My first chapbook, Softcore Coldsores, was published in 2019 as part of AUP New Poets 5.
It's a pleasure to have my wicked obsessive scribbles in this volume, alongside debut collections from the dreamily talented Sophie van Waardenberg and Carolyn DeCarlo.
“With her fluent scientific lexicon and the sense of interpenetration of human and animal worlds that courses through these teeming and energised poems, Rebecca marks out a terrain all her own. She acknowledges and expresses the animal in the human, but her nature is red in tooth and claw, with disease and decay seemingly inseparable from delight.”
- Chris Price
"Bringing New Poets to a bold finish is Rebecca Hawkes, whose writhing portraits of hunger, desire and possession fully embrace the primal and weird. Often toying with form, she is unafraid to delve into grime and fluids and meat; the things central to all animals, us included. Hunger takes central stage in “gremlin in sundress”, narrated by the titular monster: “gimme violent light / on your body gimme martyrdom / & scurvy gimme divinity I want all of it nonstop.”"
"Rebecca Hawkes’ Softcore Coldsores has a nuanced ecological concern that weaves throughout the poems. This collection incorporates the realities of food and farming and acknowledges the difficulty of establishing an ethical stance regarding human relationships to the environment. These concerns emerge powerfully in the poems ‘Add penetrant to preferred broadleaf herbicide & devastate the wildflowers’ and ‘The land without teeth’, which address the complexity of invasiveness in New Zealand. A careful attention to language throughout adds a lushness to the poems."
“Clearly, rubber gloves are one of the images Hawkes owns by right of obsession, but they will do nothing to protect you from the clinging smell of these poems, an irreverent blend of cow shit and red meat and mangroves and pomegranate and raw talent.”
- Joan Fleming
"The return of AUP New Poets is a welcome initiative at a moment when New Zealand poetry is bursting with so much fresh talent.
Each poet in this trio has very much her own distinctive style, voice and angle of interest but all three sit well between the same covers...
AUP New Poets 5 shines the spotlight on three gifted new poets, showing us how they glitter and spin."
- Chris Price