John Hewitt Selected Poems

John Hewitt

Date Published :
March 2007
Publisher :
Blackstaff Press
Contributor(s) :
Michael Longley, Frank Ormsby
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John Hewitt’s literary legacy has been praised by noted poets like Seamus Heaney and Eavan Boland. Edited, with a new introduction, by Michael Longley and Frank Ormsby, Selected Poems is a celebration of this a unique voice in Irish poetry.

About The Author

John Hewitt outstrips the categories we keep invoking for him, such as “doyen of Ulster poets” or “conscience of the Planter tradition”. He becomes, instead, the universal poet, servant of the medium, renewer of the forms, discoverer of the nugget of harmony in the language and in ourselves.’ Seamus Heaney

'The constant subjects of his poetry are historical isolation and private loneliness. When he uses one as a metaphor for the other, he writes with an unforgettable mixture of courage and perception.' Eavan Boland 


‘John Hewitt the poet made himself heard in a land of bellowers without raising his voice. He held out the creative hand rather than the clenched fist.’ Michael Longley  

John Hewitt, father figure to a generation of poets such as Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley, is widely acknowledged as a poetic icon and creative catalyst within the canon of Irish poetry. Edited, with a new introduction, by acclaimed poets Michael Longley and Frank Ormsby, Selected Poems is testament to Hewitt’s remarkable legacy, and a celebration of a unique, compelling and still urgent voice in Irish poetry.

Michael Longley was born in Belfast in 1939. His Collected Poems was published in 2006 and in 2007 he was appointed Professor of Poetry for Ireland. His most recent poetry collections are Gorse Fires (2009) and A Hundred Doors (2011), shortlisted for the 2011 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year). Along with poet Frank Ormsby, he is the editor of John Hewitt: Selected Poems.

Frank Ormsby was born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, in 1947 and educated at St Michael’s College, Enniskillen, and Queen’s University Belfast.

He was editor of The Honest Ulsterman from 1969 to 1989, and has also edited a number of anthologies including Poets from the North of Ireland, A Rage for Order: Poetry of the Northern Ireland Troubles, The Hip Flask: Short Poems from Ireland and The Blackbird’s Nest: An Anthology of Poetry from Queen’s University Belfast.

In 2007 he edited John Hewitt: Selected Poems with Michael Longley.

He is the author of four collections of poetry: A Store of Candles, A Northern Spring (both Choices of the Poetry Book Society), The Ghost Train and Fireflies.

Frank is former head of English at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and is the current editor of The Yellow Nib the literary journal of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, at Queen's University Belfast.

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