Here’s the second of our interviews with past P&W artists. This time we’re hearing from the multi-talented Pete Hunter. (The picture used here is by P&W official photographer for 2011, Bohdan Piasecki.)
Q1) What is your connection with Poetry&Words?
I performed for Poetry&Words in the days when Pat V T West was running it and have been on the Poetry&Words committee since Helen took over and Poetry&Words moved to its current location in Theatre and Circus. I have had several roles, from host to general roustabout to artistic director to performer during my years of involvement.
Ed: Pete has been a valuable member of the P&W crew for many years. You won’t catch him on site in 2013, but he’s still working hard for us behind the scenes.
Q2) If you had to describe the Poetry&Words stage in just three words, what would they be?
Entertainment, talent, surprises
Q3) How would you describe Glastonbury Festival to someone who’s never been there?
It’s the biggest party ever with so much to do it’s impossible to do everything. It’s busy, exciting, peaceful, sleepless, amazing, magical, eye-opening, deafening, thrilling, frightening and a weekend worth experiencing at least once in your life.
Q4) Can you name two other poets who you admire?
Matt Harvey for his wordplayfullness and calm, quiet, delivery. Kate Tempest for her passionate delivery.
Q5) What kinds of things inspire you to write?
Originally I was inspired by telling tales, with an emphasis on comedy – exploring what is absurd and ridiculous about life, how circumstances and the mind trick us and each other into being fools. I also saw writing a poem as solving the puzzle of getting from the first line to the last in the best and, as I was writing for performance, most entertaining way possible – be that through wordplay, the inclusion of jokes or the manner of performance. I enjoy exploring my own poetic forms too.
More recently I have been writing poems that are descriptions of situations or memories, trying to create an image in the readers’/listeners’ mind that they can explore themselves. I am not so concerned with being entertaining, or funny, but in sharing. Mostly.
Q6) Where is the most unusual place you’ve performed your work?
I think the most interesting place I have performed was in a town in Germany called Regensburg, where I was taken to compete in a slam. The building contained a restaurant and venue with bar on the ground floor, a nightclub in the basement and dormitories on the first floor. So myself and a couple of other poets got the bus to Regensburg, walked 150m from the bus station to the venue, ate, slammed, danced and slept in the same building and the next morning walked 150m back to the bus station and left. All I saw of Regensburg was the inside of that building.
I have also performed in a nightclub; in a church service in Texas; in a pub beneath a huge TV showing an international football match; at an anti-GMO rally in Greenwich Park; in an auberge in France and in a living room.
Q7) What are you working on at the moment?
I am not gigging much these days, (let’s not go into it) but have agreed to do a gig for a friend in mid December so need to get a set together for that. It may well be a more political set than usual, due to the nature of the gig, but we’ll see. Other than that I am continuing to jot down ideas and make notes with the intention of maybe producing an illustrated collection of new poems.
Q8) What’s the closest rhyme for ‘orange’ you can find?
I think I read somewhere that there was a village in England called Borange, or Boringe that was a true rhyme with orange, but other than that I might stretch to syringe or hinge. Oh, and I do know someone who’s surname is Collinge, which rhymes.
Q9) Can we have a poem please?
Here’s a whole set from early 2009: http://soundcloud.com/pete-hunter/madmarchfundraiser09