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CLASS OF 2023: Local poet and novelist books herself an Honorary Award for community learning

Honorary Graduate Emma Purshouse holding her award

A Black Country poet and novelist has booked herself an Honorary Fellowship at the University of Wolverhampton for her contribution to community learning and raising the profile of the Black Country. 

Emma Purshouse was born and raised in Wolverhampton.  She is a freelance writer, published novelist, published poet, workshop leader, and a poetry slam champion who performs regularly at spoken word nights and festivals the length and breadth of the UK, sometimes using her native Black Country dialect. 

Honorary awards are presented by the University of Wolverhampton to people who have made a significant contribution to their field of expertise. 

The first Poet Laureate for the City of Wolverhampton, Emma has made appearances at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ledbury Poet Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, Latitude, Womad and Shambala. 

She makes up one third of the poetry collective ‘Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists’ who run spoken word events, workshops, and poetry projects across the West Midlands, providing platforms for other writers to share their work and have their voices heard. 

Emma has appeared on Radio 3 and Radio 4. In 2017 she won the ‘Making Waves’ international spoken word competition, and in 2021 her poem ‘Catherine Eddowes’ Tin Box as a Key Witness’ came 3rd in the National Poetry Competition. 

She is the current editor of The Blackcountryman magazine. 

Emma said: “It’s so surreal to be receiving an honorary award for the work that I love doing.  I’d just like to thank everyone who has supported me with my writing, and, of course, the University’s Board of Governors and the Academic Board for this recognition.” 

The University’s graduation ceremonies take place at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, from Thursday 14 September to Friday 22 September 2023. 

Graduates are encouraged to keep in touch with the Alumni team and take advantage of a range of benefits and support on offer to them including a discount for Postgraduate study and opportunities to benefit from mentoring, volunteering and career advice.   

For information about courses to study at the University visit the website. 


For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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