art & exhibitions
literature & poetry

The National Poetry Library Open Day

Part of London Literature Festival

‘Poetry is a universal language in which we can all hope to meet’.

This year’s National Poetry Library Open Day takes its name from a statement made by Ted Hughes at the launch of the Poetry International festival in 1967.

Can poetry be a universal language? Can poems unite people across borders? Is the hope that Hughes had in poetry as a political force as valid today as it was 50 years ago?

Come along to the open day to see themed displays which explore these questions. Find out about how poets have explored poetry as a visual language; the poetic roots of grime music; the endangered languages of indigenous cultures and the Austrian sound poet Ernst Jandl, who performed at the first Poetry International festival in 1971.

The open day will premier a new collaborative work between Iris Colomb and Eta Dahlia, Semechki, which was made using a process of translating sound into physical gestures on the page.

Come along to the library at 8pm to hear commissioned poets Victoria Adukwei Bulley and Hannah Silva respond to the displays and themes of A Universal Language.

Dates & times

This event has passed.


Royal Festival Hall
St Paul's Roof Pavilion, Level 6, Blue Side