Pete Hay – Writer

“Keep your head down and read Pete Hay” – Richard Flanagan’s advice to Geordie Williamson.**

Pete (sometimes known as Peter) Hay is a Tasmanian writer and scholar. To find out more, scroll on.

For poetry and other writing by Pete, which is mostly what this site’s about, click here. (Including how to buy available works).

For reviews and writing on Pete, have a look here. Or, if you’re after photos, here.

For news about upcoming events and more, here.

* Zita Cobb, ‘The Way Forward’, March 2012.

** Reported by Geordie Williamson, Chief Literary Critic at The Australian, at the launch of Pete’s collection of essays, Forgotten Corners, at The Hobart Bookshop, 6th November 2019.

About Pete


Pete would like to be remembered as a cricketer. This is unlikely. Some of his other personas are better known.

Pete Hay – Poet

Pete is the author of several published collections of poetry:

  • Physick (Shoestring Press, 2016)
  • Girl Reading Lorca (Picaro, 2015; republished Bright South 2017)
  • Silently on the Tide – Voted one of Tasmania’s 15 favourite books, and the only book of poetry to make that list. (Walleah Press, 2005)
  • The View from the Non-Members’ Bar (Hazard Press, 1992)

He also enjoys working collaboratively with Tasmanian artists and writers, and has published the following collaborative works:

  • Poets and Painters: Celebrating the Big Punchbowl, co-edited with Carol Bett (series of poet/painter collaborations featuring the Tasmanian Land Conservancy’s Big Punchbowl property, on Tasmania’s east coast. Published by Bett Gallery and Tasmanian Land Conservancy, 2017)
  • Last Days of the Mill, with Tony Thorne – Winner of the People’s Choice Award at the 2013 Tasmanian Book Prize (dramatic monologues and reproductions of artworks by Tony Thorne, Forty Degrees South, 2012)
  • The Forests, with Matthew Newton (photo essay with text, Matthew Newton Publishing, 2008)

In 1982 Pete edited Meeting of Sighs:  The Folk Verse of Victoria’s Western District (WIP). He also writes personal essays, which have been widely published but are also conveniently collected in two volumes, both published by Walleah Press: Vandemonian Essays (2002) and Forgotten Corners: Essays in Search of an Island’s Soul (2019). Pete’s essays traverse into more scholarly territory, about which you can read more below, but Pete is resolute in his belief that they are more akin to poetry than academic writing.

To see more on these publications, discover some excerpts, or to purchase, please visit the Poetry page.

Pete (sometimes Peter) Hay – Scholar, PhD

Retired Reader in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Tasmania (1985 – 2008), Pete remains an Honorary Research Associate at that institution. His research impact has mainly been in the sub-disciplines of island studies, place theory, environmental thought and the democratic credentials of activism. His major academic work is Main Currents in Western Environmental Thought (2002), published in Britain as A Companion to Environmental Thought.

You can find out more about Pete’s academic work on the University of Tasmania website (direct link to Pete’s academic profile and many publications). Some of Pete’s academic publications can be found on his blog.


Other Petes?

As well as Pete the Poet and Pete the Scholar, there is also Pete the Activist. He has Chaired Environment Tasmania and twice worked as a political advisor to the Australian Labor Party, once at a federal level, and once as Senior Private Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Planning during Tasmania’s historic Labor – Green Accord.

Of Pete, 2014 Man Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan wrote:

“It is true that Pete Hay tends to get into trouble with powerful people for saying things they would rather he didn’t”.

Afterword, Vandemonian Essays.

Pete sometimes claims that his other alter ego is a fool.

Neither Pete nor Peter run any ASX listed companies.

To site users: This website is best viewed with ad blockers installed on your browser. To find out how to install them, use your favourite search engine to find ‘install ad blockers in [name of your browser, e.g. Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer etc.).

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If you would like to buy Physick, it’s available direct from Hobart Bookshop. This link should take you straight there:

Some of Pete’s other publications are also still available, through Hobart Bookshop.

Contact me: