Image courtesy of PRONI
Image credited Dermot Dunbar
Born at 96 Cliftonpark Avenue, Belfast, on 28 October 1907, John Harold Hewitt was a renowned poet, art historian and collector and political activist.
Hewitt worked as an employee of Belfast City Council for 29 years in the Museum, before moving to Coventry. He returned to Belfast in 1969.
Hewitt had an active political life (describing himself as "a man of the left") and was involved in the British Labour Party, the Fabian Society and the Belfast Peace League. Drawn to the Ulster dissenting tradition, he was an early advocate of the concept of regional identity within the island of Ireland and famously described his identity as Ulster, Irish, British, and European.
In 1976, he was appointed first Writer-in-residence at Queen’s University and in 1983 he was made a Freeman of the City of Belfast in recognition of his profound contribution to our society.
Hewitt’s prolific works include:
Collected poems 1932-1967 (1969)
The Day of the Corncrake: Poems of the Nine Glen (1969)
An Ulster Reckoning (1971)
Rhyming Weavers (1974),
The Chinese Fluteplayer (1974)
Scissors for a One-Armed Tailor: Marginal Verses 1929-1954 (1974)
Out of My Time: Poems 1969 to 1974 (1974)
Time Enough: Poems News and Revised (1976)
Art in Ulster (1977)
Freehold and Other Poems (1986)