Hay Festival 2019 Programme

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Event 93

Marion Turner

Chaucer: A European Life

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Turner’s spellbinding new biography explores the poetry and the adventurous, cosmopolitan world of the father of English literature. She documents a series of vivid episodes, moving from the commercial wharves of London to the frescoed chapels of Florence and the kingdom of Navarre, where 14th-century Christians, Muslims and Jews lived side by side. The narrative recounts Chaucer’s experiences as a prisoner of war in France, as a father visiting his daughter’s nunnery, as a member of a chaotic Parliament and as a diplomat in Milan, where he encountered the writings of Dante and Boccaccio. Chaired by Jerry Brotton.

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Event 94

Adam Rutherford

The Book of Humans: The Story of How We Became Us

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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Humans are the slightest of twigs on a single family tree that encompasses four billion years, a lot of twists and turns and a billion species. All of those organisms are rooted in a single origin with a common code that underwrites our existence. Rutherford explores how many of the things once considered to be exclusively human are not: we are not the only species that communicates, makes tools, utilises fire or has sex for reasons other than to make new versions of ourselves. Evolution has, however, allowed us to develop our culture to a level of complexity that outstrips any other observed in nature. Rutherford presents Inside Science on BBC Radio 4. His previous books are Creation and A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived.

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Adam Rutherford

Event 95

Jonathan Coe talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

Fictions: Middle England

Venue: Hay Festival Foundation Stage
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The new novel from the comic master, author of What A Carve Up!, The Rotters Club and The Closed Circle. Beginning eight years ago on the outskirts of Birmingham, where car factories have been replaced by Poundland, and London, where frenzied riots give way to Olympic fever, Middle England follows a brilliantly vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change. “It was tempting to think, at times like this, that some bizarre hysteria had gripped the British people…”

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Event 96

Talking Books with Kapka Kassabova and Stig Abell

BBC World News and BBC News Channel

Venue: BBC Tent
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Kapka Kassabova spent her formative years behind the Iron Curtain in Bulgaria and much of her work focuses on journeys and the search for a sense of place and identity amidst sometimes turbulent histories. Described by one reviewer as "a poet and author who writes in English, with a European imagination", her first novel Reconnaissance tells the story of a young backpacker travelling through New Zealand whose journey develops into something deeply personal, exploring memory and family myth. In 2008 her memoir Street Without a Name won critical acclaim for its meditation on the speed of change across eastern Europe. In Twelve Minutes of Love she travels through the intimate history of Argentine Tango and her latest book Borders sees her return to the Balkans to explore the physical and psychological lines that define the region. The award-winning novelist, poet and travel writer talks to Stig Abell. 

Free but ticketed
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Event 97

Alan Nicholls

Mountain Warehouse Walk 2: The Town of Books Walk

Venue: Meeting Place on site
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Sunday’s walk explores the history of the bookshops of Hay, with their many architectural quirks and gems. The guide explains the development of the secondhand book trade in the town, with colourful anecdotes about Hay’s book culture, its dealers and its myths. Distance 2.5 miles.

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Event 98

Drawing and Walking

With Celia Johnson

Venue: Meeting Place on site
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Taking participants to a particularly lovely stretch of the river Wye to respond through writing or drawing to the landscape and its ambient sounds. Suitable for anyone interested in the landscape, walking, writing and drawing. Previous drawing experience is not necessary, all materials provided. Please come prepared for outdoor activity.

Adult
2 hours
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Drawing and Walking

Event HD15

Gill Lewis

The Closest Thing to Flying

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Join Gill Lewis as she discusses her thoughtful and wide-ranging new novel, which explores the plight of refugees in the UK, the origins of the RSPB and the beginnings of the women’s suffrage movement. Gill weaves together all of these strands and shares her own journey to becoming an author.

9+
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Event W28

Cookery Workshop 9

Cook School

Venue: Cube
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Cook School is pitching up at Hay Festival to offer hands-on, fun cookery sessions, preparing a couple of Italian classics to take home for dinner along with an easy step-by-step recipe card, written by renowned children’s cookbook author Amanda Grant. Cook School is on a mission to teach as many children and young people to cook as possible. Head to cookschool.club to find out more.

5–18
Parents of children under 9 must attend but don’t require a ticket
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Event W29

Foraged Art Workshop 7

Rooted Forest Schools

Venue: Wild Garden
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Come and join Rooted Forest School (rootedforestschool.co.uk) for an outdoor family session inspired by the Forest School approach. We will be making charcoal on the fire, using natural pigments to create our own paint, making brushes from found materials and creating communal land art. These sessions are aimed at families and will run whatever the weather, so make sure you’re wrapped up for the conditions.

9–11
Parents may attend but don’t require a ticket
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Foraged Art Workshop 7

Event 460

Monica Grady

OPEN TALK

Venue: Serious Reading Room
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1969 and all that. In the 50 years since Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon, what have we learnt about the Solar System – and the chance of life beyond Earth? Monica Grady is Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University.

Part of The Open University’s 50th anniversary celebrations 

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Monica Grady

Event 99

Anna Burns talks to Gaby Wood

Milkman

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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The 2018 Man Booker Prize winner discusses her darkly funny novel set in 1970s Belfast with the prize’s director.

“In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous."

Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

“Milkman is extraordinary. I've been reading passages aloud for the pleasure of hearing it. It's frightening, hilarious, wily and joyous all at the same time” – Lisa McInerney.

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Anna Burns talks to Gaby Wood

Event 100

Huw Edwards talks to Dylan Jones

Going Live

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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The BBC News at Ten anchor takes us behind the scenes of a rolling news operation that is trying to make sense of a world gripped by crises of every kind.

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Huw Edwards talks to Dylan Jones

Event 101

Simon Armitage

Reading: Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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We are thrilled to launch the poet’s new eclectic book of poems, which collects commissions and collaborations of the last few years, with subjects ranging from sculpture and travel to the environment and drama.

Doubly thrilled, to have this opportunity to toast the new Poet Laureate and to hear him talk aboiut his pland for the role.  Chaired by Peter Florence.

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Simon Armitage

Event 102

100 Women: Tainted Love – Should we boycott controversial artists?

Tishani Doshi, Wayetu Moore and Rachel Parris.

Venue: BBC Tent
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Following recent sexual abuse allegations levelled against several high profile creatives, should we be pausing for thought before going to the cinema, the art gallery or the bookshop? Should we look beyond our favourite film, book and music to the person behind it? Can we consume the works of people such as Harvey Weinstein and R Kelly with a clear conscience? Or can great art simply stand alone? With Tishani DoshiWayetu Moore and Rachel Parris.



Adult themes not suitable for under 16s

Free but ticketed
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Event 453

Stephen Fry and friends

Not The European Election Coverage - Wonderweaving

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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With Huw Edwards recalled to London to present the television coverage of the EU election results, some of the festival stars including Stephen Fry, Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris, Sarfraz Manzoor, Pat Barker, Marcus Brigstocke, Xinran and Kamal Ahmed join us in a gala variety show to conjure tales, cast spells, paint otters, tell love stories and interrogate the notion of balance on BBC News.
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Stephen Fry and friends

Event HD16

Sophia Bennett

The Bigger Picture: Women who changed the art world

Venue: Hay Festival Foundation Stage
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Join author Sophia Bennett for a discussion on what it means to be a woman working in the arts today and a celebration of some of the world’s most renowned and inspirational women artists. From the pioneers who paved the way to contemporary artists working today, find out how artists including Lubaina Himid, Yayoi Kusama and Cindy Sherman have broken boundaries, fought to have their voices heard and changed the way we look at art. Chaired by Claire Armitstead, Associate Culture Editor, The Guardian.

12+
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Event HD17

Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Runaway Robot

Venue: Starlight Stage
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What would you do with a robot best friend? Award-winning author Frank Cottrell-Boyce has some ideas. He’ll share these as he introduces Runaway Robot, which stars Alfie, whose lonely life is transformed when he meets Eric, a one-legged robot. A warm-hearted story of the importance of friendship, and a celebration of being different.

9+
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Event W31

Cookery Workshop 10

Cook School

Venue: Cube
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Cook School is pitching up at Hay Festival to offer hands-on, fun cookery sessions, preparing a couple of Italian classics to take home for dinner along with an easy step-by-step recipe card, written by renowned children’s cookbook author Amanda Grant. Cook School is on a mission to teach as many children and young people to cook as possible. Head to cookschool.club to find out more.

5–18
Parents of children under 9 must attend but don’t require a ticket
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Event W32

Foraged Art Workshop 8

Rooted Forest Schools

Venue: Wild Garden
Read more

Come and join Rooted Forest School (rootedforestschool.co.uk) for an outdoor family session inspired by the Forest School approach. We will be making charcoal on the fire, using natural pigments to create our own paint, making brushes from found materials and creating communal land art. These sessions are aimed at families and will run whatever the weather, so make sure you’re wrapped up for the conditions.

4–6
Parents must attend but don’t require a ticket
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Foraged Art Workshop 8

Event W33

Radio Production Workshop 3

Radio Platfform

Venue: Scribblers Hut
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Radio Platfform hosts a debate with a panel of young adult Hay Festival-goers. Hay Festival is a hub of creative thought, and this is your chance to discuss the topics of the day and express your opinions. We want to hear what you’ve got to say… Radio Platfform: Your Voice, Your Sound, Your Platfform.

16–18
2 hours
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