Candace Hennekens

CONTACT:
Candace Hennekens
E14585 Lincoln Drive, 
Fall Creek, WI, 54742
chennekens@centurytel.net

BIO:
Candace Hennekens was born and raised in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. She attended Northwestern University where she earned a degree in journalism. She worked in public relations, media relations, and human resources. In 1993, having done her stint in corporate America, she moved to her farm in Lincoln Township in Eau Claire County, ready to embrace life closer to the earth and to write. Sixteen years later, she is still on the farm but no longer actively farms. Instead she writes and paints.

Her essays, poems, and articles have appeared in many different publications. She is the author of Healing Your Life: Recovery from Domestic Abuse, Yes To Career Success! For Women in Transition, and There’s a Rainbow in My Glass of Lemonade. Her poems have appeared in Rosebud, Small Press Review, Wisconsin Poets' Calendars, Free Verse, and Hummingbird, among others. Three manuscripts are available for publication through her agent. They are titled Sweet Land of Mine, Cream from Butterflies, and Warm Stanchion & Red Barns with Blue Roofs.

Her paintings have been shown at Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, L.E. Phillips Memorial Library, Eau Claire, WI, Chippewa Valley Museum, Eau Claire, WI, Heyde Center for the Arts, Chippewa Falls, WI, New Visions Gallery, Marshfield, WI, The Ramada Inn, Eau Claire, WI, and Unity Bank in Augusta, WI. Her on-line gallery isswallownest.etsy.com.  She also sells art on eBay.

In 2009, she won second place in WFOP’s Muse Contest. In 2003, she won second place in Wisconsin Regional Writers Jade Ring Contest.

She is married to Gerald A. Simpson. Together they enjoy life on Swooping Swallows Farm. 

PUBLICATIONS:
Healing Your Life: Recovery from Domestic Abuse
Yes To Career Success! For Women in Transition
There’s a Rainbow in My Glass of Lemonade

Poetry

My ’63 Plymouth Belvedere

In 1978, that ’63 Plymouth Belvedere
was already old but it ran. Your mother
had gifted the car to me on her death bed. 
Two years later, I drove away, the back seat
piled with clothes, our daughter in her car seat. 
I forgot shoes, winter coats. 
You mailed those and anything else
you could find that was mine
in an enormous box—my grandmother’s wall vase,

college papers, cut crystal, all mixed up.
I vomited in my mother’s basement toilet,
knowing you had touched all my things.
The night we escaped, I decapitated a goose
on some dark country road; the state patrol
ticketed me for speeding. I pulled into my
mother’s driveway, my eyes dilated, panting, 
reeling, like a prisoner released after a long sentence. 
My mother touched your hand prints on my neck

and wept. The Belvedere had a 318 engine. 
I knew how to change oil, replace spark plugs. 
I pushed buttons on the dash to make her go.
Painted bright yellow, I never drove anonymously. 
Sometimes I search for that car in the classifieds.
If I find her, I’ll buy her back, restore her
to mint condition, and keep her as a memorial
to my freedom that all these years later
is still precious, a gift from your mother to me.


My Father’s Blessing

We trekked across wetland hummocks
through naked tamaracks
sticking up like splinters
from sphagnum-covered ground,
onto an old trail my father blazed years ago.
Remnants of him persist,
old rags tied to trees marking the way,
a pile of rusting beer cans,
the small clearing in the woods
where once he planted corn,
now grown up in brush and weeds, waist high,
though a circle of sky still floats above
like a coin stuck on branch tips.

We pushed through birch, oak, popple,
through thick branches that reached out
to grab coats, scratch skin, trip feet.
Walking atop a long bushy ridge,
I spied on slender branches
clusters of golden threads hanging down.
Witch hazel blooming, my friend explained.
I remember how I thrilled to the land.
At odd moments now and then, I yearn
to come upon that luminous flower
blossoming in the woods,
resplendent as a jewel in cold and gray
just as I did on a long-past autumn day.