The mission of The John Hewitt Society
To promote literature, arts and culture inspired by the ideas and ideals of the poet, art historian and political thinker John Hewitt
The John Hewitt Society provides opportunities for individuals across Northern Ireland to explore issues of difference and identity through literature and creative writing. The Society was established in 1987 to promote Hewitt’s ethos of utilising literature and the arts as a medium for tackling prejudice, exclusive concepts of identity, and sectarian hostility.
For thirty-five years The John Hewitt Society has developed a range of literary and cultural activities to break down parochialism, narrow, exclusive concepts of identity, and hostility towards the ‘other’. The Society seeks to offer even more opportunities to engage readers, support writers, and inspire the next generation with great literature. The effectiveness of our activities has been recognised by our funders and supporters, including the Community Relations Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Hewitt’s significant role in Northern Ireland’s literary heritage offers the Society an opportunity to explore and sustain this creative tradition by organising readings, both for up-and-coming local writers as well as national and international writers and artists, offering a platform, a critical audience and modest fee income to both young and established writers.
Hewitt’s work and writings transcended traditional divisions, particularly his love of the Ulster landscape and his concept of regionalism, and lend themselves not only to the expansion of the public’s enjoyment of literature in general, but also the exploration, and repair of Northern Ireland’s deeply divided society. The Society actively promotes cross-community and cross-border links and, through its work, it plays a very real role in reinforcing the peace process in Northern Ireland, by providing safe, neutral spaces for its activities and creating cultural activities and events to encourage debate, understanding, tolerance and acceptance of cultural diversity.
Tony Kennedy, OBE
Board & Committee Members:
Alex Catherwood | Ryan Cornett | Cahal Dallat | Dr Frank Ferguson | Anne-Marie Fyfe | Dr Myrtle Hill | Bill Jeffrey | Tony Kennedy | Naomi Leitch | Dr Paul Maddern | Professor Tess Maginess | Paul McAvinchey | Raquel McKee | Paul Sweeney | Aoife Walsh |