We're delighted to present our Summer Recommendation Tongues of Fire by Seán Hewitt.
Written with rare musicality and grace, at 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. In this book, there is always the sense of fragility allied with strength, a violence harnessed and unleashed. The collection ends with a series of elegies for the poet's father: in the face of despair, we are met with a fierce brightness, and a reclamation of the spiritual. 'This is when / we make God, and speak in his voice.' Paying close attention to altered states and the consolations and strangeness of the natural world, this is the first book from a major poet, with a prescient resonance in these troubled times.
Seán Hewitt's debut pamphlet of poems, Lantern (Offord Road Books, 2019), won an Eric Gregory Award in 2019 and was the Poetry Book Society Summer Pamphlet Choice for 2019. In 2014, he was awarded Arts Council England funding for a series of poems, and in 2015 was selected as one of the Poetry Trust's Aldeburgh Eight. He won a Northern Writers' Award in 2016, and the Resurgence Prize in 2017. He is a book critic for The Irish Times and a Government of Ireland Fellow at University College Cork.
All PBS Choice Members will receive copies of the PBS Choice in the summer mailing later in May. You can also enjoy 25% off all book purchases on our website including Tongues of Fire, here.