Let Them Eat Chaos
Costa Poetry Award
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 MERCURY MUSIC PRIZE
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.
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
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