literature & poetry

Language Shift

Language Shift is an exhibition of work by artist Mary Kuper that respond to the National Poetry Library's collection of poems in European languages.

As languages die out at the rate of one every two weeks, the National Poetry Library has launched its Endangered Poetry Project with the aim of collecting poems in as many of these languages as possible.

For the Language Shift exhibition, Kuper has created visual works which exist as equivalent worlds to the poems they respond to and collectively create a visual map. These new works respond to languages that feature on UNESCO's world map of endangered languages including Breton, Alsatian, Sardinian and Shetlandic.

Also on display are poetry films and poems in translation from the Talking Transformations project, curated by Ricarda Vidal and Manuela Perteghella. Talking Transformations focuses on the idea of 'home' and 'migration' and exists as a series of poems which have been translated across languages.

These poems have also been made into films to show part of the poems' journey through different parts of Europe: the UK, Romania, Poland, France and Spain. All of the films, with further works from the project, are on display.

Dates & times

This event has passed.


National Poetry Library,

Level 5, Blue side, Royal Festival Hall