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Dr Seán Hewitt B.A. (Cantab), M.A. (Lpool), Ph.D. (Lpool) Assistant Professor in Literary Practice


I am a poet, writer and literary critic. My first collection of poetry, Tongues of Fire (Jonathan Cape, 2020), was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and won The Laurel Prize in 2021. My second collection of poems is Rapture’s Road (Jonathan Cape, 2024). My memoir, All Down Darkness Wide (Jonathan Cape, 2022), won The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. I also work collaboratively with illustrators, and have published Buile Suibhne (Fine Press Poetry, 2021) with wood engravings by Amy Jeffs, and 300,000 Kisses: Tales of Queer Love from the Ancient World (Penguin, 2023), illustrated by Luke Edward Hall. My books have been translated into Italian, Norwegian, Korean, Slovak and Dutch.  

Before joining Trinity as a Teaching Fellow in 2020, I held postdoctoral positions at University College Cork and at TCD, funded by the Irish Research Council and Leverhulme Trust, respectively. My critical research interests are mainly focused on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British and Irish literature. I also have an ongoing interest in queer poetics, the environmental humanities, and in studies of literature and science.

My first book-length study, J.M. Synge: Nature, Politics, Modernism (Oxford University Press, 2021), draws on extensive archival research to illuminate the political, spiritual and aesthetic underpinnings of Synge’s work, and traces his progression towards modernism. I have also published on the works of other Revivalists, including W.B. Yeats, Seumas O’Sullivan, Lady Gregory and, more recently, the poet and novelist Emily Lawless.

My ongoing book project, provisionally entitled ‘Acts of Enchantment: Natural History in British and Irish Literature, 1870-1930’, explores the ways in which writers sought to incorporate and depict the scientific study of the natural world in their works. This project won the Maurice J. Bric Medal of Excellence in 2019. Focusing on modes of ‘enchantment’, it explores the various spiritual turns of post-Darwinian literature through an attention to tactile modes of nature study. Some of the writers I study in this respect include Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Lawless, W.B. Yeats, W.H. Hudson, D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf.

Selected Publications


  • Rapture’s Road (Jonathan Cape, 2024)  
  • Three Hundred Thousand Kisses: Queer Love in the Ancient World, illustrated by Luke Edward Hall (Penguin, 2023)
  • All Down Darkness Wide (Jonathan Cape, 2022)
  • J.M. Synge: Nature, Politics, Modernism (Oxford University Press, 2021)

  • Buile Suibhne: Poems, with illustrations by Amy Jeffs (Fine Press Poetry, 2021)

  • Tongues of Fire (Jonathan Cape, 2020)

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • Comedy, Misrule and the Irish Revival’, Forum for Modern Language Studies. Vol. 58, No. 3 (2022)

  • ‘Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “Skies of Couple-Colour”’, Victorian Poetry, Vol. 58, No. 4 (2020)

  • ‘Yeats’s Re-Enchanted Nature’, International Yeats Studies, Vol. 2, No. 2 (2018)

  • ‘Dialectics, Irony, and J.M. Synge’s The Well of the Saints’, Review of English Studies, Vol. 68, No. 286 (2017)

  • ‘“A Black Knot”: Temporalities, Modernisation, and the One-Act Plays of J.M. Synge’, English Studies, Vol. 97, No. 8 (2016)

  • ‘“An Initiated Mystic”: Modernization and Occultism in Synge’s The Aran Islands’, New Hibernia Review, Vol. 19, No. 4 (2015)

Edited Volumes

  • with Anna Pilz, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Special Issue: ‘Ecologies of the Atlantic Archipelago’ (May 2021)

  • Ten Poems from the Countryside, ed. with introduction (Candlestick Press, 2020)

Further Publications


Dr. Seán Hewitt
School of English
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin 2


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