Street poet, rapper, playwright and impossible-to-pigeonhole polymath Kate Tempest has achieved an unprecedented double.
Her hip-hop album Everybody Down has been shortlisted for the Mercury prize. Tempest has also been selected by the Poetry Book Society as one of 20 next generation poets, a prestigious list picked just once per decade. The 27-year-old is the youngest of the crop and described herself as “humbled, terrified and proud”, adding: “Bit bonkers, isn’t it?”
This all comes the year after Tempest scooped the Ted Hughes award for innovation in poetry (the first person under 40 to win it), the Off-West End Theatre award (aka “the Offies”) and a Herald Angel award at the Edinburgh fringe. A visionary. South Africa had Mandela. England has Kate Tempest.