Manchester Poetry Library opened its doors to the public in September 2021, establishing itself as the first public poetry library in the North West. Part of Manchester Metropolitan University, the library is open to the public and seeks to make poetry more accessible and engaging for all.
The library’s mission is to nurture and develop all those interested in and inspired by poetry – from schoolchildren to professional poets. Its public programme of readings and workshops runs alongside residencies and other events to provide a rich resource for anyone to enjoy.
The Poetry Library is designed to celebrate the diversity of the city, featuring written poetry and recordings in a wide range of languages and dialects. As the library continues to evolve, more languages will be added to the collection, aiming to reflect the 200+ languages spoken in Greater Manchester.
The Poetry Library also includes a dedicated children’s collection and works with the Manchester Children’s Book Festival to offer events, activities and projects for young adults, children, families and schools.
Currently, the library’s collection features more than 10,000 poetry books and recordings, organised in a digital catalogue for visitors to browse. The core collection consists of late-19th, 20th and 21st-century poetry, as well as journals, audio recordings and films.
The library is the latest addition to Manchester’s literary scene, building on the city’s cultural heritage as a UNESCO City of Literature. It forms part of the university’s new creative hub for Arts and Humanities, which is also home to the Manchester Writing School (led by former UK Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy), the Language Centre, and a 180-seat auditorium for Manchester School of Theatre productions. This modern venue is connected to the Grade II listed Art School Building – containing The Holden Gallery – and provides additional space to exhibit items from the Man Met’s vast Special Collections.