Mould Breaking Writing

BBC Radio 3: Free Thinking

Mould-breaking Writing



From surrealism and science fiction to inspiration drawn from historic objects in stately homes and the painting of Francis Bacon: Shahidha Bari hosts a conversation with Will Harris, who has written long-form poems; new Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature Max Porter and Chloe Aridjis, who have written poetic novels which play with form; and academic Xine Yao, who looks at speculative fiction.

Max Porter is the author of Grief Is The Thing with Feathers and Lanny. He has also collaborated on an album with the Indie folk band Tunng, and has a book out in January called The Death of Francis Bacon. You can hear dramatisations of Lanny
and Grief Is The Thing With Feathers on BBC Sounds

Chloe Aridjis is a London based Mexican writer who has published the novels Book of Clouds, Asunder, and Sea Monsters, and was awarded the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 2020. She was co-curator of a Leonora Carrington exhibition at Tate Liverpool and writes for Frieze.

Max and Chloe have been announced as Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature to mark the 200th anniversary of the RSL

Will Harris is a writer of Chinese Indonesian and British heritage, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2020, and is shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2021 for his collection RENDANG. He co-edited the Spring 2020 issue of The Poetry Review with Mary Jean Chan.

Xine Yao is one of the 2020 New Generation Thinkers on the scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the AHRC to turn research into radio. She teaches American Literature in English to 1900 at UCL, with an interest in literatures in English from the Black and Asian diasporas, science fiction, the Gothic, and comics/graphic novels.

You can find more conversations in the playlist Prose and Poetry on the Free Thinking website, which includes Max Porter discussing empathy, Xine Yao looking at science fiction and the experimental writing of the Oulipo group, and a whole series of conversations recorded in partnership with the Royal Society of Literature.

Producer: Emma Wallace