Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kate Tempest

I just bought Everything Speaks in Its Own Way, a book, DVD and CD by Kate Tempest. Kate is the most exciting poet I've heard or seen in ages. The DVD details her recent residency at Battersea Arts Centre, and does a good job of getting her spirit across. At one point she talks of her need to get on stage and 'have it out', and that sense of something at stake, the sheer passion of her delivery, is something that is missing from most poetry readings I've experienced. Her rhythm often reminds me of Bob Dylan's 'Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie.' She's influenced by hip hop, and there's a real gospel feel to her voice when she becomes impassioned, testifies even. She's influenced by Blake, and she shares his manner of addressing people's best minds. She is proud of her locale, namedropping New Cross, and using local companies (her book is published by Zingaro books, her videos set in familiar locations.)

Some starting points: her band is Sound of Rum, here's Slow Slow

She was poet in residence at the RSC where she wrote verse summaries of several plays. Here's her account of The Tempest, What Came After

Here's an interesting poem / video called Line in the Sand 

Here's a one-hour DJ set at the Strong Rooms in which she reads a few poems and plays some of the hip hop which influenced her.

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