New poetry recited in Manchester’s iconic doorways is planned to mark World Poetry Day, followed by a global digital tour of its partner literary cities.

The Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester City of Literature have commissioned new pieces on the theme of the door as a portal, and a number of talented poets from the region will be filmed reciting them in well-known Manchester doorways to celebrate the city’s vibrant poetry scene.

The film – released on World Poetry Day (March 21) – will also feature a new reading from poet, artist and video filmmaker Imtiaz Dharker, who has been asked to write a series of poems to celebrate the opening of the Manchester Poetry Library.

A number of Manchester Metropolitan University’s internationally renowned poets will also be reading their work on social media in the lead-up to the day.

Held annually, World Poetry Day celebrates one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity.

Becky Swain, Director of the Manchester Poetry Library, said: “Working in partnership with Manchester City of Literature, we are delighted to be part of World Poetry Day. We hope you enjoy these stunning new poems on film that shine a light on what it means to be human at these times.

“In this extraordinary year, we have seen how poetry, more than ever, has been a powerful way of connecting our common humanity across the world. Our WRITE where we are NOW public poetry archive also continues to grow, with submissions arriving at the Poetry Library from far and wide.”

As a member of Manchester City of Literature, the Manchester Poetry Library has also invited its partner cities in the Creative Cities network to celebrate its opening by sending books, poems and photographs to make up a digital exhibition – forming an introduction to their city through poets’ eyes. This will go live following World Poetry Day.

Manchester Poetry Library will finally open its doors later this year, when COVID restrictions allow, as only the fourth such library in the UK. Open to staff, students, and the public, it builds on the University’s outstanding reputation as a home of poetry and creative writing.

It will offer a collection of contemporary poetry, from books to recordings, in multiple languages, as well as a home for a co-curated public programme that celebrates language in all its diversity and where the next generation of writers and readers are made.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has developed a strong digital presence, hosting events, community initiatives and creative online projects to celebrate occasions such as World Poetry Day and February’s International Mother Language Da


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