Welcome to our Early Bird programme. The full programme will be released at the end of March.
Join the wildlife author and artist as he unravels the many amazing types of prehistoric creatures in his stunning new book. Discover incredible facts about notorious dinosaurs and their lesser-known cousins and learn how to draw them in his glorious, humorous style.
There is a burgeoning literature on end-of-life writing, on grief, bereavement and memorial. Edmund de Waal talks about mortality and how it is reflected across different genres and art-forms from the poetry of Anne Carson and Max Porter, the memoirs of Paul Kalanithi and Marion Coutts, to the writings of Atul Gawande and Julia Samuel. He will also discuss his own porcelain installations and collaborations that explore ideas of memorial. The Wellcome Book Prize lecture aims to celebrate the place of medicine, science and the stories of illness in literature, arts and culture, and how these stories add to our understanding of what it means to be human. Edmund De Waal, chair of judges for the 2018 prize, is an artist and writer, author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes and The White Road.
It is easy to assume that plants don’t do much; and many expressions for inactivity involve plant metaphors – such as the ‘couch potato’. However, plants, including potatoes, are as busy as the rest of us assessing their surroundings and changing their activity accordingly. Dame Ottoline Leyser is Professor of Plant Development and Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory.
A thrilling biography of the impoverished, arrogant and brilliant child of the French Revolution who made the vital breakthrough in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs. Robinson charts Champollion’s dramatic life and achievements: by turns a teenage professor, a supporter of Napoleon, an exile, a fanatical decipherer and a curator at the Louvre, he lived life to the full but drove himself into an early grave. Chaired by Daisy Leitch.
Barker’s astonishing post-post-apocalyptic novel has just won the Goldsmith’s Prize. “Imagine a perfect world where everything is known, where everything is open, where there can be no doubt, no hatred, no poverty, no greed. Imagine a System which both nurtures and protects. A Community which nourishes and sustains. An infinite world. A world without sickness, without death. A world without God. A world without fear. Could you...might you be happy there?”
Presenter Kirsty Wark and film-maker Morag Tinto discuss the challenges of making a documentary about the life and work of Dame Muriel Spark, author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and one of the 20th century’s most enigmatic cultural figures.
Followed by Q&A chaired by the BBC’s Head of Arts Commissioning, Mark Bell.
Join blockbuster Fighting Fantasy creators and long-time fan Charlie Higson to hear all about the new gamebook adventure. Higson brings his own brand of heart-stopping action, monsters and page-turning plotting to Allansia – expect the unexpected.
Join the author of the Chocolate Box Girls series as she shares her top tips on friendship and daydreaming. Plus, hear about Love from Lexie, the first book in her heart-warming new series, The Lost and Found. Includes a fun, interactive quiz to find out which character you would be.
Welcome to the world of Kya, who loves to run, read and eat ice cream. This is a joyful picture-book describing the everyday life of a child with autism, and helps people of all ages recognise certain behaviour, appreciate thoughts and feelings, and learn how to communicate with people with autism. The author joins Inclusive Minds’ Alexandra Strick to discuss and read from Jon’s book in this accessible, relaxed and interactive event. The book is based on the author’s own daughter, and children in the audience will have the chance to share the ideas, views and experiences that they would like to see in a story.
This year's YA Book Prize Special Achievement Award recognises Stripes Publishing's BAME anthology, A Change is Gonna Come, as one of the most important YA books published last year. Join contributing authors Tanya Byrne, Catherine Johnson and Patrice Lawrence as they discuss their stories, featuring hidden figures of the past, a dystopian warning, and underrepresented contemporary romance. This will be a lively discussion about the book’s call-to-arms to improve inclusivity and the kind of stories readers miss out on if writers of colour are overlooked.
At the age of 38, a Danish scientist, wife and mother of three, is struck down by an acute bout of bacterial meningitis. She awakes from a coma in intensive care to find herself locked in, unable to show she is conscious except by blinking her eye. It becomes her only form of communication as in the months that follow, Kjærgaard's husband Peter sits beside her helping to interpret every eye movement. She struggles with every basic of life – painfully learning how to breathe, move, eat and speak again. Despite being given a five per cent chance of survival, she works intensively to recover and to achieve every small breakthrough. We are thrilled to welcome her to the Hay stage with Bill Bryson, who has called this “the most spellbinding and harrowing story I believe I have ever heard”.
Between 1941 and 1944, 16,000 plucky homing pigeons were dropped in an arc from Bordeaux to Copenhagen as part of ‘Columba’ – a secret British operation to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation. The messages flooded back written on tiny pieces of rice paper tucked into canisters and tied to the legs of the birds. Authentic voices from rural France, the Netherlands and Belgium, they were sometimes comic, often tragic and occasionally invaluable with details of German troop movements and fortifications, new Nazi weapons, radar system or the deployment of the feared V-1 and V-2 rockets that terrorised London. At the centre of the story is the ‘Leopold Vindictive’ network – a small group of Belgian villagers prepared to take huge risks. They were led by an extraordinary priest, Joseph Raskin, a man whose intelligence was so valuable it was shown to Churchill, leading MI6 to parachute agents in to assist him.
In the Arctic, White, a marine conservationist, shimmies under the ice with an Inuit elder to hunt for mussels in the dark cavities left behind at low tide; in China, he races the Silver Dragon, a 25-foot tidal bore that crashes 80 miles up the Qiantang River; in Chile and Scotland, he investigates the growth of tidal power generation; and in Panama and Venice, he delves into how the threat of sea level rise is changing human culture – the very old and very new. Tides combines lyrical prose, colourful adventure travel and provocative scientific inquiry into the elemental, mysterious paradox that keeps our planet’s waters in constant motion.
Louisa first met Robert Lockhart when they were both 17. Their stop-start romance lasted decades, in which time he became a celebrated composer and she, an acclaimed novelist. Always snapping at their heels was Robert’s alcoholism, a helpless, ferocious dependency that affected his personality before crippling and finally, despite five years of hard-won sobriety, killing him.
Young’s other books include My Dear I Wanted to Tell You, The Heroes’ Welcome and Devotion.
Norris, author of Five Rivers Met in a Wooded Plain, introduces his new novel Turning for Home, an emotional story of family gathering, human frailty and the marks that love leaves on us. Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing won the Costa First Novel Award. She talks about her new story Whistle in the Dark, which examines the aftermath of a teenager’s four-day mysterious disappearance. Chaired by Thea Lenarduzzi of the TLS.
Kirsty Wark celebrates the life and work of Dame Muriel Spark, author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and one of the 20th century’s most enigmatic cultural figures.
Also drawing upon an epic poem and an intimate portrait of a serving Swansea soldier, Nawr Yr Arwr \ Now The Hero brings the stories of war to life but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope. At its heart is a site specific Requiem, realised from a collaboration between the late Oscar-nominated Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhansson and Owen Morgan Roberts; with a libretto by BAFTA nominated writer Owen Sheers. Artist Owen Griffiths (Arts Council of Wales Creative Ambassador) will also join the conversation to discuss his contribution to the project – the creation of an edible landscape and harvest gathering, as featured in Brangwyn's paintings.
Rees introduces the concepts of Nawr Yr Arwr \ Now The Hero and discusses Sheers’ response to the ancient Celtic poem Y Gododdin; Roberts’ interpretation of this in musical form in a specific setting; and Griffiths unique interpretation of paintings as war memorials in contemporary landscape.
Chaired by Jasper Rees.
Now The Hero is the highlight in Wales for the final year of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.
The YA Book Prize singles out the best new fiction every year. Join the shortlisted authors of S.T.A.G.S, a twisting thriller set in an exclusive boarding school, After the Fire, a scary but uplifting story about surviving life in a cult, and Things A Bright Girl Can Do, a coming of age story of two girls who are caught up in the new movements to empower at the beginning of the twentieth century. The writers discuss the unwritten rules of adolescence and the courage and power it takes to survive it.
For the first time since the Second World War, younger generations can expect less fulfilled lives than their elders. They may not be their betters, but in the second decade of the 21st century they surely are better heeled. Traditionally, society’s way of controlling the young has been to send them off to war. They would either die or learn ‘duty’. Now we send as many as 50% to university, from which they emerge encumbered with debt. Sutherland and Valentine attempt to defuse a ticking generational time-bomb.
Established in 1964, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. It is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity and a powerful tool to inform and catalyse policy change. The list provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, threats, and conservation actions. Hoffman currently heads up the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) global conservation programmes and was previously chair of the 25-member IUCN Red List Committee. Bohm is a researcher in the Species Indicators and Assessments Unit at ZSL. Emily Beech is a Conservation Officer at Botanic Gardens Conservation International.