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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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Poetry

Sarah Thomas, Darragh Martin, Justina Hart and David Thorpe talk to Mark Goldthorpe

Realistic Utopias: Imagining The World Changed by Climate

Event 8 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

What can the worlds of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and drama contribute to how we understand and respond to climate change? Do humans respond to stories more than facts? The work stems from a project called Weatherfronts: climate change and the stories we tell. The pieces referenced here were commissioned by TippingPoint, Free Word and partners 2014-2016. Weatherfronts brought together writers and leading climate change experts to inspire new writing that would encourage people to act to help our environment. 

Price: £7.30
 
 

Inua Ellams, Coco Khan and Chimene Suleyman talk to Rachael Kerr

The Good Immigrant

Event 144 Venue: Cube

Inua Ellams, Coco Khan and Chimene Suleyman talk to Rachael Kerr

We are delighted to launch the paperback of Nikesh Shukla’s award-winning collection of essays and stories with three of the contributing writers. Inspired by discussion around why society appears to deem people of colour as bad immigrants – job stealers, benefit scroungers, undeserving refugees – until, by winning Olympic races or baking good cakes, or being conscientious doctors, they cross over and become good immigrants, Shukla has compiled a collection of essays that are poignant, challenging, angry, humorous, heartbreaking, polemic, weary and – most importantly – real.

Inua Ellams is selected for Hay 30 -– celebrating a new generation of thinkers, supported by the CASE Foundation
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Sheila Hancock, Philip Gross and Tracy Chevalier

A Quaker Life

Event 147 Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

Sheila Hancock, Philip Gross and Tracy Chevalier

A conversation about how their Quaker faith has informed the life and work of three writers: the actor Sheila Hancock’s books include the memoir Just Me and the novel Miss Carter’s War; award-winning poet Philip Gross’s collections include The Water Table, Deep Field and the forthcoming A Bright Acoustic; Tracy Chevalier’s novels include Girl With a Pearl Earring, At the Edge of the Orchard and now New Boy.

Price: £8.30
 
 

Lisa Dwan

The Josephine Hart Poetry Hour: Samuel Beckett

Event 185 Venue: Tata Tent

Lisa Dwan

Dwan’s sensational performances of Beckett’s Not I and No’s Knife in London, on Broadway and around the world have perfectly captured the rhythms and beauty of his language.  In this specially commissioned Poetry Hour she introduces and reads his poetry and drama.

Price: £9.30
 
 

Siobhan Campbell, Emily Blewitt, Rhiannon Hooson and Polly Atkin

The Seren 2017 Poetry Gala

Event 195 Venue: Cube

Four poets read from new collections in this poetry platform. Campbell reads from her new collection Heat Signature. Blewitt reads from her Forward-commended This is Not a Rescue. Hooson reads from her collection The Other City. Atkin reads from Basic Nest Architecture.

Price: £6.30
 
 

Ifor ap Glyn

The Empty Chair: The National Poet of Wales on Hedd Wyn

Event 202 Venue: Cube

Ifor ap Glyn

2017 marks 100 years since the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele. One of those who fell in battle was Ellis Humphrey Evans, the poet from Meirionnydd whose Bardic name was Hedd Wyn. He died before being announced winner of the Chair at the National Eisteddfod in Birkenhead. The empty chair was draped in black, and Hedd Wyn is still remembered throughout Wales, as he is in Flanders, as a potent symbol of bloodshed and loss. Ifor ap Glyn will talk about the life, work and remarkable legacy of Hedd Wyn.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Amanda Palmer and Edward Ka-Spel

I Can Spin A Rainbow

Event 203 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Amanda Palmer and Edward Ka-Spel

An intimate concert-performance unveils the first full-length collaboration between Palmer and Ka-Spel, founding member of visionary Anglo-Dutch psychedelicists The Legendary Pink Dots. Both artists’ stories, song fragments, poems, and lyrics became wholly meshed with loops, melancholy piano playing, melodic beds, and strange rhythms. The results range from the enchantingly minimal The Clock at the Back of the Cage to the luxurious theatricality of the album-opening Pulp Fiction.

Price: £9.30
 
 

Kate Fox

Quarrybank Women’s Work

Event 207 Venue: Cube

Kate Fox

The comedian and poet performs work produced during her residency at Quarry Bank, one of the Industrial Revolution’s best-preserved textile mills.  Fox has had unique access to journals of women who worked in the mill, which has informed her lifelong commitment to the issues of gender history and ‘Northern-ness’.

Price: £6.30
 
 

Owen Sheers

Reformations 11: Men

Event 211 Venue: Tata Tent

Owen Sheers

Questions of masculinity have been at the heart of Sheers’ writing for 20 years, in his plays Mametz and The Two Worlds of Charlie F, in his fiction Resistance and  I Saw A Man, and in his poetry – most clearly in Pink Mist. In 2012 he was also artist in residence with the Welsh Rugby Union. Here he interrogates ideas of masculinity in essay form, and reimagines a man’s world. 

Price: £7.30
 
 

Matthew Francis

Mabinogi

Event 243 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Francis’ re-telling of the first four stories of the Welsh classic is the first to situate it in poetry, and captures the magic and strangeness of this medieval Celtic world: a baby is kidnapped by a monstrous claw, a giant wades across the Irish Sea to do battle, a wizard makes a woman out of flowers, only to find she is less biddable than he expected. Permeating the whole sequence is a delight in the power of the imagination to transform human experience into works of tragedy, comedy and wonder. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Alys Conran, Valts Ernštreits, Inga Gaile, Rhys Trimble and Ryan Van Winkle

Literature Across Frontiers: The Exchange

Event 253 Venue: Compass

Leading lights from Latvia’s vibrant poetry scene join contemporaries from Scotland and Wales for a rich reading in three languages. The award-winning poets will share newly translated poems, collaborations and experiments in a special event which reflects their friendship and celebrates the role art plays in building bridges between cultures.

Toasted with Latvian Riga Balsams and Welsh Whisky.
Price: £6.30
 
 

Srijato Bandopadhyay, Natalie Holborow, Arunhava Sinha, Sophie McKeand, Aniesha Brahma and Sion Tomos Owen

Hay Mela 1: And Suddenly You Find Yourself in India

Event 292 Venue: Starlight Stage

The first of four events this afternoon and evening that celebrate the vibrant cultural exchange between Wales and India. The poets relate and perform their experience of the India Wales project 2017, Valley City Village: with words and pictures introduced by Gary Raymond.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Mamta Sagar, Sian Melangell Dafydd, Anitha Thampi and Nia Davies

Hay Mela 2: Literature Across Frontiers

Event 298 Venue: Starlight Stage

Sagar is a performance poet in the Kannada language, the Keralan poet Thampi writes in Malayalam. They’ve created a multi-lingual performance translating and writing together with the Cymraeg (Dafydd) and English-language (Davies) poets from Wales.

Price: £6.30
 
 

Spoken Word Poets

Event 323 Venue: BBC Tent

Spoken Word Poets

Manchester-based poetry collective Young Identity present a live set from some of the rising stars of the UK spoken word scene with performances by Isaiah Hull, Shirley May, Inna Voice and Chris Jam, plus a reading from novelist Desiree Reynolds. This diverse group of artists are aged 16-25 years old and represent some of the most articulate young voices the country has to offer.

FREE BUT TICKETED
Price: £0.00
 
 

Emmy the Great, Ina Shai and Simeon Hammond Dallas

The Canopy Festival

Event 351 Venue: Oxfam Moot

An evening of live music, spoken word and poetry inspired by trees and woods, culminating in a live performance by the sublime, magically engineered folk-mixer Emmy the Great, with a VJ set of woods/trees with visuals from a host of contemporary visual artists.

Price: £7.30