by Bobbie Louise Hawkins
At once fierce, determined, and poignant… A magic then comes into it, a would-be witchcraft in spirit.
—Robert Duncan, 1973
Fifteen Poems is a republication of a lyrical sequence of poems that Bobbie Louise Hawkins wrote and read in 1971 in Bolinas. This book includes an introduction by Robert Duncan (1973) and an interview of Hawkins and Barbara Henning talking about the poems and the context (2012).
Interview & Discussion with Bobbie Louise Hawkins
By Barbara Henning
When I was at Naropa for the Summer Program in June 2011, Bobbie came to my prose chat and we planned to get together later in the week. Meanwhile, in the poetics library, I picked up a copy of her novel, One Small Saga, and read it that same night. It is beautifully written prose with poetic disjunction and rhythm, the story of a young artist on a journey to Belize with her new husband. I wanted to interview Bobbie about the book; unfortunately she was ill and I wasn’t able to see her that week. So we conducted our interview over the telephone. One phone call can lead to another, one book to another. While interviewing Bobbie and transcribing, it sometimes seemed as if I were orchestrating a series of new narratives. Walter Benjamin writes, “Every morning brings us the news of the globe, and yet we are poor in noteworthy stories.” Within this interview there are many new noteworthy Bobbie Louise Hawkins stories.
—Barbara Henning, New York City, 2012
Bobbie Louise Hawkins has written more than twenty books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and performance monologues. She has performed her work at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater, Bottom Line and Folk City in New York City; at The Great American Music Hall and Intersection in San Francisco, as well as reading and performing in Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Holland, and more. In England she worked with Apples and Snakes, read at the Canterbury Festival and the Poetry Society. She was commissioned to write a one-hour play for Public Radio’s “The Listening Ear”, and has a record, with Rosalie Sorrels and Terry Garthwaite, ‘Live At The Great American Music Hall, available from Flying Fish. She was invited by Anne Waldman and Alan Ginsberg to begin a prose concentration in the writing program at Naropa University where she taught for twenty years.
“A superb impressionist, as well as a salty prose writer of American miniatures.” —The New York Times