Tongues of Fire by Sean Hewitt Flattery, Shortlisted for the Dalkey Emerging Writer Award 2021

Seán Hewitt was born in 1990 and read English at the University of Cambridge. He is a fiction reviewer for The Irish Times and a Leverhulme Research Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin. He won a Northern Writers' Award in 2016, the Resurgence Prize in 2017 and an Eric Gregory Award in 2019.

Sean Hewitt bookcover

About: Tongues of Fire, by Seán Hewitt 

In this collection, Seán Hewitt gives us poems of a rare musicality and grace. By turns searing and meditative, these are lyrics concerned with the matter of the world, its physicality, but also attuned to the proximity of each moment, each thing, to the spiritual.

Here, there is sex, grief, and loss, but also a committed dedication to life, hope and renewal. Drawing on the religious, the sacred and the profane, this is a collection in which men meet in the woods, where matter is corrupted and remade. There are prayers, hymns, vespers, incantations, and longer poems which attempt to propel themselves towards the transcendent.


“Hewitt seems to have sprung fully formed into the literary world and, on this showing, nothing seems beyond him.” – Bert Wright, Sunday Times

“[Seán Hewitt is] 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

“Seán Hewitt understands that poetic form is sacred and mysterious. In these godforsaken times his reverent procedures are food for the soul.” – Michael Longley

Judges comments

“Consoling and inspiring, this stunning debut of meticulously fashioned, rhythmically sprung lyric verse is infused by a deep feeling for the natural world and an exquisitely poised sensuality; a potent, irresistible erotic charge.”

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