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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Spowers is the Chief Engineer and Founder of Riversimple, whose goal is simple – to pursue, systematically, the elimination of the environmental impact of personal transport. Spowers, Clancy and their team have created Rasa, a super-efficient, hydrogen-powered car. They are joined by Will Vaughan, CEO of Hereford Pedicabs and Cargo, who provide financially and environmentally sustainable services by bike – including parcel delivery, trade waste recycling, inner city advertising and pedicab hire.
For 600 years, exquisitely produced volumes stored everything we know – from Gutenberg’s bibles to Newton’s Principia and Austen’s Persuasion. Purcell tells a rollicking tale of discoveries and bibliophile treasures from some of Britain’s greatest private library collections that are now saved for the nation. Purcell was formerly Libraries Curator for the National Trust and is now Deputy Director of Research Collections at Cambridge University Library.
Among the bravest fighters for the Amazon rainforest are the Wampis people from Peru. They’re supported by the Size of Herefordshire, a local group, who are just back from visiting them and join us with photographs, films and stories.
A conversation with the legendary British cyclist, gold medallist in the Barcelona Olympics, Tour de France hero, and latterly the backroom ‘marginal gains’ genius of British cycling in his role as head of the R&D team, The Secret Squirrels.
The beloved, bestselling author’s new novel is illustrated with photographs that make this journey around Greece, already alive in the imagination, linger forever in the mind. Hislop’s other Greek novels include The Island and The Thread.
18 July 1898 and the world-renowned novelist Emile Zola is on the run. His crime? Intervening in the Dreyfus case and taking on the highest powers in France with his open letter J’accuse. Forced to leave Paris with nothing but the clothes he is standing in and a nightshirt wrapped in newspaper, Zola flees to England with no idea when he will return. This is the little-known story of his time in exile. Rosen offers an intriguing insight into the mind, the loves, the politics and the work of the great writer.
The historian tells the story of the three-in-one great cities of Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul, which has long been the gateway between East and West. Archaeologists have measured 42 layers of human inhabitation here on the Bosphorus over the past 6,000 years. It has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires and, for many years, was known simply as The City.
The writer and politician recounts his final journey with his 90-year-old father along the border between Scotland and England. They relive Scottish dances, reflect on Burmese honey-bears, and on the loss of human presence in the British landscape. On mountain ridges and in housing estates they uncover a forgotten country crushed between England and Scotland: the Middleland. They discover unsettling modern lives, lodged in an ancient land. Their odyssey develops into a history of nationhood, an anatomy of the landscape, a chronicle of contemporary Britain and an exuberant encounter between a father and a son.
Where do we belong? What passport and what papers do we carry? The international human rights lawyer proposes a new form of internationalist identity, and the adoption of the Tobin Tax that would help fund a universally available Citizenship of the World. Chaired by Guto Harri.
Keggie Carew grew up under the spell of an unorthodox, enigmatic father. An undercover guerrilla agent during the Second World War, in peacetime he lived on his wits and dazzling charm. But these were not always enough to sustain a family. As his memory began to fail, Keggie embarked on a quest to unravel his story once and for all. Dadland won the Costa biography award. It is funny and tender and utterly captivating.
Leaving her garden to the mercy of the slugs, award-winning writer Alys Fowler set out in an inflatable kayak to explore Birmingham’s canal network, full of little-used waterways where huge pike skulk and kingfishers dart. Her memoir is about noticing the wild everywhere and what it means to see beauty where you least expect it. What happens when someone who has learned to observe her external world in such detail decides to examine her internal world with the same care? Chaired by Lucy Cotter.
Come along to our immersive lantern-lit tented Storytelling Nook to listen to Veronica Lamond’s illustrated stories of Landy and Fender the lovable Land Rovers, and Kenyan author Aunty Kiko’s tale “Baby Elephant’s Safari, and experience how solar light is making a difference to millions of families in Africa.
Modern science has begun to understand sea birds: their epic voyages, their astonishing abilities to navigate for tens of thousands of miles on a featureless sea, their ability to smell their way towards fish and home. Only the poets in the past would have thought of seabirds as creatures riding the ripples and currents of the planet, though that is what the scientists are witnessing now, too. But a global tragedy is unfolding. The number of seabirds is in freefall: a 70% decline, a billion fewer now than there were in 1950.
Whether as signposts to an underworld, beacons to ancient mariners or as extraordinary manifestations of the natural world, volcanoes have intrigued many people, who have left records of their encounters in letters, diaries, sketches and illustrations. The Oxford volcanologist shares contemporary accounts of eruptions – from Pliny’s 79 CE report of Vesuvius to 21st century imaging of Santorini.
The campaigner, publisher and wanderer has spent his life travelling: “The richer our imaginations, the richer our travel experience. We British do things one way and the Spaniards another; there are unlimited ways of doing everything. Kindness is found in unexpected places, as is eccentricity. Eccentrics are an endangered species and need as much protection as does the house sparrow.”
Morris’ intimate journals unconsciously explore questions of travel, noting his reaction to the idea of leaving or arriving, to hurry and delay, what it means to dread a place you’ve never been to or to encounter the actuality of a long-held vision. Poet Lavinia Greenlaw draws out these questions as she follows in the footprints of Morris’ prose, responding to its surfaces and undercurrents, extending its horizons. The result is a new and composite work, which brilliantly explores our conflicted reasons for not staying at home. Chaired by William Sieghart.
The history of 12,000 years of the British landscape, from the Ice Age to the 21st century. A tour de force from the prize-winning author Nicholas Crane, co-presenter of Coast and President of the Royal Geographical Society.
In the last two years Chris’ travels have taken him from Azerbaijan to Bolivia and Zimbabwe. He brings to life the romance of travelling by train, and the sights, sounds and smells of the countries and places visited. Chaired by Oliver Balch.
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.
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.
This story spins from a chance find of an anonymous ‘love diary’ written by a young man in the 1940s. It recounts the everyday life of a generation of young men growing up in mid-20th century Cairo. Ryzova uses Hosni’s story as a point of entry to a particular historical experience: that of middle class modernity located outside the metropolitan centre in this historical ethnography. Ryzova is Lecturer in Middle East History.
This special event marks the UK launch of Kent Nerburn’s award-winning work of creative non-fiction depicting the epic and intensely moving journey he made over 20 years ago with a Native American elder named Dan. Musician Robert Plant picked up a copy of Neither Wolf Nor Dog whilst touring the States in 2014 and his passion for this masterpiece has led to its publication here in Britain.