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Northman: John Hewitt (1907-87)An Irish writer, his world, and his times$
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W. J. McCormack

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739821

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739821.001.0001

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Return of a Native

Return of a Native

(p.208) (p.209) 9 Return of a Native
Northman: John Hewitt (1907-87)

W. J. McCormack

Oxford University Press

This chapter co-relates the deteriorating situation in Northern Ireland during and after 1969 with Hewitt’s imminent retirement from the Coventry art gallery. At the centre was a reading tour (with John Montague) organized by the Northern Ireland Arts Council. The performances and printed contents of the venture are analysed in detail. Among poems discussed ‘The Watchers’ (1950) is important. The chapter also reviews Hewitt’s attitude towards W. B. Yeats through the poems the younger man wrote under titles borrowed from the older. Other writers featuring include John Boyd, Peadar O’Donnell, and Sean O’Faolain. Hewitt’s unexpected political influence on contemporary affairs arises from John Montague’s drawing attention to ‘The Colony’, publicly quoted by the Dublin prime minister, Jack Lynch. Roberta Hewitt’s appreciation of political affairs, her experience of earlier events in Belfast is revisited.

Keywords:   Troubles, Northern Ireland, W. B. Yeats, John Montague, Peadar O’Donnell, Jack Lynch, Roberta Hewitt

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