Poet Helen Mort.
Poet Helen Mort.

International Mother Language Day 2018

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor

The brand-new team behind Manchester’s UNESCO City of Literature joins forces with The Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University and the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing at the Martin Harris Centre, Comma Press and the Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival, and publishers Commonword at Elizabeth Gaskell House for the first in its series of events – this one celebrating International Mother Language Day, which is officially marked globally on Wednesday 21 February.

Proceedings get underway on Tuesday evening with Man Met’s first-ever Urdu poetry symposium, or Mushaira, featuring Zahid Hussain, Anjum Malik and Manchester Muslim Writers. Urdu is represented again on Wednesday lunchtime by Shamshad Khan, joined by fellow Commonword poets, Jamaican and Patois speaker Shirley May and Farsi writer Fereshteh Mozzafarri. Refugee Tales in Rochdale sees Ian Duhig, David Herd and Anna Pincus read from the second in the Comma anthology series, while Ugandan novelist and short story writer Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is in conversation with Ellah Wakatama Allfrey at the University to round off the day itself. On Thursday, Man Met is hosting poetry workshops with Mary Jean Chan, André Naffis-Sahely, David Shook and the Poetry Translation Centre during the day then an evening of their readings, introduced by Helen Mort. The following Monday, we visit Japan via the Centre for New Writing, which welcomes Mariko Nagai and Richard Lloyd Parry.

Things to do right now

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Mandy Barker: Hong Kong Soup at CFCCA Manchester
Exhibitions 12 October 2018–20 January 2019, FREE

Mandy Barker: Hong Kong Soup at CFCCA

Charwei Tsai: Bulaubulau at CFCCA
Exhibitions 12 October 2018–20 January 2019, FREE

Charwei Tsai: Bulaubulau at CFCCA

ReFrame at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 20 October 2018–20 January 2019, FREE

ReFrame at Manchester Art Gallery

Cinema 7 December 2018–20 January 2019, from £5

Slapstick Film Season at HOME

HOME at Christmas
Festivals 13 December 2017–20 January 2019,

HOME at Christmas

PUSH Festival 2019 at HOME
Festivals 11–26 January 2019,

PUSH Festival 2019 at HOME

Exhibitions 12 January–1 February 2019, FREE

Motion Sickness at STOCK Gallery

The Producers - A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange
Music 30 November 2018–2 February 2019, from £10.00

The Producers – A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange

Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth
Families 19 January–9 February 2019, FREE

Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth