International Mother Language Day 2022

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Poet Lemn Sissay.
Poet Lemn Sissay.

International Mother Language Day, online, 17 February–8 March 2022, free entry - Visit now

Manchester City of Literature marks this year’s International Mother Language Day through a number of exciting live and digital events happening between 17 February and 8 March. International Mother Language Day takes place around the world annually on 21 February, but this year in our very own UNESCO Manchester City of Literature the celebrations actually stretch over three weeks.

In 2019 and 2020, over 5,000 people engaged with International Mother Language Day (IMLD) across the city centre and neighbourhoods, with involvement from the likes of bestselling and award-winning poet Lemn Sissay.

Now in their fifth consecutive year in Manchester, the International Mother Language Day celebrations will be bringing together a range of partners, from the Centre for New Writing at University of Manchester to the Manchester Metropolitan campus-based Manchester Poetry Library, only recently opened to the public.

In 2019 and 2020, over 5,000 people engaged with International Mother Language Day (IMLD) across the city centre and neighbourhoods, with involvement from the likes of bestselling and award-winning poet Lemn Sissay MBE, also Chancellor of The University of Manchester, and Anjum Malik, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing (Script and Poetry) at Man Met’s Manchester Writing School. For 2021, Manchester City of Literature (MCoL) network increased the cultural content of the programme and made international links with other UNESCO Creative Cities, particularly through online platforms. The annual events involve libraries, cultural venues, community groups, universities, schools, and individual poets and writers, and represent a celebration of the nearly 200 languages spoken in Manchester and the cultural diversity that is one of our city’s strengths.

For 2022, Anjum Malik  is back, teaming up with the chefs at the award-winning Zouk Tea Bar & Grill for Cooking With Words, a creative feast. Other highlights include family fundays at venues across the city and the opportunity to contribute to the multilingual Made In Manchester poem, which so far features verses in over 70 languages. There will also be the unveiling of the new multilingual City Poets, who will be appointed to produce five original poems on behalf of Manchester during 2022.

All events are free. Dates and times vary - check the Manchester City of Literature website for details.

International Mother Language Day, online

17 February–8 March 2022
Free entry

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