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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Please note slots are open to unpublished writers only.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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Philip Ball

Unnatural – The Heretical Idea of Making People

Hay Festival 2011, 
The writer delves beneath the surface of the cultural history of ‘anthropoesis’ – the artificial creation of people – to explore what it tells us about our views on life, humanity, creativity and technology. And what it tells us about the soul.

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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.

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Gina Miller and Henry Porter talk to Helena Kennedy

Brexit Britain 1 – Sovereignty

Hay Festival 2017, 

Who actually holds power in Britain? As the Prime Minister invokes Article 50 with parliamentary approval, what are we giving up and taking back? A free-ranging conversation with Gina Miller, who successfully led the legal challenge to the government over parliamentary prerogative and Henry Porter, host of the Convention on Brexit and the Political Crash. 

Gina Miller and Henry Porter talk to Helena Kennedy

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Kevin N. Laland

Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind

Hay Festival 2017, 

How did the human mind – and the uniquely human ability to devise and transmit culture – evolve from its roots in animal behaviour? The truly unique characteristics of our species – such as our intelligence, language, teaching, and co-operation – are not adaptive responses to predators, disease or other external conditions. Rather, humans are creatures of their own making. The evolutionary biologist traces our rise from scavenger apes in pre-history to modern humans able to design iPhones, dance the tango and send astronauts into space.

Kevin N. Laland

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David Wilson talks to Mark Skipworth

Scott Centenary - Winter Journey

Hay Festival 2012, 
Edward Wilson, Chief of the Scientific Staff and Expedition Artist to Captain Scott’s final expedition, died with his comrades on the Great Ice Barrier while returning from the South Pole. He also led one of the greatest scientific quests of the era, ‘The Worst Journey in the World’ through the Antarctic winter-night to find proof of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in the eggs of the Emperor Penguin. The explorer’s great nephew, author of The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott and Edward Wilson’s Antarctic Notebooks tells the tales.

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Kuldip Nayar

Dhaka 2012, 
Kuldip Nayar is a veteran Indian journalist, syndicated columnist, human rights activist and author, noted for his long career as a left-wing political commentator. His memoir, Beyond The Lines, is newly published in Dhaka. Panel discussion chaired by Mahfuz Anam. 

Beyond The Lines is the debut publication of The Daily Star's new publishing venture, Daily Star Books.

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Paul Murray

Kells 2015, 

The author of the inspired tragi-comic novel Skippy Dies (long-listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize) reads from that book and from his soon-to-be-published The Mark and the Void. He talks to Sinead Gleeson, presenter of The Book Show on RTÉ Radio 1.

Paul Murray

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Emily Gravett, Chris Haughton and Yasmeen Ismail

Words and Pictures

Hay Festival 2015, 
Three of the most talented picture book artists working today will share and swap ideas with each other and the audience to give a fascinating insight into their working methods, and the other creative projects they get involved in when not making picture books.
10+ years
Emily Gravett, Chris Haughton and Yasmeen Ismail

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Timothy Garton Ash

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World

Hay Festival 2016, 

Never in human history was there such an opportunity for freedom of expression. If we have internet access, any one of us can publish almost anything we like and potentially reach an audience of millions. And never was there a time when the evils of unlimited speech flowed so easily across frontiers: violent intimidation, gross violations of privacy, tidal waves of abuse. With vivid examples – from his personal experience of China’s Orwellian censorship apparatus to the controversy around Charlie Hebdo as well as a very English court case involving food writer Nigella Lawson – Garton Ash proposes a framework for civilized conflict in a world in which we are all becoming neighbours.

Timothy Garton Ash

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Lauren Owen and Marcus Sedgwick

Fictions – Gothic

Hay Festival 2014, 

Owen’s The Quick is a macabre gothic mystery set in Yorkshire and fin de siècle London. Sedgwick’s A Love Like Blood is a dark, compelling thriller about how a man’s life can change in a moment; about where the desire for truth – and for revenge – can lead; about love and fear and hatred. And it is also about the question of blood. They talk to Sameer Rahim.

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Dixie O’Day in the Fast Lane

Hay Festival 2014, 
Clara Vulliamy reads and draws from Dixie O’Day in the Fast Lane, her first collaboration with her mother Shirley Hughes. Design your own crazy vehicle and join the marvellous motors game. Perfect for budding artists and car fans alike.

4–7 years
Dixie O’Day in the Fast Lane

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RIBA Lecture

Hay Festival 2008, 
Ken Shuttleworth of MAKE Architects, who’s previously worked on groundbreaking buildings like Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok Airport and St Mary’s Axe (The Gherkin) in London looks at the challenge of designing a new generation of compelling, dynamic and environmentally responsible buildings within our globally changing landscape. In conversation with Wayne Hemingway.

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Hannah Shaw & Sean Taylor

The Grizzly Bear With The Frizzly Hair

Hay Festival 2011, 
With lots of rhythm and rhyme it’s time to see if you can help Rabbit out of a tricky spot of bother along with the wonderful creators of Crocodiles Are The Best Animals Of All.
 
5–7 years Rib Ticklers

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Frank Gardner talks to Rosie Boycott

Blood and Sand

Hay Festival 2006, 
The Arabist, BBC Security Correspondent, gunned down in Riyadh, whose deep engagement with Islam and the Middle East offers a unique perspective on The War On Terror.

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Robert Irwin and Azar Nafisi

Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange

Hay Festival 2015, 

On the shrouded corpse hung a tablet of green topaz with the inscription: ‘I am Shaddad the Great. I conquered a thousand cities; a thousand white elephants were collected for me; I lived for a thousand years and my kingdom covered both east and west, but when death came to me nothing of all that I had gathered was of any avail. You who see me take heed: for Time is not to be trusted.’

Dating from at least a millennium ago, these are the earliest known Arabic short stories, surviving in a single, ragged manuscript in a library in Istanbul. Some found their way into The Arabian Nights but most have never been read in English before. Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange has monsters, lost princes, jewels beyond price, a princess turned into a gazelle, sword-wielding statues and shocking reversals of fortune.

Robert Irwin’s books include For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies, The Middle East in the Middle Ages, The Arabian Nights: A Companion and (as editor) The Penguin Anthology of Classical Arabian Literature. Azar Nafisi taught Western literature at the University of Tehran, the Free Islamic University and the University of Allameh Tabatabai in Iran. In 1981 she was expelled from the University of Tehran after refusing to wear the veil. In 1994 she won a teaching fellowship from Oxford University, and in 1997 she and her family left Iran for America. She is the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and Things I’ve Been Silent About.

Robert Irwin and Azar Nafisi

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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.

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Holly Smale

Hay Festival 2014, 

Join Holly Smale, winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and creator of the bestselling Geek Girl series, talking to Damian Kelleher about smart and funny fiction for smart and funny readers. Guaranteed to get your geek on!

11+ years

Holly Smale

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Michael Wolff talks to Dylan Jones

Tabletalk

Hay Festival 2014, 

The Vanity Fair journalist and biographer of Rupert Murdoch discusses and updates his classic work The Man Who Owns The News.

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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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Robert Winston

Help Your Kids With Growing Up

Hay Festival 2017, 

A crucial guide for parents and teens to the big issues of adolescence: from physical development, sexuality and sociability to cyberbullying and sexting. Professor Winston is the author of The Human Body, Superhuman, Walking with Cavemen and The Human Mind.

Robert Winston

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Steve Hilton talks to John Kampfner

More Human: The Revolution Starts Here

Hay Festival 2016, 
The Stanford academic and former political advisor revisits his 2015 ideas about a more local, accountable and human society, and examines how this might drive political change. His commitment is given piquancy by the way the government he once advised is addressing public services and the state.
Steve Hilton talks to John Kampfner

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Emma Rothschild

The Inner Life of Empires

Hay Festival 2011, 
Tracing the lives of a single Scottish family whose eleven siblings roamed the globe to seek their fortunes, the historian explores the great elements of the C18th world: empire, politics, slavery, warfare and Enlightenment thought and sensibility. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.

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Emma Dodd

I Love You

Hay Festival 2013, 

A warm and joyful look at a child’s world and all the things they love. Follow on from the Booktrust Early Years Award-winner I Love My Mummy.

4+ years

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Gareth Stedman Jones

Cambridge University Series 12: Inventing Necessity - The Strange Genesis of C20th Political Authori

Hay Festival 2015, 

Ideas about states of emergency went back to the politics of Ancient Rome in which it was said that ‘necessity knows no law’. This idea took on a series of different meanings during the early modern period and was employed by the Jacobins during the invasion scare of 1793–94. In 1848 the idea was employed again to justify emergency rule after the June uprising in Paris, but in its later usages, particularly by Marx, the idea was inverted. It was no longer emergency that justified dictatorship. Rather, dictatorship was posited as a desirable outcome in a transition to new forms of society.

Gareth Stedman Jones