Breaking Ground: On Film


As part of our upcoming Breaking Ground event at Lettrétage in Berlin, where four writers explore how to push the boundaries of literary performance, we are excited to present three specially commissioned and selected video works by three more poets who are pushing past the traditional ideas of what an author reading is, with brilliant creative results.

Karen McCarthy Woolf premiered a new film 'Morbleu'

Karen McCarthy Woolf showing ‘Morbleau’ at Breaking Ground in California

The second film that we will show as part of Breaking Ground Berlin is Morbleu: a beautiful collaboration between poet Karen McCarthy Woolf and dancer Ella Mesna. Using McCarthy Woolf’s poem of the same name as the soundtrack, Mesna’s movements are “a visual shadow of the white space, the silence and the emotional arc.” First shown as part of a Breaking Ground event in California, this film is once more presented with the kind permission of Nathalie Teitler who conceived and commissioned it for her series Dancing Words.

The first to be announced was journalist, novelist, poet and radio and TV presenter Bidisha.

Bidisha takes her first step into filmmaking with An Impossible Poison, a powerful fiction piece dramatising three of her poems – An Impossible Poison, In The End, and Witches of Hebden Bridge – dealing with deceit, ritualistic ceremony and revenge. This will be the film’s premiere.

Join us at Lettrétage, Berlin on Thursday 16 November for what will be an incredible event showcasing the diversity and excellence of British writers of colour.

Image: a still from An Impossible Poison (2017)


Bidisha is a journalist, novelist, poet and radio and TV presenter. She specialises in social justice, human rights and the arts. She began her career writing for arts magazines at 14 and signed her first book deal, for her debut novel Seahorses (HarperCollins), at 16. Her second novel, Too Fast To Live, was published when she was 21. Since then she published the travelogue Venetian Masters: Under The Skin of the City of Love (2008), the Middle Eastern reportage Beyond the Wall (2012) and Asylum and Exile: Hidden Voices (2015) based on her outreach work with asylum seekers and refugees. Her poetry has been featured in Brave New Voices (English PEN), Wasafiri magazine and Young MWA magazine. She has just finished her sixth book, Safe Journey Home: New Writing from Italy, India and China and is currently working on her debut poetry collection and a collection of short stories.