we scramble for survival. The Spinal Sequence tracks an anguished mother's recalibrated life after a freak accident paralyzes her adult son. Her negotiations with hope and grief, her hard-learned language of recovery, and her struggle with acceptance consume her waking and dreaming, In poems set between farm and hispital, Wendell Hawken's intimate acts of self-witness brings us close. It is a self-reliant, wise voice unaccustomed to asking for help. "The bitter cup/burns your lips//words never dreamed of knowing/filled over-flowing."...In the tenuous region between control and letting go, Hawken offers poems of passion and crisp unflinching detail." - Mary-Sherman Willis, poet and community activist


Finishing Line Press, 2019.  23 pp.  $10.00

Praise for the chapbook:

"These wonderful 'farm poems' are closely observed meditations on nature, beauty, love, loss, disease, death, and memory. In a small space, Wendell Hawken creates a full universe of feelings. A stunning achievement."  - Howard Means, historian and editor

In Wendell Hawken's Sequel the beauty and reality of life on her Virginia farm and the looming death of her husband fuse into a profound and haunting work, ending "not with Amen/but with Ahh." Strong, urgent, moving, this is an achievement of rare artistry and depth."  - Patricia Corbus, award-winning poet

Chapbook -- out of print

Mother Tongue

The Argonne House Press, 2001. 50 pp.  $10.00 -  limited supply