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Heartfelt Personal Truths, Honestly Told – guest blog from Emma Decent

July 3, 2012

Today’s guest blog is from Emma Decent, local performance poet. Here Emma shares a little about her inspiration for her new solo show,  My Heart is a Place Where Flowers Grow, which you ca catch on Saturday (7 July) teatime in the White Lion, Hebden Bridge….

I’ve been doing performance poetry and bits of theatre for about 5 years now, and last year I decided to take a ‘leap of faith’ by developing a solo show to run at a few festivals and see what happened. 
My work tends to be inspired by things quite personal to me. I believe most people’s private experiences are universal. People seem to be able to relate to heartfelt personal truths, honestly told. I think it’s something about saying things everyone feels but few talk about.
So in the show I do pieces about relationships, my family, walking the dog! Also material from a world trip I went on nearly 2 years ago that was partly inspired by my father’s death (he was a great traveller). It is also about finding out that he had had a child I’d never known anything about. That was quite a can-of-worms, and sent me on journeys at all levels! I’m fascinated by what had been going on in his head all those years when he never met his first child or once talked about it. 
So, needless to say I wrote about it and part of the piece I am working on about that subject is in this show, which includes some slideshows and film.
I hope people enjoy it. Even though on one level you are up there on your own, talking away, I tend to see performing spoken word as an exchange, a communication. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t.
A little more about the show:
Emma Decent has lived in Todmorden for 8 years and is now becoming known as the popular host of new spoken word event ‘Magic Words’ which she launched in March at Bramsche. “It has been a roaring success from word go!” said Emma. “Every month it has been packed.”

The monthly event features guest poets and writers plus a popular open mic section. Emma is not quite sure where the ‘magic’ comes from for – “whatever it is, it is great to be at the heart of something that is really hitting the spot for a lot of people,” she says. “It takes a lot to get 50-60 people out in Tod on a Tues night, but we’ve done it! We’ve had some great guests, mostly locally based – John Siddique, Clare Shaw, Char March, Cayn White, Freda Davis, to name but a few, plus there’s an open mic and that’s always very popular. There is a real buzz about it.”
Magic Words continues, but for those who want to know more about Emma’s work, she is doing a solo show of her unique performance poetry and prose as part of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival Fringe at the White Lion on Sat 7 July at 5pm – My heart is a place where flowers grow. She performed the show 3 times last year, twice in Manchester and at the Ilkley Literature Festival Fringe where it was one of the best-selling fringe events of the year and got rave reviews.  
One of the pieces included in the show is a new piece she is working on, inspired by a family secret which was revealed on her father’s death 3 years ago. “My uncle told me that I had a sister I never knew anything about. It was a complete shock.”
The discovery of the secret took Emma on a journey she never expected – tracking down her newly discovered sister, and making a journey around the world following one her father had made almost 60 years earlier in an attempt to ‘put herself in his shoes’ after he fled the UK soon after his first child – who he never met – was born.
All this became the inspiration for a new piece of theatre which she is in the process of developing and which she will be performing an extract of at her show My heart is a place where flowers grow next Saturday at the White Lion which includes multimedia elements of film and slideshows.
Emma has been writing and performing her work in the north west and West Yorkshire for several years and has been gaining a reputation as someone to watch out for. J. A. Brunning from Lancashire Writing Hub: ‘Emma Decent is a writer and performer with the rare quality of captivating her audience and never letting them go, her work haunting the emotions and the imagination long after the performance has finished. She wowed our live audience on both occasions she performed for us, bringing us all subtly but irrevocably into her genuinely human poetic work. Her fledgling multi-media piece was deeply evocative, weaving poetic responses to her journey in search of her father through the audience which continued to reverberate through the soul for a long time afterwards. Subtle, powerful, literary magic.’ Don’t miss her at Hebden Bridge.
My Heart is a Place Where Flowers Grow
5pm – 6pm, The White Lion, Hebden Bridge
Tickets: £4
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