On the 28th July 2015 the wonderful Kate Tempest took to the stage of the Royal Court Theatre. She appeared entirely alone, not even a microphone to hide behind and for the first time performed her latest collection of poems Hold Your Own in its entirety. It lasted about an hour and it was a phenomenal experience on a par with seeing Saul Williams and John Sinclair. I’m not sure I’ve witnessed a more soul-baring performance, it felt like a privilege to be there. I only recently found out it was recorded and that Kate posted it on her Youtube channel. It’s exhilarating stuff.
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.