You are here

  1. Home
  2. Prof Nicola Watson consults on OU/BBC co-production ‘Being Kae Tempest’

Prof Nicola Watson consults on OU/BBC co-production ‘Being Kae Tempest’

Kae Tempest sits comfortably in a chair next to a radiator between a small table and a full bookcase

Professor of English Literature Nicola J Watson is the academic consultant for OU/BBC co-production Being Kae Tempest, broadcast on BBCTwo on 29 November at 21:00. The edition of the BBC’s flagship Arena delves into Kae’s creative process and gains rare, intimate insights into poet, rapper, playwright and recording artist Kae’s life throughout a period of profound personal and artistic change.

The youngest ever recipient of the prestigious Ted Hughes prize, Brit and Mercury music awards nominee, Kae is one of the most viscerally exciting artists working in Britain today. They have always found support and respect within the queer art scenes close to their heart since, in July 2020, they came out as non-binary, announcing they would publish and perform under the name Kae.

Nicola brought her knowledge of the history of performance poetry to her consulting role for the programme, and says that the tradition of performance poetry stretches from ancient bardic traditions through 19th century improvisation and recitation and deep into modern poetic culture.

“Making the programme has been an exciting chance to engage with cutting-edge performance poets and the ways that they draw both on a long tradition of protest poetry and on rap culture.”

Additional material around the programme includes the history of performance poetry, and amazing contemporary performance poets Mike Garry, Keisha Thompson, Antony Szmierek and Joelle Taylor reflecting on their inspiration.

Nicola notes that “Kae Tempest, and contemporaries, prove that their performances can draw and engage huge audiences. Anyone who still believes that poetry is too difficult should sample the accompanying materials and then buy themselves a ticket to one of the many live poetry festivals springing up all round the country.” 

Explore the material around the programme, and discover more about Nicola’s work, at OU Connect

Image credit is BBC, Bohemia Films, Henry Lockyer

Request your prospectus

Request a prospectus icon

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

Request prospectus

Are you already an OU student?

Go to StudentHome