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Holly Webb

Hay Festival 2010, 
A rare opportunity to look into the enchanting world of Holly Webb, the creator of Rose and many mischievous animal adventures including Lost in the Snow.
 
8–12 years
 
See the Blog for more details

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David Crystal

Glamorous Grammar

Hay Festival 2017, 

The Language Prof’s Hay lectures are legendary feats of erudition and humour. His latest book is Making Sense: The Glamorous Story of English Grammar.

David Crystal

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Malorie Blackman

Boys Don’t Cry

Hay Festival 2011, 
Noughts and Crosses touched us all and Hay is delighted to welcome Malorie back with her startlingly fresh look at teenage fatherhood.
 
12+ years

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Country Living Debate: No Cows = No Countryside

Rosie Boycott, Charlotte Hollins, Peter Kindersley, Roger Williams MP, Jane Clarke, Barbara Crowther

Hay Festival 2007, 
With 18% of us buying British food, thousands of farms have been lost and the countryside is endangered. Rosie Boycott talks to farmers Peter and Juliet Kindersley, Roger Williams MP, Charlotte Hollins of Fordhall Farms, Jane Clarke, Meat buyer for Waitrose and Barbara Crowther of the Fairtrade Foundation about the Fair Trade for British Farmers campaign, and how we can help rural Britain by changing our food-shopping habits.

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Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

The Lost Words

Winter Weekend 2017, 

The creators of this year’s most staggeringly beautiful book read and present their collaboration. All over the country, there are words disappearing from children’s lives. These are the words of the natural world – dandelion, otter, bramble, acorn – all gone. The rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children’s minds. Macfarlane and Morris offer a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustrations by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

The Lost Words is our Hay Festival Book of the Year 2017

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Ben Dyson

Modernising Money

Hay Festival 2013, 

Why is the current monetary system broken and how can it be fixed? At the heart of the ongoing economic crisis is the fact that governments across the world have given the power to create money to the private corporations that we know as banks. It doesn’t need to be this way – the founder and director of Positive Money explains.

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Lucy Hughes-Hallet

The Pike

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Daisy Goodwin and SJ Parris talk to Diana Quick

Fictions: Period Pieces

Hay Festival 2011, 
Goodwin’s My Last Duchess is a tale of love and money as an American princess is pitched into C19th English society. Prophecy is a C16th thriller set within the sectarian espionage of Elizabeth I’s court.
My Last Duchess - Daisy Goodwin
Heresy - S. J. Parris

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Roy Hattersley

The Future of Socialism

Hay Festival 2009, 
The elder statesman of the Labour Party envisions a fourth way ahead. Chaired by John Harris.

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The King of the Sky

With actors, puppets and music

Hay Festival 2015, 
An Italian boy comes to live in a Welsh mining village, where his parents own a café. He misses his home but the cooing of Mr Evans’ racing pigeons reminds him of a sunlit Roman piazza, and draws him into an unlikely friendship with the old man. Together, they pin their dreams on a race across Europe and the special bird they hope can win it, ‘The King of the Sky’. This is a story about the meaning of home and finding friends where you don’t expect to. An inventive adaptation with actors, puppets and music, created by Pontardawe Arts Centre.

Photo: Illustrations from the first trial of the book, by Laura Carling

7+ years
The King of the Sky

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Sarah Churchwell

The 2018 Raymond Williams Lecture: Behold America

Hay Festival 2018, 

The writer and academic offers a history of America First, one of Donald Trump’s campaign slogans. Although popular wisdom attributes the phrase to Charles Lindbergh and the isolationist America First Committee of 1940-1941, in fact the expression has a longer, and darker, history than that, a story of nativism and the Ku Klux Klan, of 100 % Americanism and isolationism, and of a homegrown fascism that America continues to pretend “can’t happen here.”

Sarah Churchwell

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James Naughtie talks to Corisande Albert

The Madness of July

Hay Festival 2014, 

The broadcaster introduces his first novel, a riveting espionage thriller set in 1970s Westminster at the height of the Cold War. Can’t give away much about the plot, but it’s horribly plausible and absolutely outrageous!

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Greg Proops

The Smartest Man in the World

Hay Festival 2014, 

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

Greg Proops

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Ian Goldin

The Butterfly Defect

Hay Festival 2014, 

The repercussions of local events now cascade over national borders, and the fall-out of financial meltdowns and environmental disasters affects everyone. Goldin analyses how globalization creates systemic risks, and suggests what to do about it.

Ian Goldin

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Álvaro Enrigue, Frank Wynne, Rosalind Harvey and Daniel Hahn

BCLT – Word for Word 1

Hay Festival 2012, 
Translators Wynne (winner of the IMPAC, Foreign Fiction Prize etc) and Harvey produce English versions of the same short story originally written in Spanish by the Mexican novelist and Bogota 39 star Álvaro Enrigue. The author and his translators discuss the nuances, divergences and creativity of their translations with the Director of the BCLT.
 
FREE BUT TICKETED
 

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Rob Penn – Tales from the Wild Wood

Winter Weekend 2012, 
A year ago, Rob took over the management of Strawberry Cottage Wood, 50 acres of abandoned broadleaf woodland at the entrance to the Llanthony Valley. Is man good for woods? Can woodlands pay? How can we value them in non-economic ways? The author of It’s All About The Bike will also talk to Peter Florence about Lance Armstrong, Bradley Wiggins and the best routes around the Beacons.

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Owen Sheers

Screening: Poem From Llanybri

Hay Festival 2009, 
The poet and author presents a preview screening of his programme about ‘Poem From Llanybri’ by Lynette Roberts from his BBC4 series, A Poet’s Guide to Britain.

Entry to this event is free, but you must book a ticket.

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Tom Palmer

Football Quiz

Hay Festival 2010, 
The creator of the Football Academy and Football Detective series tests your knowledge of the beautiful game. Get ready for an awesome penalty shoot-out!
 
8–12 years

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Aged to Perfection

New Writing by Older People

Hay Festival 2010, 
An anthology of new work by older writers as part of the Gwanwyn Festival organized by Age Cymru. 

Entry to this event is free but you must reserve a ticket.

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Kamila Shamsie and Reif Larsen talk to Claire Armitstead

Story: Maps

Hay Festival 2009, 
Shamsie’s epic Burnt Shadows weaves history through Nagasaki, Pakistan, Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan. Larsen’s The Selected Works of TS Spivet sends his 12-year-old genius map-maker on a journey across America in a debut full of wonders.

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Amanda Galsworthy talks to Philippe Sands

The Interpreter

Hay Festival 2013, 

The interpreter for presidents Sarkozy, Mitterrand and Chirac discusses the subtleties of translation and negotiation, and the big beasts of France.

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David Boyle

Broke: How to Survive the Middle-Class Crisis

Hay Festival 2014, 

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.

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Eoin Colfer and Mark Billingham

In Conversation

Hay Festival 2011, 
The old pro crime master, creator of the DI Thorne series, discusses the dark side with the ingenious creator of Artemis Fowl, who launches his first adult crime novel Plugged.
 
Plugged - Eoin Colfer

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Barbara Erskine talks to Peter Florence

Sleeper's Castle

Hay Festival 2016, 

We are thrilled to launch the new novel by the bestselling author, who returns to Hay in the year that marks the 30th anniversary of her sensational debut bestseller, Lady of Hay.

Hay-On-Wye, 1400 – War is brewing in the Welsh borders, Catrin is on the brink of womanhood and falling in love for the first time. Her father is a soothsayer, playing a dangerous game manipulating the mixed loyalties and furious rivalries between Welsh princes and English lords. For two hundred years, the Welsh people have lain under the English yoke, dreaming of independence. And finally it looks as though the charismatic Owain Glyndwr may be the man legend talks of. In the walls of Sleeper’s Castle, Catrin finds herself caught in the middle of a doomed war as she is called upon to foretell Wales’s destiny… And what she sees, is blood and war coming closer…

Hay, 2015. Miranda has moved to Sleeper’s Castle to escape and grieve. Slowly she feels herself coming to life in the solitude of the mountains. But every time she closes her eyes her dreams become more vivid. And she makes a connection with a young girl, who’s screaming, who’s reaching out… who only Miranda can help. Is she losing herself to time?

Barbara Erskine talks to Peter Florence

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Lewis Davies, Sian Preece, Mario Basini

Pen Envy: Catching up with cousins

Hay Festival 2000, 
Basini, Literary Editor of the Westen Mail, is joined by the publishing editior of Parthain Books, Lewis Davies, author of Work, Sex and Rugby and My Piece of Happiness, and Welsh exile in Scotland, Sian Preece, whose first collection of stories is From the Life, to discuss how Welsh writing is catching up with its Celtic cousins.