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Kate Tempest: A ‘Brand New Homer’ for a Creative Future

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Publication date10/10/2019
Host publicationHomer's Daughters: Women's Responses to Homer in the Twentieth Century and Beyond
EditorsFiona Cox, Elena Theodorakopoulos
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780198802587
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameClassical Presences
PublisherOxford University Press


This chapter explores the re-workings of Homeric epic narrative and ancient classical myth by the British poet Kate Tempest, including the epic poem Brand New Ancients (2013), and the poem sequence Hold Your Own (2014). Tempest uses the poetic medium to formulate future possibilities for those excluded from the political and economic processes shaping the future and to stage the intersubjective encounter characterizing both selfhood and literary engagement. By urging readers and audience to view themselves not as passive citizen-consumers veering towards an open future being shaped by everyone but them, but instead as profoundly mythical beings capable of ‘everyday odysseys’, Tempest’s work constitutes a call for people to become invested in a future they will help to shape. This, in turn, points the way to a creative future that re-establishes literature as an urgent, socially relevant practice and a potentially transformative tool for social and political change.