Welcome to our Early Bird programme. The full programme will be released at the end of March.
A reading of Norman Florence’s award-winning play about the poet Wilfred Owen MC, who was killed in action on 4 November 1918. The full production toured the world between 1983 and 1995.
This sublime, critically acclaimed collaboration between two adventurous virtuoso musicians – Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita – delivers a stunning exhibition of world-class musicianship. Their second album SOAR takes flight on the wings of the osprey, the magnificent bird of prey recently returned to Wales after centuries of absence, which makes its annual 3,000-mile migration from the coasts of West Africa to the estuaries of Wales, soaring like music and dreams over man-made borders, in an innate and epic journey of endurance. Entrancing, mesmeric, intricate and ethereal, this is remarkable music and a thrilling live experience.
Wake up and re-energise with our morning yoga class. Iyengar yoga is characterised by precision, alignment and attention to detail and is an inclusive and accessible yoga practice. Mats are provided; wear comfortable clothing; all abilities welcome. Wye Valley Yoga
A successful economy in the 21st century will be one that meets the needs of all within the means of the planet - but how can it be done? Raworth explores stories from cities and enterprises worldwide that are pioneering new economic designs. What does it take to make a city regenerative? Can business be designed to distribute, rather than concentrate, the value created? Where is it happening and what are the challenges facing the front-runners? Raworth is the author of Doughnut Economics.
Mary Shelley was brought up by her father in a house filled with radical thinkers, poets, philosophers and writers of the day. Aged 16, she eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley, embarking on a relationship that was lived on the move across Britain and Europe, as she coped with debt, infidelity and the deaths of three children, before early widowhood changed her life for ever. Most astonishingly, it was while she was still a teenager that Mary composed her canonical novel Frankenstein, which was published exactly 200 years ago. In this fascinating dialogue with the past, Sampson sifts through letters, diaries and records to find the real woman behind the story.
Tambini’s book Digital Dominance: The Power of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple shows how these corporations have accumulated power in ways that existing regulatory and intellectual frameworks struggle to comprehend. A consensus is emerging that the power of these new digital monopolies is unprecedented, and that it has important implications for journalism, politics and society. Bartlett’s The People vs. Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (And How We Save It) asks what does that mean for democracy, our delicately balanced system of government that was created long before big data, total information and artificial intelligence? The author of The Dark Net and Radicals argues that through our unquestioning embrace of big tech, the building blocks of democracy are slowly being removed. The middle class is being eroded, sovereign authority and civil society are weakened, and we citizens are losing our critical faculties, maybe even our free will. Chaired by Matt Stadlen of LBC.
The journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia investigated corruption in the Maltese government for decades in the face of intimidation, libel threats and persecution. She was assassinated in a car bomb attack on 16 October 2017. The editor of Index on Censorship is joined by Daphne’s son Paul and her fellow Maltese journalist Caroline Muscat of The Shift News. They talk to the BBC’s Europe Editor.
The writer and doctor considers the transformations in mind and body that continue across the arc of human life. Some of these changes we have little choice about. We can’t avoid puberty, the menopause or our hair turning grey. Others may be welcome milestones along our path – a much-wanted pregnancy, a cancer cured or a long-awaited transition to another gender. We may find ourselves turning down dark paths, towards the cruel distortions of anorexia, or the shifting sands of memory loss. New technologies and medicine have unprecedented power to alter our lives, but that power has limitations.
BBC Radio 3’s weekly journey of imagination and insight explores how to write for children. What are the parallels between great children’s literature and music written for young people? From Debussy to Prokofiev, Bizet to Britten, childhood has fascinated some of the greatest composers. How does their approach compare to the likes of Lewis Carroll, Judith Kerr and Michael Morpurgo? And how ‘childish’ are some of the most complex works of music and literature? Joining presenter Tom Service to answer those questions at the piano is the composer and pianist Richard Sisson who wrote the score for Alan Bennett's The History Boys at The National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Goodnight Children Everywhere.
Broadcast on Sunday 3 June at 5pm on BBC Radio 3
Director Eamon Bourke’s film Diary of The Last Man delves deep into the themes of Minhinnick’s poetry in search of the man himself. Combining poetry, performance, interview and layered imagery, the film explores the many identities of the poet, real and imagined. A beautiful, strange and meditative film, it brings the landscapes of Minhinnick’s home into sharp focus, revealing some of the hidden places at the core of his writing and offers a glimpse of the inner workings of the poet. The film Diary of the Last Man is screened, following an introduction by Eamon Bourke. As the film finishes, Robert Minhinnick takes to the stage to perform poetry from his 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize shortlisted collection of the same title, Diary of the Last Man.
The Geopark expert for the Brecon Beacons National Park will be sharing some of the geological wonders of the park and the stories behind the landscape close to Hay.
Join the illustrator and author on an intergalactic adventure as he celebrates his fabulous new picture-book You Choose in Space. He will be doing lots of drawing, playing Space-themed games and you can help him invent some brand new Space creatures. Fancy dress encouraged – astronauts and Space monsters are most welcome.
Join writer Tom Abba to make your own ambient stories from words, audio and objects. You will be introduced to writing techniques that will help you craft stories from the world around you, and rethink your relationship with the phone in your pocket. (It would be helpful, but not essential, to bring a smartphone.) The Ambient Literature Project brings a newly written piece, especially for Hay Festival: Words We Never Wrote, by Tom Abba and Alyssia White, exploring the meaning of writing, language and storytelling. This piece is set on the first floor of Richard Booth's Bookshop in the centre of Hay and will be accessible throughout the Festival. Two other works will be available – Kate Pullinger’s Breathe, and Duncan Speakman’s It Must Have Been Dark By Then.
How do we write poetry about the familiar? The subject may be your back garden, your local coffee shop or your country of origin. In this poetry masterclass, participants will look at ways in which they can gather important information to build a narrative around place. They will learn how to distil vital aspects and convert subjective ideas into poems. All abilities welcome.
Britain is a State that chose Brexit, rejects immigration but is dependent on it, is getting older but less healthy, is more demanding of public services but less willing to pay for them, is tired of intervention abroad but wants to remain a global authority. We have an over-stretched, free health service (an idea from the 1940s that may not survive the 2020s), overcrowded prisons, a military without an evident purpose, an education system the envy of none of the Western world. How did we get here and where are we going? Abell is editor of the Times Literary Supplement. Rajan is the BBC's Media Editor.
An all-star book group of Hay writers gather to recommend books for our #Vote100Books campaign: We want a new library of 100 great books by women that have inspired readers over the past century. Which books would you want to add to this library? Books have liberated and empowered people, books have enabled readers to imagine the world to be braver, more equal and more dynamic. Democracy is vulnerable to cynicism. Books offer empathy and hope. Chaired by Lynn Enright, head of news and content at The Pool.
Find out more about the #vote100books campaign and submit your nominations here
Can men respond to feminism? In the era of Trump, Weinstein, #metoo and #timesup, feminist anger has reached a crescendo, and it is not for the first time. Delap looks at past efforts by women to get men to listen, and attempts by men to reshape masculinity in 20th century Britain. Dr Delap is a lecturer in Modern British History.
Following his hugely celebrated debut novel, The Yellow Birds, Powers returns to the battlefield and its aftermath, this time in his native Virginia, just before and during the Civil War and then 90 years later. The novel pinpoints with unerring emotional depth the nature of random violence, the necessity of love and compassion, and the fragility and preciousness of life.