The main programme of the Aye Write! Festival at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow ended in late March. The festival was jammed packed with literature events, readings and performances. The fact that Kate Tempest is releasing her debut novel in mid-April hasn’t stopped the festival from putting on an event celebrating this landmark publication. Kate Tempest has written several successful and exciting plays, albums and poetry collections, but The Bricks That Built The Houses marks the writer’s first step into literary fiction.
The event is chaired by fellow poet and performer Hollie McNish (last seen onstage at Aye Write! only a few weeks ago where she was launching her own new book Nobody Told Me) and the friendship and admiration the pair have for one another is obvious. The questions revolve around various important topics, such as the meaning of life, sex, creativity and art. Kate talks with passion as she describes the relationship the writer has with the reader. She explains the importance that the reader has in giving a story life and meaning. This personal approach to writing is obvious in the text. The characters of The Bricks That Built The Houses have appeared in Kate’s other work and she is clearly attached to them. This attachment was expressed in the reading of one of the chapters in the novel. Kate tackles the words in the same way she approaches her poetry. She reads with vigour, style, grace, integrity and power. It is astonishing to watch and stirs up immense emotions among the audience.
Kate Tempest is definitely one of the most original and exciting writers and performers in the UK at the moment. Her successes and her ability to tackle different storytelling mediums is inspiring and exhilarating. Having now released her debut novel, Kate’s eager fans will be waiting to see what she comes up with next. The event this evening felt like a relaxed conversation between two friends and the audience at the Mitchell Library certainly felt lucky to be part of it.