Meat Lovers by Rebecca Hawkes (Auckland University Press, 2022) 92pp, $24.99; Rangikura by Tayi Tibble (Te Herenga Waka University Press, 2021) 96pp, $25.00; mō taku tama by Vaughan Rapatahana (Kilmog Press, 2021) 32pp, $38.50
Content warning: This review contains mention of suicide, disordered eating, and meat production.
Here are three collections of poetry, each devastating in its own way. Rangikura by Tayi Tibble and Meat Lovers by Rebeccas Hawkes each confront coming-of-age sexually in a complicated adult word. Rangikura is situated in the urban landscape, while Meat Lovers is a ‘hardcore pastoral’ that gets into both the grit and the wonder of growing up on a farm. Both books use the sensuality of food as thematic vessels and have a contemporary urgency. And both collections reflect how the romantic imaginations of girls are shaped and constrained by social expectations of who and how those girls will eventually love. mō taku tama, by Vaughan Rapatahana, is a different type of emotional gut punch: a series of poems that reflect on losing a son and how grief matures, though never lessens, over sixteen years. [Read more…]