Seán Hewitt’s Tongues of Fire

Juliano Zaffino “For woods are forms of grief / grown from the earth” : Seán Hewitt’s debut full-length collection of poems, Tongues of Fire, begins in familiar territory, both figuratively and literally: of the forty exquisite, tender, exultant and exalted poems, fifteen were previously published in his acclaimed pamphlet Lantern, and ten of these iridescent poems appear in … Continue reading Seán Hewitt’s Tongues of Fire


Rochelle Roberts The forest, large-eyed, dank and disordered. Leaves billowing, wanting something likelungs to open up and breathe. They screamtragedies as I walk away from the path into the dark teeth of trees, taste burning, smokerising, mystical, in the shape of ghosts. Myshadow holds my body, the air like grit between the branches. I touch tree trunks and they … Continue reading Burning

On Blanche

There is a painting of a woman called Blanche Wittmann by Brouillet. It’s called ‘A Clinical Lesson at the Salpêtrière’ (1887) and represents an imaginary scene of a contemporary scientific demonstration, based on real life, depicting the eminent French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893) delivering a clinical lecture and demonstration at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris. Blanche, the hysteric in question, is a woman alone in a room full of men and she is both subject and object. I am very uncomfortable looking at this painting and draw on this in my novel, Saving Lucia.