Award winning UK rapper, poet and author Kate Tempest comes to Byron


“Alternating between poetry, spoken word and hip-hop, Kate Tempest is like a 21st century Patti Smith” The Washington Post

Byron Writers Festival is featuring the award-winning poet, rapper and now author, Kate Tempest in conversation with local writer and journalist Anneli Knight at the Byron Theatre on 24 May.

Festival Director, Edwina Johnson says Tempest will discuss her debut novel, which takes readers into the beating heart of London in a multi-generational tale of drugs, desire and belonging. “We are thrilled to be bringing Kate Tempest to Byron as part of her national tour. She will discuss her novel The Bricks that Built the Houses and will give audiences a taste of her passionate performance work.”

The Bricks that Built the Houses explores contemporary London life with a powerful moral microscope, giving readers irresistible stories of hidden lives, and showing how the best intentions don’t always lead to the right decisions.

“My internal landscape is as busy and populated as the external landscape that I grew up in,” says Tempest of writing the novel “ I feel like I had to get this out. It’s a kind of love song, an elegy, a howl of complaint but also a celebration of a place that is changing rapidly.”

The characters in the novel are people she’s introduced before in her songs, poems and her first play, Wasted. Tempest won the Ted Hughes Award in 2013 for her poem Brand New Ancients, and her groove-heavy debut album, Everybody Down, was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2014.

To see Kate Tempest perform live is to be utterly amazed. Her dazzling stream of consciousness delivery and unabashed sincerity recall the likes of Billy Bragg and Chuck D – both of whom are self-professed fans. A storyteller of extraordinary power and humanity, Kate Tempest is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting and distinctive voices of her generation.

I give it all when I’m giving / It’s how I know that I’m living. Kate Tempest

The Bricks that Built the Houses will be available for purchase on the night.

In conversation with Anneli Knight
Tuesday 24 May, 6pm
Byron Theatre
69 Jonson St, Byron Bay
$17 – $27
Bookings or 02 6685 5115