African Poetry & Mother Tongues with Victoria Adukwei Bulley

12 Aug 2021

Regular hours

Thu, 12 Aug
18:00 – 19:30

Timezone: Europe/London

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Hosted by: Peer

Register in advance to join YouTube live stream – or message to join the live audience.

Join PEER via live stream for a screening of poet Victoria Adukwei Bulley’s Mother Tongues - a series of four films celebrating intergenerational poetry, translation, and the work of contemporary black poets.


This event will take place at Shoreditch Library in front of a small audience and will be live streamed via YouTube. Please register here for the YouTube live stream and email if you are interested in attending in person.

Join us for a screening of Victoria Adukwei Bulley’s MOTHER TONGUES, a series of four films celebrating intergenerational poetry, translation and the work of contemporary black poets.

The screenings will be interspersed with Q&A sessions with Victoria and a series of readings by African poets, including British Nigerian poet Theresa Lola, of their own work and of poems in the Swirl of Words / Swirl of Worlds poetry book. This event will be chaired by poet, playwright and performer, Inua Ellams. 

This event is part of Swirl of Words / Swirl of Worlds , a multi-platform and multi-media arts programme celebrating Hackney’s ethnic diversity and exploring how language shapes and informs cultural and individual identities. Over the summer, Hoxton Street neighbours PEER and Shoreditch Library will be the two main venues for a project that intersects visual arts with the written, spoken and printed word. The project has three main project strands:

  • A poetry publication consisting of over 100 poems, one to represent each language spoken in Hackney. The poems appear in their original language and their English translation. 3,000 copies of this book are now available for free to Hackney Library Members.

  • A multi-media group exhibition at both PEER and Shoreditch Library exploring themes of cultural identity, endangered and lost languages, modern communication, literary history and poetry.

  • A 10-week public programme of live and virtual events and workshops.

Victoria Adukwei Bulley is a poet, writer and artist. An alumna of the Barbican Young Poets, her work has appeared widely in publications including The Poetry Review, the London Review of Books and Chicago Review, in addition to featuring on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour. She was the recipient of a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award for promising UK poets under 30 in 2018, and has held residencies internationally in the US, Brazil, and the V&A Museum in London. Victoria is the director of MOTHER TONGUES, an intergenerational poetry, film and translation project centering the indigenous language heritages of black poets, supported by Arts Council England and visual arts charity Autograph. She is a Complete Works Poetry and Instituto Sacatar fellow, and is a member of the Poetry Translation Centre’s advisory board. Her debut pamphlet, Girl B, was published as part of the 2017 New Generation African Poets series. In 2019, she was awarded a TECHNĒ scholarship for fully-funded doctoral research at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Inua Ellams is an internationally touring poet, playwright and performer. He is an ambassador for the Ministry of Stories and his published books of poetry include Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars, Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales, The Wire-Headed Heathen, #Afterhours and The Half-God of Rainfall – an epic story in verse. His first play The 14th Tale was awarded a Fringe First at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival and his fourth Barber Shop Chronicles sold out two runs at England’s National Theatre. He recently completed his first full poetry collection The Actual, is currently touring An Evening With An Immigrant and working on several commissions across stage and screen. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Theresa Lola is a British Nigerian Poet. She was joint winner of the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. She has held poetry teaching residencies at Bethlem Museum of the Mind and Wellcome Collection. She is currently studying for an MSt in Creative Writing at University of Oxford.


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