Seán Hewitt

Posted in 2022-2023 Readings and Talks

October 4, 2022 at 7:00PM ET

Location: Riggs Library

Sean Hewitt Headshot
Photo Credit: Stuart Simpson

On Tuesday, October 4th at 7:00PM please join the Lannan Center for a special reading and conversation with writer Seán Hewitt. This event will be moderated by Professor Cóilín Parsons and is cosponsored by Global Irish Studies.

Valid GU ID required for entry. Only open to current Georgetown University students, faculty, and staff. We invite members of the public to join us via livestream.

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made by September 27th to Patricia Guzman, 202-687-6294, A good faith effort will be made to fulfill requests made after September 27th.



Waking, close to morning but still
a shuttered, metal dark in the room:
a sound inside my dream, only a whimper
at first, then becoming human, a howl
raised in the street outside, left unanswered
then raised again. In my boxers, shivering
by the single-paned window, but seeing no one
among the black shapes of the parked cars
or hedges, I went out half-dressed: hands shaking,
front door unlocked then pushed open,
and by the column of the porch, under a cone
of orange light, a young man slumped,
drunk, sobbing like his whole life
was unfurling into sound.


And now, I am reminded of one afternoon,
home from school, my father digging out
the root of a conifer in the garden – I saw him
look up, suddenly alert, leave by the back gate
into the alley behind the terraces, and return
panicked with a boy in his arms. I recognised him,
about my age, from school, by his dreadlocks,
his turquoise streak of hair; but now lolling
under his own weight, his wrists draining
over my father’s mudded jeans and the patio tiles.
I knew, even then, the rumours about him;
thought as we wrapped and pinned torn sheets
around his opened veins, how we might share,
once the truth was out, a bond, an elective blood.


Nights later, I only half-slept, expecting
at any moment to hear someone again outside,
as though time might be caught in a loop,
the same boy walking the mapped route
along the dark streets at the same hour
to my door. Again, I unshuttered the window,
stood waiting to see him come, barefoot, maybe,
down the path. Each night, no sign, until I thought,
perhaps, it was only me, or a dream of myself,
asking nightly to be greeted at the threshold,
allowed back into the cold room of my life.
But then, in each of us, a wound must be made
or given – there is always the soul waiting
at the door of the body, asking to be let out.

From Tongues of Fire (Jonathan Cape, 2020)

Read more about Seán Hewitt

Watch the Reading

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