Simona Gay (Illa del Riberal, 1898-1969), sister of the poet Josep Sebastià Pons, was a poet and watercolourist from Roussillon and the first woman author from North Catalonia to write in Catalan.
Her writing life began with contributions to local newspapers and her participation, in 1927, in the Perpignan "Jocs Florals" (literary competition) where she received her first literary prizes. At the same time, she embarked upon a project of recovering a good part of folklore from the Roussillon region.
She published three collections of poetry: Aigües vives (Living Waters, 1932), Lluita amb l'àngel (Struggle with the Angel, 1938) and La gerra al sol (Pitcher in the Sun, 1965). Her descriptions of the landscape of her country and her probing introspection are the two most outstanding aspects of her work, not to mention her heartfelt evocation of her poet-brother, who appears in the last of these titles. Her complete poetic oeuvre was published in a single volume entitled Obra poètica (Poetic Works) in 1992.
She began, but did not complete, a biography of her greatly-admired brother and adviser and she also wrote a diary in French. Some of her stories were published towards the end of her life.
Web page: Francesc Viñas for AELC.
Translation: Julie Wark.
Photographs: 21 escriptores per al segle XXI. Barcelona: Institut d'Edicions de la Diputació de Barcelona and Edicions Proa, 2004.