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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For this year’s Forum we bring you inspirational entrepreneurs who have found, and are developing, innovative ways of growing food, using waste, transporting goods and people.
Full Day ticket allows entry to all five sessions. Events: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8
How can we shift from ‘doing better’ to ‘doing what’s needed’ and doing it now across Wales? Best for Wales will celebrate and inspire sustainable innovation. Hill is CEO of B Lab UK; Jones is Founder of Welsh ICE and Davies is founder of Neighbourly. Chaired by maverick thinker Andy Middleton from TYF.
We all know that ’flu is bad for you. And Ebola. And Zika. Why on earth are there so many viruses that cause such terrible diseases? And what does current research teach us about the fascinating rabbit-hole that is the world of virology?
It is 50 years since the publication of the May Day Manifesto, edited by Raymond Williams. The manifesto reflected the growing disillusionment on the Left with what the authors argued to be the surrendering of socialist principles by the Labour Party. The panel explores the making of the manifesto and examines its relevance today.
Stefan Collini is Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature at the University of Cambridge, Bonnie Greer is a playwright, author and judge for this year’s Orwell Prize, Leanne Wood AM is the Leader of Plaid Cymru, Merryn Williams is a critic, poet, and daughter of Raymond Williams and Daniel G. Williams is Professor of English Literature at Swansea University.
Discover the magic and myths hidden in the rolling hills of the Brecon Beacons. Find Arthur and his knights sleeping away the decades in a cave, and go on the search for the White Lady of Tretower Court with the award-winning author of Down To The Sea In Ships, The Prince’s Pen and Orison for a Curlew. Chaired by Peter Florence.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster, the BBC commissioned Owen Sheers to write a film-poem. It is performed by a stellar cast of Wales’s best known acting talent, including Michael Sheen, Jonathan Pryce, Sian Phillips, Eve Myles and Iwan Rheon, with contributions from the local community. The production draws on interviews with survivors, parents and people involved in the rescue operation, many of whom have never before spoken about their experiences. The film went out to critical acclaim on BBC One Wales and BBC Four last year. This special screening of the BAFTA-nominated film will be introduced by Owen Sheers and followed by a Q&A with him, the Executive Producer Bethan Jones and Director Pip Broughton.
Please note this sessions lasts 90 minutes.
Parks describes his inspiring recovery from the shattering injury that ended his international rugby career. He tells of his commitment to his pioneering and world-first expeditions in the most extreme environments on earth.
Seaton, the founder of TOAST, is inspired by the food from our seas, our rivers, our farmland, our gardens and our wild places. Her new cookbook is full of simple, seasonal and nourishing recipes such as braised short ribs with horseradish, courgette fritters with minted yoghurt, mackerel escabeche with wild fennel and kale, and roast vegetable and barley salad with crisped artichokes. She shares her love of food and landscape with Kitty Corrigan.
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.
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.
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.
Eleri will be joined by allotment guru and national treasure Terry Walton, who will be offering members of the audience advice on getting the best crops from their vegetable patches.
Eleri Sion broadcasts every weekday at 1.15PM on BBC Radio Wales
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.
We are living in a society increasingly driven by the technical ability to turn our activities and behaviour into data points that can be tracked and profiled. This is often said to advance responses to a range of social problems but these data processes can also affect individuals or entire communities that may be denied services and access to opportunities, or wrongfully targeted and exploited. What does this mean for fairness and equality? Lina Dencik is a Senior Lecturer at the Cardiff School of Journalism.
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.
The producers of the cult noir film thriller are joined by photographer David Wilson to talk about the silent character in the hit TV show: the landscapes of Ceredigion. Wilson has captured these landscapes for the new book Hinterland Landscapes and the panel will reflect on what the settings have brought to the show, and the impact the show has had on this quiet part of Wales. Chaired by Jon Gower.
Deep in a forest, a hunter comes across a skull, he steps on the skull and the skull speaks saying, “My mouth brought me here”. Based on an African proverb, the piece features a power-hungry rule, a wise sage and a courageous hunter. In a world where telling the truth has become a game, no one knows the rules. This is a rare chance to hear Eric narrate his poetry in a solo production of the piece. The production is brought to life with live music and enchanting story telling. Directed by Peter Scott for 3 Crate Productions and written by Eric Ngalle Charles. Following the show, Ngalle will talk to Owen Sheers.
In association with PEN Cymru Wales
Science sometimes looks like a rather forbidding activity, carried out behind closed doors by mysterious, white-coated individuals, speaking their own incomprehensible language. But at the most basic level, the quest to understand the world around us is a fundamentally human activity. Science belongs, and has belonged, to all of us – and we all have a responsibility for it. That is what the history of science shows – and that’s why it matters very much indeed. Morus is the author of The Oxford Illustrated History of Science.
Photo: Marie Curie
Amid the number counting and hysteria about the refugee crisis, the voices of those who have fled conflict and persecution can be lost. Join us for readings from women across the world who have sought protection in the UK and learnt English with the British Red Cross in South Wales, where they have been writing about their experiences from the point of departure to their arrival in Britain.
In 2016 over 50 organisations came together across the UK to produce and publish the second State of Nature report. It shows that the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. The long-term future of farming is at stake if the natural systems on which it is based are depleted. Our panel looks at what the next 30 years could look like if the natural environment was placed at the centre of farming policies post-Brexit. Poet Martin Daws will open and close this event.
We are all familiar with an array of certificates found on our food: Rainforest Alliance, Marine Stewardship Council, Fairtrade, Organic etc. This certification is meant to reassure us that food is produced in a more ecologically friendly way or improves animal welfare. But does it? Come and join an interactive session that will help formulate better understanding and communication. Sanderson-Bellamy is a Research Associate at the Sustainable Places Research Institute.
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.
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.
The panel questions three of the big legends in Wales. They start with the image of medieval Wales as a nation conquered by England and then briefly set free by Owain Glyndwr. Stevens argues that the Welsh were a people rather than a single nation and that Glyndwr was no national redeemer. The second legend is modern Wales as a land made by coal. Miskell looks at how Welsh industry was far more diverse than this in the late 19th century. The third legend is the idea of Wales as a victim of Conservative oppression. Blaxland shows how the Tories have always enjoyed a strong base of Welsh support and argues that they were key architects of the devolved Welsh state.
The BBC’s Middle East Editor returns home to bring the news from Mosul, Gaza and Jerusalem. His 25-part series for Radio 4 about the region’s history starts on 15 May. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with analysis of the politics, economics and societies he’s reported on since he first arrived in the Gulf in 1990. Chaired by Peter Florence.
The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015 came into full force in April 2016. It puts a legal responsibility on the Welsh public sector, including the Welsh Government, to consider sustainability in all of its actions. The potential for this to change the private sector too is huge but how much progress has been made during the first year of implementation? Environment Minister, Davidson was the original architect of this Act. Howe is the Commissioner currently responsible for delivery.
The inspirational teacher, Phil Forder, brings the two writers in residence and the Director of HM Parc Prison, Bridgend to discuss the literary programme he’s pioneered and our sister Festival there that’s now in its ninth year. They discuss the impact of education and empathy, literacy and literature, and offer a vision of a successful reformation of prison experience. They talk to Peter Florence.
The Gardeners’ World star and social media sensation will bring his human best friend onstage to talk about dogs and love and family. #woof
The Welsh actor has made some of the most articulate interventions in political debates of the past years. Now returned home from Hollywood to Port Talbot, he talks about culture and society and the humane vision and tradition that Bevan inspires. Chaired by Phil George.