International, multilingual celebrations and one-off special events to launch new works by Manchester Metropolitan University’s acclaimed staff poets make up Manchester Poetry Library’s exciting spring public programme.

Based in the heart of Manchester, a city renowned for literature and new writing, Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Metropolitan University is the North West’s first of its kind and is open to all.

Alongside its collection of more than 10,000 books and recordings, Manchester Poetry Library also runs an annual free public events programme.

Its 2022 spring programme features events marking World Poetry Day and International Mother Language Day: anniversaries started by UNESCO to celebrate and raise awareness of cultural diversity as through language and literature.

It will support activities which champion some of the Poetry Library’s founding missions – to celebrate poetry in the many languages spoken in Manchester as part of its international status as a UNESCO City of Literature, and to promote poetry for young people in the North West and beyond.

Rachel Beckett, Head of Library Services at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “At Manchester Poetry Library we have developed our languages collection and programme with a wide range of writers, and this spring we are also delighted to welcome Laura Tohe, Basir Sultan Kazmi, Debjani Chatterjee, Simon Fletcher, Lydia Hounat and Chris McCabe. We look forward to introducing new visitors to both the work of these incredible writers, and to the Poetry Library itself.”

Becky Swain, Director of Manchester Poetry Library, said: “We are excited to be part of this brilliant city-wide celebration of languages. We look forward to welcoming everyone to events at the Poetry Library, and to have a chance to contribute new verses to the living Made in Manchester Poem.”

Professor Jess Edwards, Head of English at Manchester Metropolitan said: “The UNESCO celebrations that we’ll be participating in this spring promote linguistic and cultural diversity, but also the capacity of poetry to be a ‘little bridge’ across these differences, promoting knowledge and understanding between individuals, communities and nations.”

On Saturday February 19, Manchester Poetry Library will host three free events for Little Bridges: A Celebration of Poetry for International Mother Language Day. They include a group of internationally renowned ‘Mini Mushaira’ writers who will celebrate the anniversary of their landmark collection, the curation of Manchester Poetry Library’s Imazighen poetry collection, and readings from an international anthology of love poetry from around the world. Guests will also be able to contribute new verses to the living ‘Made in Manchester’ poem, hosted at Manchester Poetry Library, that aims to feature a verse written in each community language spoken in Manchester.

To mark World Poetry Day (Monday March 21), anyone who is interested in, or curious about, poetry is invited to attend ‘Why I no longer write poems’, a special event to launch a new translation of widely revered Georgian poet Diana Anphimiadi’s collection of the same name. Her work, that glides between classic allusions and surreal imagery, has been co-translated for a new edition by Manchester Metropolitan poet Professor Jean Sprackland.

Manchester Poetry Library will also launch this year’s 10th anniversary of Mother Tongue Other Tongue, the Queen’s Anniversary Prize-winning multilingual children’s poetry competition that celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages spoken in schools in the UK. Launched by then Poet Laureate and Creative Director of the University’s Manchester Writing School Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE in 2012, the competition has been endorsed by Malala Yousufzai and has already engaged over 30,000 pupils.

Metamodernism and Contemporary British Poetry (March 31) marks the launch of the new book from Manchester Metropolitan’s Professor Antony Rowland, that discusses contemporary British poetry in the context of metamodernism and whether a new generation of British poets can be accurately defined as metamodernist.

As well as attending these fascinating free events, everyone is now able to become members of the Manchester Poetry Library, which entitles them to take out books and use the library space.

For details on how to join and to book for any of these events, please visit the Manchester Poetry Library website.


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