Deborah Emmanuel is a Singaporean writer, performer and four-time TEDx speaker whose work and dialogue has featured at festivals like Makassar International Writers Festival, Singapore Writers Festival and Queensland Poetry Festival. She is a founder of SPEAK., a monthly curated poetry event that features local and international established and emerging voices. Deborah’s first collection, When I Giggle In My Sleep, was published by Red Wheelbarrow Books early 2015. Her foray into creative non-fiction, Rebel Rites, launched May 2016. Her dub/psy/reggae band Wobology are currently recording their first studio EP Kaleidoskopik and her theatre/TV work has been with companies like TheatreWorks, Disney and Mediacorp Singapore.

“Deborah is undoubtedly one of the greatest natural talents I have seen in the world of poetry. She can turn up and burn the place down in a few short breaths. Some poets need to practice, rehearse, run through lines and warm up before getting onto a stage. Deborah is always a poet, always sincere, always heartbreakingly truthful and effortlessly powerful.”

Deborah Emmanuel is one of the most exciting, challenging voices to have emerged in the Singaporean scene. To listen to her work is to listen to an artist who wears vulnerability like an armour, who uses poetry like courage. Her writing is both tender and tough, both lyrical and unapologetic. She’s one of the most important writers we have for young people who are confronting issues of true diversity, identity and experience. 

“Deb has this instinctive ability to just capture a room, hold it in the palm of her hand and then let us free. And we are all lighter, taking flight from the experience. She’s one of the finest examples of what performance poetry can do for art forms.”