Let Them Eat Chaos, Kate Tempest's new long poem written for live performance and heard on the album release of the same name, is both a powerful sermon and a moving play for voices. Seven neighbours inhabit the same London street, but are all unknown to each other. The clock freezes in the small hours, and, one by one, we see directly into their lives: lives that are damaged, disenfranchised, lonely, broken, addicted, and all, apparently, without hope. Then a great storm breaks over London, and brings them out into the night to face each other - and their last chance to connect. Tempest argues that our alienation from one another has bred a terrible indifference to our own fate, but she counters this with a plea to challenge the forces of greed which have conspired to divide us, and mend the broken home of our own planet while we still have time.
Let Them Eat Chaos is a cri de coeur and a call to action, and, both on the page and in Tempest's electric performance, one of the most powerful poetic statements of the year.
About the Author
Kate Tempest grew up in southeast London, where she still lives. She has gained acclaim as a poet, playwright, rapper, and recording artist. Her last album, Everybody Down, was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. Her books of poetry include Brand New Ancients, a long poem conceived as a performance piece, which won the Ted Hughes Award for Poetry in 2012, and the collection Hold Your Own, and she was selected as one of this decade's Next Generation Poets by the Poetry Book Society in 2014. She is also the author of a novel, The Bricks that Built the Houses.
Kate Tempest's Let Them Eat Chaos is this year's antidote to Brexit and Trump. Across genre, across politics, across imagination. Rapper. Ranter. Run-a-way. Runway -- Jeanette Winterson * Guardian * In terms of visibility, Kate Tempest is currently way ahead of her performance-poet peers. Out on her own, she sounds like a woman who knows exactly what she's doing -- Alexis Petridis * Guardian *