What is a poem? In what way is its use of language distinct? What conditions allow it to arise, and what is its cultural purpose? And how, exactly, do poems work? Part polemic, part technical treatise and part meditation, The Poem is an ambitious contemporary ars poetica. Paterson looks at the writing, transmission and reading of poetry with wit and scholarly flair in a thorough exploration of how and why poems are composed. Paterson was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, and is garlanded with awards for his many collections, which include Nil Nil, God’s Gift to Women, Rain and 40 Sonnets.
A conversation with the great storyteller and comic novelist, author of Rivals, Riders, and most recently, Mount!
An interactive and fun kids’ cookery session with the help of our friends at Causey Farm. Andy Bogie and Moya Ferry are Cook'n Good facilitators who have had real life food adventures that span many continents and countries!
Times of unprecedented pressure and challenge in the NHS have given rise to two heart-breaking memoirs of life in the front line of medicine today. Hear Rachel Clarke, journalist and doctor, and Adam Kay, doctor, writer and comedian in conversation with Anita Donley on healthcare, safety and medicine today.
There was a woman at the heart of the Trojan war whose voice has been silent – until now. Briseis was a queen until her city was destroyed. Now she is slave to Achilles, the man who butchered her husband and brothers. Trapped in a world defined by men, can she survive to become the author of her own story? The Booker-winning novelist reimagines the greatest Greek myth of all – retold by the witness history forgot.
A conversation about fiction and language with two of the greatest Spanish language writers. The Impostor is Cercas’ new novel about the notorious fake Holocaust survivor, Enric Marco. With profound compassion and lacerating honesty, Cercas takes the reader on a journey not only into one man’s gigantic lie, but also into the deepest, most flawed parts of our humanity. Cercas also publishes his book of essays on the novel The Blind Spot. Gabriel Vasquez introduces his novel The Shape of the Ruins. It takes the form of personal and formal investigations into two political assassinations. Separated by more than 30 years, the two murders at first appear unconnected, but as the novel progresses Vásquez reveals how between them they contain the seeds of the violence that has bedevilled Colombia ever since. They talk, in English, to Daniel Hahn.
Up Top was the name given locally to the Mid Wales Mental Hospital above Talgarth; a double meaning like 'round the bend', which often located asylums elsewhere – out of sight and out of mind. Purcell’s hitherto untold history, based on archives and oral testimony from staff and patients, shows how mentally ill people were treated through the 20th century. At first the ‘lunatic asylums’ relied on a strict regime of fresh air and bromide. Then they became ‘mental hospitals’, trying desperate measures like leucotomy, deep sleep narcosis and electro convulsive therapy. Then the word ‘mental’ was dropped and ‘psychiatric hospitals’ moved into the era of heavy drugs and psychotherapy. Finally, community care took over. The history of the Mid Wales’ was typical of many institutions that lie as ruined monuments to our attempts to help the mentally ill.
Established in 1964, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. It is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity and a powerful tool to inform and catalyse policy change. The list provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, threats, and conservation actions. Hoffman currently heads up the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) global conservation programmes and was previously chair of the 25-member IUCN Red List Committee. Bohm is a researcher in the Species Indicators and Assessments Unit at ZSL. Emily Beech is a Conservation Officer at Botanic Gardens Conservation International.
Following the Silk Roads eastwards from Europe through to China, by way of Russia and the Middle East, The New Silk Roads provides a timely reminder that we live in a world that is profoundly interconnected. In this prescient contemporary history, Peter Frankopan assesses the global reverberations of these continual shifts in the centre of power – all too often absent from headlines in the West. Chaired by Elif Shafak.
The author of the In a Nutshell series of books about Irish folklore and historical events conducts a workshop for young readers.
Photo by Priory Studios
The metaphysical poet Henry Vaughan is much anthologized – “I saw Eternity the other night”, “They are all gone into the world of light’; but it is not so well known that he was a native of the Usk valley, and that it is the light on the river and hills of Brecknockshire that shines through his poetry. Inspired by George Herbert, his work interweaves the natural and the spiritual world. Three Vaughan scholars celebrate his work and sense of place.
The LBC radio talkshow host provides a hilarious and invigorating guide to talking to people with faulty opinions. With chapters on every lightning-rod issue in current affairs, James tells the stories of the conversations he’s had, explains why people have been fooled into thinking the way they do, and in each case outlines the key questions to ask to reveal fallacies, inconsistencies and double standards. He talks to Rosie Boycott.
O’Brien’s 2018 Christopher Hitchens Lecture is now available on Hay Player.
JAMES WILL ALSO BE TAKING PART IN THE SUNDAY MORNING POLITICS SHOW - EVENT 31, FOR WHICH THERE ARE STILL A FEW TICKETS AVAILABLE.
The development of painting in London from the Second World War to the 1970s is the story of interlinking friendships, shared experiences and artistic concerns among a number of acclaimed artists, including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Gillian Ayres, Frank Bowling and Howard Hodgkin. Drawing on extensive first-hand interviews, many previously unpublished, with important witnesses and participants, the art critic Martin Gayford teases out the thread connecting these individual lives and demonstrates how painting thrived in London against the backdrop of Soho bohemia in the 1940s and 1950s and ‘Swinging London’ in the 1960s.
The bio-engineer assesses the carbon footprint of popular building materials like steel and concrete and discusses approaches for substituting new bio-inspired materials instead.
Deirdre Sullivan is a ghost-writer for the Nightmare Club series. Deirdre will conduct a workshop for readers, involving spooky collaborative storytelling and getting the children to help finish a Nightmare Club story that she’s working on.
Dr Gallagher from the Department of Radiology at the University of Cambridge discusses the basis of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), how it is currently used to image cancer and what the future of oncological imaging may entail.
Come and draw with CORPSE TALK’S Adam Murphy. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first time comic reader, Adam will help you dig up the best tips and tricks to help you put pencil to paper and create some AWESOME characters! Bring your imagination and prepare to be amazed!
PLUS join other Phoenix creators (some of the UK’s best comic artists) as they show how to construct a brilliant comic from even the craziest ideas – they’ll take you through some top character creation tips and send you away with your very own brilliant comic!
The historian selects letters that have changed the course of global events or expressed a timeless idea – whether passion, rage or humour – from ancient times to the 21st century. Some are noble and inspiring, some despicable and unsettling, some are exquisite works of literature, others brutal, coarse and frankly outrageous; many are erotic, others heartbreaking. His correspondents range from Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great to Mandela, Stalin and Picasso, from Fanny Burney and Emily Pankhurst to Ada Lovelace and Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, Leonard Cohen, Lincoln, Trump and Suleiman the Magnificent.
From the earliest archaeological relics and rituals, through the development of writing and state, to the advent of empire, Harrison-Hall, head of the China section at The British Museum, charts the country's transformation from ancient civilisation to the world’s most populous nation and influential economy, showing us a myriad historical insights and cultural treasures along the way.
A message from the Finnish embassy launches Horatio Clare on a voyage around an extraordinary country and an unearthly place, the frozen Bay of Bothnia, just short of the Arctic Circle. Finland is an enigmatic place, famous for its educational miracle, healthcare and gender equality – as well as Nokia, Angry Birds, saunas, questionable cuisine and deep taciturnity. Aboard the icebreaker Otso Clare gets to know the crew, and explores Finland’s history and character. His most recent books include Down to the Sea in Ships and Myths and Legends of the Brecon Beacons. Chaired by Peter Florence.
The South African-born, anti-apartheid campaigner and politician chronicles the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, from lawyer to ANC freedom fighter, from political prisoner to President of the Rainbow Nation. He charts Madiba’s post-office humanitarian campaigns and gives an intimate and revealing portrait of the beloved global icon. The legacy is more complex, and Hain examines the state of the RSA today after Zuma’s corruption, and as Ramaphosa accedes to power. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
The poet and the film-maker collaborated on the BAFTA Cymru award-winning Aberfan: The Green Hollow, an hour-long film poem about the 1966 tragedy, and are now working on To Provide for All People – a new film celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS. They discuss the stories and people who feature in the new film, and the freedoms and forms of working with poetry. They preview clips of the NHS film that will be broadcast later in the summer.
Mayo’s first adult novel weaves Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet through a tense prison drama that sets itself against the epic backdrop of mighty Dartmoor in 1815. The passions unleashed in this riveting account place black against white and Americans against Britons with the stirring soul of a forbidden love caught in between.
Genealogist Catriona Crowe demonstrates how to use the 1901 and 1911 censuses to trace your ancestry.
Colin Barrett is one of the most compelling and distinctive new Irish voices. His sensational debut collection of short stories is set in Glanbaigh, a small town in rural Ireland. A town in which the youth have the run of the place. Young Skins won the 2014 Rooney Prize, Frank O’Connor Prize and Guardian First Fiction Award. Colin talks to Christine Monk.
Sixty-six million years ago the dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the earth. One of the leading scientists of a new generation of dinosaur hunters, armed with cutting edge-technology, is piecing together the complete story of how the dinosaurs ruled the earth for 150 million years. At a time when Homo sapiens has existed for less than 200,000 years and we are already talking about planetary extinction, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a timely reminder of what humans can learn from the magnificent creatures that ruled the earth before us. Chaired by Gabrielle Walker.
How do women paint or photograph each other? How do they represent each other in performance or sculpture? As mothers or heroines? With tenderness, aggression or respect? Madam and Eve explores the female gaze as it focuses on other women. Rideal is an artist and photographer; Soriano is one of the world’s most respected curators; Bakewell is Bakewell – broadcaster, writer, pioneer.
Eddie Shanahan, Chair of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers, will talk with Sharon Wauchob, Paris-based Irish fashion designer, about the fashion industry here at home and in the international arena.
Psicólogo experimental y profesor de la Universidad de Harvard, Steven Pinker se ha convertido en uno de los escritores más destacados sobre el lenguaje, la mente y la naturaleza humana a nivel internacional. Ha recibido numerosos premios por sus libros, entre los que destacan, Cómo funciona la mente, El instinto del lenguaje, La tabla rasa y Los ángeles que llevamos dentro. Su último libro, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, está dedicado al arte de escribir bien en nuestros días.
Con el apoyo de The Canada Council for the Arts y Blue Metropolis Festival
A performance of the new one-man play by the Cameroon-born playwright and actor, now a Creative Wales Fellow, is followed by a conversation with Owen Sheers about the work and Charles’ extraordinary life. The Last Ritual is based on the author’s last days in the village of Small Soppo in Buea, Cameroon. It looks at love and ultimate betrayal, exploring the theme of witchcraft and the practice of it.
Tudge coined the expression ‘enlightened agriculture’ to describe agriculture that is expressly designed to provide everyone everywhere with food of the highest standard, nutritionally and gastronomically, without wrecking the rest of the world. He explains how we can achieve that, with truly sustainable, resilient and productive farms.
While the land is familiar, even reassuring, the sea is unknown and threatening. Why, then, did humans become seafarers? Part of the answer is that we are conditioned by our genetics to be acquisitive animals: we like to acquire rare materials and we are eager for esoteric knowledge, and society rewards us well for both. And our innate inquisitiveness drives us to explore. The pre-eminent archaeologist looks at the development of seafaring on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, two contrasting seas, the Mediterranean without a significant tide, enclosed and soon to become familiar, the Atlantic with its frightening tidal ranges, an ocean without end. Chaired by Gabrielle Walker.
Lodgaard is one of the world’s most highly regarded authorities on weapons control. He was the Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research from 1992-1996. He examines the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty with specific regard to North Korea and the USA. Chaired by Nik Gowing.
The creator of the ‘Prim’ trilogy (Prim Improper, Improper Order and Primperfect). The first and third of the novels were shortlisted for the Children’s Books Ireland Awards. Deirdre was also the only young adult author shortlisted for the EU Prize for Literature in 2015.
“I’ve discovered that going for a daily walk has become as essential to me feeling good for the rest of the day as that first cup of tea. But I would argue that all I am doing is responding to a natural need we all have. Humans have always been migrants, the physiological urge to be nomadic is deep-rooted in all of us and, perhaps because of that, our brains are stimulated by walking. I solve all sorts of problems, formulate ideas, work things out to that gentle rhythm of self-propelled movement.” As she explores the reasons why we walk, whether for creative energy, challenge and pleasure, or therapeutic benefits, Kate’s reflections and insights will encourage, motivate and spur readers into action.
Linda Ervine of the East Belfast Mission discusses how she brings the Irish language to the unionist population of East Belfast and how she sees the language as a potentially unifying influence and a positive force in Northern Irish society.
Gibson explains how a study of pond slime could cause people to question the existence of the soul; observation of eggs could make a man doubt that God had created the world; how the discovery of the Venus fly-trap was linked to the French Revolution; and how interpretations of fossils could change our understanding of the Earth’s history. Chaired by Daisy Leitch.