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Hold Your Own
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New poetry from a fiercely talented, Ted Hughes Award-winning poet.

About the Author

Kate Tempest writes rhymes, lyrics, poems, prose and plays. She began at sixteen, rapping in battles across London, and began performing spoken word at the age of twenty-one. She has performed her writing on stages all over the world, as well as playing all the major UK and European music festivals, including Glastonbury, where her poetry was included in the televised highlights. She has written poems for Barnado's children's charity, the BBC, Amnesty International, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Turner Prize winning artist Chris Offili. She is two time poetry slam winner at the prestigious Nu-Yorican poetry cafe in New York. She has supported legendary punk poet John Cooper Clarke and supported Billy Bragg on his Leftfield in Motion UK tour with her band Sound of Rum.

Reviews

One of the brightest British talents around. [Tempest's] 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 * Guardian *
[Tempest] enjoyed a remarkable double triumph in being shotlisted for the Mercury Music Prize on the same day as being named a Next Generation Poet * Guardian *
In mesmerising rhyme and galloping rhythm, her passion for the classics collides with urban street slang, social observation, consumerism and the concerns of contemporary youth * Observer *
Kate Tempest proves poetry has a place in pop . . . [Tempest] has made history, transcending the line between poetry and music * Telegraph *
Poet, performer, novelist: the rise of the uncategorisable Kate Tempest -- Laura Barton * Guardian *
Tempest's voice looks to be one we will be hearing for some while to come -- Laura Barton * Guardian *
Dazzling wordsmithery. . . As anyone who has seen her perform will know, she doesn't just paint pictures with words when she performs, she paints fireworks in the night sky -- Claire Allfree * Metro *
A winning wielder of words. . . The common thread through Tempest's diverse work is her love of words. In mesmerising rhyme and galloping rhythm, her passion for the classics collides with urban street slang, social observation, consumerism and the concerns of contemporary youth -- Michael Hogan * Observer *
The picture emerges of a diverse, fluid writer and performer who is spreading her wings anew -- Charles Hutchinson * Press (York) *
Hold Your Own is a collection of discrete, sometimes startlingly intimate moments by turns tender, funny, and angry. . . among the warmest moments in the collection are those that celebrate this particular, catalytic thrill - of the instant when words are not just lived, but delivered -- Lauren Strain * Skinny *
Hold Your Own is intellectually as well as emotionally exhilarating, yet unafraid to challenge the purveyors of wilful obscurity . . . With her poems about change and growth and passion, this girl is going places - and I'll be glad to go with * Daily Mail *
Her reworking of the Tiresias myth has all of the form's virtues . . . a powerful immediacy * Belfast Telegraph *
Her opening poem here is the longest, an updating of the story of Tiresias, and is both politically and emotionally stark, while the rest explore the human passion with a refreshing toughness * Sunday Herald *
Tempest collection feels like a game-changer. Tempest has forged her own voice, unlike anything else in the mainstream poetry world * Independent on Sunday *
Tempest follows her Ted Hughes Prize-winning Brand New Ancients with a bold retelling of the myth of Tiresias. In a voice at once inviting and challenging, erudite and incongruous, the 28-year-old south Londoner confirms her position as one of literature's most remarkable millennials -- Books of the Year 2014 * Financial Times *
Hold Your Own sees her stepping into the world of traditional "slim volume verse," publishing a book of poems to be read as well as heard. And she steps in with style . . . The contrast between the wasteground filled with shopping trolleys and used condoms and the miraculous transformation is dramatic and comic and moving . . . Either in person or on the page, she shows she's got sharp, important things to say and the poetic skills to say them -- Solomon Hughes * Morning Star *
Like the great Philip Larkin, Ms. Tempest has an ability to write about big, metaphysical subjects in the most vernacular language, while conjuring a sense of contemporary English life with a handful of chiseled lines . . .She demonstrates a knack - in both "Brand New Ancients" and "Hold Your Own" - for being able to shuttle easily back and forth between the mundane and the mythic, the banal and philosophical, and for using her pictorial imagination to sear specific images into the reader's mind -- Michiko Kakutani * New York Times *

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