Marking 30 years since the death of poet, political writer and commentator John Hewitt, The John Hewitt Society has launched the programme for the 30th International Summer School, on the theme of ‘Striding Forward’.
Internationally, US prize-winning poet Mark Doty, recognised as one of the most accomplished poets in America, will be appearing alongside one of the UK’s most popular writers, Scottish poet Liz Lochhead. Submissions are also open for the rare opportunity to work closely with Doty in an intimate masterclass setting.
A key Summer School highlight will be the staging of a special cross-border incarnation of ‘In Dreams Begin Responsibilities: A Journey in Words & Music’ a celebration of reconciliation over the last 100 years will feature a selection of Northern Ireland’s finest and most respected artists, including Laria O’Lionáird and Collette Bryce, and chart the journey of reconciliation through poetry, music, drama and imagery, presented in partnership with Poetry Ireland and supported by The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund.
Other events feature New York Times bestselling author John Boyne as well as other acclaimed British and Irish writers Jan Carson, Lisa McInerney, Tessa Hadley and poets Jean Bleakney, Lorna Shaughnessy, Luke Kennard and Pat Boran.
The Summer School is principally supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, and The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund.
Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Drama, said;
“The John Hewitt Society is celebrating its 30th birthday this year – a magnificent achievement and an evidence of its value to our culture. John Hewitt’s own contribution to the cultural life of Ireland has been well-documented. His life’s work in poetry and prose was aimed at finding ways in which the
various communities in Ireland could co-exist, interact and exchange with respect and dignity. The John Hewitt Society, as it extends its reach into communities which may not previously have had access to the power of the arts, has an important contribution to make to that process of opening up, of revelation and discovery. Once again this year’s programme includes an impressive collection of exceptional artists and events and it is a fitting programme for this important anniversary.”