Picador will publish the "unashamedly personal and intimate" third poetry collection by writer and performer Kate Tempest.
Running Upon The Wires is Tempest’s first book of free-standing poetry since Hold Your Own, published in 2014. In “a beautifully varied” series of formal poems, spoken songs, fragments, vignettes and ballads, she is said to chart the heartbreak at the end of one relationship and the beginning of a new one whilst describing what happens in between “when the heart is pulled both ways at once”.
Picador poetry editor Don Paterson has acquired rights to publish in the UK, Ireland, the rest of the EU and in the Commonwealth excluding Canada for print and e-book, from Becky Thomas at Johnson and Alcock. It will be published on 20th September.
The “powerful and deeply moving” book is described by Picador as a departure from the London-based writer’s previous work and “unashamedly personal and intimate in its address”.
A spokesperson for the publisher said: “It will also confirm Tempest’s role as one of our most important poetic truth-tellers: it will be no surprise to readers to discover that she’s no less a direct and unflinching observer of matters of the heart than she is of social and political change.
“Running Upon The Wires is a heart-breaking, moving and joyous book about love, in its endings and beginnings, joy and despair, confusion and clarity.”
Tempest said: “Running Upon The Wires charts heartbreak from the point of break-up all the way through the messiness and self-destruction and drunkenness into the redemptive nature of new love. I thought it was a more useful thing to offer the world to stick with the heartbreak and see it through into hope, rather than have a collection that begins and ends with a break up.”
She added: “I also thought it was a more interesting proposition that the speaker of the poems moves through pain into new love and then even into domesticity.”
Picador last published Tempest in October 2016, Let Them Eat Chaos, composed from lyrics on her album.
Tempest, born in London in 1985, has written plays including Wasted (Methuen Drama) and Hopelessly Devoted (Bloomsbury), and poetry collections Everything Speaks in its Own Way and Hold Your Own (Picador), as well as her long poem "Brand New Ancients" (Pan Macmillan) and novel The Bricks that Built the Houses (Bloomsbury). She was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize for "Everybody Down", and received the Ted Hughes Award and a Herald Angel award for "Brand New Ancients". In 2018 she was nominated for a Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist.
According to Nielsen BookScan, Tempest has sold 68,516 books making £635,635. Her novel The Bricks that Built the Houses has led the way selling 29,385 copies for £287,878 in all editions.