Deborah Emmanuel (b.1988) is a Singaporean poet, performer, and four-time TEDx speaker. She has featured at festivals like the Makassar International Writers Festival, Barcelona Poesia and the Queensland Poetry Festival. Her work has shown in places like New York City, Berlin, Kathmandu, London and Melbourne, and she has toured alongside poets like Sarah Kay and Anthony Anaxagorou.
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 in 2016. When not making poems, Deborah makes music with Wobology, The Ditha Project, Mantravine and Kiat, performs on stage and screen and facilitates workshops. Her most recent work experiments with moving poetry into the physical body and the practice of intuitive illustration.
“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.”
– LUKA LESSON
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.
– POOJA NANSI