Wed 20 November 2019
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“Poetry can break down barriers”, says Poet Laureate
Speaking at the launch of the 2013 Laureate Education Project, Carol Ann Duffy said: “Differences in language or culture are often considered to be barriers to communication but the language of poetry is spoken all over the world and all cultures have their own poets and poetry. "

POETRY can help break down the barriers caused by language differences in communities, says the Poet Laureate.

Speaking at the launch of the 2013 Laureate Education Project, Carol Ann Duffy said: “Differences in language or culture are often considered to be barriers to communication but the language of poetry is spoken all over the world and all cultures have their own poets and poetry.

“If children can use the language of poetry to share their languages and cultures, perhaps these barriers can be removed for adults.  Maybe we can learn to appreciate each other’s differences and similarities.”

She added that children are the best poets, as “everything is new and they don’t see barriers in the way that adults sometimes do.”

The project, called Mother Tongue Other Tongue, is run by Manchester Metropolitan University, where Carol Ann is Professor of Poetry.

The project is a multilingual poetry competition which aims to celebrate cultural diversity and the many languages currently spoke in schools across the UK.

It is run by Manchester Metropolitan University and Routes into Languages, in partnership with The Poetry Society, Scottish CILT, The Poetry Book Society and the Poetry Translation Centre.

The project will take the form of a series of regional competitions, which will be split into two parts. “Mother Tongue” will see children who do not have English as a first language write about what a lullaby, poem or song in their native language means to them, while as part of “Other Tongue” pupils will create an original poem in a second language that they are learning at school.

Carol Ann Duffy said, “An important part of my job as Laureate is to try to make poetry accessible to everyone.  This event here at Webster Primary School today, and the event that will take place this afternoon at Manchester Metropolitan University for Year 10 pupils, is our North West regional launch of Mother Tongue, Other Tongue – other launches, featuring other poets will take place all over England, Wales and Scotland over the coming weeks and months.

“Between now and November, when all of these regions will come to MMU for our celebration event, children will be sharing and creating poetry with each other and with their parents, grandparents and teachers.

“I am delighted to be here and I am very grateful for the support of all of the many individuals and organisations who are making it possible for this project to happen.  I look forward to what the talented and inspirational children will share with us.” 

Rules of entry and details of how to submit entries are available on the website, www.mtot.org.uk 

 


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