Published in 2021, The Welsh Way: Essays on Neoliberalism and Devolution had an immediate impact on the understanding of Welsh politics and the discourse of radical politics in this country. Challenging the rhetoric of Welsh Labour and its record in power – and the broader perception of the British left – its wide range of author-activists, practitioners and academics dissect the narratives, policies and assumptions that structure perceptions of our politics, and tackle the myth that Welsh politics is somehow more progressive than that of its neighbours. To discuss are the author of The Story of Wales, Jon Gower; contributors Mabli Jones (Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg), Catrin Ashton (Communist Party); and Huw Williams, one of the editors.
Country & Town House culture editor Ed Vaizey, and associate editor Charlotte Metcalf record their 78th episode of Break Out Culture from Hay Festival and talk to three authors about how they are tackling the crucial topics of protecting nature and our planet in the face of climate change. On the panel are the former nun and now prolific author Karen Armstrong, with her new book Sacred Nature, Jessie Greengrass, author of the novel The High House and Ellen Miles, who has turned to TikTok to publicise her book Nature is a Human Right.
In 2003, England won the Rugby World Cup. Steve Thompson was in England’s front row, at the heart of the scrum – one of sport’s most destructive, repetitive impacts. Today, he remembers nothing about playing in that final. In his words, watching the tape back is like watching a ghost. He has early-onset dementia, the result of endless collisions, concussions and injuries. He is now campaigning to improve the game and safeguard those who play it. Despite the constant reminders of what has been lost, and what is still to lose, Steve’s powerful story is one of hope and courage. He talks to the World Cup winning Head Coach of Steve’s England team and former rugby union player, Sir Clive Woodward.
Tony Fadell spent the first ten years of his 30-year career in Silicon Valley failing miserably, before leaving his mark building the iPod and iPhone and starting Nest. He learned the hard way that throwing away the old and starting from scratch is not always the optimal route to success. Sometimes old school guidance provides the necessary wisdom, whether you’re looking for your first job, contemplating a career change, mapping out a start-up or selling a company. What you need at those junctures is a mentor, someone who has been in the trenches and can give it to you straight.
Tony now leads the investment and advisory firm Future Shape, where he mentors the next generation of tech start-ups that are working to change the world for the better. He joins us at Hay to talk about the importance of great mentors, how to deal with terrible failure and phenomenal success and why he believes that the world’s first tech trillionaire will be someone who helps to fix climate change.
Nefyn has always been a mystery, even to her brother Joseph with whom she lives in a small cottage above a blustery cove. Hamza is a Syrian mapmaker with a dark past, incarcerated in a military base a few miles up the coast. A violent storm will bring these two lost souls together – but other forces will soon try to tear them apart.
Caryl Lewis is a Welsh novelist, children’s writer, playwright and screenwriter. Her breakthrough novel Martha, Jac a Sianco is regarded as a modern classic of Welsh literature, is on the Welsh curriculum, and the film adaptation, with a screenplay by Lewis herself, went on to win six Welsh BAFTAS.
A discussion of grief and how to learn to cope with loss. Julia Samuel is a psychotherapist and the Founder Patron of Child Bereavement UK. Her previous books This Too Shall Pass and Grief Works were Sunday Times bestsellers. In her new book, Every Family has a Story, she dives into eight case studies, analysing separation, step-relationships, leaving home, trauma and loss. Writer and journalist Clover Stroud is a regular contributor to the Sunday Times and the Guardian. Her recent book The Red of my Blood is about what life feels like when death interrupts it, about describing an experience that seems beyond words. They talk about bearing the unbearable with journalist Georgina Godwin.
Catharine MacLeod is Curator of Seventeenth-Century Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery. She contributed to 100 Writers, a publication that brings together portraits of writers from various periods who have made an important contribution to British society and culture. Inspired by the collaboration between Hay Castle Trust, the National Portrait Gallery and Hay Festival, Catharine explores the relationship between writing and portraiture with art historian and newly appointed Director of Hay Castle, Tom True.
TV adaptations such as The Crown, A Very English Scandal and Impeachment: American Crime Story have demonstrated the public appetite for stories from our past. History writing is vital in helping us understand the past and its impact on our lives today. As the Wolfson History Prize, the UK’s most valuable history writing prize, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022, join historians Alex von Tunzelmann (shortlisted for the 2022 Wolfson History Prize), Miranda Kaufmann (shortlisted for the 2018 Wolfson History Prize), Hannah Greig and Anita Anand to explore why TV adaptations of history books are growing in popularity, and how they expand public perception of historical events.
Catalyst is a radical spoken word album produced by Jimmy Page, featuring poetry written and performed by Scarlett Sabet, creating a powerful, and arresting sonic landscape. “Catalyst is a sonic manifestation of Jimmy’s innovation, our time together and spirit.”– Scarlett Sabet. “I believed that the poems featured here could display a new dimension to the spoken word, her spoken word and her genius.” – Jimmy Page.
In The Sea There Are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda is the true story of a refugee child. This event explores why and how author Mary Loudon, with dramatist and director Nicola Moran, created a theatre company to perform and tour the world première of this global bestseller, raising thousands of pounds for refugee charity Young Roots. Mary and Nicola share this story in a half hour discussion with one of Britain’s best-known actors Harriet Walter, followed by a showing of the film of the performance, which was shot during a live show at the Oxford Playhouse. After the film, Harriet Walter will lead a short audience Q&A.
Wales has terrific writers, a proud literary history and a small but vibrant bilingual publishing industry with big ambitions. With a new trade body, Cyhoeddi Cymru Publishing Wales, behind us, how do our words and culture reach bookshelves around the world? And why is Wales’ thriving publishing industry so important? Join our panel debate with award-winning author Manon Steffan Ros, University of Wales Press Director Natalie Williams, BBC presenter and children’s author Lucy Owen, Managing Director at Crown House Publishing David Bowman, and Strategic Director of Wales Literature Exchange Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones.
Frank Turner has an innovative way of blending the genres of folk, punk and rock with his intelligent lyrics to create quietly anthemic music. Fresh from a tour of Europe and the UK, here he brings us a solo acoustic set. He has released nine solo albums, five EPs and a host of other releases.
Turner’s latest studio album FTHC, created during the pandemic and exploring identity, ageing, anxiety, addiction, loss and love, was released in February 2022 and has just become a number one album in the UK.
Despite the conditions of its creation, on FTHC Turner doesn’t dwell on the trauma of Covid, looking instead at the positives on the upbeat, glammy stomp of ‘The Gathering’, a joyous celebration of a post-lockdown return to normality, with pile-driving drums courtesy of Muse’s Dom Howard and a triumphant guitar solo from Jason Isbell. “It’s about that moment when you come together in a room full of people that you know, but also people who you don’t know, and you lean on a stranger and sing along with the chorus and get the words wrong,” he says.
Angela Barnes won the BBC New Comedy Award in 2011 and stars in BBC Two’s Mock The Week and Live at The Apollo. She is a regular on BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show and The News Quiz. Shazia Mirza is an award-winning comedian and writer listed by the Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. Her pre-pandemic show Coconut was nominated for ‘Best Stand-Up Tour’ in Channel 4’s National Comedy Awards. Rachel Parris is a comedian, musician, actor and improviser, best known for her viral segments on BBC2’s The Mash Report. She appears regularly on BBC Radio 4, including in The Now Show, The News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.
This unique stand-up mash-up is compèred by Pierre Novellie, recently seen and heard on The Mash Report (BBC2) and The Now Show (Radio 4). An Edinburgh Fringe regular, he has twice placed in the top 20 best reviewed comedy shows across the entire festival.
A little light ridicule, mockery and fun to start the day as the satirists read the tabloids and surf the social media storms for an irreverent look at what’s tickling the nation’s fancy – and driving it to splenetic fury – today. The team are joined by Sophia Smith Galer who is a multi-award-winning journalist, TikTok creator and author of Losing It: Sex Education for the 21st Century.
Armstrong argues that if we want to avert environmental catastrophe, it is not enough to change our behaviour: we need to learn to think and feel differently about the natural world, to rekindle our spiritual bond with nature. For most of human history, nature was believed to be sacred, and our God or gods present everywhere in the natural world. When the West began to separate God and nature, it set in train the destruction of the natural world. Taking themes that have been central to the world’s religious traditions – from gratitude and compassion to sacrifice and non-violence – she offers practical steps to help us develop a new mindset to reconnect with nature and renew our sense of the sacred. In conversation with journalist and editor Kitty Corrigan.
Paddy Crewe presents his brilliantly original debut to author and critic Erica Wagner. It is 1815 in a small town in Georgia, when Yip Tolroy – mute and a social outcast – is born. His mother struggles to manage his needs, leaving Yip to find his own way in a hostile environment. He begins to transform his life by learning to read and write, his portal into the community a piece of slate and supply of chalk. At 15, his life is altered irrevocably when he witnesses the discovery of gold and commits a grievous crime that leaves him with no choice but to flee. Thrust into a world of violence, Yip and his unlikely comrade Dud are forced to leave town and embark on an odyssey across the wonder and horror of the American frontier.
Guides from Brecon Beacons National Park lead a gentle walk through the beautiful surrounds of Hay-on-Wye. Two of the Park’s leading ecologists share their knowledge of some of the local flora and fauna.
Illustrator Rob Biddulph sketches out a fun-packed session for all the family. Rob helped everyone get through lockdown with his brilliant #DrawwithRob videos, and now you can join in live with a draw-along fresh from his latest book Amazing Animals! Find out all about Rob’s journey from budding artist to award-winning picture book creator and Guinness World Record holder in this event fizzing with fun and creativity.
What would you do if your favourite footballer granted you nine wishes? Well, that’s what happens to Archie Crumb in Helen Rutter’s new book. Helen tells us how her wish to be an author came true, and how you can achieve your dreams.
Poetry meets geolocation and augmented reality in this creative writing workshop with a digital dimension. Head4Arts and the multi-talented Rufus Mufasa invite you to come in and find your happy place, inspired by what3words.
Everyone attending requires a ticket