We are pleased to announce the full programme for Hay Festival 2018.
Join us to celebrate this prestigious literary prize for writers aged 39 and under, as the 2018 winner talks to Dai Smith, chair of the jury. The shortlist for the prize comprises Kayo Chingonyi, Carmen Maria Machado, Gwendoline Riley, Sally Rooney, Emily Ruskovich and Gabriel Tallent. Full details of the shortlist are available here. The winner will be announced on 10 May.
Renowned painter of the exquisite and other-worldly The Kiss, Gustav Klimt is the crowning jewel in Austria’s symbolist movement. Join Brandon, Dautch and Quraishi as they present their poetic answers to Klimt’s masterpieces, specially commissioned by Bradford Literature Festival. The poets will discuss how Klimt’s work inspired their own, as well as the social and artistic context in which the paintings were created. This one-of-a-kind event marries the contemporary with the historical to mark the centenary of Klimt’s death.
Britain’s best-loved performance poet will share stories from his remarkable life. He befriended Nelson Mandela, fought in the 1980s race riots and recorded radical and relevant reggae music with Bob Marley’s former band. In a compelling and inspiring show, Zephaniah will explain how he fought injustice and discrimination to lead a remarkable life, while sharing a selection of favourite stories and poems.
The first great adventure story in the Western canon, The Odyssey, is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage, family and identity; and about travellers, hospitality and the changing meanings of home in a strange world. The vivid new translation, the first by a woman, matches the number of lines in the Greek original, striding at Homer's sprightly pace. Wilson employs elemental, resonant language and a five-beat line to produce a translation with an enchanting ‘rhythm and rumble’. She recaptures what is epic about this wellspring of world literature. This inaugural translation lecture is given in the name of the pre-eminent translator, whose peerless work rendering French, Danish and German literature into English ranges from Asterix to Austerlitz. Chaired by Charlotte Higgins.
Too Far MediaArmitage, the current Oxford Professor of Poetry and Hay favourite, delivers his Oxford lecture on the connections and contradictions between the art of song-writing and the art of poetry, a topic brought to a head by Bob Dylan’s recent recognition by the Swedish Academy. The paperback edition of Simon Armitage’s eleventh volume of poetry, The Unaccompanied, is published this month, as is Flit, a new collection of poems with accompanying photographs taken by the author, published by Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion" – Rumi. Jalaluddin Rumi is one of the foremost poets of the Sufi tradition, with a lasting influence that transcends nationality, religion and literary genre. His poetry distils the purest experience of love, life and God into some of the most haunting, beautiful and profound verse ever written. The acclaimed Turkish novelist celebrates Rumi’s philosophy of love and life and reflects on her own experience of Sufism, and its impact on her work. Chaired by William Sieghart.
Our Hay Poetry Slam is hosted by 2017 SLAMbassador Emmeline Armitage and will feature three of the most celebrated performers of the international spoken word circuit – Antonio Anaxagorou, Zena Edwards and Sabrina Mahfouz, the Young People’s Laureate and Creative Wales award-winning Sophie McKeand, and Rufus Mufasa.
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.
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.
Doshi launches her third collection of poems Girls Are Coming out of the Woods. “Doshi combines artistic elegance with a visceral power to create a breathtaking panorama of danger, memory, beauty and the strange geographies of happiness. This is essential, immediate, urgent work and Doshi is that rare thing, an unashamed visionary.” – PBS. Sheers reprises his landmark Reformations poem, The Men You’ll Meet, addressed to his daughters.
Tried and True Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind and Soul
Sometimes only a poem will do. The founder of National Poetry Day and The Forward Prize offers poetic prescriptions and wise words of advice to give comfort, delight and inspiration for all; a space for reflection, and that precious realisation – I'm not the only one who feels like this. Whether you are suffering from loneliness, lack of courage, heartbreak, hopelessness, or even from an excess of ego, there is something here to ease your pain. With readings of the poems by actors and commentary by Sieghart. Full cast to be announced on 20 May.
What is a poem? In what way is its use of language distinct? What conditions allow it to arise, and what is its cultural purpose? And how, exactly, do poems work? Part polemic, part technical treatise and part meditation, The Poem is an ambitious contemporary ars poetica. Paterson looks at the writing, transmission and reading of poetry with wit and scholarly flair in a thorough exploration of how and why poems are composed. Paterson was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, and is garlanded with awards for his many collections, which include Nil Nil, God’s Gift to Women, Rain and 40 Sonnets.
To celebrate the centenary of the Armistice of 1918, we have commissioned poets from the main protagonist nations to respond to a Great War poem from their own culture. We have poems in French, Russian, German, Welsh and several forms of English. The new poems will be read today for the first time, in the original language and in English translation alongside the works that inspired them, and other poems of the time. The full cast list will be announced on 20 May.
In her first collection of new poetry since 2011's acclaimed Family Values, the captivating and brilliant poet celebrates 'the half-forgotten stories of our lives’ with compassion, wisdom and wit. In several of the poems she reimagines Shakespeare in unorthodox fashion; in others, she offers heartfelt tributes to friends and to public figures including Eric Morecambe and John Cage.
The award-winning American poet introduces her translation of one of the great classical texts. Hesiod was the first self-styled ‘poet’ in Western literature, revered by the ancient Greeks. Ostensibly written to chide and educate his lazy brother, Works and Days tells the story of Pandora’s jar and humanity’s place in a fallen world. Blending the cosmic and the earthy, and mixing myth, lyrical description, personal asides, astronomy, proverbs and down-to-earth advice on rural tasks and rituals, it is also a hymn to honest toil as man’s salvation.
As Wales marks the centenary of the end of the Great War, author of the Oscar-nominated film Hedd Wyn, and a number of volumes on the Welsh literature of the Great War, Professor Alan Llwyd of Academi Hywel Teifi and Dr Aled Eirug, Morgan Academy, author of two forthcoming publications on the opposition to the War in Wales, will discuss the Welsh response to the call to arms and the effect of the War on the calls for peace. The discussion will be chaired by one of Wales’ leading poets, broadcaster and leading member of Cymdeithas y Cymod (Welsh Fellowship of Reconciliation) Professor Mererid Hopwood, who is also a member of the campaign for the establishment of a Wales Peace Academy.
The launch of a new bilingual collection of poetry, Cuddle Call? by National Poet of Wales Ifor ap Glyn. An ambassador for Welsh-language poetry both at home and internationally, Ifor’s work is often translated. Chaired by Professor Damian Walford Davies.
Cyflwynir cyfrol newydd o gerddi dwyieithog, Cuddle Call? (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch) gan Fardd Cenedlaethol Cymru Ifor ap Glyn. Mae Ifor yn awyddus iawn i fynd â barddoniaeth Gymraeg ar draws y byd, a chaiff ei waith ei gyfieithu’n gyson. Cadeirir gan yr Athro Damian Walford Davies.
The artist, co-creator of the Book of the Year, talks about the extraordinary project to reclaim and celebrate The Lost Words whilst she paints live onstage. She is accompanied by the music and song of Kerry Andrew performing the spells. All over the country, there are words disappearing from children’s lives. These are the words of the natural world – dandelion, otter, bramble, acorn – all gone. The rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children’s minds. Morris and her poet-spellcaster, Robert Macfarlane, have created a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. They capture the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.