Danelle Lejeune Farmer, Beekeeper, and Photographer

Danelle and I met in fifth grade. We had Mrs Hewkin back in Kankakee. We practiced curse words together on the playground. We were even friends with Kalisha Buchannon in junior high school. Danelle is a poet,  photographer, professor, farmer,and mother. I have watched her adventures and become inspired. Her posts on her blog have left me crying some days, and others I have just left me in awe. When I look at her pictures, I see things I may have once passed by, but now, I pause, sometimes I take out my phone and and snap a picture to keep that moment in my pocket.
She posted a picture of her new home. 40 minutes later I relized she lives in my main character’s dream home. She is, in fact, one of the women I modeled my main character after.

UPDATE (8/18/26):  Danelle has a collection of poetry that will be published this winter.  I am very excited for her.  For now, you can read some of her poetry at Glass: A Journal of Poetry.  You can also check out her website to stay up to date on her book.  

Do you have a preferred name or title? My family calls you Farm Girl because you have a farm and you worked that farm.

D: LOL- Danelle is fine.

We have spent hours talking on the phone about bacon and pork chops. You actually got me to start eating pork again after years of avoiding it. Could you incorporate bacon into any recipe? Share an example of an unexpected use for bacon.

D: Most anything. My favourite recent creation is bacon fancy sm’ores. Recipe: Girl Scout cookies of your favoutite kind- mine is Samoas. Big marshmallow between, Wrap in bacon, grill over campfire. You can make this in pieces in a kitchen and put it together too. So freaking good.

Is there a special routine around your poetry or does it move you anywhere, any time?

D: I have written poems on the back of feed bills pulled over on dirt roads in the farm truck, but mostly I make time to practice daily. I sit to it. If nothing comes, I read poetry instead. Breathing in to breathe out.
Where do you like to do your creating? Coffee shop, library, your kitchen?

D: My kitchen, my studio floor, in bed, on my front porch.

What is your favorite piece of your own work?

D: A poem that is coming out called Glacial Remains. I submitted it 38 times, rejected each time. I resubmitted it to my favourite journal by accident, forgetting that they had already rejected it……..this time, they took it!

What is your favorite piece from other artists/writers?
D: “Do not fall in love with people like me.
I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth.
I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible. And when I leave you will finally understand, why storms are named after people.”
― Caitlyn Siehl, Literary Sexts: A Collection of Short & Sexy Love Poems
This. Read it aloud.

I am not sure if you have your garden going yet. What was in your last harvest or farmers’ market haul?

D: Wild pigs are complicating my garden efforts but the new farm has an orchard with figs and pear trees and fifteen blueberry bushes.

What’s your favorite baked good? I associate you with pie for some reason. Remember that dream I told you about where the guy says, “One day, maybe, we can make pie together.” *MELTS LIKE THE BUTTER NEEDED*

D: Peach cobbler. Hands down. Pecan pie is a close second. Italian Cream Cake. I love cake.

Do you have a favorite piece of clothing that helps you create?

D: I have a blue scarf that I like to wear. I love the blue and grey in it.

In the last five years you have begun to lead a life more centered around your creativity. What piece of advice can you share for parents taking this step.

D: Take yourself seriously. Dedicate time to the craft. Network with others. Ask. Ask. Ask. Ask for money. Ask for time. Ask for advice.
My workspace right now: attached file that includes how it changes.


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