Books Magazine

Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest

By Pamelascott

Kate Tempest, winner of the Ted Hughes Prize 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: 'childhood', 'manhood', 'womanhood' and 'blind profit'. The result is a rhythmically hypnotic tour de force - and a hugely ambitious leap forward for one of the UK's most talented and compelling young writers.

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[Picture the scene / a boy of fifteen / with the usual dreams / and the usual routine (TIRESIAS)]

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(Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd, audiobook, 9 October 2014, Audible)

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I am an uber fan of Kate Tempest. Her work, especially when listened to in audio blows my mind. I sort of have a fan girl crush on her.

Hold Your Own was awesome to listen to, almost as amazing as her collection Brand New Ancients.

I loved how the poems in this collection blend myth and legend with contemporary issues and ideas. This makes for some entertaining and highly original poetry. Tempest does something similar with Brand New Ancients and she's good at it.

Reading the poems is hugely enjoyable but Tempest's work is designed to be listened to. I cannot stress this enough. Listen to Hold Your Own and be transported somewhere incredible. I love Tempest's voice. I would kill to see her perform live.

Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest

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