‘It’s Honorary, Bab’
by Emma Purshouse
But, hey ho / this time we win, / the UK’s most miserable. / Get in!
Emma Purshouse was born in Wolverhampton, and is a freelance writer, novelist and performance poet. Since 2007 she has consistently defied convention and performed in a dazzling array of roles, from actress to recording artist, with multiple publications across countless formats. She is currently one third of the massively talented and highly respected Black Country-based poetry collective, Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists.
Also, this isn’t a pamphlet, and I’d be doing it a massive disservice by even considering it as one. This is a story unlike any other you will ever read: one of circumstance, opportunity, and how one woman rose to the challenge of Lockdown and summarily overcame every single problem she was presented with. Oh, and they also win SPOILER in the SPOILER… but I’m getting ahead of the plot…
What’s in it for Me?
The setup is incredibly simple: Emma lands what would be for most poets their dream job: Poet Laureate of your home town. Except, less than three months into her tenure, COVID arrives and spoils the party… except, Emma won’t let it. I’m not giving anything away here when I tell you that the journey from start to finish is a hugely, superlatively inspiring and heart lifting experience to read about, both in poetry and prose. In fact, the combination of the two in Purshouse’s superbly detailed yet practical and earthy style, makes this one of the most enjoyable books I have EVER read.
There are those who will tell you that explaining your own poetic output somehow devalues the significance of its impact. Those people are foolish. I would urge those people to seek this book out, as it proves a potent point. Emma’s narrative is no-nonsense, compelling, and ultimately hugely satisfactory. Like everybody else who lived through the horror of COVID and was able to thrive, of which there were many, every poem paints a picture of community as the foundation not just for healing, but for continued and sustainable growth. The prose explanation grants these stanzas even more power than they would hold alone.
From Wolverhampton a Winning City through For the gifts that are given all the way to Make this Christmas Matter (which was subsequently also made into a short film) the narrative shines bright, brave and strong. There’s not one duff word in any of this, and it’s criminal that more people haven’t read it. I hope, as a result, this review might encourage a few more people to be inspired by Emma as I have been. A bigger heart and a brighter soul you will be lucky to find anywhere in the poetic world, and it’s a reminder that hard work will bring you the joy of the unexpected surprise if you open yourself to possibility.
Boundary Way Plots for the imagery
Telephony for the inference
Light House, Camera, Action for the impact
Any Other Business
This book has directly inspired me to try a narrative journey with poetic asides myself. I’ve no idea whether it will work or not, but Emma’s living proof that if you want things to happen, you can do a lot worse than just do the work. There’s a dazzling range of acknowledgements at the end of the book, too, and I spent a happy couple of hours shoving URL’s into my browser and looking at the results.
You will have to go a long way to find a story and poetry as enjoyable and compelling as this, and with such a brilliant real world backdrop to accompany it. PLEASE BUY A COPY.
Buy from the Poet HERE
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