With its trademark mix of humour, current affairs and old-school pedantry, More or Less explores the numbers all around us in the news and in life. For the first time, the show will be recorded in front of a Hay audience of loyal listeners for a programme that will be broadcast later in the week. Tim Harford and team will discuss the statistics behind the news of the week and much beyond.
‘The patron saint of poetry’ is author of over a hundred books of poetry for adults and children and one of the world’s great live entertainers. His exuberant new collection joinedupwriting ranges from forgotten friendships and the idiosyncrasies of family life to the trauma of war and contemporary global politics. These poems explore the human experience in all its shades of light and dark but always with McGough’s signature wit, irreverence and vivacity.
The two friends celebrate the 20th anniversary of publication of their global bestselling novels Girl With a Pearl Earring and Tulip Fever. They discuss the resonance of the Dutch Golden Age, the gift of Amsterdam and the power of story with Georgina Godwin.
The UK’s first black Cabinet minister discusses how books have influenced him. From reading donated books in sub-Saharan Africa’s first children’s library to working for the development of Africa at government level, Lord Boateng will share his unique perspective on how books can shape people, communities and countries’ futures. Chaired by bibliophile and actor, star of Bridget Jones, Drop the Dead Donkey and Between the Lines Neil Pearson.
Book Aid International is the UK’s leading international book donation and library development charity. Our vision is a world where everyone has access to the books that will enrich, improve and change their lives.
Never before has criminal justice rested so heavily on scientific evidence. Gallop is one of the world’s most eminent forensic scientists. During a career spanning more than forty years, she has helped to drive change and transformation within the field. A specialist in cold-case investigations, Gallop has led forensic teams to find vital evidence in many of the UK’s most challenging cases, including the investigation that finally absolved the Cardiff Three and the killings of Stephen Lawrence, Damilola Taylor and Rachel Nickell.
With a rapidly ageing world population, dementia is now seen by many as the biggest health challenge facing the planet. Most families now have first-hand experience of dementia. The panel considers the current state of care and how to address some of the challenges of the future. Tracey Williamson is Dementia Carers Count Professor of Family Care. Dawn Brooker is Director of the Association for Dementia Studies. Jeremy Hughes is Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society. Keith Oliver is an Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador and Richard Cheston is Professor of Mental Health Research, University of the West of England.
Double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Nish Kumar is bringing his brand new show to Hay! The title is a quote from Terminator 2. There will be jokes about politics, mankind’s capacity for self-destruction and whether it will lead to the end of days. GOOD FUN STUFF. He’s the host of the Mash Report, which you might have seen on BBC Two, or on a Facebook video posted by someone you went to school with but haven’t spoken to in a while. “A masterclass by a no-frills comedian at the height of his powers” – Guardian.
Martin is one of the world’s most experienced security experts. His book The Rules of Security shows how the threats to our security today are complex and continually evolving. Criminals, hackers, terrorists and hostile foreign states continually find new ways of staying one step ahead of us, while we are continually creating new vulnerabilities as we adopt new technologies and new ways of working. Shortland is a Reader in Political Economy specialising in Somali piracy. Her book Kidnap: Inside The Ransom Business investigates the strange trade of hostage-taking and asks: What would be the ‘right price’ for your loved one – and can you avoid putting others at risk by paying it? What prevents criminals from maltreating hostages? And why would kidnappers release a potential future witness after receiving their money? Bullough is author of Moneyland.
In 1909 Nancy Meyer and Clementina Black wrote The Makers of our Clothes, documenting abuses in what was described as a ‘parasite industry’. Today, gross exploitation thrives in clothing manufacture. Nevertheless, workers are not hapless victims – they fight back. This talk shines a light on workers’ struggles against the odds. Jenkins is Reader in Employment Relations at Cardiff University and is currently working on a UK government-funded Global Challenges Research Fund research project investigating the availability of access to remedy for garment workers in today’s garment supply chain.
A reading and discussion for an after-dark audience. A painted medieval devil in a graveyard awakens unhallowed forces in Paver’s gothic thriller set in Edwardian Suffolk: Wakenhyrst. Walford Davies’ Docklands is a ghost story told in fifty poems, set in Victorian Cardiff as an architect pursues his commission to level three terraces to make way for a new square. Chaired by Tiffany Murray, author of Sugar Hall.
Crossing between love, gender, sexuality and religion, and singing in solidarity with the innocent, persecuted, oppressed and threatened, Ezra Furman provides a soundtrack like no other for the current fear and loathing in America. A wildly intelligent, phenomenal live performer and deft lyricist, Ezra made three albums with his band The Harpoons, then a crowd-funded solo record before he released Day of the Dog in late 2013 and followed it up with critically acclaimed record Perpetual Motion People in 2015 – both made with his band The Boyfriends. Selling out London’s Roundhouse in 2016, performing on Jools Holland and playing Coachella in 2017 has established him as a popular, exciting and energetic live act, while his audience has grown globally through exposure to his music on the Netflix series Sex Education. He plays Hay (which is just upstream from Symonds Yat, you Sex Education fans!) with his album Transangelic Exodus and a ‘new’ band, The Visions.
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. More info at wyevalleyiyengaryoga.com.
Visit the pure-bred Aberdeen Angus herd and flock of Texel/Lleyn sheep at Cabalva. Learn about sustainable grassland management and the production of prime 28-day aged beef solely from grass. The farm has also diversified into agro-forestry and holiday lets. There will be the opportunity to sample some farm produce during the visit. The bus will bring you back to the festival site for 12.30pm.
With thanks to Corisande Albert and Angus Grahame. www.cabalva.co.uk
The artist and illustrator of The Lost Words, written by Robert Macfarlane, The Ice Bear, Tell Me a Dragon and Song of the Golden Hare leads an art workshop in the landscape, for adults. Please bring sketchbooks, pencils, ink and brushes. The workshop will be by the River Wye, learning to listen as well as to look, capturing movement and river wildlife.
Please wear appropriate footwear. Numbers are limited. Return to Festival site by 12pm.
A little light ridicule, mockery and fun to start the day as the satirists read the tabloids and surf the social media storms for an irreverent look at what’s tickling the nation’s fancy – and driving it to splenetic fury – today.
The curator introduces the British Library’s blockbuster spring exhibition in this illustrated lecture. He explores the remarkable evolution of writing, from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs carved in stone and early printed text such as William Caxton’s edition of The Canterbury Tales to the art of note-taking by some of history’s greatest minds, and onwards to the digital communication tools we use today. Marvel at centuries of human innovation as writing enabled progress and opened doors to expression and art.
A conversation with two outstanding nature writers. Although common, moles are mysterious: their habits are inscrutable, they are anatomically bizarre and they live completely alone. Marc Hamer has come closer to them than most, through both his long working life out in the Welsh countryside and his experiences of rural homelessness as a boy, sleeping in hedgerows. In How to Catch a Mole: And Find Yourself in Nature, Hamer tells his story and explores what moles, and a life in nature, can tell us about our own humanity and our search for contentment. Barrie’s Incredible Journeys shines a light on the astounding navigational skills of animals of every stripe. Dung beetles steer by the light of the Milky Way. Ants and bees navigate using patterns of light invisible to humans. Sea turtles, spiny lobsters and moths find their way using the Earth’s magnetic field. Salmon return to their birthplace by following their noses and birds can locate their nests on a tiny island after crisscrossing an entire ocean. Corrigan is a journalist and travel writer.
The allegedly male world of the spy was more than merely infiltrated by women. This compelling and groundbreaking contribution to the history of espionage details a series of case studies in which women – from playwright to postmistress, from lady-in-waiting to laundry woman – acted as spies, sourcing and passing on confidential information. They acted out of political and religious conviction or to obtain money or power. Akkerman reveals the special roles of Royalist and Parliamentarian ‘she-intelligencers’ and their hidden world.
A walk around the bounds of Hay Parish with local historian Alan Nicholls. Starting in the centre of Hay-on-Wye, the walk will wind its way up to Henallt Common and then on towards Hay Bluff before descending towards Cusop Dingle. It is quite strenuous in places and may be wet and boggy. Walking boots and all-weather clothing required, and bring a packed lunch. Well behaved dogs are welcome – bring a lead. Distance 12 miles. Ascent 916 metres.
A Bottle of Happiness is a joyous and resonant story about the gift of sharing, written by Pippa Goodhart and illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi. Performing Arts, Music and Contemporary Design Craft students from Hereford College of Arts have teamed up with Tiny Owl Publishing and Claire Coache from Open Sky to bring the story to life on stage as a playful, uplifting and creative performance accompanied by original music.