Meet the Haymaker – Hanan Issa

Our monthly 'Meet the Haymaker' series shares stories of the change-makers at the heart of Hay Festival and the impact it has had on their lives. Get to know our International Fellow, and National Poet of Wales, Hanan Issa.

What does Hay Festival mean to you? 

It's a sensation overload of thoughts, ideas and experiences. It is where I met some of my closest writer friends and had some of my best ideas for work.

What’s your favourite Festival memory?

Watching a fellow writer, who shall remain nameless, creep over to a sleeping Rose McGowan and leave their latest CD in the crook of her arm.

Have you ever changed your mind on something having been to a Hay Festival event?

The Writers at Work scheme demystified so much of the publishing process for me and gave me heaps more confidence in my own writing abilities.

Who was the best speaker or performer you saw on a Hay Festival stage?


What advice do you have for a first-timer at the Festival?

Stay hydrated, stay open to new ideas, if you see a writer you admire, make sure to say hello!

Sum up Hay Festival in five words or less…

Books, sunshine, inspiration!

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