The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June. We very much look forward to seeing you in Hay.
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Armitage’s 11th collection of poems documents a world on the brink, a world of unreliable seasons and unstable coordinates, where Odysseus stalks the aisles of cut-price supermarkets in search of direction, where the star of Bethlehem rises over industrial Yorkshire and where alarm bells for ailing communities go unheeded or unheard. Looking for certainty the mind gravitates to recollections of upbringing and family, only to encounter more unrecoverable worlds, shaped as ever through Armitage’s gifts for clarity and detail as well as his characteristic dead-pan wit.
Lodgaard is one of the world’s most highly regarded authorities on weapons control. He was the Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research from 1992-1996. He examines the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty with specific regard to North Korea and the USA. Chaired by Nik Gowing.
Head-Up Display (HUD) technology can help drivers with a safer and more comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. It can provide ‘immersive entertainment’ and protection for human wellbeing in the autonomous cars of the future. Professor Chu is Director of the Centre for Photonic Devices and Sensors at Cambridge. He presents his work with two colleagues from Jaguar Land Rover.
In the last few years the world has changed in unexpected ways. The power of radical ideas and groups is growing. What was once considered extreme is now the mainstream. But what is life like on the political fringes? What is the real power of radicals?
Wagner presents her riveting biography of one of the most important figures in American civil engineering history, Washington Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge. Introduced by Philip Davies, Director of the Eccles Centre.
Henry Marsh has spent a lifetime operating on the surgical frontline. There have been exhilarating highs and devastating lows but his love for the practice of neurosurgery has never wavered. Prompted by his retirement from his full-time job in the NHS, and through his continuing work in Nepal and Ukraine, Henry has been forced to reflect more deeply about what 40 years spent handling the human brain has taught him.
The Turkish novelist reimagines the concept of honour, also the title of her 2015 novel. How has the word come to be understood in different communities? Can it be rescued from the grotesque association with the world “killing”? What might a truer application of honour mean for men and for women, for society and humanity? Chaired by A. C. Grayling.
The depiction of the Viking world in the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas goes far beyond historical facts. What emerges from these tales is a mixture of realism and fantasy, quasi-historical adventures and exotic wonder-tales that rocket far beyond the horizon of reality. On the crackling brown pages of saga manuscripts, trolls, dragons and outlandish tribes jostle for position with explorers, traders and kings.
In our small corner of the universe we know how some matter behaves most of the time and what even less of it looks like, and we have some good guesses about where it all came from. But we really have no clue what's going on. In fact, we don’t know what approximately 95% of the universe is made of. So what happens when a cartoonist and a physicist walk into the tent?
For Adam Phillips - as for Freud and many of his followers - poetry and poets have always held an essential place, as both precursors and unofficial collaborators in the psychoanalytic project. But the same has never held true in reverse. What, Phillips wonders, at the start of this deeply engaging book, has psychoanalysis meant for writers? Phillips explores these questions through an exhilarating series of encounters with writers he has loved, from Byron and Barthes to Shakespeare and Sebald. And in the process he demonstrates how literature and psychoanalysis can speak to and of each other.
Over two full years, Dromgoole and the players of Shakespeare’s Globe toured all seven continents performing Hamlet in sweltering deserts, grand Baltic palaces and heaving marketplaces. We see what the Danish prince means to the students of Cambodia, the effect of Polonius on the citizens of the tiny African nation of Djibouti and how a 16th century play can touch the lives of Syrian refugees. Shakespeare’s timeless power to transcend borders, to touch the human heart and to bring the world closer together has rarely been demonstrated in such a bold and brilliant way.
The charismatic novelist, who explores love and passion and freedom in her fiction, re-imagines the union of loving human beings. Her books include Why Be Happy?, The Passion, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit and most recently The Gap of Time.
At 21 the prodigious violinist found her instrument: a rare 1696 Stradivarius, perfectly suited to her build and temperament. Her career soared. Then, in a train station café, her violin was stolen from her side. In an instant her world collapsed. This is Min's extraordinary story - of a young woman staring into the void, wondering who she was, who she had been. It is a story of isolation and dependence, of love, loss and betrayal, and of the intense, almost human bond that a musician has with their instrument. Above all, it's a story of hope through a journey back to music.
Executive Orders and wiretapping, and let’s face it – lying - have called the separation of powers and basic constitutional principles into question in the United States as never before. Trump threatens rights of speech, privacy, religious freedom, voting and equality -- and we’re just getting started. Cole is the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has emerged as a leader in the fight to preserve civil liberties. He explains what’s going on to Philippe Sands.
A spellbinding hour with one of the all-time great live readers of poetry: ‘Lemn Sissay is a passionate and powerful voice whose performances are humbling and exhilarating’ – Kate Tempest.
Unbound presents a brilliant collaboration between the visual artist Rima Staines and the author Sylvia Linsteadt. It is rooted in fantasy and folklore and set in a post-apocalyptic California.
The fiercely demanded encore from the outrageously brilliant comedian. Strap into the mask as the British Comedy award-winner improvises her way through an hour of side-splitting witchery with the help of Monkey and a bag of tricks. No two shows are ever the same.
The Malian/French singer-songwriter superstar touches down in Hay for her only UK gig this Spring. She plays a thrilling blend of hip-hop, disco and soul, flipping around her West African traditions with joyful, irresistible beats. She is one of the most dazzling live performers on the circuit. Come!
The editor of The Amorist magazine chairs a conversation about love and sex in fiction and asks: is erotic passion the hardest form of literary endeavour? Get one line wrong and there’s laughter, or disgust. Gardner writes erotic fiction under the pen name Wray Delaney. Delaney’s first erotic novel, An Almond for a Parrot, is set amidst the brothels of 18thcentury London. Huston is the author of Say My Name, an account of a love affair between a married woman and a much younger man, while Jacobson’s most controversial novel was The Act of Love.
Swing Patrol are a vibrant, energetic bunch who love everything vintage and are passionate about their swing dancing. You may have recently seen them on Dragons’ Den, Call the Midwife or BBC’s Peoples’ Strictly. From high-flying aerials to the basic dance steps and everything in between, Swing Patrol know how to put on a show, raise the energy levels and create a whole lot of fun.
An evening of solo cello and words including the epic sonata by Zoltan Kodaly, written in 1915 as a homage to the virtuosic possibilities of the instrument and to the Hungarian folk music and culture that he so loved. Words, including poetry by Ted Hughes, who also felt deeply connected to the earth in all its rawness.
Wake up and re-energise with our morning yoga class. Iyengar yoga is characterized by precision, alignment and attention to detail and is an inclusive and accessible yoga practice. Mats are provided, wear comfortable clothing.
Cathedrals are custodians of culture and of the rituals of civic life. They offer welfare and relieve suffering. They uplift spirits with their beauty. In a real sense they are still what they were when first built a millennium ago, a glimpse of the sublime. Illustrated lecture.
Responding to today’s international challenges in a rapidly evolving geopolitical environment is placing new strain on the UK’s place in the world. The historian and constitutional expert assesses the challenges the UK faces in the coming years, discussing the impact of withdrawal from the EU and turning into a ‘Global Britain’ may have on the our foreign policy, security and territorial integrity.
Death affects us all. Yet it is still the last taboo in our society and grief is still profoundly misunderstood. Two writers, whose outstanding books offer compassion and solace, discuss ways to live on. Samuel is a grief psychotherapist and author of Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving. Rentzenbrink is the author of The Last Act of Love and now A Manual for Heartache.
Ridley views the Peter Pan stories through the eyes of a neuroscientist and explores J M Barrie's interest in cognition, theory of mind and the nature of consciousness. Barrie's stories are rich in post-Darwinian questions about the origins of human nature and the mental abilities of animals, children and adults. Ridley was Head of the Medical Research Council Comparative Cognition Research Team in the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University.
Brexit, then Trump, exposed how out of touch political and corporate leaders are with the deep concerns of voters and consumers. The gap is widening. The challenges for leaders in governments and boardrooms are deepening, fuelled by AI, the threat to jobs and algorithms. Can leaders handle pressures they never expected? A participatory symposium led by Gowing, co-author of the ongoing Thinking the Unthinkable study. Numbers limited.
Writer and comedian Jonathan Meres provides a laugh-out-loud treat as he talks about the twelfth and final instalment in his multi-award-winning series. Although life is undoubtedly still unfair for Norm, Jonathan guarantees that he will cheer up the audience and get everyone singing along to his World of Norm song.