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The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June - you can download a PDF of the programme here. We very much look forward to seeing you in May.

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Ruby Wax

A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled

Event 171 Venue: Tata Tent

Ruby Wax

“500 years ago no one died of stress; we invented this concept and now we let it rule us. We might have evolved to be able to miraculously balance on seven-inch heels, but as far as our emotional development is concerned we’re still swimming with the pond scum. If we don’t advance our more human qualities then we’re doomed, evolution-wise, to become cyborgs, with an imprint of an Apple where our hearts used to be.” Ruby Wax shows us a scientific solution to these modern problems: mindfulness.

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Thomas Keneally talks to Gaby Wood

Napoleon’s Last Island

Event 172 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

Thomas Keneally talks to Gaby Wood

The Booker-winning Australian writer launches his new novel. On the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean, Napoleon spends his last years in exile. It is a hotbed of gossip and secret liaisons, where a blind eye is turned to relations between colonials and slaves. The disgraced emperor is subjected to vicious and petty treatment by his captors, but he forges an unexpected ally: a rebellious British girl, Betsy, who lives on the island with her family and becomes his unlikely friend.

See event 217
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Gaia Vince talks to Adam Rutherford

Royal Society Platform: Adventures in the Anthropocene

Event 173 Venue: Good Energy Stage

The first female winner of The Royal Society’s book prize, Gaia Vince’s ambitious journey charts humanity’s changes on our living planet. By transforming our relationship with the natural world, humans have beckoned a new a geological age: the Anthropocene. Join Gaia as she talks to broadcaster Adam Rutherford about the stories and people that make up these earth-shifting times.

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Danny Dorling

People and Places: A 21st-Century Atlas of the UK

Event 174 Venue: Telegraph Stage

The geographer introduces this staggeringly detailed analysis of social change over the past 15 years, gleaned from census statistics and big data. It is essential reading for all those working in local authorities, health authorities, and statutory and voluntary organisations, as well as for researchers, students, policy makers, journalists and any Haymakers interested in social geography, social policy, social justice and social change.

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Hawa Golakai, Mark Gevisser and Kevin Eze

Whose Story is it Anyway?

Event 175 Venue: Starlight Stage

Hawa Golakai, Mark Gevisser and Kevin Eze

In times of instability and change, more and more African writers are turning to non-fiction. A new anthology, Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction, brings local perspectives to the stories behind the headlines, and highlights contemporary issues across the continent. It addresses the Chinese in Africa, the refugee crisis, and Ebola. Can creative nonfiction move readers where fiction falls short, or simply fails to inspire action? Rosie Goldsmith hosts South African-based author Mark Gevisser, Hawa Golakai from Liberia and Kevin Eze from Senegal.

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Secret Treasures of Ancient Egypt

Event HD28 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Step back in time and explore the amazing lost cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus with the help of Xanthe Gresham Knight, one of the core Storytellers for the British Museum. Enjoy incredible tales of submerged deities and treasures and discover how these fantastic cities were rediscovered.

8+
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Emma Yarlett

Nibbles: The Book Monster

Event HD29 Venue: Cube

Emma Yarlett

Join the author/illustrator telling the stories behind her new book-eating character Nibbles, who is eating his way through some of our favourite fairytales. As a result they are all muddled up. Come and help Nibbles get back to where he properly belongs.

3+
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Letterpress workshop

Event W4 Venue: Scribblers Hut

Always wanted to get your fingers inky? Learn to use an Adana tabletop printing press with Dulcie Fulton of Mostly Flat. Come and print tactile letterpress bookmarks that have been designed using traditional movable type and decorative ornaments.

12+
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John McGrath

The BBC Radio Wales Patrick Hannan Lecture

Event 176 Venue: BBC Tent

John McGrath

John McGrath, founding Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Wales and now CEO and Artistic Director of Manchester International Festival, delivers the fifth annual Welsh affairs lecture dedicated to the late BBC Wales broadcaster.

Broadcast live on BBC Radio Wales

Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years

BBC Radio Wales
 
Free but ticketed
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Salman Rushdie talks to Jerry Brotton

Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

Event 177 Venue: Tata Tent

Salman Rushdie talks to Jerry Brotton

Inspired by the traditional wonder tales of the East, Rushdie’s new novel is a masterpiece about the age-old conflicts that remain in today’s world. Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is satirical and bawdy, full of cunning and folly, rivalries and betrayals, kismet and karma, rapture and redemption.

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Steve Jones

No Need for Geniuses: Revolutionary Science in the Age of the Guillotine

Event 178 Venue: Telegraph Stage

Steve Jones

Paris at the time of the French Revolution was the world capital of science. Its scholars laid the foundations of today’s physics, chemistry and biology. They were true revolutionaries, agents of an upheaval both of understanding and of politics. The Eiffel Tower, built to celebrate the Revolution’s centennial, saw the world’s first wind tunnel, first radio message and first observation of cosmic rays. Perhaps the greatest Revolutionary scientist of all, Antoine Lavoisier founded modern chemistry and physiology, transformed French farming, and hugely improved the manufacture of gunpowder. His political activities brought him a fortune, but in the end led to his execution. The judge who sentenced him claimed that “the Revolution has no need for geniuses”. Chaired by Dan Davis.

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Parag Khanna talks to Nik Gowing

Connectography: Mapping the Global Network Revolution

Event 179 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Parag Khanna talks to Nik Gowing

The global strategist and author travels from Ukraine to Iran, Mongolia to North Korea, London to Dubai and the Arctic Circle to the South China Sea – all to show how C21st conflict is a tug-of-war over pipelines and internet cables, advanced technologies and market access. Yet Connectography offers a hopeful vision of the future. Khanna argues that new energy discoveries and innovations have eliminated the need for resource wars; that global financial assets are being deployed to build productive infrastructure that can reduce inequality; and that frail regions such as Africa and the Middle East are unscrambling their fraught colonial borders through ambitious new transportation corridors and power grids.

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Peter Lord

The Tradition: A New History of Welsh Art

Event 180 Venue: Good Energy Stage

The distinguished art historian presents his elegant and intriguing survey of the evolution of visual art in Wales from the Renaissance to the present day, told through landscape and portrait paintings, drawings and sculptures. Chaired by Jon Gower.

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Mei Fong and Xinran talk to Rosie Boycott

One Child China

Event 181 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

Mei Fong and Xinran talk to Rosie Boycott

For more than three decades China exercised unprecedented control over the reproductive habits of its billion citizens. Now, with its economy faltering just as it seemed poised to become the largest in the world, the Chinese government has brought an end to its one-child policy. It’s a time when capitalism vies with communism, the city with the countryside and Western opportunity with Eastern tradition. Mei Fong’s One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment examines the policy. Xinran’s Buy Me the Sky: The Remarkable Truth of China’s One-Child Generations charts the stories of the singleton generations. Within their families, they are revered as little emperors and suns, although such cosseting can come at a high price: isolation, confusion and an inability to deal with life’s challenges.

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Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Never Evers

Event HD30 Venue: Starlight Stage

Tom Ellen, journalist, and Lucy Ivison, school librarian, discuss how they created Never Evers, the sequel to Lobsters. Are two writers better than one when it comes to having great ideas? Does their experience of having been at sixth form together help when they are writing about Mouse and Jack and the great disaster of the school ski-ing trip?

12+
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Fleur Alexander

Above and Below

Event HD31 Venue: Cube

Take part in an interactive session with the storyteller exploring eight amazing habitats above and below the Earth’s surface, recreated in Patricia Hegarty and Hanako Clulow’s book. Delve into the rainforest, dive into the ocean and learn about the sustaining connections between the two.

3+
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Letterpress workshop

Event W5 Venue: Scribblers Hut

Always wanted to get your fingers inky? Learn to use an Adana tabletop printing press with Dulcie Fulton of Mostly Flat. Come and print tactile letterpress bookmarks that have been designed using traditional movable type and decorative ornaments.

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Yanis Varoufakis talks to Martha Kearney

And the Weak Suffer What They Must

Event 182 Venue: Tata Tent

Yanis Varoufakis talks to Martha Kearney

The former Finance Minister of Greece shows that the origins of the European collapse go far deeper than our leaders are prepared to admit – and that we have done nothing so far to fix it.

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Edna O’Brien talks to Matt Frei

The Little Red Chairs

Event 183 Venue: Telegraph Stage

Edna O’Brien talks to Matt Frei

When a wanted war criminal from the Balkans, masquerading as a faith healer, settles in a small west coast Irish village, the community is in thrall and one woman, Fidelma McBride, falls under his spell. In this astonishing novel, O’Brien charts the consequences of that fatal attraction.

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Jules Howard

Death on Earth: Adventures in Evolution and Mortality

Event 184 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

Some animals live for just a few hours as adults, others prefer to kill themselves rather than live for longer than they are needed, and there are a number of animals that live for centuries. There are parasites that drive their hosts to die awful deaths, and parasites that manipulate their hosts to live longer, healthier lives. There is death in life. Among all of this is us: perhaps the first animal in the history of the universe fully conscious that death really is going to happen in the end. The zoologist explores the never-ending cycle of death and the impact it has on the living.

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