Bright South is proud to be the publisher of Pete Hay’s poetry chapbook, Girl Reading Lorca. From a poet normally regarded as “fiercely Tasmanian”, this collection is a startling departure from Pete, but no less observant, subtle or incisive than his better known work.
The centrepiece of Girl Reading Lorca is a celebration of the life and poetry of Federico García Lorca. With a voice as sure as that with which he evokes the landscapes of Tasmania, Pete sensitively evokes the haunted fields, mountains, and cities of Andalusia in several extraordinary poems.
Girl Reading Lorca also contains an extended cycle of poems, collectively titled ‘Madrid, June 19, 2011’, which is the centrepiece of Indignados!, an exciting musical collaboration with Spanish guitarist Paul Gerard. In these poems, Pete tunes his eye for injustice and absurdity, writing of civil unrest in Madrid, set against Spain’s deep history and culture. He makes us see Europe not as ignorant tourists but as intelligent, questioning observers looking back on the old world from a curious corner of the new one. You can learn more about Pete and read some of his poetry, including the centrepiece of this collection, ‘Girl Reading Lorca’, on his website: www.petehaywriter.wordpress.com, or on Facebook.
Pete Hay and Paul Gerard are kicking off an exciting collaborative tour on the 3rd of August at the Peacock Theatre. An Evening in Andalusia celebrates the great Andalusian poet Federico García Lorca. Lorca was executed in 1936 in the first weeks of the Spanish Civil War. His poetry was banned for 20 years after his death, but he is now regarded as a great Spanish poet. Lorca’s many books of poetry, plays and theatre works have been performed, and loved, by people all over the world.
An Evening in Andalusia features original poetry by Pete Hay, from his book Girl Reading Lorca, published by Bright South, and exhilarating Spanish guitar music by Paul Gerard. In it, Pete and Paul pay homage to Lorca and the haunted landscape of Andalusia. Pete’s poetry is interwoven with Paul Gerard’s original compositions, which also reflect on Lorca’s extraordinary life. Pieces include ‘Song for Dali’, which explores Lorca’s great friendship with the painter Salvador Dali, and ‘Lorca’s Dream’, which evokes the agonising choices made by Lorca in the final weeks of his life.
Bright South proud to be supporting this fabulous tour with various services including photography, writing, graphic design and marketing.
Of one of Tasmania’s greatest poets, of Pete Hay, Rachel Edwards wrote: “no one else takes the temperature of this island like Hay, and no one else uses Tasmania as such an effective prism through which to consider human nature” (The Australian, September 18, 2016 – See a copy on Rachel’s blog).
Pete is a wonderful poet but so much more as well. In a tempestuous isle, he has long been a voice for temperance, conciliation and fairness, while never losing sight of the wonder, majesty and intrinsic value of Tasmania’s, and the world’s natural environment. He speaks up for those whose voices are so often lost in political and media discourse – traditional foresters and farmers with a love for, and deep understanding of the ecology of the lands they and their forebears have long worked, often so much more sensitively and ethically than the huge corporations which now run so much of the Global economy.
Pete speaks for ordinary Tasmanian families, wherein there are so often rifts between siblings, cousins, and generations – between those who consider themselves to be on one side of the political divide, and those on the other – between those who want reliable work and to provide for their families, and those who want above all to protect what makes Tasmania unique and special.
Over the years Pete has trodden the halls of government, been an academic and a lecturer, and steadily contributed to scholarly debate; but he has also written innumerable essays. They have appeared in wilderness calendars, art exhibition catalogues, forwards in books, opinion pieces in the newspaper, everywhere! For this reason I believe that Pete has had an incredibly profound influence on Tasmanian thought and writing. Barely a novel has appeared in Tasmania that doesn’t seem to me to bear the trace of Pete’s thoughts, his temperament, his ethics, or his generous and sensitive celebration of, and belief in Australia’s unique island state and her people.
It is for all of these reasons that Bright South offered to construct a website for Pete – because his work deserves to be still better known, his influence acknowledged, and to continue spread the word about his work and make it more accessible. The site is now live – check it out, it’s beautiful! And proudly constructed by Bright South. It features photos by both Bright South and Pete, as well as many other fabulous contributors: www.petehaywriter.wordpress.com
For a self-professed Luddite, Pete has been an enthusiastic and courageous supporter of this endeavour and, yes, he has published blog posts all by himself! He’s even got right behind the Facebook thing too – you can follow him there to keep completely up to date: www.facebook.com/petehaywriter/