Seán Hewitt has been awarded the 2022 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature
Seán Hewitt has won the €10,000 Rooney Prize, for his haunting, beautiful memoir All Down Darkness Wide.
Since 1976 the prize celebrates an outstanding body of work by an emerging Irish writer under 40 years old.
The prize is administered by the Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre for Creative Writing in the School of English, Trinity.
Met with overwhelming critical praise, Hewitt’s memoir All Down Darkness Wide was published earlier this year by Jonathan Cape (UK and Ireland) and Penguin Press (USA).
Reviewing the collection for Books Ireland, author and academic Eoghan Smith described it as a beautiful book by a writer of outstanding talent.
“Already an accomplished poet, Hewitt is also a gifted prose stylist, one who achieves a rare balance of delicacy and power. He knows the muscle and beauty of image and symbol, which are artfully woven throughout the book, enriching and deepening the themes.”
“The narrative is replete with such melancholy, illuminating, haunting passages. No straightforward conclusions can be drawn from Hewitt’s memoir, but this is often the mark of a great artist.”
Seán Hewitt said he was delighted to be the recipient of the Rooney Prize.
“To be given such a prestigious award for a body of work is galvanising, and I’m very grateful to the judging committee for their close and kind attention, and to Peter Rooney and the Rooney family for their generosity. To look at the previous winners of the award and to see my name amongst theirs is a true honour.”