- This event has passed.
Mother Tongues: Multilingual Identities
Thursday 18 January, 6:30 pm—8:00 pm£4 – £6
How does being multilingual shape your sense of identity and your creative process as a writer? Award-winning poet Vahni Capildeo and author Burhan Sönmez discuss the influence of their mother tongues on their life and work with writer-translator Jen Calleja.
Vahni Capildeo is a British Trinidadian writer. She writes that, throughout her childhood, ‘my mother recited poetry by heart (in French, various Caribbean dialects, and English), for the love of it, as did my father (in Hindi and English).’ Her books include Measures of Expatriation (2016), for which she won the Forward Best Collection Prize.
Burhan Sönmez was born in Turkey and grew up speaking Turkish and Kurdish. He worked as a lawyer in Istanbul, and was a founder of the social-activist culture organisation TAKSAV (Foundation for Social Research, Culture and Art). He has published three novels, including Sins & Innocents and Istanbul Istanbul.
Tickets are now on sale for £6 (£4 concessions). Tickets include wine and a donation to English PEN.
This event is organised in partnership with Waterstones Gower Street. It is the first in a series of English PEN events about multilingualism developed in partnership with Oxford University and SOAS as part of the Creative Multilingualism project.