Kate Tempest is one of the most exciting and innovative performers to have emerged in spoken-word poetry in many years; her dramatic poem Brand New Ancients won the prestigious Ted Hughes Prize for innovation in poetry. Tempest's wholly unique blend of street poetry, rap and storytelling - combined with the spellbinding delivery of an open-air revivalist - has won her legions of followers all over the UK. Her remarkable stage presence is wholly audible in this poem, a spoken story written to be told with live music. Brand New Ancients is the tale of two families and their intertwining lives, set against the background of the city and braided with classical myth. Here, Tempest shows how the old myths still live on in our everyday acts of violence, bravery, sacrifice and love - and that our lives make tales no less dramatic and powerful than those of the old gods.
Kate Tempest's first full-length collection for Picador is an ambitious, multi-voiced work based around the mythical figure of Tiresias. This four-part work follows him through his transformations from child, man and woman to blind prophet; through this structure, Tempest holds up a mirror to contemporary life in a direct and provocative way rarely associated with poetry. A vastly popular and accomplished performance poet, Tempest commands a huge and dedicated following on the performance and rap circuit. Brand New Ancients, also available from Picador, won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry and has played to packed concert halls on both sides of the Atlantic.
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WINNER OF THE BOOKS ARE MY BAG BREAKTHROUGH AUTHOR AWARD
Kate Tempest's critically acclaimed debut novel, the literary companion to her Mercury-Prize nominated album Everybody Down, takes us into the beating heart of the capital in this multi-generational tale of drugs, desire and belonging
Young Londoners Becky, Harry and Leon are leaving town in a fourth-hand Ford Cortina with a suitcase full of money. They are running from jealous boyfriends, dead-end jobs, violent maniacs and disgruntled drug dealers, in the hope of escaping the restless tedium of life in south-east London - the place they have always called home.
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 MERCURY MUSIC PRIZE
Let Them Eat Chaos, Kate Tempest's new long poem written for live performance and heard on the album release of the same name, is both a powerful sermon and a moving play for voices. Seven neighbours inhabit the same London street, but are all unknown to each other. The clock freezes in the small hours, and, one by one, we see directly into their lives: lives that are damaged, disenfranchised, lonely, broken, addicted, and all, apparently, without hope. Then a great storm breaks over London, and brings them out into the night to face each other - and their last chance to connect. Tempest argues that our alienation from one another has bred a terrible indifference to our own fate, but she counters this with a plea to challenge the forces of greed which have conspired to divide us, and mend the broken home of our own planet while we still have time. Let Them Eat Chaos is a cri de coeur and a call to action, and, both on the page and in Tempest's electric performance, one of the most powerful poetic statements of the year.