Thursday, August 20, 2015

Kate Tempest slams conventional poets' disdain for performance

Arguing against intellectual snobbery, star author says performance returns the artform to ancient days when ‘it was about how well you could communicate’

Kate Tempest in performance at Camp Bestival this month.
‘You get laughed at if you feel it’ ... Kate Tempest in performance at Camp Bestival this month. Photograph: Joseph Okpako/Redferns
Kate Tempest has hit out at “intellectual snobbery” among poets, saying she is fed up with conflict between performance and written poetry.

Speaking at the Edinburgh international books festival on Tuesday, the The Mercury prize-nominated poet-performer also hinted that she was keen to collaborate with Björk. Asked if there were any artists she’d like to work with, she prefaced her answer: “Yes, but when I get asked that question, I think about the work artists make, how they’re so amazing and I love what they do, and that’s enough. I don’t necessarily think I need to go an get involved in what they do. I saw Björk recently when I was in New York and I was absolutely profoundly moved by what she does. But yeah, there’s lots of people I like.”

The south Londoner’s love of words has launched her into the mainstream in a whirlwind two years, culminating in a Glastonbury performance this summer. Now she’s working on a novel and a play.


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