Reviews

  • Seán Hewitt soars... His poetry will stand the test of time, for...the sheer musicality of the language, the lightness on his metrical feet, and his keen ear for "the music of what happens" charm the reader into submission. This is an astonishingly assured debut delivered in a poetic voice that has eloquence, compassion, and serenity in equal measure...in the pantheistic tradition of Wordsworth, Whitman, John Clare, and Seamus Heaney... When it comes to nascent talent, we Irish have a tendency to mistake the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy for the ninth, thrusting premature greatness upon the liveliest embryos. By contrast, Hewitt seems to have sprung fully formed into the literary world and, on this showing, nothing seems beyond him.

    Bert Wright, Sunday Times
  • It is extraordinary to encounter a debut collection that feels as established as Seán Hewitt’s… These unmediated poems are, at the same time, charged: they pull you in swiftly, you become immersed… In ‘Tongues of Fire’, the title piece and last in the collection, the present is burning. It is an exceptionally moving poem – impossible to read without a lump in the throat… He grafts the people and circumstances of his life on to nature with unerring brilliance… This is, above all, a devotional collection and will lift the spirits of all who read it…. He has a gift for gravity, rootedness, calm… Hewitt has the confidence to relax and to allow his poems, in an unaffected and sometimes conversational way, to speak to the heart.

    Kate Kellaway, Observer *Poetry Book of the Month*
  • I fell into [Tongues of Fire] one morning and read the whole book through and it truly warmed my soul. He's an exquisitely calm and insightful lyric poet, reverential in nature and gorgeously wise in the field of human drama. It's a stunning collection of poems.

    Max Porter, Irish Times *Best Books of 2020*
  • This is an extraordinary collection - heart-bruising, tender - one to cherish, and live by. Though Hewitt moves us through anguish and destruction, love still glows; and in the dark undoings of these poems, decay lights the wildwood with its strange, ethereal foxfire. As Hewitt writes, "it is hard to tell where heaven starts"; I find it in these poems, which are beyond-gorgeous, beyond-glorious, blood-felt, feral, luminous.

    Fiona Benson
  • Seán Hewitt understands that poetic form is sacred and mysterious. In these godforsaken times his reverent procedures are food for the soul.

    Michael Longley

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