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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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Ulster Art and a Wider Politics, 1930–39

Ulster Art and a Wider Politics, 1930–39

(p.41) 3 Ulster Art and a Wider Politics, 1930–39
Northman: John Hewitt (1907-87)

W. J. McCormack

Oxford University Press

Hewitt begins work in the Belfast City Museum and Art Gallery. His left-wing poetry gradually attracts interest, and he succeeds in placing a poem in the BBC magazine The Listener. He meets Roberta Black at a Rodin exhibition and they marry in 1934. He became involved with a local artistic experiment, the Ulster Unit, which brought him into collaboration with the painters John Luke and Colin Middleton. He also began to collect pictures. He sought a London publisher in the mid-1930s but without success. Back in Belfast Hewitt advanced in his profession, while also tuning into the international crisis. Politically, man and wife contributed to a civil liberties enquiry into discriminatory policing in Northern Ireland, laying the basis for their reputation as troublesome dissidents. He contributed to The Irish Democrat (1937) and they both published in Irish Jewry (also 1937). Hewitt’s socialism (non-communism) finds clearer expression.

Keywords:   Hewitt, marriage, Ulster Unit, John Luke, Colin Middleton, Roberta Hewitt, civil liberties, socialism, Jewry

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