Hold Your Own: Poems (Paperback)
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 was born in London in 1985. Her work includes the plays Wasted, Glasshouse, and Hopelessly Devoted; the poetry collections Everything Speaks in its Own Way and Hold Your Own; the albums Everybody Down, Balance, and Let Them Eat Chaos; the long poems Brand New Ancients and Let Them Eat Chaos; and her debut novel, The Bricks that Built the Houses.
She was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize for both Everybody Down and Let Them Eat Chaos and received the Ted Hughes Award and a Herald Angel Award for Brand New Ancients.Kate was also named a Next Generation poet. In 2018 she was nominated for a Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist.
“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