SOAS University of London

International Call-Out for Endangered Poetry

16 February 2018

Since last year, the SOAS World Languages Institute is collaborating with Southbank Centre's National Poetry Library to collect and preserve poems in endangered languages.

A call for the submission of poetry in endangered languages (endangered poetry) went out and poets and aficionados have submitted their works and poems ever since.

International Mother Language Day is taking place on the 21st of February and it is time that we extend the call-out to speakers of languages other than English worldwide. Moreover, many endangered languages are not written and so we want to remind the public that they can submit audio or video recordings of their verbal art. Our initiative aims to make the voices of poets and verbal artists heard and make it accessible to a wider audience.

How can you help? SOAS is home to staff and students speaking more than 100 languages and we asking you to be part of our efforts and to document poetry world wide. Spread the word and send out our call to friends and colleagues in the language which can reach poets, verbal artists and aficionados. Help us translate the call into as many languages as possible.Translate the call into a language we do not have online yet and a voucher for a coffee and a muffin will be yours! Get in touch at

Please, select a language to read the international call and spread the word!

Oh! And we have it in English too:

The Endangered Poetry Project

Languages are dying at the rate of one every two weeks. Of the 7,000 languages spoken in the world over half of these are endangered. By the end of the century half the world’s current languages will be lost which will also mean the loss of unique poetic traditions.

Southbank Centre's National Poetry Library, London, believes it is vital that an attempt is made to capture this poetic activity for future generations which is why they have launched the Endangered Poetry Project.

Do you know a poem in an endangered language? If so then they would like to hear from you! Through poems submitted by the public the library we will build a collection of works, providing a resource for those interested in reading poems in languages that are under threat.

How can you help?

If you know a poem in an endangered language you can submit this to the library through the form on the Southbank Centre website.