When I applied for a bursary in April of this year, I did so filled with doubt that I would receive it. I knew of the John Hewitt Society (JHS) Summer School from writing friends who attended previously. So when I got the email telling me I had been successful in my application and I was being awarded a full bursary, my delight soared through the rafters.
Travelling up on my own from county Cork, I must admit to being nervous. Although I’ve travelled solo to places like California and Toulouse and elsewhere for writing, this was my first bursary. I felt so grateful to the committee and to my own Irish Dept. of Foreign Affairs who sponser writers from the Republic with the JHS in Armagh.
So who is John Hewitt? John was an Ulster poet and political activist born in Belfast in 1907 and died in 1987. He formed many friendships, starting conversations that crossed religious and political divides. He was the first writer-in-residence in Queens University, Belfast. The JHS is in exsistence since 1988 and promotes the same belief as the poet that literature, arts and culture transfers across all boundaries. Our identities and common experiences unites us more than any of the divisions that exsist. By gifting with help from their sponsers and main funders, writers from the Republic are welcomed through their bursary schemes to take part. Of course you do not need to be in receipt of a bursary to attend. The Summer School is open to all and everyone to enjoy the many workshops and events that are in the programme for the week. To find out more visit their website at the following link, https://www.johnhewittsociety.org/
I shall write more in another post telling what I did and how the week went as there is so much to share with you all.