Poetry

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Hugh Ellis, Peter Ellis, Kate Henderson, Derek Hooper, David Lock, Fiona Mannion and Diane Smith

Love, Life & Liberty

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Sinead Cusack, Rupert Evans and Jeremy Irons

The Josephine Hart Poetry Hour; The Poetry Of The Great War

Hay Festival 2013, 

Actors read Josephine’s programme featuring the work of Owen, Yeats, Sassoon and many others. Introduced by Francine Stock.

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Menna Elfyn and Fflur Dafydd

Murmur

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.






See more at www.fflurdafydd.com/  and    www.mennaelfyn.co.uk/

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Colm Tóibín talks to Sarah Churchwell

Nora Webster and On Elizabeth Bishop

Hay Festival 2015, 

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

Colm Tóibín talks to Sarah Churchwell

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Menna Elfyn with D.J. Britton, Fflur Dafydd, Francesca Rhydderch, Ifor Thomas, Peter Finch, M Wynn Thomas, Daniel G Williams and Jon Gower

For Nigel Jenkins, 1949–2014

Hay Festival 2014, 

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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Menna Elfyn with D.J. Britton, Fflur Dafydd, Francesca Rhydderch, Ifor Thomas, Peter Finch, M Wynn Thomas, Daniel G Williams and Jon Gower

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Sheila Hancock, Philip Gross and Tracy Chevalier

A Quaker Life

Hay Festival 2017, 

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.

Sheila Hancock, Philip Gross and Tracy Chevalier

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Germaine Greer

Shakespeare 400: The Sonnets

Hay Festival 2016, 

As part of Hay Festival’s big Shakespeare 400 Celebrations, the writer and lecturer discusses the playwright’s poetry.

Germaine Greer

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Tishani Doshi, Rhian Edwards, Arundhathi Subramaniam

Poetry Reading

Hay Festival 2012, 
Three of the emerging generation of poetry superstars read from their new collections - Everything Begins Elsewhere, Clueless Dogs, and Where I Live.

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Damian Walford Davies and Samantha Wynne Rhydderch

Icebound/Spellbound - from Antarctica to East Anglia

Hay Festival 2012, 
The two poets locate you in the bootprints of Captain Scott, then at the black heart of the witch trials of Civil War Suffolk. Reading from Banjo and Witch they bring trial, defiance and trauma to life in dramatic form, taking you into terra incognita – one physical, the other psychological, both deadly.

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Dannie Abse talks to Dai Smith

Goodbye Twentieth Century

Hay Festival 2012, 
The great Welsh and Jewish poet and doctor discusses his remarkable autobiography.

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Fiona Shaw, Tom Hollander, Simon Callow and friends

The Josephine Hart Poetry Hour

Hay Festival 2012, 
We celebrate the novelist, Festival Vice-President and poetry champion who died last year with this reading of her beloved TS Eliot.

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RS Thomas Centenary Series 2: Poems For RS

Gillian Clarke, Menna Elfyn, Mererid Hopwood, Emyr Lewis, Anna Lewis, Owen Sheers, Damian Walford Davies, Glyn Maxwell, Grahame Davies and Simon Armitage

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Anna Lewis and Chris Meredith

Poetry Reading

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Owen Sheers

Pink Mist

Hay Festival 2013, 
We are thrilled to launch the publication of this verse drama with a reading by the poet. Three school friends return from Afghanistan to face the consequences of their tours, for them and the women in their lives. Drawn from interviews with wounded veterans, Pink Mist is a lyric narrative of rare dramatic and emotional intensity. Introduced by Francesca Rhydderch.

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Fiona Shaw

Artichoke Presents – Peace Camp 2012

Hay Festival 2012, 
The actor talks about her personal relationship with poetry and introduces the most romantic project in the Cultural Olympiad, which she has created with the director Deborah Warner. Peace Camp is a poignant exploration of love poetry and will take the form of a series of installations at extraordinary locations encircling the coast of the UK this summer.
 
Shaw invites you to bring along your favourite love poems and join her in a conversation about love poetry in all its many forms. Your nomination may even be included in the soundscape being specially created for Peace Camp.

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Owen Sheers and Carolyn Hitt

Calon: A Journey To The Heart Of Welsh Rugby

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Glyn Maxwell talks to Simon Armitage

On Poetry

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Gillian Clarke

The 2013 Housman Lecture

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Owen Sheers

Reformations 11: Men

Hay Festival 2017, 

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. 

Owen Sheers

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Simon Armitage

The Death of King Arthur

Hay Festival 2012, 
Our poet-in-residence reads from his astounding new version of the great medieval epic of warfare and politics.

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Margaret Atwood, Tishani Doshi, Mererid Hopwood, Ulrike Almut Sandig, Evelyn Schlag and friends

The Armistice Gala

Hay Festival 2018, 

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.

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Vikram Seth

A Summer Requiem

Hay Festival 2015, 

 ‘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.

Vikram Seth

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John Cooper Clarke

Hay Festival 2012, 
The legendary punk poet, king of the performance stage, brings his show to Hay. Greatest Hits and new stuff.
 

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Simon Armitage

Walking Away

Hay Festival 2015, 

The poet swaps the moorland uplands of the north (Walking Home) for the coastal fringes of Britain’s south west, once again giving readings every night, but this time through Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, taking poetry into distant communities and tourist hot-spots, busking his way from start to finish.

From the surreal pleasure-dome of Minehead Butlins to a smoke-filled roundhouse on the Penwith Peninsula, then out to the Isles of Scilly and beyond, Armitage tackles this personal Odyssey with all the poetic reflection and personal wit we’ve come to expect of one of Britain’s best loved and most popular writers.

Simon Armitage

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Gillian Clarke

The Gwyn Jones Lecture: Love and War

Hay Festival 2015, 

The National Poet of Wales celebrates the centenary of Alun Lewis, with a close reading and exploration of his poems. His first volume Raiders Dawn and other Poems was published in 1942. Ha! Ha! Among the Trumpets, which contains his masterpiece All Day It Has Rained was published posthumously in 1945. Introduced by Cary Archard.

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Gillian Clarke