Category: MT Festival

mother tongues festival

Language Unleashed: The Power of Poetry in Embracing Your Mother Tongue

“A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.”- WH. Auden

When it comes to embracing our mother tongue, reading and writing poetry can be transformative. It allows us to explore the sounds and feelings of words and reminds us that language is not just something we learn; it’s something we actively take part in making. 

The art of poetry leads us beyond language and can show that words can mean so much more than they often convey on the page. 
Poetry, often a staple of children’s bookshelves, can also be an effective tool in language learning, especially among children with two or more languages. 

Introduced early and often during a child’s journey with literacy, poetry can mean the difference between just knowing words and leveraging every aspect of the word’s power. It provides a fun and creative outlet with no rules allowing complete freedom for children to find their inner voice and exposes them to new words and ways of thinking about language. 

In association with Languages Connect and Poetry Ireland, we recently launched our 2020 Poetry Competition which was aimed at celebrating the power of poetry and multilingualism.
The competition, which is now closed, was open to aspiring poets aged 8-18 around Ireland and encouraged them to tell the story of “Language and Identity” through poetry. With a whopping 223 entries, the competition was a roaring success and proved that the art of poetry is still very much alive in Ireland today!

At Mother Tongues, we believe that poetry is a universal language in which we are all fluent and can partake in. Whether you are an established poetry lover or just looking to discover something new, we have several unique events during this year’s 2020 Mother Tongues Festival, that celebrate language through the art of poetry. 

Here are just some of the poetic highlights in store for you…


Talkatives: A Rhythm & Poetry Slam About Language & Identity 
When: 22nd February, 5.30pm
Where: Tallaght- Civic Theatre, Main Auditorium
Languages: English
Brought to you by the incredible group “WeareGriot”, Talkatives promises to be an event not to be missed! Described as a “rhythm and poetry slam” the show will connect the art of poetry and rap, with a focus on heritage, language and home. Four poets and four rappers will go head-to-head in a classic poetry SLAM style competition where YOU as the audience becomes a judge. 
Let the battle commence! 
This event is suitable for all ages and tickets cost €5 each. To book your place and learn more click ere


SEE x SEA – Kuona x Gungwa
When: 22nd February, 4 pm
Where: Tallaght, Rua Red
Languages: English, Shono & Igbo
Performed by spoken word artist Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi and singer-songwriter and poet Christie Kandiwa, See x Sea is a performance-poetry and music showcase that celebrates black womanhood.
Through the art of poetry, the show will explore the challenges that exist in Ireland today such as gender equality, migration and multiculturalism.This event is suitable for those aged 12 years + and tickets cost €5 each. Learn more and grab your ticket click here

maria ortega

Multilingual Poetry Creation
When: 22nd February, 2 pm
Where: Tallaght, Rua Red
Languages: English
Led by global traveller & teacher María Ortega García, this Multilingual Poetry Creation workshop will encourage participants to play with poetry in many different languages, from their mother tongue to a language they might be studying. 
Tools and ideas will be provided to ease participants into a self exploratory and creative session of multilingual poetry creation. This event is free and suitable for adults onlyTo learn more click here

marluce lima

Sarau Maré with Marluce Lima
When: 22nd February, 4 pm
Where: Tallaght, Rua Red
Languages: English & Portuguese
Sarua Maré, a traditional intimate gathering of art enthusiasts, was brought to Dublin to help connect, integrate and strengthen the Portuguese-speaking and Brazilian community through art and poetry.
Join Brazilian poet Marluce Lima in a special Sarua Maré and experience how the language of poetry has the power of bringing worlds together by expressing and translating experiences, ways of seeing, memories and diverse feelings. This is a free event suitable for all ages
! Read more here

To learn more about all events mentioned above or to view the full 2020 Mother Tongues Festival programme, please visit or follow us on social accounts. #MTFest2020

Mother Tongues festival shortlisted for prestigious European Award

Mother Tongues Festival 2019Mother Tongues Festival is the only Irish Festival to be shortlisted for the prestigious EFFE Award from the European Festivals Association in collaboration with the European Commission. 
This biennial prize celebrates festivals that demonstrate artistic excellence and have a strong impact and local and regional development of cultural co-operation. Mother Tongues is delighted to join 23 great European Festivals in this strong shortlist. 
“We are so proud to be included in this shortlist. The Mother Tongues Festival has only been running for two years but we have worked hard to create a festival with a wide range of top quality performances and workshops which celebrate the diversity of languages and cultures in this country.
The key to our success is constantly researching the most relevant and inspirational artists who can provide entertaining and informative interactions for our audience”.
The winners will be presented during the EFFE Awards Ceremony in BOZAR, Center for Fine Arts Brussels on 26 September 2019.

EFA President Jan Briers is delighted to see that the EFFE Laureates 2019-2020 represent Europe’s diverse cultural scene and different disciplines from digital arts to opera. These festivals were selected from a list of 715 festivals with the EFFE Label which stands for festivals that are committed to the arts, their communities and demonstrate openness to the world. They are all presented together with more than 2000 festivals on, the interactive search tool for arts festivals in Europe.
Along with the decision of the EFFE International Jury on the EFFE Laureates, the European Festivals Association is glad to announce EFFE’s Audience Choice. The online voting is now open on and allows audiences from all over the world until the EFFE Awards Ceremony on 26 September to cast their vote for their favourite festival from amongst the EFFE Laureates. 

To vote for our festival visit