The Hay 30 – Inua ELLAMS

Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a cross art form practitioner, award-winning poet, playwright and performer, graphic artist and designer and founder of the Midnight Run — an international, arts-filled, night-time, playful, urban, walking experience. He is a Complete Works poet alumni and a designer at White Space Creative Agency. Across his work, identity, displacement and destiny are recurring themes in which he also tries to mix the old with the new: traditional African storytelling with contemporary poetry, pencil with pixel, texture with vector images. His poetry is published by Flipped Eye, Akashic, Nine Arches, and several plays by Oberon. The Half God of Rainfall (2019) is his most recent book.

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The Hay 30 is made possible by the generous support of the CASE foundation.

All Events for this artist

Abu Dhabi 2020

Hallie Rubenhold, Bernardine Evaristo, Kapka Kassabova, Inua Ellams

The Writers’ Table 3

Abu Dhabi 2020, 

From the intimate truths of fiction and poetry to the geopolitics of a volatile global reality, this is the third of a series of panel conversations in English and Arabic where writers respond to the audience's questions about the big issues of the day and reimagine the world.

Chaired by Miguel Syjuco, Filipino novelist and professor at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD).

Cartagena 2020

Poet, dramatist, performer and designer, Inua Ellams is one of the UK’s most highly acclaimed creators today for his varied body of work. He is a member of the Royal Society of Literature in that country and is an ambassador of the Ministry of Stories, an organization that promotes writing potential among young people aged 8 to 18. He has published four poetry books, including The Half-God of Rainfalland, and he won the Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival for his play The 14th Tale. He is also the creator of the multi-award winning international hit play The Barbershop Chronicles. As well as his graphic and literary production, he created the Midnight Run events, urban walks from dusk until dawn, and the R.A.P. Parties, which combine the poetry slam format with urban music. He will talk to Claire Armitstead about his work, which skilfully deals with identity, migrations and learning to live together.

The use of headphones is mandatory due to the acoustics of the room.They will be collected at the venue

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

With the support of the British Council

Segovia 2019

Inua Ellams in conversation with Peter Florence

Identity, migration and coexistence

Segovia 2019, 

Poet, playwright, performer and designer Inua Ellams is one of the most celebrated contemporary creators in the United Kingdom for the wide-ranging nature of his work. He is a Member of the Royal Society of Literature and an ambassador of the Ministry of Stories, an organisation that fosters the potential of 8- to 18-year-olds as writers. After publishing four poetry books and receiving the Fringe First prize at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival for his first play The 14th Tale, Ellams sold out his run at the National Theatre with Barber Shop Chronicles. His most recent play The Half God of Rainfall, a work in verse that mixes Greek, Nigerian and basketball mythology, opened in March 2019 in the Birmingham Repertory Theatre to great critical acclaim. In addition to his intense graphic and literary output, Ellams has founded the Midnight Run, an urban tour from dusk to dawn, and the RAP parties that combine poetry slam with urban music. He talks to Peter Florence about how his work crosses disciplines and themes, such as identity, migration and coexistence.

Hay Festival 2017

Inua Ellams, Coco Khan and Chimene Suleyman talk to Rachael Kerr

The Good Immigrant

Hay Festival 2017, 

We are delighted to launch the paperback of Nikesh Shukla’s award-winning collection of essays and stories with three of the contributing writers. Inspired by discussion around why society appears to deem people of colour as bad immigrants – job stealers, benefit scroungers, undeserving refugees – until, by winning Olympic races or baking good cakes, or being conscientious doctors, they cross over and become good immigrants, Shukla has compiled a collection of essays that are poignant, challenging, angry, humorous, heartbreaking, polemic, weary and – most importantly – real.

Hay Digital 2020

Inua Ellams

An Evening with an Immigrant in a Time of Pandemic - or at least a half hour

Hay Digital 2020, 

The multi-award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams introduces extracts from his celebrated autobiographical one-man show and discusses the latest twists and turns in his life with the online audience. Littered with poems, stories and anecdotes, the show tells his ridiculous, fantastic, poignant immigrant-story of escaping fundamentalist Islam, experiencing prejudice and friendship in Dublin, performing solo at the National Theatre, and drinking wine with the Queen of England, all the while without a country to belong to or place to call home.

Buy the book at Waterstones

Abu Dhabi 2020

Inua Ellams

The Half God of Rainfall

Abu Dhabi 2020, 

The poet, playwright, performer and designer is one of the most celebrated contemporary creators in the UK for the wide-ranging nature of his work. He is a Member of the Royal Society of Literature and an ambassador for the Ministry of Stories, an organisation that fosters the potential of 8- to 18-year-olds as writers. After publishing four poetry books and receiving the Fringe First Prize at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival for his first play The 14th Tale, Ellams sold out his run at the National Theatre and on the world tour with Barber Shop Chronicles. His most recent play, The Half God of Rainfall, a work in verse that mixes Greek, Nigerian and basketball mythology, opened in March 2019 to great critical acclaim. In addition to his intense graphic and literary output, Ellams has founded The Midnight Run, an urban tour from dusk to dawn, and RAP parties that combine poetry slam with urban music. He talks to Peter Florence about how his work crosses disciplines and themes, such as identity, migration and coexistence.

Arequipa 2020

Performance by Inua Ellams

Arequipa 2020, 

Poet, dramatist, performer and designer, Inua Ellams is one of the most sought-after performing artists in the United Kingdom for his varied body of work. He is a member of the UK’s Royal Society of Literature and an ambassador of the Ministry of Stories organization, which promotes the potential of young writers aged between 8 and 18. Author of several poetry books, including The Half-God of Rainfall, he won a Fringe First award at the Edinburgh International Festival for his first play, The 14th Tale. Ellams also wrote the acclaimed play Barber Shop Chronicles. As well as his prolific graphic and literary production, he founded the Midnight Run, urban walks taken between nightfall and dawn, and the R.A.P. Parties, which combine the poetry slam format with urban music performance. On this occasion, Ellams will read poetry according to a selection of words that the audience will send us.

Cartagena 2020

Poet, dramatist, performer and designer, Inua Ellams is one of the UK’s most highly acclaimed creators today for his varied body of work. He won the Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival for his play The 14th Tale. He is also the creator of the multi-award winning international hit play The Barbershop Chronicles. Her second novel, Jusque dans nos bras, was published in 2010 and received the Porte Dorée and Laurence Trân literary prizes. In 2017 she published L’arte de perdre, which tells a story about identity, with a family history involving both France and Algeria. A novel that talks about the freedom to be who we are, which may go beyond legacies and social norms. The novel won the 2017 Le Monde literary prize, the Nancy-Le Point Booksellers’ Prize, the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens and others. They will talk to Jonathan Levi.

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

With the support of the British Council and the Embassy of France

Segovia 2019

Voices at the square

Readings, concerts and dance: My own and others’

Segovia 2019, 

San Martín Square will be the epicentre of this celebration after its success at last year’s Hay Festival Segovia. A series of readings and music will surprise audiences with their energy and joy.

39a. In case of rain, event 39a moves to the University of Valladolid, at the same time

6pm:
Once again, the Big Band del British Council School will bring rhythm to the Saturday evening before giving way to:

7pm: My own and others’, Hay Festival Segovia’s proposal to promote reading and gather, in a place of communion and expression, voices renowned for their work and talent. In this edition, the readers of the series will be Ibero-American public figures. Let’s celebrate this space for thought, cohabitation and welcoming surroundings; let’s celebrate cultures. Let’s celebrate that we are here and now. The hosts of the Renfe’s train are Joaquín del Moral who will take these voices to Segovia and the General Director of Renfe Viajeros, Javier Díaz Trisac. The evening’s host will be journalist Ramón Arangüena, who will introduce each guest to read a poem or short text in this event coordinated by Laura Ventura. The Mayor of Segovia Clara Isabel Luquero de Nicolás, opens the reading. The UK Ambassador for Spain, Hugh Elliott, the Director of British Council, Mark Howard, Miguel Ángel de Vicentel (President of Council of Segovia), José Mazarías (Territorial Delegate of the Junta de Castilla y León), José Luis Huertas (City Councillor of Segovia Townhall), Pablo Pérez (politician in Segovia Townhall), Alfonso Martín Gómez (General minister)and other authorities will dedicate us their readings too. Participants are, among others: Benjamin Ziff (diplomat), Pablo Jiménez Burillo (poet), Anna Grau (journalist and writer): Javier Rodríguez Marcos (poet), Luz Sánchez Mellado (journalist), Pablo Messiez (theater director, playwright), Gina Aguiar, Counselor of Culture of Segovia, Ana Gavín (publisher), Andy Mackay (Director EU Europe, British Council), Renato Cisneros (writer), José Félix Valdivieso (poet), Beatriz Celaya (cultural manager), Alonso Ruiz Rosas (writer and diplomat), Ilze Barobs (educator), Ludovic Assémat (British Council), Cristina Ward (British Council), Belén Ferrier (artisan), Jair Leal (plastic artist), Cléo Costa (journalist), Javier Celaya (director of Dosdoce), Isabel Fuentes (writer), Gonzalo Figari (publicist), Ana Guijarro (consultant), Beltrán Gambier (lawyer), Andrea Tenuta (actress), Ronald Muzzangue Muzz (social anthropologist), Noelia Noto (actress), Santiago Herrero (diplomat), Laura Bautista (manager), Javier Gila (president of the NGO AIDA), Idoia Cantolla (cultural manager), Gervasio Posadas (writer), Nani Mosquera (draftswoman), Marta del Riego (writer), Luis Besa (journalist), Carlos Aganzo (poet), Lisbeth Salas (photographer), Clara Paolini (journalist), Ana Corroto (book seller), Selena Millares (writer, professor), Almudena Ballester (writer translator), Elizabeth Gruninger (interior designer), Laura Garrido (journalist), Marta Villegas (writer), Marella Paramatti (cultural manager), Celia Ayllón (blogger), Laura Arache (consultant), Jesús Vigorra (journalist), Javier Olivera (cinema director), Guillermo Solana (curator),​ ​Oliva Arauna​ ​(curator and gallerist), Ricardo Cárdenas (plastic artist), Mar Sancho (manager), Carlos Malamud (historian), Ainhoa Sánchez (manager), Jesús Nieto (journalist), Olga Cuadrado (manager), Alberto Giovanetti (diplomat), Violeta Medina (filmaker and poet), Marife Santiago Bolaños (poet), Agustín García Matilla (professor),Paulina Martínez (writer), Kris Rocha (singer, who will participate with her reading and songs), and Emilio Gilolmo (Hay Festival Vice-President), in charge of closing the readings.

8.30pm: Kris Rocha, a Brazilian participant in the Festival de San Sebastián, comes to Segovia to communicate her passion for Brazilian music. Musicians from the Music Club of IE University will perform songs from their countries and others, in a great music party without borders. With Giulia Carmago (Brazil), Gilles de Trazegnies and Alejandro Sansour (Peru), Irene Delgado (Guatemala), and Paula Molina (Colombia).

39b. In case of rain, event 39b moves to La Alhondiga, at the same time


9.30pm:
Ready to dance? The literary dance will return this year to the sound of Latin American rhythms, alternating readings and dancing steps for everyone.

10.15pm: As a grand finale, the festival welcomes Inua Ellams to Segovia, one of the most multi-talented and acclaimed artists in the United Kingdom. The poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist and designer will be the host with the actor Nacho Aldeguer of a great R.A.P. (Rhythm and Poetry) party where young authors from different nationalities (including Bubelo Mlilo from Zimbabwe among other artists) will perform literary works influenced by Urban culture, with a soundtrack Hip Hop style.

Audience and participants are invited to record themselves in a professional recording cabin located at Plaza Mayor. See event 29 for further information. Please register in advance at entradas@hayfestival.com.


Special offer for Hay Festival Segovia assistants and friends: 30 days free trial of Storytel

COORGANISED WITH RENFE, EL PAÍS NEWSPAPER, AND AYUNTAMIENTO DE SEGOVIA. IN COLLABORATION WITH THE BRITISH COUNCIL, THE EMBASSY OF BRAZIL, HISPANO-BRAZILIAN CULTURAL FOUNDATION, CONEXIÓN BRASIL, THE IE FOUNDATION AND THE MUSIC CLUB OF IE UNIVERSITY, THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE OF SPAIN, VETE AL FRESCO FESTIVAL, UNIVERSITY OF VALLADOLID CAMPUS DE SEGOVIA, STORYTEL AND TECNISÓN BY ECLAIR

Hay Digital 2020

Wordsworth 250: A Night in with the Wordsworths

All star cast

Hay Digital 2020, 

A gala performing of William’s poetry and Dorothy’s journals begins our 250th anniversary celebrations with a superstar cast reading work that will include Intimations of Immortality, Daffodils, lines composed both Upon Westminster Bridge and Above Tintern Abbey, The Prelude and We Are Seven. Hosted and introduced by Shahidha Bari with readings by Simon Armitage, Margaret Atwood, Benedict Cumberbatch, Monty Don, Lisa Dwan, Inua Ellams, Stephen Fry, Tom Hollander, Toby Jones, Helen McCrory, Jonathan Pryce and Vanessa Redgrave.

Buy The Major Works - Oxford World's Classics at Waterstones

Buy The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals at Waterstones