The comic from San Francisco, known here for his unpredictable improvisations on Whose Line Is It Anyway? brings his comedy proopcast to Hay for one night only. ‘Some of the boldest comedy on the podcasting frontier right now.’ Rolling Stone Magazine
The passionate and powerful poet re-imagines the way in which the State might raise children placed in its care. Sissay is Chancellor of the University of Manchester. His foster parents placed him into care at the age of 12. He lived in care homes until he was 18. Chaired by Claire Armitstead.
The story of Gabriele D’Annunzio: poet, daredevil and Fascist, who in 1919 declared himself Commandante of the city of Fiume in modern-day Croatia to establish a utopia based on his fascist and artistic ideals. It was the dramatic pinnacle to an outrageous career. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.
The Zimbabwean novelist’s We Need New Names plays with the dreams and realities of leaving a terrible place of hunger and things falling apart for the paradise of the West. Ziervogel’s Magda is an uncompromising rendering of the mother-daughter relationships of the wife of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels.
Photo: Illustrations from the first trial of the book, by Laura Carling
For more than twenty-five years, David Nott has taken unpaid leave from his job as a general and vascular surgeon with the NHS to volunteer in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones: Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Darfur, Congo, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Gaza and Syria. He has also volunteered in areas blighted by natural disasters, such as the earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal. Driven by both the desire to help others and the thrill of extreme personal danger, he is now widely acknowledged to be the most experienced trauma surgeon in the world. Since 2015, the foundation he set up with his wife, Elly, has disseminated the knowledge he has gained, training other doctors in the art of saving lives threatened by bombs and bullets.
Slow Fiction is inspired by the predella, the sequence of four or five pictures under a Renaissance altarpiece that tell the story of the annunciation, the adoration, or the pietà. If the large altarpiece painting is one moment in time, the predella shows the moments leading up to that key frame and sometimes what happens after. The artist Paul St George works with writers, translating selections of their writing into small sequences of sculptures making three-dimensional stories. Two of the first authors to be excited by this new way of bringing readers to writing are Polly Stenham, author of Hotel, and Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist: ‘To see my written words reimagined for a different audience, giving another take on the story-telling process – what we omit, what we emphasise, and what we leave behind – in a newly-configured presentation, is a true thrill.’
The novelist Atef Abu Saif introduces his groundbreaking anthology of ten Palestinian writers who have been translated into English for the first time. Each story takes place in a different part of the Strip and provides a ‘literary map’, navigating its readers around the cities. He is joined by one of the contributing short story writers, Abdallah Tayeh. They talk to Georgina Godwin.
The National Poet of Wales celebrates Dylan Thomas’s centenary with readings and discusses both how the poet influenced her life and his importance to poetry in the English language everywhere.
Happiness expert Professor Paul Dolan draws on a variety of studies ranging over wellbeing, inequality and discrimination to bust the common myths about our sources of happiness. He shows that there can be many unexpected paths to lasting fulfilment. Some of these might involve not going into higher education, choosing not to marry, rewarding acts rooted in self-interest and caring a little less about living forever. By freeing ourselves from the myth of the perfect life, we might each find a life worth living. Chaired by Horatio Clare.
For the first time ever, today’s middle classes will struggle to enjoy the same privileges of security and comfort that their grandparents did. Sidelined by the mega-rich, the middle classes really are under severe threat. How did this situation come about? To survive, they will have to carve a new niche for themselves.
Europe, the richest economic area in the world, faces unprecedented challenges: a protectionist US administration, Russian interventions, a Chinese leader who has defied succession planning, and the parliamentary success of the far-right in Germany, Italy and Austria. And then there’s Brexit. Something must be done. But what? And how? And by whom? The distinguished diplomat Gourdault-Montagne is now Secretary General of the French Foreign Ministry, Mountfield is a British QC, Schama is an historian. Chaired by the BBC’s Europe Editor.