Meet the Haymaker – Karl Nova

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. This month, get to know hip-hop artist, poet and writer Karl Nova, who takes part in this year's Hay Festival Scribblers Tour all over Wales... 

What does Hay Festival mean to you?

Hay Festival is an amazing gathering and celebration of ideas, imagination. It is a celebration of the written and spoken word. It is probably the biggest literary party on earth! 

What's your favourite Festival memory?

My favourite memory is attending my first Hay Festival and being on stage for my event on 1 June 2019. Merely attending and just being there was amazing but to be able to do my event and perform to a packed out tent will stick with me forever. The warm welcome, the electric atmosphere and the feeling of being included and part of something this huge felt amazing!

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

Watching Emma Carrol do her event made me think “Karl you have to step your slide show presentation up!!!”

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

I know I am biased but the aforementioned Emma Carroll!

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

Keep an open mind. Take it all in. Buy some books! Find out about the events you want to attend. Try something you might not normally engage in. Did I say buy books?

Sum up Hay Festival in five words or less...

The literary Glastonbury!