School of English, Film, Theatre, and Media Studies, 2017
Hue & Cry is an art/literary journal that “takes the pulse of the city and the community”: a celebration of local culture founded by Victoria graduate Chloe Lane in 2007.
Chloe started Hue & Cry while she was working on her Master of Arts at the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML). Since then, they’ve put out eight issues, as well as establishing Hue & Cry Press in 2012.
What makes this journal unique? It’s only available in impeccably designed print, satisfying both the aesthete and the intellectual.
“Lyricism and bravery are what catch my eye about a piece of writing,” says IIML graduate and Massey writing teacher Sarah Jane Barnett. Two of her poetry collections have been published by Hue & Cry Press, with her first collection selected as a finalist in the 2013 New Zealand Post Book Awards.
The Press began in 2012 when it published that first collection A Man Runs into a Woman, and they’ve published four more books by New Zealand writers since.
Hue & Cry, have always had an emphasis on emerging artists and the local community. “Ultimately I want Hue & Cry Press to be a very real publishing option for new and emerging writers in New Zealand,” said Chloe in a 2012 interview with writer Helen Heath.
Hue & Cry isn’t your typical literary journal. According to the City Gallery (2016), it’s carefully curated as an “aesthetic space with high-quality design".
I don’t entirely understand what this means until I flick through the copies literary editor Lawrence Patchett has brought along to our interview. Each journal is uniquely designed by Wellington-based duo Duncan Forbes and Elaina Hamilton and is a perfect balance of art and literature.
“There’s a conscious effort to bring the journal together as a curatorial project,” says Lawrence. “Chloe always made sure that even the launch events were well curated.”
Their first launch in Wellington was held at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, and since then they’ve held launches and readings at Adam Art Gallery, City Gallery and Hawera, Taranaki, to name a few.
“We went up to Hawera for the day to support The Ronald Hugh Morrieson Festival, a One Day Sculpture project by artist Liz Allan. We set up a little Hue & Cry stall in the town square” laughs Lawrence.
“People were like, why are these Wellington people here and what are they doing?”
The festival was an exploration of what Ronald Hugh Morrieson meant to his hometown. John Summers, whose book The Mermaid Boy was published by Hue & Cry Press in 2015, did a reading in the KFC built over Morrieson’s demolished house.
A reading in the town fast food restaurant is certainly something only a local publisher can do. Sarah lists the other ways Hue & Cry has made its impact: “Encouragement. A fostering of ideas and experimental writing. A celebration of local literature.”
“People respond to what Hue & Cry’s about”, says Lawrence. “I remember quite a few launches where it was so packed it was uncomfortable."
"That’s a reflection of how enthusiastic our audience are. It’s a magical feeling: that you’re actually contributing to the literary community.”