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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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Joe O’Mahoney and guests

The Fair Tax Debate

Hay Festival 2016, 

The tax avoidance practices of multinational companies have recently been at the forefront of political and economic news. To highlight the unfairness of the current situation, a group of small businesses in Crickhowell, Wales, decided to adopt the offshore tax avoidance tactics of large companies. They have branded this movement the ‘Fair Tax Town’ and now intend to export it to other small businesses all over the UK. We explore the rise of algorithm-based companies such as Facebook, Uber and Deliveroo, and show how their offshore status allows them to extract value from countries in a similar manner to the East India Company in the C17th.

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Catherine Bailey

Black Diamonds

Hay Festival 2007, 
The decline and fall of Wentworth, the finest Georgian house in England, and the dynastic seat of the Fitzwilliam family. A cautionary tale of industrial wealth and social change.

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Jonny Duddle

Pirate Cruncher

Hay Festival 2011, 
Ahoy there me hearties! Join this salty sea dog of an illustrator as he tells monsterish tales inspired by his role as an artist for Pirates of the Caribbean. Don’t forget to dress the part, or you may have to walk the plank!
 
5–7 years Knapsacks & Ginger Beer 

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Gary Shteyngart with David Aaronovitch

Between Communism and Capitalism: Illusions of a happy world

Cartagena 2011, 
The European wars of the 20th century were fought between two irreconcilable ways of understanding the common good; now, at the dawn of a new century, this common good continues to be an unfulfilled promise. Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and selected in 2009 by the New Yorker as one of the most outstanding writers under 40, discusses the issue with the British journalist and writer David Aaronovitch. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and their Enemies

Robert Irwin

Hay Festival 2006, 
Irwin makes an impassioned case for ardent scholarship against the allegation of western imperialism from ancient Greece to the present day.

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Alex Lifschutz, Siôn Hamilton and Philip Jones

The Bookshop is Back: Foyles and the Resurgence of British Bookselling

Hay Festival 2016, 

The designer Alex Lifschutz and Foyles Trading Director Siôn Hamilton will tell the inside story of a plan hatched in the book trade’s darkest hour to reimagine the iconic London bookshop on Charing Cross Road. Siôn and Alex opened their doors to the publishing industry, holding a series of workshops that provided the insight to inspire an innovative shop design that has caught the imagination of book lovers across the world. Chaired by the editor of The Bookseller.

Alex Lifschutz, Siôn Hamilton and Philip Jones

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Ross Welford and Christopher Edge

Science and Wonder

Hay Festival 2016, 

The brilliant Ross and Christopher explore the wonder of science as a way to explain some of the mysteries of the world in their books, Time Travelling with a Hamster and The Many Worlds of Albie Bright.

8+

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Marc Morris

Treachery, Tyranny and the Road to Magna Carta

Hay Festival 2015, 

The historian introduces his biography of King John – a ruler managing the aftermath of another ruinous Crusade, conflicts with France, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, excommunication, taxation and some very demanding Nobles. King John is familiar to everyone as the villain from the tales of Robin Hood — greedy, cowardly, despicable and cruel. But who was the man behind the legend? Was he truly a monster, or a capable ruler cursed by ill luck? In this talk, the historian draws on contemporary chronicles and the king's own letters to bring the real John vividly to life.

Marc Morris

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Tim Bowler, Sam Hepburn and Ken Oppel

Adventure, Thrills and Terror

Hay Festival 2015, 
Carnegie Medal-winner Tim Bowler’s new novel Game Changer is a tense thriller, as is Sam Hepburn’s If You Were Me. They are joined by the internationally-acclaimed Ken Oppel on a rare visit to the UK to promote his new adventure The Boundless. They share with us the secret of keeping their readers turning the pages.
11+ years
Tim Bowler, Sam Hepburn and Ken Oppel

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Simon Hoggart

Life’s too Short to Drink Bad Wine

Hay Festival 2012, 
A delightful tasting of wines for the discerning drinker.

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Matt Jones

Breaking the Glass – The Future of Screen Technology

Hay Festival 2017, 

Discover the future of screen technology with computer scientist Matt Jones. His team at Swansea University is exploring displays that mutate to create textures and change shape to reveal controls like dials and switches depending on our needs. See some of the early prototypes that are enhancing our digital interactions with the physical world.

Matt Jones

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The Bookseller YA Book Prize

Hay Festival 2017, 

Who has won the 2017 Bookseller YA Prize? Join the distinguished line-up of some of the authors shortlisted for the 2017 The Bookseller YA Book Prize as they discuss their books before the moment that the winner is announced and celebrated. The shortlisted authors are: Sara Barnard, Malorie Blackman, Laure Eve, Clare Furniss, Lisa Heathfield, Patrice Lawrence, Peadar O’ Guilin, Francesca Simon, Martin Stewart and Alex Wheatle. Chaired by Gemma Cairney.

 #HAYYA

12+

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Caroline Shenton

The Day Parliament Burned Down

Hay Festival 2013, 

In the early evening of 16 October 1834 a huge ball of fire exploded through the roof of the Houses of Parliament, creating a blaze so enormous that it could be seen by the King and Queen at Windsor. Rumours as to the fire’s cause were rife. Was it arson, terrorism, the work of foreign operatives, a kitchen accident, careless builders, or even divine judgement on politicians? Chaired by Jesse Norman.

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Fflur Dafydd and Samanta Schweblin

Wales/Argentina

Hay Festival 2014, 

In a prelude celebration to next year’s 150th anniversary of the Welsh colony in Patagonia, two of the most brilliant writers from the two countries exchange stories across languages and cultures. They talk with Daniel Hahn.

Fflur Dafydd and Samanta Schweblin

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Nii Ayikwei Parkes

Word Play Workshop – The Roots of Poetry

Storymoja Nairobi 2013, 

A Ghanaian poet, novelist, editor, social commentator and broadcaster, Nii is an inspirational writer. Join him for this poetry workshop as he takes you through structure, metaphor and imagery to discover the similarities and differences between poetry and rap/hip hop.


14–18 years

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Fawaz Traboulsi, Helena Kennedy and Hanif Kureishi in conversation with John Kampfner

Google Debates 1; Freedom Of Expression: A Universal Right?

Beirut 2013, 

Many people consider freedom of expression as a universal right that must not be compromised. In an age of cultural relativism and complex relations between religion, culture and the state, what is the right way to move forward on this debate? Three international heavyweights, Baroness Helena Kennedy (UK), Fawaz Traboulsi (Lebanon) and Hanif Kureishi (UK) discuss with John Kampfner.

Event in English

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Chris Stephens

The Tate Lecture: Ben Nicholson

Hay Festival 2008, 
Ben Nicholson was the leader of the modernist movement in art in the 1930s. Much of his work, however, was of the English landscape. Drawing on his lively correspondence, this richly illustrated talk by the curator of his current Tate Liverpool show will explore both the familiar and lesser- known aspects of his art.

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Neil Pearson and Rick Gekoski

Bibliophile

Hay Festival 2007, 
The actor and author of Obelisk shares his passion for book collecting with the legendary first edition and manuscript dealer, Gekoski, author of Tolkien’s Gown and Other Stories of Famous Authors and Rare Books.

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Tariq Ramadan

Islam: The Essentials

Hay Festival 2017, 

Whether the issue is violence, terrorism, women’s rights or slavery, Muslims are today expected to provide answers and to justify what Islam is – or is not. Here’s an introduction to the basics from the Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.

Tariq Ramadan

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Oliver Jeffers

Illustration Masterclass

Hay Festival 2017, 

The illustrator discusses and demonstrates his working practice.  This event is aimed at students and young artists.

Oliver Jeffers

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Journalists Read Bolaño: Antonio Lucas, Peio H. Riaño, Fernando R. Lafuente and Jesús Ruiz Mantilla

Segovia 2013, 

Antonio Lucas is a consummate poet, as well as a columnist of El Mundo; Peio H. Riaño has displayed his professional insight in the most prominent cultural publications in the country; Fernando R. Lafuente, former director of the Instituto Cervantes; and Jesús Ruiz Mantilla, with five novels in the bookshops, all declare their passion for Roberto Bolaño —already a legend—, justifying and even criticizing it.

 

Co-organised and produced by AC/E (Acción Cultural Española)

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John Bercow vs Rosie Boycott

Tennis Maestros

Hay Festival 2014, 

The Speaker of the House, a former Junior competitor and LTA-qualified coach, argues the case for his ranking of the twenty greatest male tennis stars of all time, surface by surface, era by era. Rafa vs Bill Tilden? Perry vs Murray? Federer vs Lacoste? Anyone for an hour of nostalgic fanaticism?

John Bercow vs Rosie Boycott

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Andrew O’Hagan talks to Rosie Boycott

Fictions – The Illuminations

Hay Festival 2015, 

How much do we keep from the people we love? Why is the truth so often buried in secrets? Can we learn from the past or must we forget it? O’Hagan’s fifth novel is a beautiful, deeply charged story about love and memory, about modern war and the complications of fact.

Photo: Tricia Malley Ross Gillespie

Andrew O’Hagan talks to Rosie Boycott

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Gwynfor: Portrait of A Patriot

Hay Festival 2008, 
Biographer Rhys Evans launches his study of Gwynfor Evans, the great Welsh politician, Plaid Cymru president for 36 years, pacifist and language rights campaigner. He talks to Guto Harri.