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Hold Your Own: Poems (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Kate Tempest writes not with the beat of the heart, but with the force of the tide, the world’s pulse, pulling you inexorably in and out as the dirt and breath and sex of the everyday is revealed to also be the mythic. Starting from the Greek story of Tiresias, the blind prophet once woman, now man, Tempest’s poetry is beautiful, rude, legendary, and immediate, exploring what it means to be human in this world.

— Jocelyn


— From Pride


My heart throws its head against my ribs, / it's denting every bone it's venting something it has known since I arrived and felt it beat.

Kate Tempest, winner of the Ted Hughes Award for Brand New Ancients and widely regarded as the UK's leading spoken word poet, has produced a new poem-sequence of electrifying power. Based on the myth of the blind prophet Tiresias, Hold Your Own is a riveting tale of youth and experience, sex and love, wealth and poverty, community and alienation. Walking in the forest one morning, a young man disturbs two copulating snakes--and is punished by the goddess Hera, who turns him into a woman. This is only the beginning of his journey . . . Weaving elements of classical myth, autobiography and social commentary, Tempest uses the story of the gender-switching, clairvoyant Tiresias to create four sequences of poems, addressing childhood, manhood, womanhood, and late life. The result is a rhythmically hypnotic tour de force--and a hugely ambitious leap forward for one of the most broadly talented and compelling young writers today.

About the Author

Kate Tempest grew up in south-east London, where she still lives. Her first poetry collection Everything Speaks in its Own Way was released on her own Zingaro imprint. Her epic poem, Brand New Ancients – a modern-day myth set in south London – won the Ted Hughes Prize in 2013, making her the first-ever recipient under 40. Her extensive international tour of Brand New Ancients sold out everywhere and gained a five star review in the New York Times. Her plays include GlassHouse, Wasted and Hopelessly Devoted. She released an album, Balance, with Sound of Rum in 2011 and her debut solo album, Everybody Down, a narrative-led hip hop record based on The Bricks That Built The Houses, was released on Big Dada records in 2014 to wide critical acclaim. Kate Tempest's second poetry collection, Hold Your Own, will be published in October 2014.

Praise For…

“One of the brightest British 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 . . . drawing on ancient mythology and sermonic cadence to tell stories of the everyday.” —The Guardian

“Gorgeous streams of words . . . Image after image that sears itself into your consciousness . . . Ms. Tempest stitches together words with such animate grace that language acquires an almost tactile quality, and the drama she unfolds . . . soars to operatic dimensions.” —Christopher Isherwood, New York Times on Brand New Ancients

Product Details
ISBN: 9781632862051
ISBN-10: 1632862050
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Pages: 128
Language: English
ABA Admin Product Details
Data Source: ONIX
Created At: 9/15/2014 10:26am
Last Updated At: 9/19/2020 03:44pm