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Stephen Moss

Tweet of the Day

Hay Festival 2014, 

Imagine a jazz musician, improvising on a theme. Then imagine that he is able to play half a dozen instruments – not one after another, but almost simultaneously, switching effortlessly between instruments and musical styles with hardly a pause for breath. If you can countenance that, you are halfway towards appreciating the extraordinary song of the nightingale…

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David and Ben Crystal

You Say Potato: A Book About Accents

Winter Weekend 2014, 

From reconstructing Shakespeare’s accent to the rise and fall of Received Pronunciation, actor Ben Crystal and his linguist father David travel the world in search of the stories of spoken English. Witty, authoritative and jam-packed full of fascinating facts, You Say Potato is a celebration of the myriad ways in which the English language is spoken – and how our accents, in so many ways, speak louder than words.

David and Ben Crystal

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Peter Godwin

The Fear

Storymoja Nairobi 2013, 

At the time of writing, Robert Mugabe has just secured his seventh term in office. Peter Godwin’s The Fear records the journalist’s travels through his home country after the 2008 elections to see the torture bases, the burned villages, the death squads, the opposition leaders in hiding, the last white farmers, the churchmen and the diplomats putting their own lives on the line to stop the carnage. He currently serves as President of PEN’s American Center.

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Andy Cope & Lara the dog

Spy Dog

Hay Festival 2012, 
Meet the inspiration behind the Spy Dog series and hear all about the thrilling adventures of her namesake. 
 
7+ years

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Julia Golding

Magical Creatures, Perilous Pirates

Hay Festival 2012, 
The super-star scribbler of The Glass Swallow, the Companions Quartet and the Cat Royal series takes us on a whistle stop tour of her fantastical worlds. With hints and tips on how to write your own fantasy adventures along the way.
 
9+ yrs

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Andrew Marr

A History of Modern Britain

Hay Festival 2007, 
The victory of shopping over politics, the collisions of government and people, and the resilience, comedy, cars and greatness of Britannia.

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Olivia Party

Hay Festival 2011, 
Come and meet this gorgeous little pig – listen to her latest adventures, sing songs and twirl to your heart’s content.
 
3–5 years Rib Ticklers

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Open Mic compèred by Lisa Dwan

Hay Festival 2011, 
Roll up! All readings are (rigorously) 5 minutes long. If you have a ticket and you’d like to read, please email siobhan@hayfestival.com with ‘Open Mic’ in the title line to book a slot. Readings can be prose or poetry. 
Please note slots are open to unpublished writers only.

All proceeds to support the education initiatives of the Festivals of Literature Charitable Trust

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Charles Nicholl

Sudden Presence

Hay Festival 2012, 
The acclaimed traveller, biographer and literary sleuth reads from his new collection of investigations Traces Remain and talks about his fascination with the hidden details of the past, and the ‘sudden presence’ of distant historical figures. Chaired by Simon Mundy

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Alan Hollinghurst talks to Gaby Wood

The Stranger’s Child

Hay Festival 2012, 
An epic sweep of the C20th told through the relations between the Sawle and Valance families from the novelist who won the Man Booker prize for The Line of Beauty.

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Jennifer Clement and Cristina Henríquez

The PEN International Fiction Platform

Hay Festival 2014, 

Jennifer Clement (former president of PEN Mexico) and Cristina Henríquez discuss their work.

‘The theme of Prayers for the Stolen is the wanton violence inflicted on women and the destruction of communities as a result of the drug trade in Mexico, but Clement’s eye for the revealing detail, the simple poetry of her language and the visceral authenticity of her characters turn that deadening reality into a compelling, tragically beautiful novel’ – Yann Martel. Henríquez tells the passionate and powerful love story of a Panamanian boy and Mexican girl living the brutal reality of the immigrant’s American dream.

Jennifer Clement and Cristina Henríquez

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Chris Packham and Jason Cockcroft

Amazing Animal Journeys

Hay Festival 2016, 

The TV presenter and wildlife champion shares his passion for the natural world and his deep understanding of the animals that live in it. In his latest book he looks at the incredible journeys animals make as they migrate across the globe. He is joined by illustrator Jason Crockcroft.

6+
Chris Packham and Jason Cockcroft

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Elif Shafak, Rachael Jolley, Sarah Churchwell and David Aaronovitch

The Index Debate: Diss My Mother: Expect a Punch

Hay Festival 2015, 

What are the limits of free speech and civility? What is the nature of ‘offence’? What earns ‘respect’? If words can hurt you, are sticks and stones and broken bones the answer?

Elif Shafak, Rachael Jolley, Sarah Churchwell and David Aaronovitch

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Anabel Hernández, Dina Meza y Jorge Ángel Pérez en conversación con María Jimena Duzán

Literatura y estado

Cartagena 2014, 
Tres distinguidos escritores latinoamericanos comprometidos con la libertad de expresión hablarán de literatura, política y las responsabilidades éticas que debe afrontar un escritor en la Latinoamérica de hoy en día. Anabel Hernández (México), Dina Meza (Honduras) y Jorge Ángel Pérez (Cuba) en conversación con María Jimena Duzán (Colombia). Con el apoyo de PEN International. Un evento ¡Libera la Palabra!

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Danny Dorling and Lucy Wadham

Penguin Underground Lines

Hay Festival 2013, 

Two readings: the geographer, Dorling, tells the stories of the people who live along The 32 Stops Of The Central Line to illustrate the extent and impact of inequality in Britain today. Wadham introduces her Heads And Straights: The Circle Line, an autobiographical tale of bohemians, punk, the King’s Road in the 1970s and family.

TFL celebrates 150 years of the Tube with Penguin

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Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton

That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown

Hay Festival 2015, 
Celebrate the reissue of this classic picture book about adventurous Emily Brown and her toy rabbit companion, Stanley. Learn Cressida’s real life inspiration behind the books, and watch Neal Layton recreate the illustrations.
3+ years
Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton

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Carlos León, Mari Pau Domínguez and José María Lancho in conversation with Jesús García Calero

We Beat the Treasure Hunters: What should Spain do with the galleons now?

Segovia 2014, 

 

The story of the frigate Mercedes and the return of its treasures to Spain has caught people’s attention over the last few months. But one question remains unanswered. Why has Spain still not managed to set up a major scientific study of the galleon and its treasure? Carlos León, archeologist, technical director of the exhibition The last voyage of Mercedes; writer Mari Pau Domínguez, author of Las dos vidas del capitán, and lawyer José María Lancho, specialist in underwater archeological heritage, talk to Jesús García Calero, director of the culture section of ABC newspaper.

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Guy Parker-Rees

Giraffes Can’t Dance

Hay Festival 2013, 

Guy Parker-Rees’ exuberant illustrations have made him a bestseller. You’ll recognise his work from the worldwide hit, Giraffes Can’t Dance, a World Book Day book for 2013. Join the fun!

Duration 45 mins.

4+ years

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Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow

The Shed That Fed a Million Children

Hay Festival 2015, 

The extraordinary story of Mary’s Meals: after watching a news bulletin about war-torn Bosnia, two brothers agreed to take a week’s hiatus from work to help. What neither of them expected is that what began as a one-off road trip in a beaten-up Land Rover rapidly grew to become Magnus’s life’s work – leading him to leave his job, sell his house and direct all his efforts into feeding thousands of the world’s poorest children. He talks to Sarah Crompton.

Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow

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Inside The Archers

A BBC Radio 4 Event at Hay

Hay Festival 2015, 

Find out about life behind the scenes in Ambridge with the Editor of The Archers, Sean O’Connor, and Graham Harvey, the programme's Agricultural Advisor.

Not for broadcast.

BBC Radio 4
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years
Duration: 1 hour
Inside The Archers

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Bill Oddie

Bill Oddie Unplucked

Hay Festival 2015, 

From a less-than-satisfactory press trip to the Galapagos Islands to encounters with orcas in Argentina and Iceland and an invisible tiger in India, the former Goodie and Springwatch presenter gives a humorous take on some of his experiences animal- and bird-watching around the world.

Please click here to prebook dinner at Relish Restaurant on site.

Bill Oddie

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GF Newman talks to Peter Florence

Dark Heart

Winter Weekend 2013, 

The story of Jake Mann, a Jesuit priest who is posted to Nigeria where he suppresses his obsessive desire for women but proves too radical for both the Church and the local security forces, getting involved in campaigns against Big Oil, and discovering a talent for exorcism. A series of bizarre killings follow, both in Nigeria and back in the UK. Most terrifying for Jake is when he realises the identity of the darkest heart behind these killings…

GF Newman talks to Peter Florence

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James Holland

The Battle of Britain

Hay Festival 2011, 
The historian tells the stories of the few who did so much for the many in the five months in 1940 that saved Britain.

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Lizzie Collingham

The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food

Hay Festival 2011, 
Tracing the interaction between food and strategy, on both the military and home fronts, this wide-ranging, gripping and dazzlingly original account demonstrates how the issue of access to food was a driving force both within Nazi policy and for the Allies.

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Peter James talks to Peter Guttridge

Dead Like You

Hay Festival 2010, 
His new serial rapist tale marks James as one of the most compelling and successful crime novelists in the world.