Beagmore stone circle alignment, about 4,000years old
The John Hewitt International Summer School 2008
The John Hewitt International Summer School (now in its 21st year) began on Monday 28th of July 2008, for five days up until Friday 1st of August. The arena for the school was the market place theatre in
The theme for this year’s Hewitt school was, ‘Let there be no walls,’ an inspired idea taken for one of Hewitt’s poems, ‘Freehold.’ A fantastic theme which ran through all the lectures, and one that I will certainly take home with me and ponder upon. It reminded me of a poem I had written some years ago titled, ‘walls within walls,’ that I never sent out as a submission; but will now search for and work on again...
Among his poetry collections are, Rhyming Weavers (1974) and Freehold and other poems (1986).
“At a time when parts of our society still feel the need for walls, other barriers have collapsed, making migration one of the most significant changes which we are experiencing. This makes us part of a new
I was delighted to receive the bursary from its director Tony Kennedy, who kept the events running smoothly. Beginning on Monday there was a talk with Clair Willis, professor of Irish Literature at Queen Mary’s
Following the Clair Willis, talk we heard a talk by ‘The Speckled People’ author, Hugo Hamilton, who is German-Irish descent. In his memoir he tells of a lost language, and what it means to be Irish having this dual identity.
The five-day event had something for everyone… whether it was creative writing with poet Ruth Carr, The Salmon Poets, Daragh Carvill, an Armagh-born playwright, who with the help of local actors, unfolded the Book of Armagh through poetry and prose… our creative addictions were met.
One of the favorites of my stay, and there were many, was Belfast-born visual artist Rita Duffy. Her collection, ‘Place of the Mind,’ was as a link to the landscape of her mind with image instillations such as Crumlin Road and Watchtowers, among others. I enjoyed her talk very much on how she got the ideas for her work; she explained in a way that I understood, she spoke my language so to speak and made me pay attention. I have much more respect now for artists like herself, and will make an effort to visit exhibitions when and where I can.
One of the hi-lights of my stay was firstly hearing Poet and Nobel Prize for literature Seamus Heaney talk in the main auditorium, where he read from his collections, Death of A Naturalist (1966) and District and Circle (2006). He also read his favourite Hewitt poems, beginning with 'The King's Horses'.
Aine MacAodha and Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney was born in April 1939, the eldest of a family of nine children. His father owned and worked a small farm of some fifty acres in
Secondly, another great moment was hearing the
I would also like to mention a great talk by biographical author WJ McCormack, who was professor of Literary History at