A message from the Finnish embassy launches Horatio Clare on a voyage around an extraordinary country and an unearthly place, the frozen Bay of Bothnia, just short of the Arctic Circle. Finland is an enigmatic place, famous for its educational miracle, healthcare and gender equality – as well as Nokia, Angry Birds, saunas, questionable cuisine and deep taciturnity. Aboard the icebreaker Otso Clare gets to know the crew, and explores Finland’s history and character. His most recent books include Down to the Sea in Ships and Myths and Legends of the Brecon Beacons. Chaired by Peter Florence.
Tried and True Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind and Soul
Sometimes only a poem will do. The founder of National Poetry Day and The Forward Prize offers poetic prescriptions and wise words of advice to give comfort, delight and inspiration for all; a space for reflection, and that precious realisation – I'm not the only one who feels like this. Whether you are suffering from loneliness, lack of courage, heartbreak, hopelessness, or even from an excess of ego, there is something here to ease your pain. With readings of the poems by actors and commentary by Sieghart.
In his extraordinary travelogue Something of his Art: Walking to Lübeck with J S Bach, Clare recreates the walk that J S Bach, then an unknown composer and organ teacher, made in the depths of winter in 1705 across Germany to Lübeck. This was the pivotal point in the young composer’s life, when he began his journey to becoming the master of the Baroque. Clare’s second 2018 publication is The Light in The Dark: a moving and lyrical evocation of a British winter and the feelings it inspires. The writer raises a torch against the darkness, illuminating the blackest corners of the season, and delving into memory and myth to explore the powerful hold that winter has on us. Chaired by Dylan Moore.
An all-star panel gather to talk about birth rights, inequality, working motherhood, (lack of) diversity in (social) media, body image and post-natal depression, physical extremity and joy. Brathwaite is the co-founder of Make Motherhood Diverse, Schiller is director of Birthrights, the human rights in childbirth charity, Telford is creator of the parenting site Mother of all Lists, Thorn is a Scummy Mummy and Burton-Hill is a broadcaster and writer.
During a three-year, eight-nation journey, Ignatieff found that while human rights is the language of states and liberal elites, the moral language that resonates with most people is one of everyday virtues: tolerance, forgiveness, trust and resilience. These ordinary virtues are the moral system of global cities and obscure shantytowns alike. A novelist and historian, Ignatieff is Rector and President of Central European University in Budapest.
Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
Times of unprecedented pressure and challenge in the NHS have given rise to two heart-breaking memoirs of life in the front line of medicine today. Hear Rachel Clarke, journalist and doctor, and Adam Kay, doctor, writer and comedian in conversation with Anita Donley on healthcare, safety and medicine today.
The top YA author is widely recognised for her skill in writing powerful stories that include some of the most difficult issues facing YA readers today. Clean is a gripping and moving story that realistically tackles a broad range of issues including drug addiction, gender identity and mental health. In conversation with Amy Forbes-Robertson.
Every year, the world spends about $2 trillion on wars. The total value of the global arms trade alone was at least $94.5 billion in 2014. The veteran peace campaigner suggests that establishing world peace would cost the global economy just $2 billion. She shows how everybody, from individuals in their communities to diplomats and world leaders, can realistically work together to end interminable cycles of violence and build a better society. Elworthy’s entire working life has been dedicated to building peace. She has been three times a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, and is founder of the Oxford Research Group. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
One moment Kirkpatrick is attempting a rare solo ascent of Norway’s Troll Wall, the next he is surrounded by the TV circus while climbing Moonlight Buttress with the BBC’s The One Show presenter Alex Jones. Yosemite’s El Capitan is ever-present; he climbs it alone – strung out for weeks, and he climbs it with his 13-year-old daughter Ella – her first big wall.
Come and learn to draw with the Animation Director of the Oscar-nominated animated feature film Song of the Sea.
Children’s fiction writer Erika McGann, author of The Demon Notebook series, conducts an interactive talk about writing books for younger readers and writers.