“Raise your hand if you identify as more than one thing.” That’s what Raymond Antrobus instructed us – the people gathered at the Market Place Theatre to hear his poetry – to do.
We all raised our hands, and this was when the theme of my week at the John Hewitt International Summer School really sank in for me.
Officially, the theme was “Facing change, shifting borders and allegiances.” When I first read it, it struck me as a little odd; like something that was better suited to a political conference than a writing school.
But that’s the thing: there’s crossover there.
John Hewitt – the man himself – was as much a political commentator as he was a poet.
The quote from himself that kept popping up in various places was, “Celt, Briton, Roman, Saxon, Dane, and Scot. Time and this island tied in a crazy knot.” Which says so much. About being everything and nothing, anything and something. Being complex. Multivarious. All of the above.