Bobbie Louise Hawkins

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Bobbie Louise Hawkins (July 11, 1930 – May 4, 2018)[1] was a short story writer, monologist, and poet.


Hawkins was born in Abilene in west Texas, to a teenage mother.[1][2] She was raised by her mother Nora Hall and her stepfather Harold Hall, with guidance from her grandmother, who would tell her tales of her family. She spent much of her childhood reading, believing "that the world I read in books existed out there." The family would later move to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she would ultimately meet and marry her first husband, Olaf Hoek, a Danish architect. The couple would seen move to England where she studied art at the Slade School of Fine Arts of the University College London for one year.They would later move to British Honduras, now Belize, where she taught in missionary schools. She would also attend Sophia University. The two would later divorce after having two daughters. She returned to New Mexico where she met Robert Creeley, a teacher who would later become a famous poet in his own right. The two soon married. It was Creeley's position that any wife of a poet would want to write themselves, but derided Hawkins' attempts, to the point that she was "too married, too old, and too late" for her do so. "I was fighting for the right to write badly until I got better." Her first book Own Your Body came out in 1973. Hawkins and Creeley would separate in 1975, after having two more daughters. Hawkins not only wrote, but she was an accomplished artist. Her first one-woman show consisting of paintings and collages was at the Gotham Book Mart in 1974. Many of her artworks would grace the covers her books. In 1978, Anne Waldman and Allen Ginsberg hired her to teach fiction writing workshops and courses unliterary studies at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute at Boulder, Colorado. It is now called Naropa University. She remained at the school until her retirement in 2010. After retiring, she continued to offer readings and teach for Naropa's Summer Writing Program.[3]

She wrote a one-hour play for PBS called "Talk" in 1980. She released two CD’s, Live at the Great American Music Hall and Jaded Love. In 2001, Life As We Know It, a one-woman show, was performed in Boulder and New York City. She would publish nineteen books and pieces Inver fifty anthologies and journals. As part of the Beat Movement, many of her poems feature unconventional construction. 'What's to save his life?" reads more like a brief prose passage, rather than a poem, but it still carrys weight and emotion. Many her poems are short, such as "trouble and hope," which has only three lines, but showcases the random nature of life, both the good and the bad. Her ethic might be best explained in another work of hers, "in time I'll do what":—[4]

in time I'll do what
I would do now if
there weren't perfection
to consider

She was survived by her two daughters from her second marriage, one daughter from her first marriage, and two grandchildren.



  • "life in Bolinas: Bobbie Louise Hawkins, laborin'", article
  • "Panna: 1. Cyril in Texas", Big Bridge #11
  • "In the Colony", Ploughshares, Spring 1974
  • "I Owe You One", Ploughshares, Spring 1974 (also recorded on "Live at the Great American Music Hall, 1981 w/Terry Garthwaite and Rosalie Sorrels)
  • "Bathroom/Animal/Castration Story", Ploughshares, Spring 1974
  • Absolutely Eden. United Artists Books. 2008. ISBN 978-0-935992-35-9.
  • Bijou. Farfalla/McMillan & Parrish. 2005. ISBN 978-0-9766341-8-8.
  • Anne Waldman; Lisa Birman, eds. (2004). "Panel on Personal Geography". Civil disobediences: poetics and politics in action. Coffee House Press. ISBN 978-1-56689-158-5.
  • My Own Alphabet. Coffee House Press. 1989. ISBN 978-0-918273-52-9.
  • One Small Saga. Coffee House Press. 1984. ISBN 978-0-918273-05-5.
  • Almost Everything. Coach House Press. 1982. ISBN 978-0-88910-238-5.
  • Frenchy and Cuban Pete. Tombouctou. 1977. ISBN 978-0-939180-05-9.
  • Back to Texas (Bearhug) 1977
  • 15 Minutes. Arif Press. 1974. ISBN 978-0-913537-04-6.; republished by Belladonna (New York, 2010); ISBN 978-0-9823387-6-6.
  • Own Your Body, Black Sparrow Press, 1973




  1. ^ a b "Obituary: Bobbie Louise Hawkins". Dignity Memorial. 6 May 2018.
  2. ^ Sam Roberts (May 18, 2018). "Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Beat Poet and Author, Dies at 87". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 November 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Faculty". Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Bobbie Louise Hawkins".

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