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Henry Marsh talks to Raymond Tallis

Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery

Hay Festival 2017, 

Henry Marsh has spent a lifetime operating on the surgical frontline. There have been exhilarating highs and devastating lows but his love for the practice of neurosurgery has never wavered. Prompted by his retirement from his full-time job in the NHS, and through his continuing work in Nepal and Ukraine, Henry has been forced to reflect more deeply about what 40 years spent handling the human brain has taught him.

Henry Marsh talks to Raymond Tallis

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Filip Springer

History of a Disappearance: The Story of a Forgotten Polish Town

Hay Festival 2017, 

Lying at the crucible of Central Europe, the Silesian village of Kupferberg suffered the violence of the Thirty Years War, the Napoleonic Wars, and World War I. After Stalin’s post-World War II redrawing of Poland’s borders, Kupferberg became Miedzianka, a town settled by displaced persons from all over Poland and a new centre of the Eastern Bloc’s uranium-mining industry. Decades of neglect and environmental degradation led to the town being declared uninhabitable, and the population was evacuated. Today, it exists only in ruins, with barely a hundred people living on the unstable ground above its collapsing mines. The journalist and photographer tells its story.

Filip Springer

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James Rothwell and Patricia Ferguson

The Art of Dining

Hay Festival 2017, 

A celebration of the exquisite craftsmanship and elegance of silverware and porcelain in a tour of social history with National Trust experts James Rothwell, author of Silver for Entertaining and Patricia Ferguson author of Ceramics: 400 Years of British Collecting in 100 Masterpieces Chaired by Simon Murray.

James Rothwell and Patricia Ferguson

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Siobhan Campbell, Emily Blewitt, Rhiannon Hooson and Polly Atkin

The Seren 2017 Poetry Gala

Hay Festival 2017, 

Four poets read from new collections in this poetry platform. Campbell reads from her new collection Heat Signature. Blewitt reads from her Forward-commended This is Not a Rescue. Hooson reads from her collection The Other City. Atkin reads from Basic Nest Architecture.

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Nell Leyshon, Rhidian Brook, Vicente Molina Foix

Talking About Shakespeare: Lunatics, Lovers and Poets, 2

Hay Festival 2016, 

The second of three events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the deaths of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare in which three of the writers commissioned introduce their work. Leyshon is the author of the novels The Colour of Milk and Memoirs of a Dipper, and Bedlam, the first play by a woman ever to be performed at Shakespeare’s Globe; Brook’s most recent novel is The Aftermath; Molina Foix is one of Spain’s most distinguished novelists and film directors. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.

Nell Leyshon, Rhidian Brook, Vicente Molina Foix

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Raymond Tallis

Tetchy Interludes

Hay Festival 2014, 

The medic/philosopher takes a wry look at a variety of topics such as stupidity (including the author’s own), fashions in academe, and the human propensity for mission drift. His latest book of essays is Epithemean Imaginings.

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Christopher Hitchens

Why Orwell Matters

Hay Festival 2002, 
The great and prolific contrarian, scrouge of Henry Kissinger and Mother Theresa, hawkish advocate of American military action against Al Qaeda, and literary superstar, champions the cause of the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, Animal Farm, Down and Out In Paris and London and KeepThe Aspidistra Flying.

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Jim Baggott

Origins: The Scientific Story of Creation

Hay Festival 2016, 

There are many different versions of our creation story. Baggott tells the version according to modern science. Using a cross-disciplinary approach, he starts with the Big Bang and travels right up to the emergence of humans as conscious intelligent beings, 13.8 billion years later. Chaired by Dan Davis.

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Chris Hunter talks to Peter Florence

Hay Festival 2008, 
The bomb-disposal expert, awarded the Queens Gallantry Medal for his service in Basra, talks about Eight Lives Down: ‘the best war memoir I’ve read in years’ - Andy McNab.

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Dean Buonomano

The Neuroscience and Physics of Time

Hay Festival 2017, 

What is time? Is our sense of time’s passage an illusion? The human brain is a complex system that not only tells time but creates it; it constructs our sense of chronological flow and enables ‘mental time travel’ - simulations of future and past events. Chaired by Raymond Tallis.

Dean Buonomano

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Keith Ray

Offa’s Dyke and the C8th Mercian Question of Europe

Hay Festival 2016, 

At a time when migrations and borders are again central to our politics and national identity, the archaeologist looks back in time, to the creation of what was then Europe’s largest earthwork, Offa’s Dyke. He examines the role of the Mercian kingdom as a European power, and the ways in which Alfred and the Saxon kings rewrote that history. Chaired by Jesse Norman, MP for South Herefordshire, through which Offa’s Dyke approaches Hay.

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James Hawes, Arabella Weir, Terence Blacker

Hay Festival 2000, 
Cult creator of A White Merc With Fins and  Rancid Aluminium, Hawes establishes himself as the poet of the late-lad-crisis in his blackly funny new novel Dead Long Enough. Weir follows the success of Does  My Bum Look Big In This with the feel-good girlfriends story Onwards and Upwards. They talk to Terence Backer, whose Kill Your Darlings is published in July.

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Chris Riddell and Leigh Hobbs

Ottoline and Mr Chicken

Hay Festival 2017, 

Join illustrators Chris Riddell and Leigh Hobbs, the Children’s Laureates of the UK and Australia respectively, as they discuss and demonstrate their work in an event of inspiration, entertainment and live drawing.

6+
Chris Riddell and Leigh Hobbs

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Christopher Frayling

The Yellow Peril

Hay Festival 2015, 

The cultural historian demonstrates the rise of China-phobia in popular culture with the help of some film clips. Frayling chronicles the entry of Dr Fu Manchu, known as ‘the yellow peril incarnate in one man’, into world literature a century ago and asks why the idea developed unfairly that China was a threat to Western civilization, and why such images continue to distort our image of its people. Frayling also explains how we neglect the history of popular culture at our peril if we are to understand our deepest desires and fears. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.

Christopher Frayling

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Matt Hancock, Helen Margetts, Timandra Harkness

Spark Salon 1: Creators and Consumers: What’s our role in responsibly designing the future?

Hay Festival 2018, 
Rapid advancements in computational power, decreasing costs of hardware and software, and the ubiquity of data, mobile and embedded technology have created unthought-of dilemmas. Policymakers, businesses and citizens are scrambling to understand the impact and challenges of technological progress. As creators, consumers and users do we all need to understand how technology works? And who can we hold to account when it fails? Is it possible to develop a set of regulatory principles for digital products? Hancock is Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Margetts is Director of the Oxford Internet Institute and Professor of Society and the Internet at University of Oxford. Harkness is a science writer, presenter and comedian.

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Crossing Borders

Owen Sheers and Fflur Dafydd

Hay Festival 2008, 
Poet and novelist Owen Sheers and singer/songwriter Fflur Dafydd move through song, instrumental, verse and prose exploring dialogues between music and words, English and Welsh, poetry and song.

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Hay Festival Segovia

Antonio Colinas, Juan Manuel de Prada and Gonzalo Santoja

Hay Festival 2008, 
To celebrate our Castilian festival three of the finest Spanish writers join us to read and talk to Jesús García Calero.

In Spanish with translation

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Mark Shorrock and Juliet Davenport talk to Andy Fryers

Tackling Climate Change with Technology – Good Energy Series

Hay Festival 2016, 

New technology with the potential to reduce and mitigate our impact on the environment is emerging on every scale from the global to the domestic. Geo-engineering could counteract climate change by intervening in Earth’s natural systems, while new consumer technology offers greener cars and smarter homes. What are the latest ideas? And which technologies will be the most effective at securing a sustainable future? Mark Shorrock is the CEO of Tidal Lagoon Power. Davenport is CEO of Good Energy.

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Horatio Clare

Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot

Hay Festival 2016, 

Horatio Clare weaves a spell-binding story of a rambunctious boy, some remarkable animals, a lot of jokes and a darkly evil magic that Aubrey must bravely defeat if he is to save his father. Peter Florence says, “This is destined to become a children’s classic”.

8+
Horatio Clare

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John Maddox

What Remains to be Discovered

Hay Festival 1997, 
Far from being played out, Science is just beginning. Some of the outstanding questions that cannot yet be answered are: Where did the Universe come from? How did life begin? And how does the brain work? But the questions that will occupy our grandchildren are those we are not yet smart enough to ask...

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Alastair Sawday talks to Kitty Corrigan

Travelling Light: Journeys Among Special People and Places

Hay Festival 2017, 

The campaigner, publisher and wanderer has spent his life travelling: “The richer our imaginations, the richer our travel experience. We British do things one way and the Spaniards another; there are unlimited ways of doing everything. Kindness is found in unexpected places, as is eccentricity. Eccentrics are an endangered species and need as much protection as does the house sparrow.”

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Victor Dixen, Jenny Valentine, Ene Sepp and Janis Jonevs

International Writing for YA readers

Hay Festival 2018, 

Are themes of childhood and adolescence universal? How are they represented in fiction? Join a panel of YA writers from France, Zimbabwe, Estonia, Latvia and the UK as they discuss the opportunities and challenges of writing children’s and YA novels in their countries. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.

14+

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Virginia Nicholson

Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes: The Story of Women in the 1950s

Hay Festival 2015, 

Nicholson tells the story of women in the 1950s: a time before the Pill, when divorce spelled scandal and two-piece swimsuits caused mass alarm. She is the author of Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900–1939, Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War and Millions Like Us: Women’s Lives During the Second World War. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.

45 mins
Virginia Nicholson

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Pip Jones

Daddy’s Sandwich

Hay Festival 2015, 
If you were going to make a sandwich with all your favourite things, what would you include? Join Squishy McFluff author Pip Jones in a fun-filled event to find out what happens when one little girl makes a sandwich just a little bit out of the ordinary for her daddy.
4+ years
Pip Jones

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Helen Rappaport

Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd, 1917

Hay Festival 2017, 

Between the first revolution in February 1917 and Lenin’s Bolshevik coup in October, Petrograd was in turmoil – felt nowhere more keenly than on the fashionable Nevsky Prospekt, where the foreign visitors and diplomats who filled hotels, clubs, bars and embassies were acutely aware of the chaos beneath their windows. Rappaport draws upon the diaries and letters of these international witnesses, to carry us right into the action: to see, feel and hear the Revolution as it happened.

Helen Rappaport