Past Events

Pass the Poetry Parcel

Date: 18th March 2020

Time: 7.30pm - 10.00pm

Location: Great Bridge Library, Sheepwash Lane, Tipton DY4 7JF


Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists (aka Emma Purshouse, Dave Pitt and Steve Pottinger), perform a free-ranging set, showcasing their own individual styles and poetry. Sit back and enjoy as they pass the poetry parcel between themselves, taking it in turn to captivate you with their words.

FREE event.

Steve Pottinger and Emma Purshouse at The Roebuck, London

Date: 4th March 2020

Time: 7.30pm - 10.00pm

Location: The Roebuck, 50 Great Dover Street, London SE1 4YG.

Emma Purshouse and Steve Pottinger will be performing at The Roebuck, in London. This is a pay as you feel event.

Steve Pottinger and Emma Purshouse at the Walrus, Brighton

Date: 3rd March 2020

Time: 7.30pm - 10.00pm

Location: The Walrus, 10 Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AD.

Emma Purshouse and Steve Pottinger will be performing at The Walrus in Brighton. This is a pay as you feel event.

Yes, We Cant

Date: 1st March 2020

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.
Our March headliner is Manjit Sahota (one of the founder members of Poets against Racism). As ever the night is a pay as you feel event.

The ‘alf ender slot will be taken by Pat Edwards who will be reading from her new publication.

10 open mic slots available. Each slot is a strict five minutes. Six slots are bookable in advance. Four available on the door. Priority given to people who might not have read at one of our events before, or folk who haven’t read recently. Get in touch for more information or to bagsie a place.

Poetry Plus Pizza

Date: 27th February 2020

Time: 7.00pm - 9.00pm

Location: Kingswood Trust, Holyhead Road, Kingswood, near Albrighton, Wolverhampton WV7 3AP

Kingswood Trust present – Poetry plus Pizza event (for ages 15+)

Be inspired by our night walk, get creative and cook your own pizza in our cob oven.

No experience needed.

Haiku led by Poet Laureate for the City of Wolverhampton – Emma Purshouse

Kingswood Trust, Holyhead Road, Kingswood, near Albrighton, Wolverhampton WV7 3AP

Tel: 01902 558132 Visit the website at

Registered charity number – 1149688 KINGSWOOD TRUST

£9/ £8 members. Cob oven cooked pizza and a drink included. Tickets available through Eventbrite.


Date: 25th February 2020

Time: 7.00pm - 9.30pm

Location: Arena Theatre, Wulfruna Street, Wolvehampton. WV1 1SE.

Open mic night MCd by Emma Purshouse, Dave Pitt and Steve Pottinger. All welcome. In the first half people read creative writing written on a theme. This month it’s ‘Who Am I’. In the second half anything goes. Come along and share your work.

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle Writing Workshop

Date: 2nd February 2020

Time: 1.00pm - 3pm

Location: Gathering Space, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton

Join writers and performance poets Emma Purshouse and Steve Pottinger in a workshop designed to get you creating and writing poetry that makes use of newspaper stories, magazine articles and old books. Have a go at a series of writing activities including the creation of redacted poems. No experience necessary.

Price (inc. booking fee): £11.37

Common People – panel discussion about working class writing

Date: 2nd February 2020

Time: 5.30pm - 6.30pm

Location: The Georgian Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton

Where are all the working-class writers? Right here. With the anthology Common People, editor Kit de Waal set out to celebrate diversity of working class lives, pushing beyond the stereotypical portrayals of the underprivileged and dispossessed. Join City of Wolverhampton Poet Laureate Emma Purshouse and writers featured in the anthology for a panel discussion, including Paul Allen, Lynne Voyce, and Lisa Blower.

It is estimated that almost half of all authors, writers and translators in the UK come from professional, middle-class backgrounds, compared with just ten per cent of those with parents in routine or manual labour, and the average income for an author in 2017 was £10,500 – well below the minimum wage. This anthology gives voice to perspectives that are increasingly absent from our books and newspapers. Common People ensures they are heard loud and clear.

Paul Allen grew up in relative poverty on a large council estate, and left school at fifteen to be a bricklayer like his dad before him, and loved it. Paul has played in bands and ridden motorcycles all his life, and freelances, between building jobs, road-testing bikes for a monthly motorcycling magazine. Using that experience, he applied for a degree in journalism at the University of the West of England, swapping on to the creative-writing course, where his tutor has described his writing as ‘experienced and emotionally intelligent’.

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.

Lisa Blower won the Guardian’s National Short Story competition in 2009, was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award in 2013, has been Highly Commended and longlisted for the Bridport Prize for three consecutive years, and was one of just four UK authors longlisted for The Sunday Times Short Story Award 2018. Her debut novel Sitting Ducks (Fair Acre Press) was shortlisted for the inaugural Arnold Bennett Prize 2017 and longlisted for the Guardian Not the Booker 2016. She is currently touring the UK with her debut short-story collection It’s Gone Dark Over Bill’s Mother’s. Lisa is a creative writing lecturer at Wolverhampton University.

Emma Purshouse was born in Wolverhampton, and is a freelance writer and performance poet. She is currently the City of Wolverhampton Poet Laureate.

Emma is a poetry slam champion (including the Shambala Festival Slam 2018) and she 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, Latitude, and WOMAD. She has supported the likes of John Hegley, Holly McNish and Carol Ann Duffy.

Emma writes for both children and adults. In 2016, her 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), this was also shortlisted for the Rubery Book Award 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. Her second novel was shortlisted for Penguin Random House a mentoring programme. Emma was also one of the writers chosen by Kit De Waal for the Common People anthology in 2019.

Price (inc. booking fee): £11.37

Yes, We Cant

Date: 2nd February 2020

Time: 7.00pm - 9.30pm

Location: Light House Media Centre, Fryer Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT

Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists bring their regular Walsall poetry night over to Wolverhampton for one night only. An energetic and entertaining evening, with a headline set from a guest poet, and an ‘Alf Ender slot for a local West Midlands poet. Open-mic spots are also available on the door, but please arrive early to book one! These will be a strict five minutes.

Price: Donations

Wolverhampton Literature Festival Poetry Competition Winners Event

Date: 2nd February 2020

Time: 3.30pm - 4.30pm

Location: Contemporary Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton.

The Wolverhampton Literature Festival poetry competition has been a huge success over the past two years, attracting hundreds of entries from the UK and abroad. Winning and shortlisted poets are invited to come along to the award ceremony, receive their complementary copy of the anthology, and read their poem. This is a free event, and all are welcome.

Price: Free