Wales’ inaugural National Poet Gwyneth Lewis’ latest memoir is Two in a Boat – A Marital Voyage. John Harrison is the author of the Wales Book of the Year winner Cloud Road – A Journey Through the Inca Heartland; he recently recovered from throat cancer. Chaired by New Welsh Review editor Gwen Davies.
A reading from two new collections. A Scritture Giovani fellow, Lewis introduces Other Harbours; Meredith reads from Air Histories, commissioned partly about the Black Mountains for the Woollen Lines project. Chaired by Simon Mundy.
The Booker-winning comic master conjures his new novel Zoo Time, a book about love – love of women, love of literature, love of laughter.
Warpaint by Alicia Foster is a compelling tale of truth and lies, tragedy and black comedy, loosely based on the lives of four painters of the time. The Sea Change by Joanna Rossiter is a haunting and moving novel about a mother and a daughter, caught between a tsunami and a war. In Francesca Rhydderch’s The Rice Paper Diaries, four interweaving accounts relate the intimate havoc wrought by military conflict on individual lives. Chaired by Lisa Dwan.
To celebrate the centenary of the birth of RS Thomas, eleven poets have written poems in response to works of his, which will be published as a limited edition by Hay Festival Press. The gala reading is chaired by the Hay Festival International Fellow for 2012–2013 Eurig Salisbury.
With an absent wife and a daughter going off the rails, wealthy art collector and philanthropist Simon Strulovitch is in need of someone to talk to. So when he meets Shylock at a cemetery in Cheshire’s Golden Triangle, he invites him back to his house. It’s the beginning of a remarkable friendship. The Man Booker winner’s version of The Merchant of Venice bends time to its own advantage as it asks what it means to be a father, a Jew and a merciful human being in the modern world.
This year’s foodie conversation given in the name of the River Café founder features her daughter, the chef and head gardener at the Michelin-starred Petersham Nurseries Café. Her cooking and gardening experience has guided Lucy throughout her 8-year partnership with award-winning chef Skye Gyngell and nurtured a fascination for Italian vegetables and salads, herbs and edible flowers.
In this first of the Festival's flagship 30th anniversary project sessions, the Spanish international trade lawyer re-imagines the European Union. González Durántez was previously the Middle East Adviser to the External Relations Commissioner in the European Union, having started her career as a trade negotiator at the World Trade Organisation. Chaired by Matthew d’Ancona.
The Professor of Global Ethics explores the idea of perfection as exhibited in contemporary ideals of beauty. She questions the ways the aspiration can be read: as an individual’s aspiration to perfect themselves (‘I want to be perfect’), as assertion of what being perfect is (‘this is what I would be if I were perfect’), and as a command which a woman feels she should obey (‘you should be perfect’).
The multi-award-winning landscape designer brothers come straight to Hay from Chelsea. They talk to Francine Stock about their recent projects and their philosophy. ‘We believe in a fusion between landscape and architecture. An important relationship that encourages a more rounded approach to an outdoor lifestyle, creating not only beautiful but practical spaces, inspiring people to use their gardens.
Reconnecting people with nature is something we are very passionate about. With a recent increase in urbanisation, our connection with “the wild” is slowly becoming lost. We aim to give people their own patch of nature but set within a sympathetic and structured design.’
The journalists who exposed A Very British Killing: The Death Of Baha Mousa and Bosnia: The Reckoning investigate the grotesque misconduct of war and the insidious moral corruption of everyone involved, the decay of public life, and the endemic parallels that exist with Britain’s current institutional structures.