Common People at Birmingham Literature Festival – Featuring Stuart Maconie, Lynne Voyce, Emma Purshouse, and Lisa Blower

Date: 10th October 2019

Time: 6.00pm

Location: Elgar Concert Hall, Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT

Common People is a collection of essays, poems and memoir written by working-class writers.

These are narratives rich in barbed humour, reflecting the depth and texture of working class life. The anthology brings together 33 established and emerging writers who invite you to experience the world through their eyes.

Join anthology contributors Stuart Maconie, Lynne Voyce, Emma Purshouse and Lisa Blower for a discussion about their stories and what it means to be a working class writer.

Written in celebration, not apology, this anthology gives voice to perspectives that are increasingly absent from our books and newspapers. Common People ensures they are heard loud and clear.

Chaired by Jonathan Davidson.

About the speakers:

Lisa Blower is the author of the short story collection It’s Gone Dark Over Bill’s Mother’s (Myriad 2019) and a contributor to Common People edited by Kit de Waal. Her fiction has appeared in The Guardian, Comma Press anthologies, The New Welsh Review, The Luminary, Short Story Sunday, and on Radio 4. Her debut novel Sitting Ducks was shortlisted for the inaugural Arnold Bennett Prize 2017 and longlisted for The Guardian Not the Booker 2016.

Stuart Maconie is a writer, broadcaster and journalist specialising in British social history, landscape, politics and pop culture. He currently hosts shows across the BBC radio networks and is president of the Ramblers, hoping to encourage that august organisation to stay true to its roots in working-class dissent.

Lynne Voyce grew up on a council estate in Ellesmere Port; a place full of larger-than-life characters, tall tales, and the odd dodgy deal. Inspired by her dad buying The Literary Classics Collection with some of his redundancy money, she studied English at the University of Leeds, and went on to take a teaching qualification and then a postgraduate degree in educational psychology. Lynne now works in an inner-city comprehensive school in Birmingham. She has published more than fifty individual short stories, won a number of literary competitions, and, in December 2015, published her first story collection, Kirigami, with Ink Tears Press. She is currently working on her first novel.

Emma Purshouse left school in the early 1980s at the age of fifteen, initially working on various government schemes interspersed with bouts of extreme unemployment. She gave education another go as a mature student, attaining a BA from Wolverhampton University and an MA in creative writing from Manchester Met.
For the last twelve years Emma has been making a living as a writer and performance poet. Her passion is writing about the working-class communities that she has lived in, often making use of Black Country dialect within her work. In 2017 she won the international Making Waves spoken-word poetry competition judged by Luke Wright. Emma co-runs a successful spoken-word night in the Black Country.
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The Ironbridge Festival Slam

Date: 28th September 2019

Time: 8.00pm

Location: Yurt in the Park, Dale End Park, Ironbridge

Join Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists for the Ironbridge Festival Poetry Slam. Dave Pitt, Emma Purshouse and Steve Pottinger MC as 15 poets go head to head in a live poetry competition. Expect fast-moving, high-energy entertainment. Expect whooping, cheering, and hollering as the judges make decisions based upon the quality of the writing, the performance skills of the poet and the audience response! Winner to get a paid gig at next year’s festival. Let battle commence.

If you would like to take part as a competitor please contact pandemonialists@gmail.com for more information.

This event maybe contain adult language and subject matter.

Tickets are £5
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Script Stuff – Leamington Spa – Featured artist Emma Purshouse

Date: 25th September 2019

Time: 7.30pm - 10.00pm

Location: Temperance, 33 Bath Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 3AF

Come listen, read, perform. Poetry does not conform.

Come and share your rhymes and your lines with some poetry good times! We have Special Guests and plenty of Open Mic spots, it's a safe space for newcomers to have a go and a great platform for established poets to share their work. Anyone could be chosen as "Poet of the Month", - it's the poet our judges want to see and hear more from, and the winner gets their photo on the website and their own feature slot at the next event. Added to this of course we always welcome a large number of the poetry-curious - people who just want to have an interesting evening out and simply come along to listen.

Special guests for 2019:
January 30th Nona Wyld
February 27th Ruth Stacey
March 27th Daron Carey
April 24th Amy Kinsman
May 29th Ravelle-Sade
June 26th Willis the Poet
July 24th Sami the Bard of Northampton
August 28th Scarlett Ward
September 25th Emma Purshouse
October 30th Jake Wild Hall
November 27th Amanda Baker
December 18th Indigo Douglas

Temperance is Leamington's coolest and newest Art Cafe and Performance Venue, they always have loads of stuff going on. It's on Bath Street, just down past the Parish Church and there's plenty of parking nearby. Scriptstuff Poetry is there on the last Wednesday of every month.


Ironbridge Festival – Steve Pottinger and Emma Purshouse

Date: 14th September 2019

Time: 8.00pm

Location: Moon Gazing Hare. Dale End Park, Ironbridge.

Emma Purshouse & Steve Pottinger have performed their work all over Britain in the last few years and will delight audiences with their wit and down to earth take on life. This is performance poetry at its best!
£5 per ticket.

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Apples and Snakes’ Bright Smoke

Date: 12th September 2019

Time: 7.30pm

Location: Susie's Cafe Bar, The Other Place, 22 Southern Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BH

Join some of the country’s top poets and performers for our free monthly poetry event. Bright Smoke is a poetry night with a difference. Live and entertaining, creative and raw with an opportunity to take to the stage and share your own work.

Performances will take place from 7.30pm in Susie’s Cafe Bar, located on the ground floor foyer of The Other Place (please note the start time will be earlier during our Festival Season).

Performers’ work is unedited, and may contain strong language and adult themes. Open mic slots will be allocated on the night and you can sign up on the door.

Bright Smoke is brought to you in collaboration with Apples & Snakes.

Thursday 11 July, Headliner Dizraeli with support from Amara Amaryah
Thursday 8 August, Headliner Kareem Parkins-Brown with support from Aliyah Begum
Thursday 12 September, Headliner Emma Purshouse with support from Karishma Sangtani

Free, no booking required


The P Word: Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists

Date: 4th September 2019

Time: 7.30pm

Location: The Brewhouse Arts Centre and Cafe Bar, Union Street, Burton upon Trent DE14 1AA

Featuring Emma Purshouse, Steve Pottinger and Dave Pitt. Individually they are headliners at events across the UK, working together they have created an acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe show, a “Black Country Broadsheet” and run highly successful poetry nights in the West Midlands.

Emma and Steve both have a background of performance poetry. Steve’s fifth book a fine, fine place was published two years ago. Emma is in great demand as a tutor and workshop leader for adults and children. She is widely published on CD and in print, including The Nailmakers’ Daughters and (for children) I Once Knew A Poem Who Wore A Hat.

Dave came into poetry from stand-up, from which he brings immaculate timing and strong sense of irony. His book Poetry is Jazz, Welcome to Punk Rock will be available at the event.

Price: £7
Box Office & Information: 01283 508100


Yes, We Cant

Date: 1st September 2019

Time: 7.00pm - 9.30pm

Location: The Pretty Bricks, 5 John Street, Walsall. WS2 8AF

Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists present their ever popular spoken word night.

This month the featured artist is Ben Davis, with Jane James launching her first pamphlet in the ‘Half Ender’ slot.

This is a pay as you feel event.  Come along and join us.  To reserve a place please email poetsprattlerspandemonialists@gmail.com

6 open mic slots available in advance/4 on the door.  Strict 5 minutes.



Date: 23rd August 2019

Time: 1.20pm

Location: Shambala Festival, Northamptonshire.

Emma Purshouse will be appearing at the Phantom Laundry on Friday 23rd August 2019 at 1.20pm.


Edinburgh Festival – Loud Poets

Date: 8th August 2019

Time: 9.30

Location: Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh

Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists guest at the Loud Poets event.



Start date: 25th July 2019

End date: 28th July 2019

Emma Purshouse will be appearing at the Hip Yap Poetry Shack over the festival weekend.