WELCOME TO HAY
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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.
Click here to see a list of sold out events
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.
The Good Immigrant
Event 144 • • Venue: Cube
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.
A Quaker Life
Event 147 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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.
The Josephine Hart Poetry Hour: Samuel Beckett
Event 185 • • Venue: Tata Tent
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.
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.
The Empty Chair: The National Poet of Wales on Hedd Wyn
Event 202 • • Venue: Cube
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.
I Can Spin A Rainbow
Event 203 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
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.
Quarrybank Women’s Work
Event 207 • • Venue: Cube
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’.
Reformations 11: Men
Event 211 • • Venue: Tata Tent
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Event 323 • • Venue: BBC Tent
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.
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.