A journey through Britain’s radical tradition of utopian art and politics. The performance of music and readings spans 350 years from The Diggers to Bruce Springsteen, and captures the spirit of hope and vision that once transformed the nation. Music performed by Chris Ellis and Rosie Toll.
Actors read Josephine’s programme featuring the work of Owen, Yeats, Sassoon and many others. Introduced by Francine Stock.
Set in 1960s Ireland, Tóibín’s new novel Nora Webster introduces one of the most complex and captivating heroines of contemporary fiction. He discusses the book and his new study On Elizabeth Bishop. He creates a vivid picture of the American poet while also revealing how her work has helped shape his sensibility as a novelist and how her experiences of loss and exile resonate with his own.
Photo: Brigitte Lacombe
As part of Hay Festival’s big Shakespeare 400 Celebrations, the writer and lecturer discusses the playwright’s poetry.
To celebrate the centenary of the Armistice of 1918, we have commissioned poets from the main protagonist nations to respond to a Great War poem from their own culture. We have poems in French, Russian, German, Welsh and several forms of English. The new poems will be read today for the first time, in the original language and in English translation alongside the works that inspired them, and other poems of the time. The full cast list will be announced on 20 May.
A conversation about how their Quaker faith has informed the life and work of three writers: the actor Sheila Hancock’s books include the memoir Just Me and the novel Miss Carter’s War; award-winning poet Philip Gross’s collections include The Water Table, Deep Field and the forthcoming A Bright Acoustic; Tracy Chevalier’s novels include Girl With a Pearl Earring, At the Edge of the Orchard and now New Boy.
A reading of work written by and for the poet Nigel Jenkins who died in January this year. You can hear his beautiful evocation of the Gower coast in the Festival audio archive.
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The internationally renowned and ‘exhilaratingly dangerous’ poet teams up with her singer-songwriter daughter Fflur Dafydd in a memorable evening of poetry and song to celebrate her new bilingual collection.
Questions of masculinity have been at the heart of Sheers’ writing for 20 years, in his plays Mametz and The Two Worlds of Charlie F, in his fiction Resistance and I Saw A Man, and in his poetry – most clearly in Pink Mist. In 2012 he was also artist in residence with the Welsh Rugby Union. Here he interrogates ideas of masculinity in essay form, and reimagines a man’s world.
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.
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.
The artist, co-creator of the Book of the Year, talks about the extraordinary project to reclaim and celebrate The Lost Words whilst she paints live onstage. She is accompanied by the music and song of Kerry Andrew performing the spells. 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. Morris and her poet-spellcaster, Robert Macfarlane, have created a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. They capture the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.
Sponsored by Richard Booth’s Bookshop, which is hosting an exhibition of Jackie’s work until 31 August 2018
This year’s Hay Festival International Fellow spent the last year as Artist in Residence with the WRU and has produced this astonishing book about sport, about myth, about nationhood and identity. He is joined by the rugby columnist, author of Wales Play In Red. Chaired by Jasper Rees, author of Bred Of Heaven.
The poet celebrates the work of the canonical poets and discusses his literary philosophy: that the greatest verse arises from a harmony of mind and body, and that poetic forms originate in human necessities – breath, heartbeat, footstep, posture.
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 National Poet of Wales gives this year’s lecture addressing AE Housman’s own original subject of The Name And Nature Of Poetry. Chaired by Guto Harri.
What can the worlds of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and drama contribute to how we understand and respond to climate change? Do humans respond to stories more than facts? The work stems from a project called Weatherfronts: climate change and the stories we tell. The pieces referenced here were commissioned by TippingPoint, Free Word and partners 2014-2016. Weatherfronts brought together writers and leading climate change experts to inspire new writing that would encourage people to act to help our environment.
‘I have so carefully mapped the corners of my mind | That I am forever waking in a lost country...’ Seth’s new book of poems traces the immutable shifting of the seasons, the relentless rhythms of a great world that both ‘gifts and harms’. Luminous, resonant and profound, these poems trace the dying days of summer, ‘the hour of rust’, when memory is haunted by loss and decay. But in the silence that follows, as the soul is cast adrift, there is also reconciliation with the transience of all things; the knowledge that there is a place, ‘changeable, that will not betray’. Seth is author of A Suitable Boy, The Golden Gate, The Rivered Earth and Two Lives. Chaired by Claire Armitstead.