Episode 53: Kate Tempest on Evolving through Form


This week our guest is the British poet, playwright, and spoken-word performer Kate Tempest. She’s a force to be reckoned with — her talents are so plentiful and her intellect so sharp, that I’m sure you’ll be hanging on her every word, just like I was in this conversation. Do yourself a favor and watch some of her performances on YouTube like this Ballad of a Soldier, performed on NPR’s Music Tiny Desk Concert Series, which made me cry.

Kate is the winner of a Ted Hughes award for her “lyric poem” Brand New Ancients — her account of two London families cast as ancient gods. She’s also a rapper, and her debut solo album, Everybody Down, was shortlisted for the Mercury music prize. The album is also the inspiration and companion piece to her debut novel, The Bricks that Built the Houses , which explores the relationship between two South–East Londoners; a struggling dancer Becky, and Harry who works in “recruitment”–a cover for dealing drugs. Her other works include the album Balance, two poetry collections Everything Speaks its own Way and Hold Your Own, and the three plays GlassHouse, Wasted and Hopelessly Devoted.

Instead of going on and on about Kate and her work I hope this conversation makes you want to discover her for yourself. Let us know what you find!

xoxo Angie

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Buy The Bricks that Built the Houses on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent bookstore.