Emma Purshouse is a freelance writer and performance poet. She is a poetry slam champion and performs regularly at spoken word nights and festivals far and wide, often using her native Black Country dialect in her work. Her appearances include, The Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Much Wenlock Poetry Festival, Solfest, The Edinburgh Fringe, Latitude, WOMAD, and Shambala. She has supported the likes of John Hegley, Holly McNish and Carol Ann Duffy.
Emma has undertaken poetry residencies for Wolverhampton Libraries, The New Vic Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent and The International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge. She writes for both children and adults. In 2016, Emma’s first collection of children’s poetry was produced by Fair Acre Press. This dyslexia-friendly book is aimed at 6 to 11 year-olds and won the poetry section of the Rubery Book Award in 2016. Her most recent publication is ‘Close’ (Offa’s Press, 2018) which was shortlisted for the same award in 2019.
In 2017 Emma won the ‘Making Waves’ international spoken word competition which was judged by Luke Wright. Her first novel was short-listed for the Mslexia unpublished novel prize. She was one of the writers chosen for the ‘Common People’ anthology of working class writing in 2019. Emma is currently the Poet Laureate for the City of Wolverhampton.
“When Multistory approached me to ask if I wanted to write some poems for the ‘Stories in Isolation’ project I was really keen to get involved. It is such a difficult time for so many people and the chance to express what you are feeling, observing, and going through is important…that goes for everybody I feel, not just writers and artists. Even though I’m writing from the confines of house and garden (I am lucky to be locked-down somewhere that has one), I feel that creating pieces in this way has still enabled me to engage with the wider world. I was also very grateful for work during this time of lock-down.” – Emma Purshouse
Listen to Emma’s poems on the Stories in Isolation playlist on our Soundcloud: