PRONI hosts John Hewitt exhibition

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The Public Record Office (PRONI) has launched an exhibition illustrating the life and legacy of one of our most famous local poets, John Hewitt.

The exhibition has been created by Frank Ferguson, Kathryn White and John McMillan from the University of Ulster in partnership with Tony Kennedy from the John Hewitt Society and Helen Perry from the Causeway Museum Service.

Director of PRONI, Maggie Smith, said: “We are very pleased to welcome this excellent exhibition Home Words. Hewitt is seen as the ‘father figure’ of our current generation of poets and it is wonderful to see his achievements being celebrated in this exhibition. PRONI is keeper of the John Hewitt Archive, a collection of c. 4,500 documents and volumes relating to the life and career of John Hewitt. This will provide the opportunity for visitors to see the exhibition alongside PRONI material relating directly to Hewitt.”

Co-curator Kathryn White from the University of Ulster said: “This exhibition celebrates the life, work and legacy of John Hewitt by attempting to create wider access to his work; increase participation in the cultural traditions; and facilitate in the learning of local writing. We are delighted to showcase the exhibition at PRONI.”

Frank Ferguson added: “We are particularly grateful for the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund which has enabled us to create this exhibition and to share the work and interests of John Hewitt with schools and communities across the province”.

At the launch curators Frank Ferguson and Kathryn White talked about the story of the exhibition and the revelations teased out through their research. There was also a special poetry reading by Frank Sewell and a presentation from Des McCabe (PRONI) on the Hewitt Papers. The exhibition will be on display in the atrium space at PRONI, alongside PRONI’s large-scale reproduction of Hewitt’s Ulster Names, and will run until July 31.