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Kate Tempest grew up in southeast London and started rapping when she was sixteen years old. She has had a varied career as a poet, playwright, rapper, and recording artist. She has released a spoken-word album; a multimedia project Everything Speaks in its Own Way; and a recording album, Balance, with her band Sound of Rum. Her solo record, Everybody Down -- a concept album featuring characters who will return in her debut novel, The Bricks That Build the Houses (Bloomsbury, Winter 16) -- is shortlisted for the 2014 Mercury Prize. She is a two-time winner of the poetry slam at the Nu Yorican Poetry Cafe, and has received poetry commissions from the Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC. Her narrative poem Brand New Ancients, conceived as a performance piece, won the Ted Hughes Award in 2012, and will be published alongside Hold Your Own, her first collection. In 2014, Tempest was selected as one of this decade's 20 Next Generation Poets from the UK and Ireland.
"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