Hay Player

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…

Hay Player

Frank Pope

Dragon Sea

Hay Festival 2007, 
The project’s archeological manager tells the intriguing and thrilling story of the excavation of the An Hoi wreck, embedded deep beneath a typhoon-prone stretch of the Vietnamese coast, known as the Dragon Sea.

Hay Player

Peter Carey talks to John Walsh

Theft: A Love Story

Hay Festival 2006, 
The double Booker Prizewinner (True History of the Kelly Gang, Oscar and Lucinda) discusses his lewdly funny new art world novel with the Independent writer.

Hay Player

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Please note slots are open to unpublished writers only.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

Hay Player

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

Hay Player

Jonny Duddle

The King of Space

Hay Festival 2013, 

The Pirates Next Door creator is back with a new bestseller in which Rex plots to be the King of Space. Luckily, when he goes too far with his dung-blasters, Mum is nearby…

5+ years

Hay Player

Tom Fletcher talks to Katrin Bennhold

Naked Diplomacy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age

Hay Festival 2016, 

In the next hundred years, the world will need to deal with the same amount of social development witnessed in the past 43 centuries – the rebirth of the city state, the battle for new energy, disappearing borders, the desire of the world’s people to move to developed nations. The former ambassador explores the core principles of a progressive C21st foreign policy: how to balance interventionism and national interest, and to use global governance to achieve national objectives. He discusses smart power, soft power and the new interventionism alongside lessons from the most notorious leaders and diplomats across the world including Talleyrand, Kissinger, Mandela and the Kennedys.

A former frontman, teacher, boxer and salesman, at 36 Tom Fletcher became the youngest senior British ambassador for 200 years. He pioneered using new technology to connect with people across a Middle East in upheaval. He is now a Professor of International Relations, and a campaigner for global education, the creative industries and coexistence.

Hay Player

Anabel Inge talks to Sameer Rahim

The Making of a Salafi Muslim Woman: Paths to Conversion

Hay Festival 2017, 

Many young British women are actively choosing to embrace Salafism’s (or Wahhabism’s) literalist beliefs and strict regulations, including heavy veiling, wifely obedience and seclusion from non-related men. How do these young women reconcile such demands with their desire for university education, fulfilling careers and loving relationships? Drawing on more than two years of ethnographic fieldwork in London, Inge examines the attractions of Salafism.

Anabel Inge talks to Sameer Rahim

Hay Player

Lemn Sissay

Reformations 17: Care

Hay Festival 2017, 

The passionate and powerful poet re-imagines the way in which the State might raise children placed in its care. Sissay is Chancellor of the University of Manchester. His foster parents placed him into care at the age of 12. He lived in care homes until he was 18. Chaired by Claire Armitstead.

Lemn Sissay

Hay Player

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

Hay Player

Ted Nield

Incoming! Or, Why We Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Meteorite

Hay Festival 2011, 
470 million years ago, a stupendous collision in the Asteroid Belt bombarded the Earth with meteorites of all sizes. A revolutionary idea is emerging that the resulting ecological disturbance may have been responsible for the single greatest increase in biological diversity since the origin of complex life.

Hay Player

Jan Blake with Raymond Sereba

The Buffalo Woman - Storytelling

Hay Festival 2012, 
A hunter kills buffalo and takes the meat back to his village. But the young buffalo calf that watched him kill her mother is determined to make him pay. After many years of planning, the shape-shifting Buffalo Woman goes on a quest for revenge but doesn’t anticipate the lengths a mother will go to in order to protect her son.
 
Delicate and dramatic by turn, their song and music, which includes the extraordinary Dodo mouth bow, cradles the story in a truly evocative soundscape

Hay Player

Daniel Mordzinski in conversation with Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Cartagena 2012, 
Daniel Mordzinski, the writers’ photographer, has been working on an ambitious “human atlas” of Spanish and Latin American literature for more than thirty years. This Argentinean, who has been living in Paris since 1980, has been taking portraits of the most important figures in Spanish-language literature and has become a companion to three generations of writers. Photographer of the Spanish-speaking Hay Festivals and graphic correspondent for the newspaper El País in Paris, Mordzinski is the author of a number of books, the latest of which is Últimas noticias del sur. Created together with Luis Sepúlveda, it tells of a long trip through Patagonia. It is also “a book of posthumous news, the novel of a region that has disappeared.”

Hay Player

Tilly And Friends

Hay Festival 2013, 

Join picture-book genius Polly Dunbar to find out what Tilly’s friends Hector, Doodle, Tumpty, Tiptoe and Pru have been up to.

4+ years

Hay Player

Brian Kimberling and Nathan Filer talk to Lisa Dwan

Fictions – Coming Of Age

Hay Festival 2013, 

Set in a brilliantly-observed rural Indiana, ‘the bastard son of the Midwest’, Kimberling’s Snapper is a book about bird-watching, a woman who won’t stay true, and a pick-up truck that won’t start. Filer’s The Shock Of The Fall tells the tale of a man’s descent into mental illness.

Hay Player

Evelyn Juers

House of Exile

Hay Festival 2011, 
A unique imagining of the unconventional love affair between the writer and political activist Heinrich Mann and Nelly Kroeger – a tall, blonde ex-barmaid twenty-seven years his junior – recounting their flight from Nazi Germany in 1933, to France and then to Los Angeles. Chaired by Hannah Rothschild.

Hay Player

Melissa Cole

Let Me Tell You About Beer

Hay Festival 2015, 

An hour of beer tasting with one of Britain’s most entertaining connoisseurs.

The author of Let Me Tell You About Beer is living the beer dream. Not only does she write extensively about the world's favourite drink, she also works with chefs to create beer and food extravaganzas in venues as diverse as Michelin-starred restaurants to local pubs, and is invited to judge at beer competitions from London to Brussels and Amsterdam to America.

Her reputation for having a fine palate and fun approach to all things brewed also translates to actually making beer, and some of her collaborative beers have gone on to become huge successes for the breweries Melissa made them with, never profiting herself.

Melissa Cole

Hay Player

Jerry Brotton

Reformations 14: Shakespeare

Hay Festival 2017, 

The author of This Orient Isle asks how we understand Shakespeare in a global world when his language seems more remote than ever. Drawing on his recent involvement in international productions of Macbeth and Othello he explains how Shakespearean character and language is created through rehearsal and stage action. He concludes by arguing that schools should stop studying the plays as words on the page but instead rehearse and perform them however they can.  

Jerry Brotton

Hay Player

Tony Hawks

Once Upon a Time in the West Country

Hay Festival 2015, 

The comedian and bestselling author gives an hilarious account of his move from London life to deepest Devon. Hawks is a townie but, as we know from his entertaining exploits hitchhiking around Ireland with a fridge and taking on the Moldovan football team one by one at tennis, he is up for a challenge. He takes part in a calamitous tractor run, chairs a village meeting, and finds time for one last adventure as fatherdom beckons – cycling coast to coast with a mini pig called Titch.

Tony Hawks

Hay Player

Brendan Simms

Cambridge University Series 15: Did the Germans Win the Battle of Waterloo?

Hay Festival 2015, 

In 1815, after Europe had been at war for over 20 years, two large, hastily-mobilised armies faced each other at the small Belgian village of Waterloo to decide the future of Europe. Unknown to Napoleon or Wellington, the battle would be decided by a small, ordinary group of British and German troops given the task of defending the farmhouse of La Haye Sainte.

Brendan Simms

Hay Player

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

Hay Player

Henrietta L. Moore and Ricken Patel

Cambridge University Series 9: The Future of Civic Activism

Hay Festival 2014, 

Relationships between state and society have undergone a significant shift over the last decade. On both sides promises have been made and broken, expectations raised and shattered, partnerships brokered and roles reversed. Moreover, the influence of non-state actors has become impossible to discount. Professor Moore will talk about changes in ‘politics from below’ and ask whether there is something genuinely new in kind about the way in which civil society is now operating. She is joined by video link by the co-founder of the global protest movement AVAAZ. 

Hay Player

Will Smith and Roberto Ampuero

Fictions – Thrillers

Hay Festival 2015, 

Mainlander is the thrilling debut set on Jersey from comedy writer Will Smith (Veep, The Thick of It) – a novel about loneliness, about not belonging and about the corroding effects of keeping secrets. Evocative and romantic, Ampuero’s The Neruda Case spans lies and truth, travelling between uneasy peace and political coup, from life to death. Brulé, a daydreamer and reluctant detective, is lost among Latin America’s uncertainties, venality and corruption while his first case introduces one of the great characters of international crime fiction. They talk to Rosie Goldsmith.

Will Smith and Roberto Ampuero

Hay Player

Janine di Giovanni talks to Alex Clark

The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria

Hay Festival 2016, 

Delivered with passion, fearlessness and sensitivity, The Morning They Came for Us is an unflinching account of a nation on the brink of disintegration, charting an apocalyptic but at times tender story of life in a jihadist war. It is an unforgettable testament to human resilience in the face of devastating, barely imaginable horrors.  Di Giovanni is Middle East editor of Newsweek and the author of Madness Visible.

Janine di Giovanni talks to Alex Clark

Hay Player

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.