London-born writer Kate Tempest has a large following worldwide. Because she’s so incredible we’d like to do everything we can to add to that following. If you aren’t familiar with her work do yourself a favour and download Open Field Issue Three to hear her perform her poem Icarus.
Some of you may have switched off at the word ‘poem’. But you’d be wrong to do so. Tempest’s writing is sharp, biting, attention-grabbing. Nothing fuzzy or greeting card about it.
She’s impressively productive, too. At the age of 27, Tempest has already toured the world with her band Sound of Rum, toured as a performing poet with Billy Bragg and John Cooper Clarke, published a book of poetry, written three plays, had her work Brand New Ancients show at the Battersea Arts Centre to great acclaim (and, later, awards). She’s writing her first novel, due to be published in 2015.
The Guardian wrote of Tempest:
She is one of the brightest talents around. Her spoken-word performances have the metre and craft of traditional poetry, the kinetic agitation of hip-hop and the intimacy of a whispered heart-to-heart… Tempest deals bravely with poverty, class and consumerism. She does so in a way that not only avoids the pitfalls of sounding trite, but manages to be beautiful too, drawing on ancient mythology and sermonic cadence to tell stories of the everyday.
In July 2014, Tempest performs at the Latitude festival. If you’re close to Suffolk, go.