El Hay Festival de Cartagena por Alonso Cueto

El Hay Festival de Cartagena por Alonso Cueto

El Hay Festival es el evento literario más importante en la América Latina y cada vez que hay una edición en alguna de sus sedes, ésta se convierte en un centro de peregrinación. En la edición colombiana reciente, vimos salas abarrotadas de dos mil o tres mil personas, que venían de muchas ciudades latinoamericanas. Todos querían escuchar a algún escritor o escritora hablar de sus lecturas y de sus experiencias. Después de algunos años en países como Mexico, Colombia y Perú, gracias a sus directores Peter Florence y Cristina Fuentes, y un equipo magnífico, los escritores y lectores de todas partes se encuentran para hablar de novelas, poemas, temas de ciencias sociales, de historia, y otros. No en balde Bill Clinton lo llamó alguna vez el “Woodstock del pensamiento”. Las brillantes fotos de Daniel Mordzinski han recuperado para siempre los recuerdos de cada encuentro.

Santa Rosa del Lima o la capital del mundo (Hay Festival Comunitario) por William Navarrete

Santa Rosa del Lima o la capital del mundo (Hay Festival Comunitario) por William Navarrete

Vamos a Santa Rosa de Lima, uno de los pueblos que el HAY Festival ha escogido para su programa del HAY Comunitario. Está a una hora de Cartagena, en la provincia de Bolívar. En esa trastierra el calor es sofocante. Basta ver la reverberación tras los cristales del auto para adivinar que es un monstruo con lengüetas de fuego lo que nos espera afuera. Me dejo ganar por la añoranza del campo cubano. El viaje es un túnel del tiempo en el que veo los mismos gallinazos que en la Isla llamamos ‘‘auras tiñosas’’, la misma gente afanándose al borde de la carretera, los árboles con sus troncos a medio pintar de blanco, el ganado de mirada extraviada por tanto calor … esa sensación de tierra una y mil veces conquistada y siempre por conquistar.

My job is stories | Steven Camden aka Polarbear

My job is stories | Steven Camden aka Polarbear

My job is stories.

I am lucky enough to write and speak stories for the page, screen, stage and radio.

I have been all over the world because the stories I tell, visited festivals, spoken on panels, sat on Breakfast TV couches, recorded garbled sound bite promos down expensive camera lenses.

El Hay privado por Sergio del Molino

El Hay privado por Sergio del Molino

Supongo que hay muchos Hay, pero se pueden resumir en dos. Está el Hay del público que llena los actos, que aplaude, que se ríe, que celebra la ocasión de cruzar unas palabras con sus autores preferidos, y el Hay casi privado, el de los escritores invitados, esa comunidad efímera y extrañamente fraternal que durante unos días convive y ríe y celebra también la ocasión de cruzar unas palabras entre sí. Y de compartir mesa y mantel, o copa, en alguno de los cócteles y fiestas. Tal vez suene frívolo, y seguramente lo sea, pero mis recuerdos de los Hay pertenecen a ese rincón privado donde, por unos días, me siento parte de una comunidad paradójica, porque está formada por individualistas que dedican muchos esfuerzos a distinguirse unos de otros.

Without waiting for an invitation by Lisa McInerney

Without waiting for an invitation by Lisa McInerney
What a difference a few short years makes! I’d only ever been to one literary festival before I was published, and that was because a friend had a spare ticket. I thought that literary festivals weren’t for me. Not in terms of personal preference — in terms of personal preference literary festivals were absolutely for me — but rather that they weren’t for the likes of me.

FIRED UP BY LITERATURE | Daniel Morden, Hay Festival Scribblers Tour 2018

FIRED UP BY LITERATURE | Daniel Morden, Hay Festival Scribblers Tour 2018

According to The National Literacy Trust three-quarters of a million (770,129) UK school children don’t own a book. Of these children, those who receive free school meals, boys of all ages and teenagers are the most likely to say they have no books of their own at home.

The research report, Book ownership and reading outcomes, found that children who own a book are 15 times more likely to read above the level expected for their age and are four times less likely to read below the expected level.

These things don't happen to a village boy like me | ERIC NGALLE CHARLES, HAY FESTIVAL SCRIBBLERS TOUR 2018

These things don't happen to a village boy like me | ERIC NGALLE CHARLES, HAY FESTIVAL SCRIBBLERS TOUR 2018
I first came to the Hay festival in 2016 with Pen Cymru, I was overwhelmed by the vastness of the place and the diversity of events that was taking place. I was lucky to do a short performance piece with Pen Cymru and met wonderful writers including Oliver Balch and Owen sheers. I was interviewed and did a Shakespearean piece on King Richard the second which is currently available on the Hay Festival website, that was my first experience of the Hay festival.

… FROM OUR INTERNATIONAL FELLOW (PART 7)

… FROM OUR INTERNATIONAL FELLOW (PART 7)

Jenny Valentine is Creative Wales Hay Festival International Fellow 2017/18, travelling to each Hay Festival edition to meet with young people and explore the experience of adolescence. Here the award-winning writer offers her first dispatch from Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2017…

It is a clear, sharp, bright weekend in Hay.  The late Autumn light on the mountains reminds me that where I live is every bit as breath-taking as the extraordinary places we have visited this year.

GILLIAN CLARKE AT 80 | IMTIAZ DHARKER

GILLIAN CLARKE AT 80 | IMTIAZ DHARKER

One morning I asked Gillian, "Did you sleep well?" And she answered, "I lay awake half the night worrying about the world".

With Gillian you know that is the absolute truth, and this truth finds its way into her poems. She lives every poem she writes and breathes her life into each beautifully crafted line, every one as sharp and alive as the creatures that populate her world: the hare that stops and looks through the glass wall at her home, Blaen Cwrt, the pair of swans on the river in Cardiff. In Gillian’s world, finding a crushed fieldmouse becomes a meditation on community and conflict.

YOU DID NOT WASTE YOUR TIME | JEREMY VINE

YOU DID NOT WASTE YOUR TIME | JEREMY VINE

En route to Hay, the winter one,
Asleep in the rear of the festival Ford,
My bumpy dreamscape leaves me bored
And I wake to David Cassidy’s last words.

TO CHANGE PEOPLE'S LIVES | ISABEL LOSADA

TO CHANGE PEOPLE'S LIVES | ISABEL LOSADA

The aim of a book festival is never a modest one: it is to change people’s lives and so to make the world a better place.

This is a rich first visit to Hay for me as I’m speaking about a book that I know won’t disappoint. Sensation is about a year spent learning everything I could that makes sex into better sex, in the context of a loving and monogamous long-term relationship.  As a society we have a perverse relationship to sexuality. The promise of an idealised form of sex is used to sell products and the impact of the porn industry makes us believe that whatever we are experiencing it’s not OK. 

A STRANGE KIND OF MAGIC | ED VERE

A STRANGE KIND OF MAGIC | ED VERE

A magical winter weekend at Hay, starting, for me, on Friday afternoon with clear brilliant sunshine and a decidedly wintery bite to the air. As the sun dropped Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris conjured powerful spells to bring us otters, larks and hares. From there, Zillah Bowes, Rosey Brown, Imtiaz Dharker, Menna Elfyn and Pascale Petit read poems in English and powerfully in Welsh to Celebrate the 80th birthday, and brilliant nature poems, of Gillian Clarke.

MY UNIVERSITY OF LIFE | CLEMENCY BURTON-HILL

MY UNIVERSITY OF LIFE | CLEMENCY BURTON-HILL
With world events being what they are, the stimulations, provocations and consolations of Hay Festival have never felt so urgently needed. What a joy to come to one of the most beautiful places on Earth for the paradoxical experience of both escaping from and engaging with the big issues of the day. Hay has been my University of Life: I first came here as a curious 21-year-old; this is my fifteenth year straight and I’m beyond grateful for the myriad ways in which this singularly precious festival has shaped and enlightened my adulthood.

TWO GENERATIONS OF FEMINISM | LAURIE PENNY

TWO GENERATIONS OF FEMINISM | LAURIE PENNY
Coming to Hay Festival Winter Weekend was well worth the two days of travel. Even this morning, staggering off a freezing rail replacement bus service between Hereford and Worcester, stumbling through an icy industrial estate in search of somewhere with hot tea to spend a two-hour wait for the next bus, wearing my spare cardigan as a scarf, I regret absolutely nothing. You see, I got to be on stage with Rosie Boycott, talking about how to end violence against women.

ON INTIMACY | PATRICK BARKHAM

ON INTIMACY | PATRICK BARKHAM

It was a crisp, dark November evening when I first arrived in Hay-on-Wye for the Winter Weekend. I’d previously only known Hay during the glorious light evenings of late May, and the buzz of the big gathering on the green fields beyond the town.

The Festival has created its own season, and a wonderful, vivid one it is, but returning to a much quieter town, in winter, was something entirely different. It felt like I’d stumbled into a secret, snuggling up in The Swan, talking about books with an audience in close-up. It was conspiratorial and intimate.

May the company of words build a bridge | Gillian Clarke

May the company of words build a bridge | Gillian Clarke
Yesterday we drove from Ceredigion to Hay under cloudless skies. The Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons never looked more beautiful, the Saddle, the Fan and Hay Bluff gold, the valleys ink-blue with shadow. Now we drive west between snowy peaks, and my iPad weather-forecast promises snow at home. The very thought makes me feel eight-years old, not eighty. 

THE SUN SHINES ON HAY | BENJAMIN AROGUNDADE

THE SUN SHINES ON HAY | BENJAMIN AROGUNDADE
My first encounter with Hay-on-Wye was when the late afternoon sun swooped in low as I drove toward the town. It was an amazing heavenly flare of yellow that, even with sunglasses on and the car’s sun visor down, still penetrated the windscreen. There were terrifying moments when I was totally blinded, with the car still moving. Was this Hay’s own type of sun? I’d never seen it this low in the sky, this blindingly bright. Perhaps it was an omen for how the Winter Weekend would go.

THE POWER OF POETRY | IMTIAZ DHARKER

THE POWER OF POETRY | IMTIAZ DHARKER

Reading a poem is like opening a door, and a good teacher can use it to open up whole new rooms in the mind. It’s often enough for the students just to know that poetry is not an inaccessible mystery but something that speaks about the world they live in, and that what they think counts.

I find that more and more young people are turning to poetry, as well as the shared experience of live readings. When I write a poem I have to read it aloud to know if it works. That’s the only way to check if the music is there, and if it sounds like a true voice.

Finding The Lost Words | Jackie Morris

Finding The Lost Words | Jackie Morris
The road to Hay Winter Festival was narrow - as wide as the van, sometimes tunnelled with trees, who's great roots narrowed the path even more. Copper teared beech and russeted oak and golden birch with spiked holly, all with bright creatures. half glimpsed. Bullfinches, goldfinch, chaffinch, sparrow, robin, wren, rook, crow and raven all flew around us, noticed, named - and the barest eye snagging of a gold crest.

Poetry in motion | Joseph Coelho

Poetry in motion | Joseph Coelho
The views across Hay-on-Wye were enchanting as I arrived at the first school to kick off the Hay Festival Winter Weekend and were only beaten by the beaming smiles of reception and nursery as they filed into the assembly hall to hear a reading of Luna Loves Library Day. I start the reading traditionally by opening the book illustrated by the fabulous Fiona Lumbers, but from there on in, very little is traditional about this reading as the children start to notice real live versions of the books from the story in their assembly hall.

"10 reasons to love... writing" | Catherine Barr

My new series with the Natural History Museum, 10 Reasons to Love... begins with a sea turtle. My experience of these endangered species began, unexpectedly, during my work with Greenpeace International as a campaigner.

So there is a joy, so many years later in discovering a new way to put these ancient mariners in the limelight through my writing.

Now I know who I am and who I write for | ANDREA MARCOLONGO

Now I know who I am and who I write for | ANDREA MARCOLONGO

I landed in Italy two days ago and I still miss the most amazing experience I had in my life in Peru thanks to Hay Festival. My jet-lag: it’s not about time, but all about life.

My private story started so much earlier, in Hay-on-Wye in 2013 where I joined Hay Festival as a reader.

It had always been my dream being a writer invited to a Hay Festival, even around the corner. It had always been my dream visiting South America too. I would never believe that one day it would be possible thanks to my book, La Lengua De Los Dioses: it was such a surprise since they invited me in Peru when I was in Segovia - yes, I am a Hay addicted!

... From Our International Fellow (Part 6)

... From Our International Fellow (Part 6)

Jenny Valentine is Creative Wales Hay Festival International Fellow 2017/18, travelling to each Hay Festival edition to meet with young people and explore the experience of adolescence. Here the award-winning writer offers her first dispatch from Hay Festival Arequipa 2017…

Arequipa’s astonishing geography doesn’t look real to me.  I cannot grasp it.

"a memory of Arequipa that I will cherish" | Cees Nooteboom

Arequipa. You have read about it, so you knew where you were going. Airports are airports, somebody from the festival is waiting, during the ride he will fill your head with encyclopedic knowledge about Incas and colonial history, you share the car with a young woman from Granada, Spain, no clue whether she is a novelist or a poet. I recognize the landscapes from earlier trips to Bolivia, and more recently, a long ride through the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile, bare, majestic, immensely old. 

"There is still hope for literature" | Maria Turtschaninoff

After five days in Aarhus, meeting readers and other writers, my overwhelming feeling is one of relief.

There is still hope for literature.

Hay Festival Aarhus renewed and refreshed my faith in the power and resilience of literature. There were so many of us celebrating children’s books in a library which felt not like a shrine to books but like a vibrant, buzzing hub where books, their makers and their readers all could come together.

"what struck me is how much we have in common" | Katherine Woodfine

Day 3 of the Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 and the Aarhus Dokk 1 library is beginning to feel very familiar - from the orange and red lanterns floating from the ceiling, to the sweeping view of blue-grey water from the windows.

It’s a wonderful and inspiring place. As I write this, toddlers are running up and down; a group of teens are working busily on creating their own ‘blackout poems’; and one of my fellow Aarhus 39 authors is reading her work aloud, whilst an illustrator draws live.

… FROM OUR INTERNATIONAL FELLOW (PART 5)

… FROM OUR INTERNATIONAL FELLOW (PART 5)

Jenny Valentine is Creative Wales Hay Festival International Fellow 2017/18, travelling to each Hay Festival edition to meet with young people and explore the experience of adolescence. Here the award-winning writer offers her first dispatch from Hay Festival Aarhus 2017…

My first 24 hours in Aarhus is marked by three buildings.

One.  Godsbanen.  An old freight train yard and now, open cultural space where you can take part in anything from pottery to your own theatre production.

"Writing for children is the greatest privilege on earth" | Cressida Cowell

I’ve been doing events at the Hay Festival for over a decade, and I was delighted to be invited to attend the International Children’s Festival in Aarhus. The festival has been hugely supportive of children’s books and it’s wonderful that that commitment extends overseas.

I have spent fifteen years writing the How to Train Your Dragon books, and over those fifteen years I have lost count of the times people have asked me, ‘Have you ever thought of writing for adults?’ as if writing for children was some sort of second best activity, before moving on to the higher level of writing for adults.

"Small things matter as much as big things" | Stefan Bachmann

Stefan Bachmann is an acclaimed Swiss writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Stefan will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 this week. Here he talks about his new story for Quest, our new anthology of  stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"A sense of being vulnerable and immortal at the same time" | Sarah Engell

Sarah Engell is an acclaimed Danish writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Sarah will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 this week. Here she talks about her new story for Odyssey, our new anthology of  stories for young adults, inspired by journeys. 

"Ask my psychoanalyst!" | Sarah Crossan

Sarah Crossan is an award-winning writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Sarah will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 this week. Here she talks about her new story for Odyssey, our new anthology of  stories for young adults, inspired by journeys. 

"All of my writing talks about some kind of journey" | Sandrine Kao

Sandrine Kao is an award-winning French writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Sandrine will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 this week. Here she talks about her new story for Odyssey, our new anthology of  stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"Everything in the world inspires me" | Salla Simukka

Salla Simukka is an acclaimed Finnish writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Salla will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017  this week. Here she talks about her new story for Odyssey, our new anthology of  stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"Readers are made at a young age" | Nina Elisabeth Grøntvedt

Nina Elisabeth Grøntvedt is an award-winning Norwegian writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Nina will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Odyssey, our new anthology of  stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"I don’t see a difference in writing for children or adults" | Nataly Savina

Nataly Savina is an acclaimed Latvian writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Nataly will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Quest, our new anthology of  stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

“As a young child, I had an invisible typewriter" | Michaela Holzinger

“As a young child, I had an invisible typewriter
Michaela Holzinger is an acclaimed Austrian writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Michaela will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Odyssey, our new anthology of  stories for young adults, inspired by journeys. 

"Nothing you read as an adult will ever matter to you as much as things you read as a child" | Maria Turtschaninoff

Maria Turtschaninoff is an award-winning Finnish writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Maria will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Quest, our new anthology of  stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"Dreaming about places is also a way of making a journey" | Maria Parr

Maria Parr is an acclaimed Norwegian writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Maria will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Quest, our new anthology of  stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"I like agitation around me" | Ludovic Flamant

Ludovic Flamant is an award-winning Belgian writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Ludovic will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here he talks about his new story for Quest, our new anthology of  stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"I write what I would like to read" | Laura Gallego

Laura Gallego is an acclaimed Spanish writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Laura will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Odyssey, our new anthology of  stories for young adults, inspired by journeys. 

"Inspiration is absolutely everywhere" | Laura Dockrill

Laura Dockrill is an award-winning writer and illustrator from the UK, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Here she talks about her new story for Quest, our new anthology of stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

Tell us about your story...
The piece is about a young person coping with the loss of somebody they love and the grievance passed down from a parent. It's about relief a bit too, love, fun and imaginary friends, of course.

"Children are tough critics" | Katherine Woodfine

Katherine Woodfine is an acclaimed writer from the UK, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Katherine will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Quest, our new anthology of stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"Books crowbar the world open for you" | Katherine Rundell

Katherine Rundell is an award winning writer from the UK, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Katherine will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Quest, our new anthology of stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"Characters just came to me and insisted on being written" | Jana Šrámková

Jana Šrámková is an award winning writer from Czech Republic, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Jana will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Quest, our new anthology of stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"I can write anywhere" | Inna Manakhova

Inna Manakhova  is an acclaimed Russian writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Inna will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Odyssey, our new anthology of stories for young adults, inspired by journeys. 

"Even though sometimes I struggle... I will never stop writing" | Gideon Samson

Gideon Samson is an award-winning Dutch writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Gideon will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here he talks about his new story for Quest, our new anthology of  stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"Writing for children is less respected and worse paid" | Finn Ole Heinrich

Finn Ole Heinrich is an award-winning German writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Finn will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here he talks about his new story for Odyssey, our new anthology of  stories for young adults, inspired by journeys. 

"Writing to connect with the feelings and memories of my own childhood" | Elisabeth Steinkellner, Aarhus 39

Elisabeth Steinkellner is an acclaimed Austrian writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Elisabeth will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Odyssey, our new anthology of  stories for young adults, inspired by journeys. 

“My favorite spot is to write under my orange tree” | David Machado, Aarhus 39

“My favorite spot is to write under my orange tree” | David Machado, Aarhus 39
David Machado is an acclaimed Portuguese writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. David will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here he talks about his new story for Quest, our new anthology of 17 stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

“My story takes place in a society where people do not have a gender” | Cornelia Travnicek, Aarhus 39

“My story takes place in a society where people do not have a gender” | Cornelia Travnicek, Aarhus 39
Cornelia Travnicek is an acclaimed Austrian writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Cornelia will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Odyssey, our new anthology of  stories for young adults, inspired by journeys. 

“As a child, I felt protected lying in bed reading books” | Cathy Clement, Aarhus 39

“As a child, I felt protected lying in bed reading books” | Cathy Clement, Aarhus 39
Cathy Clement is an acclaimed Luxembourg writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Cathy will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Quest, our new anthology of 17 stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"Inspiration is a gift" | B. R. Collins, Aarhus 39

B. R. Collins is an acclaimed British writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Collins will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Quest, our new anthology of 17 stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"When I was a child I thought authors were a kind of special creature" | Annelise Heurtier, Aarhus 39

Annelise Heurtier is an acclaimed Tahitian-French writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Annelise will be appearing at the inaugural International Children's Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Quest, our new anthology of 17 stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

"I love children as an audience" | Anna Woltz, Aarhus 39

Anna Woltz is an acclaimed Dutch writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Anna will be appearing at the inaugural International Children's Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Quest, our new anthology of 17 stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

“Writing for children is magical” | Andri Antoniou, Aarhus 39

“Writing for children is magical” | Andri Antoniou, Aarhus 39
Andri Antoniou is an acclaimed Cypriot writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Andri will be appearing at the inaugural International Children's Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Quest, our new anthology of 17 stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

“Life can be fascinating when we pay attention” | Ana Pessoa, Aarhus 39

“Life can be fascinating when we pay attention” | Ana Pessoa, Aarhus 39

Ana Pessoa is an acclaimed Portuguese writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Ana will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Odyssey, our new anthology of  stories for young adults, inspired by journeys. 

“Everything is possible when you write for children” | Ævar Þór Benediktsson, Aarhus 39

“Everything is possible when you write for children” | Ævar Þór Benediktsson, Aarhus 39

 Ævar Þór Benediktsson is an acclaimed Icelandic writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Ævar will be appearing at the inaugural International Children's Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here he talks about his new story for Quest, our new anthology of 17 stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

… FROM OUR INTERNATIONAL FELLOW (PART 4)

… FROM OUR INTERNATIONAL FELLOW (PART 4)

Jenny Valentine is Creative Wales Hay Festival International Fellow 2017/18, travelling to each Hay Festival edition to meet with young people and explore the experience of adolescence. Here the award-winning writer offers her first dispatch from Hay Festival Segovia 2017…

We are in the private garden of Leandro Silva, across the river in Segovia.  He designed the Botanical Gardens in Madrid and this place was his dream, his oasis, his final project, still lovingly tended. 

FRIVOLOUS? I DON'T THINK SO | KIRSTY LANG

FRIVOLOUS? I DON'T THINK SO | KIRSTY LANG
It’s 30 years since Hay Festival started with a handful of authors meeting in a Welsh Valley. Now it’s an international brand with offshoots in twenty different countries including Colombia, Peru and Mexico. But running book festivals in one of the most dangerous regions of the world isn’t easy. Hay Festival Mexico has had to relocate three times in 7 years.

… FROM OUR INTERNATIONAL FELLOW (PART 3)

… FROM OUR INTERNATIONAL FELLOW (PART 3)

Jenny Valentine is Creative Wales Hay Festival International Fellow 2017/18, travelling to each Hay Festival edition to meet with young people and explore the experience of adolescence. Here the award-winning writer offers her first dispatch from Hay Festival Segovia 2017…

Segovia’s main square. The bells mark the hour and my second beer. The birds scatter and regroup on the spires of the Cathedral, an alternately modest and opulent building, spacious and rich, which took over 240 years to complete.

Harari y la fantasía | Héctor Abad Faciolince

Harari y la fantasía | Héctor Abad Faciolince
A veces por los distintos festivales Hay del mundo pasan algunos autores “antes de tiempo”. Quiero decir con esto que sus organizadores están tan bien informados y tienen tan buenos reflejos, tan buen olfato, que nos ofrecen a estos escritores antes de que se hayan vuelto fenómenos mediáticos globales. Cuando Yuval Noah Harari estuvo en el Hay de Cartagena de Indias hace tres años yo no lo había leído todavía y no asistí a sus charlas. Este año, cuando leí de un tirón sus dos libros más célebres, Sapiens y Homo Deus, no me perdono la ceguera de no haber reconocido de inmediato su genialidad hace tres años.

... FROM OUR INTERNATIONAL FELLOW (PART 2)

... FROM OUR INTERNATIONAL FELLOW (PART 2)

Jenny Valentine is Creative Wales Hay Festival International Fellow 2017/18, travelling to each Hay Festival edition to meet with young people and explore the experience of adolescence. Here the award-winning writer offers her second dispatch from Hay Festival Querétaro 2017…

I am sitting at the accidental head of the table in a small dark restaurant in a pretty street in Queretaro. It is late. Huge plates of food are being passed around. Mescal is served in a gourd-bottomed bowl. A man plays guitar very close. If I reached out my right hand, I could play it with him.

ALERTA HAY | FERNANDA MELCHOR

ALERTA HAY | FERNANDA MELCHOR
Tuve el enorme honor de participar en el evento Alerta: Género, que tuvo lugar la tarde del sábado 9 de septiembre en el Museo de la Ciudad de Querétaro. Y digo honor porque no todos los días una escritora como yo tiene la oportunidad de escuchar y conversar con dos mujeres brillantes y comprometidas con la realidad social de México, como lo son la activista social Aleida Quintana y la periodista Anabel Hernández.

NO FEAR | Kirsty Lang

NO FEAR | Kirsty Lang
Listening to Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova address a theatre full of young Mexicans has to be one of the highlights of the festival in Querétaro. Dressed in a simple white shirt dress and bright red socks, the young Russian artist and activist exudes both charisma and vulnerability. Still only 27, this young woman has packed a lot into her short life. She’s a mother, a feminist, a human rights activist, a conceptual artist and a perpetual thorn in Putin’s flesh. 

Rompope from the Virgin of Guadalupe | Norman Ohler

Rompope from the Virgin of Guadalupe | Norman Ohler

My dark horse of a book High Hitler has brought me to Latin America for the third time this year. After Colombia and Brazil, it is now Mexico - and slowly an image of the whole continent is forming in my head - puzzle pieces coming together.

Mexico! I can hardly express how much I enjoy taking part in its sophisticated discourse, if ever so slightly. Talking about bad leaders and their hypocrite war on drugs, has a special ring here, touching on severe implications that trouble especially this – but also other – societies.

"Now is the time for conversation" | Carlos Fonseca, Bogotá 39

The rumor of Spanish chatter makes me feel that México is home.

Just a couple of minutes after landing in Benito Juárez airport, I realize that four years of living in the United Kingdom have made me nostalgic about my own mother tongue. Very soon, I will discover that Querétaro will be just as familiar and endearing.

Every corner in Querétaro is full of Mexican flags for sale, and every small park – of which there are dozens, all beautiful – is full of life. National celebrations, music, street vendors.

... from our International Fellow (part 1)

... from our International Fellow (part 1)

Jenny Valentine is Creative Wales Hay Festival International Fellow 2017/18, travelling to each Hay Festival edition to meet with young people and explore the experience of adolescence. Here the award-winning writer offers her first dispatch from Hay Festival Querétaro 2017...

I am in awe of Mexican trucks and topiary.

The trucks are huge. I daydream about converting one into a house.

MEN, WOMEN AND GRIEF | DR MARK TAUBERT

MEN, WOMEN AND GRIEF | DR MARK TAUBERT

On Friday the 26th May 2017, the 30th Hay Festival drew a spotlight on men and how they deal with grief, with George Brinley Evans, broadcaster Phil Steele and Dr Mark Taubert drawing on personal experience to discuss why in our society men still often suffer silently.

Dr Mark Taubert is a palliative care consultant at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff and Hywel Francis and chair of the Byw Nawr end of life care coalition in Wales. For the Hay Festival blog, Mark shares his thoughts on whether gender differences in grief experience are in fact as pronounced as many think or whether there are other factors at play...

THE BOOKSELLER YA PRIZE WINNER | PATRICE LAWRENCE

THE BOOKSELLER YA PRIZE WINNER | PATRICE LAWRENCE

Everything in my head is a story - a snippet of conversation, a tiny article in a magazine, a glimpse into a kitchen window from the Overground train heading north from Deptford. Not everyone knows how that feels, but Hay is full of people whose brains work like mine.  In the Green Room, the thrum of ideas is almost audible.

Or that could have been the rioting butterflies as I waited for the YA Book Prize author panel. I was even too nervous to play ‘spot-the-celebrity-without-actually-looking-at-them’.

MARVELLOUS MEMORIES | ROBIN STEVENS

MARVELLOUS MEMORIES | ROBIN STEVENS
Some of my happiest childhood memories are the road trips I took with my father to Hay-on-Wye. He was an avid reader, and delighted that I was too, so at least once every year we’d get into the car and drive to Hay. The visits felt marvellous, part treasure hunt and part religious experience; endless shelves and endless books, all of which could be mine.

HAY-DREAMING | NATALIE HAYNES

HAY-DREAMING | NATALIE HAYNES

Hay has always had a dream-like quality for me: the way it appears overnight in a field, like a bookish Brigadoon; the need for sunglasses, wellies, and a winter coat all in one day; and the unsettling combination of familiar and exotic.

The last time I was here (as a comedian in those days, not yet an author), I wandered past a man who reminded me of my granddad, only later realising that it was David Attenborough and I had missed my one chance to thank him for Monty Python and the snooker.

CONTEXT IS ALL | MARK BLAYNEY, WRITERS AT WORK

Context is all, they say, which makes you immediately want to know the context of that statement – who are ‘they’, and when did they say it? In our soundbite age perhaps we should have context A-levels and context MAs as part of the armoury against post-truth – a line pulled from conversation devoid of context can be dangerous. Why am I making this point, you wonder; and you wonder because I haven’t given you the context. Here it comes.

THE GIFT OF TIME | REBECCA PARFITT, WRITERS AT WORK

At this festival we have been given the gift of time. We share and receive the time of each other and the time of guests and readers invited. It is the festival of ideas and we absorb them to the point of brimming and over spilling – we are full and contented with it.

David Mitchell demonstrated a striking example of generosity and kindness, for a writer of his stature there was no pretentiousness, no attitude.

CRICKET COOKIES | SARAH BEYNON

CRICKET COOKIES | SARAH BEYNON

 I have been lucky enough to enter the Hay Festival through the artists entrance every year for the last six years. I now feel like I'm part of the 'Hay Happy Family' and I'm hatching plans of how I can stay as part of this family for the next six years!

In 2012 I competed in the Green Dragon's Den held on the Hay on Earth stage. I won the competition and the £10,000 investment enabled me to start my venture, Dung Beetles Direct.

ILLUSTRATOR IN RESIDENCE | KAMILA SLOCINSKA

ILLUSTRATOR IN RESIDENCE | KAMILA SLOCINSKA

I am a Danish-Polish illustrator and children’s book writer and was happy to be invited by the British council as the illustrator in residence at this year’s festival. It was my first time at Hay and my first time as an illustrator in residence, so I really didn’t now what to expect and arrived with a curious and open mind!

 It was an eye opening experience on quite many levels.

CULTURAL STEREOTYPES | ATHENE DONALD

CULTURAL STEREOTYPES | ATHENE DONALD
As a Professor of Physics, the Hay Festival is perhaps not exactly my usual environment and this was my first visit. I had little idea what to expect, although (scientific) colleagues had waxed lyrical about their own visits. I deliberately chose a topic that I felt would have general appeal. Although I work on what I think of as the ‘physics of the everyday’ which can be made pretty non-technical, I still felt it might not appeal broadly. So, I chose to talk about ‘How cultural stereotypes damage innovation’.

LET’S TALK | CLARE E POTTER, WRITERS AT WORK

LET’S TALK | CLARE E POTTER, WRITERS AT WORK

Hay’s a strange place. Hugely influential public figures can be seen on the stage, in the bookshop; you might, if lucky, get the opportunity to speak with a favourite author, academic, a musician who has sound-tracked your life. I’ve had some ‘wow’ moments, but this year, it’s the unexpected things, the unexpected people who have had the biggest impact on me.

YA BOOK PRIZE | LAURE EVE

YA BOOK PRIZE | LAURE EVE

“Look mum, I’m an artist.”

I come close to sending this message to my mother as I approach a notice saying ARTIST RECEPTION on my way to the green room, but I manage to hold onto the remains of my cool long enough to resist the urge.

Hay Festival is everything and nothing like I imagined.

PEARL-LINED HAY | CLEMENCY BURTON-HILL

PEARL-LINED HAY | CLEMENCY BURTON-HILL
I was in my final year at university, reading English literature and writing a dissertation about the American author Don DeLillo. He had a new novel coming out, Cosmopolis, and by chance I read in a newspaper one morning that he would be appearing at a UK literary festival in a place called Hay-on-Wye. I didn’t have the wit to wonder “Hay-on-Wye?” as Arthur Miller famously did: “is that some kind of sandwich?” but I did think: this place sounds unreal. I need to get myself over there. So I got on a train to Hereford – and that was that.

JUST ASK | PHIL JONES, WRITERS AT WORK

JUST ASK | PHIL JONES, WRITERS AT WORK

I’m staying with Jo who runs the vintage store at Hay Festival. She tells me how she got her ‘in’: a flippant remark to Peter Florence, Hay’s festival director, about how well her clothes would sell on the site.

“Well, how about we try it?” he replied. Five years later Hay Does Vintage is an annual bustling emporium of floral frocks, boho jewellery and dapper hats.

THE ILLUSTRATION HOT SEAT | ED VERE

THE ILLUSTRATION HOT SEAT | ED VERE

There’s an innocent looking field outside the small town of Hay-on-Wye, which is home to one of nature’s great events.

Each year towards the end of May, from all directions and all countries, an incredible gathering of great minds occurs. Few places on earth witness such a rich concentration of Homo Sapiens exchanging ideas, thoughts, philosophies, opinions, jokes, conversations, drawings and songs.

A COMMUNITY OF WRITERS | RHYS OWAIN WILLIAMS, WRITERS AT WORK

A COMMUNITY OF WRITERS | RHYS OWAIN WILLIAMS, WRITERS AT WORK
The last time I performed on a Bank Holiday Monday, I was 14 years old and ‘first saxophonist’ in Morriston Concert Band. This lofty position as lead on the reed wasn’t based on ability (I could barely read sheet music, and mimed playing along to most of the band’s repertoire), but instead on the simple fact that I was the onlysaxophonist. Looking back, I realise my old band mates were very kind, as it must have been painfully clear that the saxophone part was missing from many of our songs.

ENDING ADVERSITY | LAURA BATES

ENDING ADVERSITY | LAURA BATES
Sometimes, numbers are so large that they threaten to become meaningless. We can comprehend an issue that affects a hundred people, or two hundred, but hearing about adversity and injustice that impacts millions can be difficult to process. So it was a poignant and challenging task to discuss the issues facing girls around the world with a Hay audience, in association with the charity Plan International.

A FEAST OF DEBATE | JESSICA SEATON

A FEAST OF DEBATE | JESSICA SEATON
The village of Hay-on-Wye hunkers under the steep slopes of Hay bluff, and for a short while the hugger-mugger tents of the festival gather around the southern skirts of the town, fields co-opted for car parks, helpful yellow-jacketed volunteers at hand to point you in the right direction. On the days I visited the weather was soft, a diffuse ceiling of low cloud obscuring the tops of the hills. You feel the presence of the land. Big land & sheltered people.

MYTHS OF THE BRECON BEACONS – HORATIO CLARE

MYTHS OF THE BRECON BEACONS – HORATIO CLARE
I picked up a poet in Hebden Bridge and we set out for Hay on a blazing afternoon. Zaffar Kunial is the gentlest of men, his quiet voice a serum against the bank holiday traffic as we battered through Manchester, over the border and down into the lanes of Wales, which are busy with bullfinches. When Zaffar performs he recites from memory. Ambushed with a request to do half an hour in front of an audience which included Sir Ian McKellen, he recalled blanking, twice.

WHERE YOUR VOICE CAN BE HEARD – BY REFUGEE AICHA

Hi to everybody. I am Aicha Diallo, I come from Guinea in West Africa. I am 35 years old. Now I live in Newport in South Wales. I am alone in this country, something which is very sad for me – but I am alive.

I came to the UK because I was forced to marry a man who I don’t love. It was an arranged marriage; my family forced me to marry him.

LIFE IMITATING ART – ARTEMIS COOPER

LIFE IMITATING ART – ARTEMIS COOPER
Lucy Hughes-Hallett’s conversation with Claire Armistead had already begun by the time I arrived on Tuesday. Lucy was talking about her first novel, Peculiar Ground, which is all about people  building walls around themselves and their properties. As she was finishing the book, waves of Syrian refugees were walking across Europe, trying to find a home – it’s amazing how a novel, born of imagination, can suddenly connect with a tragedy preoccupying us all.

A PASSAGE FROM INDIA – ANIL DHARKER

A PASSAGE FROM INDIA – ANIL DHARKER

I’m a writer and columnist from Mumbai and I founded and run the Mumbai International Literary Festival, which is now 8 years old.

Many literary festivals are fairly similar to each other, so Mumbai International Literary Festival has many things in common with Hay Festival. We also end the evening with a performance, which is in some way related to literature. We don’t do music as such, unless there is a literary connection though. A few years ago, we had an English group doing hip hop Shakespeare or we may have a dance connected to literature in some way.

SMART AND WOKE – TRACY CHEVALIER

SMART AND WOKE – TRACY CHEVALIER

Hay feels a bit like summer camp. It’s warm, there’s tons of cool stuff to do, it’s all crammed onto one site and is slightly chaotic yet somehow comes together at the last minute. It works because of the people: the organisers, the performers and the audience members are all pulling in the same direction.

I arrive thinking only of my events and what I’m going to say, and a mere 24 hours later I’m shouting out answers to the big questions without being scared to think fast. What does hope look like?

THE SORROWS OF ASYLUM – BY REFUGEE AFERDITA

Refugee Aferdita shared her moving story with the Hay audience.

Here she shares a poem that she penned in remembrance of her mother who died after Aferdita had sought asylum in the UK. Aferdita learnt English at British Red Cross English Classes in South Wales.

A WELSH CAFÉ PHILOSOPHIQUE – MATT CARR

A WELSH CAFÉ PHILOSOPHIQUE – MATT CARR
On Tuesday I appeared at Hay for the first time, in conversation with Abdul Rehman Malik about my book Blood and Faith: the Purging of Muslim Spain.  I had been to Hay-on-Wye in the past, and spent time poring through its secondhand bookshops and grazing in cafés, but I’d never been to the festival itself.  I wasn’t sure beforehand whether a discussion about the 400-year-old expulsion of the Moriscos and ethnic cleansing would be the most enticing subjects on a grey Bank Holiday Monday, but I should have known better.

THE YOUNGER ONES – ADE EDMUNDSON

THE YOUNGER ONES – ADE EDMUNDSON

I arrive at the Hay Festival. The sky is rather menacing and it’s threatening to rain – is this an omen? Should I turn back now?

It’s my first time here as a performer. In fact, it’s only the second time I’ve delivered this ‘set’. I’m nervous about the ‘set’ anyway. ‘I’ve never done children’s entertaining before!’ I wailed to my wife this morning. ‘Yes you have,’ she said, ‘Just do what you normally do but take out the swear words.’

MATHS JOKES – RHYD LEWIS

MATHS JOKES – RHYD LEWIS

So, I agreed to give a talk at the Hay Festival about Mathematics. I have to admit that when I agreed to this, I was a little worried. What if no one came? What if no one understood? Or worse still, what if no one cared?

Discussing maths queries like how to complete a pub crawl most efficiently, if we’re really separated by just six degrees, and how Facebook makes friend recommendations, is maths that’s relevant to every day life though.

THE GODS OF MY ANCESTORS – ERIC NGALLE CHARLES

THE GODS OF MY ANCESTORS – ERIC NGALLE CHARLES

It is an absolute privilege to be performing my play My mouth Brought Me Here at the Hay Festival 30thanniversary. It is as if the gods of my ancestors have remembered my name and have decided to open the floodgates of heaven my way. Effectively, ‘I have washed my hands clean, I can now eat with the elders’.

I am so honoured and humbled at such an opportunity, my whole village is proud of my achievements so far, but this tops everything else I have done so far.

PERSON AND PERFORMANCE – ZILLAH BOWES, WRITERS AT WORK

PERSON AND PERFORMANCE – ZILLAH BOWES, WRITERS AT WORK
I’m sitting in a café tent with early festival-goers at the beginning of the day. It’s a soft moment before the festival breaks; chatting, screen-tapping, coffee-grinding. I’ve just walked up from Hay town with poet Zaffar Kunial. We talked about performance, about the complexity of not always knowing who you are, while wanting to be yourself, and the desire to perform well, which sometimes requires a persona.

HATS OFF TO HAY – SARAH MCINTYRE

HATS OFF TO HAY – SARAH MCINTYRE
Hay’s brilliant! Where else do you get Paddy Ashdown asking to borrow your hat?

I didn’t grow up in Britain and I don’t know who a lot of the big names are, so I depend on my co-author, Philip Reeve, to tell me about whoever it is I’ve just been larking around with in the Green Room. I haven’t had to pull my wellies out of my suitcase yet, we’ve been awfully lucky this year.

LOSING YOURSELF AT HAY – THERESA MARTEAU

LOSING YOURSELF AT HAY – THERESA MARTEAU
John Mullan, Colm Toibin, Polly Toynbee, Philippe Sands, Helena Kennedy – just a few of the Hay Stars that contribute to my cultural highlight each year – the first weekend of Hay. This year I lost much of this by coming to Hay as a speaker.  Either events I wanted to hear clashed with events I was part of or I felt my time was better spent focused on what I had to do next. I’m relieved to say that this loss was more than compensated for by the thrill and terror of presenting to a Hay audience.

THE HAY METROPOLIS – PAUL CARTLEDGE

THE HAY METROPOLIS – PAUL CARTLEDGE

As I write this short blog, I am wearing my Herodotus t-shirt: ‘HERODOTUS’ is emblazoned in capital letters above an Ionic column on the front, ‘Smarter than You’ on the back. This is in tribute to my ‘Herodotus 2500' talk on Monday May 29th, event no 188 on the Good Energy (nomen omen) stage.

This wasn’t the first time I’d made Hay, far from it. The first time, I dimly remember, I was housed in a small hotel slap bang in the centre of town and took the complimentary bus to and from the Festival site, in all weathers.

A FAIRGROUND OF INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY – HELEN CZERSKI

A FAIRGROUND OF INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY – HELEN CZERSKI
Walking into the Hay Festival for the first time on Friday felt like passing through the gates of a giant fairground of intellectual curiosity.    Instead of roller coasters, carousels and a coconut shy, there were master storytellers, politicians, and historians, whisking the punters from one glittering stall of ideas to the next.  Hoopla might be a hard game to win, but lob a question at a Hay speaker, and you were always guaranteed a prize.

WE’LL SLEEP WHEN WE’RE DEAD – MEG ROSOFF

WE’LL SLEEP WHEN WE’RE DEAD – MEG ROSOFF

Everyone always says this was the best Hay ever but this one (my seventh? Eighth?) really was.

It started in the car from Hereford, where I talked with neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow about her thesis on schizophrenia and the fact that 10% of ordinary people have experienced hallucinations. I asked whether the (occasional) waking visions I’ve had qualify, but her son threw up all over the car so I missed her answer.

WORDS CAN BE CIVILISING – DAVID WALKER

WORDS CAN BE CIVILISING – DAVID WALKER

In some ways, British culture and politics have coarsened in recent times. Post Brexit the language and tenor of public conversation are rougher, darker. Deliberate falsehood seems easier to pass off.

Bit here, at Hay, the air is heady, the talk sophisticated and passion for truth unabated. In this binary age, which is the truer representation of who we are and who we might become? If Hay goers and presenters are the ‘liberal elite’, long may we contend.

LIFE HACKS AND OLYMPIC MEDALS – TOM DALEY

LIFE HACKS AND OLYMPIC MEDALS – TOM DALEY
After a four and a half hour journey from London and many naps later, I arrived into a stunning welsh field, filled with book lovers of all ages.  I was thrilled to see so many people turn up to hear me speak about my new book “Tom’s Daily Plan”, a health and fitness book that has food, workouts and life hacks to help you feel your best all day everyday.

READERS TO WRITE BOOKS FOR – COLM TOÍBÍN

READERS TO WRITE BOOKS FOR – COLM TOÍBÍN
The audience at Hay is smart. They are here because they are smart. Once you know that then it is great because it is a challenge. Your job is to try and be as intelligent as you can. And thus you get a kind of encounter. 

THE POLITICS OF FOOD – THOMASINA MIERS

THE POLITICS OF FOOD – THOMASINA MIERS

This year saw a return to Hay for me after a five year break having babies(!).  It was bliss to be back.

We packed our 48 hours in with talks on chess and artificial intelligence, the human condition and our propensity for violence, our relationship with Islam, some incredibly moving Letters Live (one, read by Tom Hollander, had an audience of 600 in tears) and a binge at a vintage clothes stall and, of course, the bookshop.

A VISION OF THE AUTHOR AFTERLIFE? – MAZ EVANS

A VISION OF THE AUTHOR AFTERLIFE? – MAZ EVANS

I once remarked to my publisher that the Green Room at Hay, with its eclectic mix of writers from all around the publishing world, must be a vision of author heaven. ‘Or depending who’s there,’ he grinned, ‘a vision of author hell…’

But for me, the Hay Festival has always been Elysian. Apart from the time my 3-year-old daughter trod on Jung Chang’s foot in the Ladies’ loo. When I imagined meeting my literary idol, an incontinent toddler didn’t feature in that publishing paradise.

LIBERALISM WITH A SMALL ‘L’ – NICK CLEGG

LIBERALISM WITH A SMALL ‘L’ – NICK CLEGG
Perhaps a few short hours spent in the beautiful surroundings of the Hay Festival might make one forget that we are in the middle of a general election campaign. Not a chance. The sun shone and the tea and cake flowed, but an encounter with a typically informed Hay audience is as testing as any on the doorstep or TV studio.
With the country deeply unsettled by the uncertainty created by last year’s vote to leave the European Union, the future of British politics was very much up for discussion at the festival – as it is across the country.

FROM VISITOR TO SPEAKER – PAULA HAWKINS

FROM VISITOR TO SPEAKER – PAULA HAWKINS
This was only my second visit to the Hay Festival; my first, back in 2012, was as a visitor. A friend and I spent a couple of blissful days listening to writers, exploring the town and drinking wine in the sun. I remember returning to London after that weekend feeling buoyed, inspired, my notebook crammed with writing tips and snatches of story ideas.

MAKING MARKS AT HAY – CATHY FISHER

MAKING MARKS AT HAY – CATHY FISHER

I am a children’s book illustrator and I’ve been to the Hay festival many times but this was my first event at the festival, talking about two recent children’s picture books written by Nicola Davies, which I have illustrated, Perfect and The Pond.

In front of a lovely audience of small children, sitting on the floor in front of me, I was on my hands and knees, painting on the floor, with an overhead projector showing a watery splash of marks and colour grow on a large piece of water colour paper, while Nicola talked animatedly about swifts, our stories and pond life.

AN ORGY OF BOOK TALK – JOAN BAKEWELL

AN ORGY OF BOOK TALK – JOAN BAKEWELL
I interviewed Ed Balls at Hay. I was looking forward to it enormously because his book is hugely entertaining and, of course, we all know him from Strictly Come Dancing and I knew he would be an entertaining person. I didn’t simply want to let him off the hook by being entertaining only though. I wanted to cross horns with him about politics to some extent, and we’d agreed beforehand that we would talk politics which the audience liked very much. Then we finished off with some slightly breezier anecdotes from him, so it ended on a high and that was enormously popular and engaging. We both enjoyed the event.

A SPECIAL KIND OF STAR-GAZING – MIN JIN LEE

A SPECIAL KIND OF STAR-GAZING – MIN JIN LEE

Authors are vulnerable to star-gazing.

I’d gotten tickets for the David Mitchell event, but because of horrid train delays, I’d missed it. I was heartbroken, because I’d wanted very much to hear him speak. As soon as I got out of the train station in Hereford, I turned to my right and spotted Hari Kunzru, the author of White Tears. I’d just done an event in Brooklyn with his talented wife Katie Kitamura, but I’d never met Hari before. So I ended up meeting a New York resident in Wales.

INSPIRING GIRLS – MIRIAM GONZÁLES DURÁNTEZ

INSPIRING GIRLS – MIRIAM GONZÁLES DURÁNTEZ

At Hay, I’ve been talking about my book ‘Made in Spain’ and about food and cooking. But also about the connection of that, and of that book in particular, to a campaign that I’m doing called ‘Inspiring Girls’. I’ve also therefore also been talking about women and girls and feminism.

I launched the Inspiring Girls campaign three and a half years ago. It’s about bringing women, all sorts of women, from all walks of life and of all ages and all possible situations, back to school. They give one hour per year and so it’s not a huge time commitment and everyone can do it.

WHERE SERIOUSNESS MEETS LUNACY – KATHERINE RUNDELL

WHERE SERIOUSNESS MEETS LUNACY – KATHERINE RUNDELL

On Friday night I was speaking on BBC R4's Front Row, presented by John Wilson live from one of Hay’s tents.

I was speaking with Julia Donaldson about the ways in which children’s fiction can inspire empathy: about how it can teach children to understand that behind each face is a mind as real and tangled and intricate as their own.

MUSIC OF THE WRITTEN WORD – AMY MACDONALD

MUSIC OF THE WRITTEN WORD – AMY MACDONALD
I played a concert with my band at the Hay Festival on Friday night. It was my first time at Hay and I enjoyed everything about it. It’s been such a lovely day: awesome weather, amazing location and a brilliant crowd. I’ve never been anywhere like it. There’s such a mix of stuff going on and in such a beautiful place. I love being on a programme alongside really great literary names but also fantastic musicians.

THE FUTURE IS GIRL LED – ANNE-MARIE IMAFIDON

THE FUTURE IS GIRL LED – ANNE-MARIE IMAFIDON

I’ve been talking about how the future is girl led, which means that when we talk about the future we are talking about the impact that girls will have on STEM. Stem being science, technology, engineering and maths.

Because this is a literary festival we were talking about the sci-fi genre. There’s a lot of futuristic technology and bits of pieces that we’ll have. Us humans will probably largely stay the same, but we’ll have loads of cool machines, flying cars and whatever, and all of that future will be created by those who have some sort of STEM appreciation.

QUANTUM COMPUTING AT HAY – LINDE WESTER

QUANTUM COMPUTING AT HAY – LINDE WESTER

How does quantum mechanics work? How can we use its counter intuitive laws to develop innovative technology? These were the two questions that I discussed in my talk on quantum computing at the Hay festival today.

When I asked my teachers in high school about quantum mechanics, I was told to attend weeks of lectures at university before they could start explaining me anything. At university, these weeks of lectures taught me which equations to solve to determine the energy of a hydrogen atom.

AN EVANGELIST FOR NATURE – STEPHEN MOSS

AN EVANGELIST FOR NATURE – STEPHEN MOSS

A sunny day at the end of May – I really should be out birding. Instead I am in a tent at Hay, with an audience eager to find out about my new book – Wonderland. This is, I explain, a kind of ‘Tweet of the Day’ but with all Britain’s wild creatures and plants – or at least the ones my co-author Brett Westwood and I chose to write about.

Actually, what I’m really here for is to continue my secret mission – as an evangelist for nature.

A SIZZLING START – PHILIP ARDAGH

A SIZZLING START – PHILIP ARDAGH

The words ‘Hay Festival’ and ‘sunshine’ rarely go together but today has been a scorcher and the site has been crawling with hundreds of excited, red-faced, panting, school children. It’s Day One of the Schools’ Programme and I’ve been leaping about enthusiastically, talking about life in medieval England.

I’ve been appearing at Hay since the festival was held on the school site in town, and have seen its transmogrification over the years as it edges down the hill. It gets bigger and bigger but still manages to retain its unique Hay feel, as well as attracting a wonderfully diverse mix of speakers.