Kate Tempest Gives A Gut-Punch Of A Reading From “Hold Your Own”

The poetry of Kate Tempest has a unique way of hypnotizing poetry lovers and casual readers alike — and hearing her read her own work aloud is a revelation. This particular recording is of “The Woman the Boy Became”, but the entire collection, “Hold Your Own”, is astounding.

“Kate Tempest’s first full-length collection for Picador is an ambitious, multi-voiced work based around the mythical figure of Tiresias,” the description explains. “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.”

You can listen to the whole reading here:

Tempest’s work and her ability to tackle and reimagine the ancients has a way of transcending traditional barriers surrounding poetry and catapulting it to new audiences. But listening to her read aloud is a reminder of why she is, first and foremost, a spoken word poet.