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Hay Festival 2021

Our 2021 Digital Festival took place 26 May - 6th June, the programme is below.

Most of the events are now available in our online archive Hay Player - please see individual listings for more details.

Page  19 of 20
PanelRichard Coles, Dharshini David, Suzannah Lipscomb and guests

Event 343

Richard Coles, Dharshini David, Suzannah Lipscomb and guests

The News Review

–  Discovery Stage
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Start your day at Hay Festival with our daily news review. Join leading journalists and special guests as they take us behind the headlines with insider perspectives, insights and an eye on what’s next. Strong coffee recommended!

Among today’s guests are Reverend Richard Coles, co-presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live and author of the Canon Clement Mystery series, Dharshini David, author, broadcaster and Chief Economics Correspondent for BBC News, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb, host of Not Just the Tudors podcast from History Hit and Chair of Judges for the inaugural Women's Prize for Non-Fiction and chaired by former BBC Arts Correspondent and Chief News Presenter Rebecca Jones.

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ConversationHisham Matar talks to Alex Clark

Event 344

Hisham Matar talks to Alex Clark

My Friends

–  Meadow Stage
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American-Libyan writer Hisham Matar’s new novel is about three Libyan men in political exile in London, and the emotional homeland that deep friendships can provide. It begins in 1984, the year that officials inside the Libyan embassy in London’s St James’s Square fired a machine gun into a crowd of unarmed protesters. Matar’s earlier novel, The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, about his father’s abduction by Gaddafi’s forces and the decades-long quest to discover his fate, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2017. He discusses his new book with Alex Clark.

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ConversationFiona Williams talks to Ingrid Persaud

Event 345

Fiona Williams talks to Ingrid Persaud

Debut Discoveries: The House of Broken Bricks

–  Spring Stage
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Fiona Williams’ The House of Broken Bricks focuses on Tess and Richard; the former yearns for the comforting chaos of life as it once was while the latter fights to get his winter crops planted rather than deal with the discussion he cannot face. Williams discusses her story of a broken family, who might be able to heal as the seasons change, with novelist Ingrid Persaud.

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ActivityWayfaring Walk with a National Park Warden

Event 346

Wayfaring Walk with a National Park Warden

–  Meeting Place on Festival Site
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A warden from the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park leads a walk through the beautiful surrounds of Hay-on-Wye. A local expert gives insights into this treasured landscape.

Hay-on-Wye is based within 520 square miles of beautiful landscape that makes up the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park. The National Park is driving change to bring about a sustainable future, meeting our needs within planetary boundaries. Their Hay Festival series of walks take you into the town’s local environment while offering the opportunity to learn more about the Park’s work and its treasured landscape.

Please wear appropriate footwear and outdoor gear. We regret we cannot accommodate dogs on this walk.
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ConversationBBC Radio 4: The Verb

Event 450

BBC Radio 4: The Verb

–  Exchange Marquee
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Join us for a recording of The Verb, BBC Radio 4’s poetry celebration and ‘language lock-in’, hosted by its kindly pub-landlord Ian McMillan. In this special festival edition Ian has invited a host of award-winning poets, writers and performers to join him on stage for a spoken word party. His guests include the actor and writer, Miriam Margolyes – who understands how a poem should sound in the air, the novelist Kevin Barry - his latest novel delights in the language of ballads - by the poet Owen Sheers who will unlock the secrets of the truly great poetic line, and by the musician and songwriter Gwenno; she’ll perform her own work and let us into one of her influences - the poet, and radical artist Edrica Huws.

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ConversationRob Biddulph

Event F79

Rob Biddulph

Peanut Jones

–  Wye Stage
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Illustrator Rob Biddulph sketches out a fun-packed and interactive session for all the family. Rob’s brilliant #DrawWithRob videos have inspired many to take up a pencil, and now you can join in live with a draw-along fresh from his latest book. The final book in his Peanut Jones trilogy, Peanut Jones and the End of the Rainbow, dazzles with magic, danger, friendship and art. Find out all about Rob’s journey from budding artist to award-winning picture book creator and Guinness World Record holder in this event fizzing with fun and creativity.

Family, 6+ years
Please bring your own sketchbook and pencils to draw along in this event.
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PerformanceSteve Antony

Event F80

Steve Antony

Cat Nap & Rainbowsaurus

–  Creative Hub
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Join bestselling and award winning author and illustrator Steve Antony in a high energy, interactive, story time and drawing event. Meet Steve's mischievous character, Cat, and hunt down a vibrant dinosaur in his brand new picture books Rainbowsaurus and Cat Nap. These perfect family reads introduce naptime, colours and animals to little ones.

3+ years
Please bring your own sketchbook and pencils to draw along in this event.
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WorkshopPizza-making Workshop

Event W76

Pizza-making Workshop

Kitchen Garden Pizza

–  Family Garden
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Come to the Family Garden for a pizza masterclass with Kitchen Garden Pizza. In this one-hour session your imagination and creativity will be fed along with your belly! You’ll get your hands messy with freshly grown and foraged ingredients, make and top your own dough and observe the pizzaioli at work at the wood-fired oven. And while you wait for your pizza to cook, you can decorate your own pizza box!
Dairy-free and gluten-free options available.

4+ years
Parents/carers must attend but do not need a ticket.
This event has taken place
ActivityMake & Take Crafting

Event MT25

Make & Take Crafting

Sunday Morning Session

–  Make & Take Hub
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An opportunity to get crafting! Activities differ every day, including everything from print-making to junk modelling with recycled materials. Get messy and creative: your imagination is the limit.

Book for the session and you can drop in at any point during the 1.5 hour duration. Accompanying adults: please stay in attendance at all times, but you do not require a ticket.

3–11 years
This event has taken place
Ella Berthoud

Event 415

Ella Berthoud

Fiction Prescription

–  Bookshop Garden
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Bibliotherapy is the art of prescribing fiction to cure life's ailments, from Apathy to Zestlessness. Ella Berthoud is a Bibliotherapist and author of The Novel Cure and The Story Cure and has been prescribing novels for the past 15 years. In your 20 minute session with Ella you will find out what kind of a reader you are, what is happening in your life, and then she will give you the perfect books to see you through the next few months of reading, in your own Fiction Prescription.
This event has taken place
WorkshopPizza-making Workshop

Event W77

Pizza-making Workshop

Kitchen Garden Pizza

–  Family Garden
Read more

Come to the Family Garden for a pizza masterclass with Kitchen Garden Pizza. In this one-hour session your imagination and creativity will be fed along with your belly! You’ll get your hands messy with freshly grown and foraged ingredients, make and top your own dough and observe the pizzaioli at work at the wood-fired oven. And while you wait for your pizza to cook, you can decorate your own pizza box!
Dairy-free and gluten-free options available.

4+ years
Parents/carers must attend but do not need a ticket.
This event has taken place
ConversationSimon Armitage

Event 347

Simon Armitage

Blossomise

–  Discovery Stage
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The Poet Laureate shares the new perspectives and energy he brings to a timeless subject in his newest collection of poems. Blossomise, published in collaboration with the National Trust as part of its annual Blossom campaign, celebrates the arrival of spring blossom and acknowledges its melancholy disappearance. Armitage talks to broadcaster and presenter Rebecca Jones.

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TalkDharshini David

Event 348

Dharshini David

Environomics: How the Green Economy is Transforming Your World

–  Global Stage
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Why might an orangutan care which toothpaste you choose? What does your mobile phone have to do with wind turbines? And can your morning coffee really power a bus? Economics affects every aspect of our lives and there are huge changes afoot as the global green revolution speeds up. Dharshini David, Chief Economics Correspondent for BBC News, reveals the green changes already taking place in every aspect of our world, from sustainable materials and corporate greenwashing to industrialisation and global trade wars. David explores the industries of energy, food, fashion, technology, manufacturing and finance, showing how the smallest details in our day can tell a bigger economic story. In conversation with Corisande Albert.

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ConversationAnna Funder and Sandra Newman talk to John Mitchinson

Event 349

Anna Funder and Sandra Newman talk to John Mitchinson

Retelling Orwell

–  Wye Stage
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Authors Anna Funder and Sandra Newman discuss George Orwell, and highlight the women forgotten in his life and his work. Funder’s Wifedom is a non-fiction book about Orwell’s first wife, Eileen O’Shaughnessy, whose literary brilliance shaped Orwell’s work. Largely forgotten now, she is brought back to life by Funder, using newly discovered letters. Newman is the author of Julia, a retelling of Orwell’s 1984. The book explores state control over women’s bodies and the terror of totalitarianism. Newman was chosen by the Orwell Estate to write the novel and has the approval of George Orwell’s son, Richard Blair.

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ConversationAdania Shibli talks to Hisham Matar

Event 350

Adania Shibli talks to Hisham Matar

Minor Detail

–  Meadow Stage
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Palestinian writer Adania Shibli discusses her novel Minor Detail with American-Libyan writer Hisham Matar. A story about a young woman raped in the mist of the Palestian/Israeli conflict of 1949, the book was longlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize and shortlisted for the 2020 National Book Award for Translated Literature.

Minor Detail begins during the summer of 1949, one year after the war that the Palestinians mourn as the Nakba – the catastrophe that led to the displacement and expulsion of more than 700,000 people – and the Israelis celebrate as the War of Independence. Israeli soldiers capture and rape a young Palestinian woman, and kill and bury her in the sand. Many years later, a woman in Ramallah becomes fascinated to the point of obsession with this ‘minor detail’ of history. A haunting meditation on war, violence and memory, Minor Detail cuts to the heart of the Palestinian experience of dispossession, life under occupation, and the persistent difficulty of piecing together a narrative in the face of ongoing erasure and disempowerment.

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ConversationFrank Cottrell-Boyce

Event F82

Frank Cottrell-Boyce

The Wonder Brothers

–  Spring Stage
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Learn about the biggest vanishing trick of all time with multi-award-winning author Frank Cottrell-Boyce. In Frank’s adventure mystery, The Wonder Brothers, Blackpool Tower has disappeared. Can two young magicians do the impossible and bring back the tower? Find out about magic, hear readings and get writing tips from the master of storytelling in this fun-filled event.

8+ years
Please bring your own notebook and pen or pencil to this event.
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ConversationSarah Coyle

Event F83

Sarah Coyle

Pick a Story

–  Creative Hub
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Join Sarah Coyle for a highly interactive event, specially created for Hay Festival, where you’ll embark on two adventures and decide what happens every step of the way. First, you’ll work together to find out why Tylwyth Teg the fairy is cross and causing all sorts of mischief at the Festival. Then you’ll help Zara, the star of Sarah’s latest book (Pick a Story: A Monster Princess Shark Adventure), to find her beloved Old Ted. But was he taken by a monster, pinched by a princess or snapped by a shark? You decide!

3+ years
Parents/carers must attend but do not need a ticket.
This event has taken place
ActivityMake & Take Crafting

Event MT26

Make & Take Crafting

Sunday Lunchtime Session

–  Make & Take Hub
Read more

An opportunity to get crafting! Activities differ every day, including everything from print-making to junk modelling with recycled materials. Get messy and creative: your imagination is the limit.

Book for the session and you can drop in at any point during the 1.5 hour duration. Accompanying adults: please stay in attendance at all times, but you do not require a ticket.

3–11 years
This event has taken place
PerformanceGot 2 Sing Choir

Event 351

Got 2 Sing Choir

–  Bookshop Garden
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Enjoy this half-hour open air performance between events. Got 2 Sing Choir perform uplifting songs from top of the charts to golden oldies, with plenty of fun and laughter.

This event has taken place
ConversationPatrick Grant talks to Natasha Knight

Event 352

Patrick Grant talks to Natasha Knight

Less: Stop Buying So Much Rubbish

–  Global Stage
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With a career in fashion spanning nearly two decades Patrick Grant has a lot to say about our clothing, who makes it and how it’s made. Less: Stop Buying So Much Rubbish is a passionate and revealing book about loving clothes but despairing of a broken global system. Patrick explains the crisis of consumption and quality in fashion, and how we might make ourselves happier by rediscovering the joy of living with fewer, better quality things.

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ConversationRichard Flanagan talks to Alex Clark

Event 353

Richard Flanagan talks to Alex Clark

Question 7

–  Meadow Stage
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The 2014 Booker Prize winner (The Narrow Road to the Deep North) and 2002 Commonwealth Prize winner (Gould’s Book of Fish) discusses his new novel with the literary journalist. Beginning at a love hotel by Japan’s Inland Sea and ending by a river in Tasmania, Question 7 is about the choices we make about love and the chain reaction that follows. By way of HG Wells and Rebecca West’s affair through 1930s nuclear physics to Flanagan’s father working as a slave labourer near Hiroshima when the atom bomb is dropped, this daisy chain of events reaches fission when a young man finds himself trapped in a rapid on a wild river not knowing if he is to live or to die.

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ConversationSelva Almada, Philippe Sands and Juan Gabriel Vásquez talk to Daniel Hahn

Event 354

Selva Almada, Philippe Sands and Juan Gabriel Vásquez talk to Daniel Hahn

Explorers, Dreamers and Thieves

–  Wye Stage
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The British Museum houses more than 60,000 objects from the Americas but only a small percentage have ever been exhibited to the public. To analyse this extensive collection, Hay Festival and the Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research at the British Museum commissioned six writers, including Selva Almada (Argentina), Philippe Sands (UK) and Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Colombia), with a specialist Museum team, to research the documents narrating how certain objects arrived at the institution.

These ranged from diaries, letters and sketches to reflections and transactions, all forming part of the process of acquisition and examination. Focusing on aspects of the archives that caught their attention, the six authors imagined their own narratives, whose protagonists are the adventurers, dreamers and thieves in the title of this anthology, published by Latin American specialists Charco Press.

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ConversationDarrell Abernethy

Event 355

Darrell Abernethy

Penguins, Rhinos and Poverty

–  Spring Stage
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Wildlife and ecosystems across the globe face enormous threats, but identifying conservation priorities and approaches poses many challenging questions. How do we balance the desire to protect threatened wildlife species with the needs of human populations? Who decides? Join a conversation between the Head of Aberystwyth University’s School of Veterinary Science, Professor Darrell Abernethy, Oliver Smith from the World Wildlife Federation and Jennifer Wolowic, Principal Lead of Aberystwyth University Dialogue Centre, to explore how some of the world’s most treasured species are being impacted by human activities and natural crises.

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WorkshopArvon Masterclass with Ingrid Persaud

Event 356

Arvon Masterclass with Ingrid Persaud

Writing Workshop: Finding Your Voice

–  Creative Hub
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Prize-winning novelist and short story writer Ingrid Persaud leads a workshop on developing your own unique voice through fiction. Your writer’s voice is something you will spend your entire life thinking about. It is your authentic signature and your writer’s personality; it is what makes your writing distinct and immediately recognisable. During this session you’ll develop your understanding of style, perspective and tone, leaving with a sense of how voice makes your work outstanding.

This event has taken place
ConversationBBC Radio 4: Best Medicine

Event 452

BBC Radio 4: Best Medicine

–  Exchange Marquee
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Kiri Pritchard-McLean dissects funny and fascinating medicine with experts and comedians.

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ConversationOwen Sheers

Event F84

Owen Sheers

Drew, Moo and Bunny, Too

–  Writers at Work Hub – Hwb Awduron wrth eu Gwaith
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Join Welsh poet Owen Sheers (The Green Hollow) to hear the lyrical story of a little boy and his two best friends. As they fly around the world on a magic rug, they find trouble on the dark sea. Can they find what they need to return home?

6+ years
This event has taken place
PerformanceGot 2 Sing Choir

Event 357

Got 2 Sing Choir

–  Bookshop Garden
Read more

Enjoy this half-hour open air performance between events. Got 2 Sing Choir perform uplifting songs from top of the charts to golden oldies, with plenty of fun and laughter.

This event has taken place
Ella Berthoud

Event 416

Ella Berthoud

Fiction Prescription

–  Bookshop Garden
Read more
Bibliotherapy is the art of prescribing fiction to cure life's ailments, from Apathy to Zestlessness. Ella Berthoud is a Bibliotherapist and author of The Novel Cure and The Story Cure and has been prescribing novels for the past 15 years. In your 20 minute session with Ella you will find out what kind of a reader you are, what is happening in your life, and then she will give you the perfect books to see you through the next few months of reading, in your own Fiction Prescription.
This event has taken place
ConversationReverend Richard Coles talks to Natasha Knight

Event 358

Reverend Richard Coles talks to Natasha Knight

Murder at the Monastery

–  Global Stage
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Daniel Clement has suffered a secret humiliation and to recover, takes respite at the monastery where he was a novice. But there are tensions building there, too, as the dark past of novice master Father Paul emerges, and a murder ensues. Meanwhile back at the village of Champton, Daniel is the subject of gossip, his mother Audrey is up to something again, there's trouble at the dress shop, and the puppies are running riot. The Anglican priest who co-presented Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4 for 11 years and has won Celebrity Mastermind twice discusses the third book in his Canon Clement Mystery series with radiohost Natasha Knight.

This event has taken place
 
ConversationSathnam Sanghera talks to David Olusoga

Event 359

Sathnam Sanghera talks to David Olusoga

Colonialism

–  Discovery Stage
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The British Empire is a subject of both shame and glorification. Journalist Sathnam Sanghera talks to historian David Olusoga about how our imperial past is everywhere: from how we live and think to the foundation of the NHS and even our response to the Covid-19 crisis. Sanghera is author of Empireland and most recently Empireworld, a look at how British imperialism has shaped the world. Olusoga’s latest book is Black History for Every Day of the Year.

This event has taken place
ConversationDylan Jones and Tiffany Murray talk to John Mitchinson

Event 361

Dylan Jones and Tiffany Murray talk to John Mitchinson

Rock Stars and Memoirs

–  Meadow Stage
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Jones and Murray discuss their memoirs, both captivating accounts of unusual lives in late twentieth century Britain, in which celebrities pop up regularly. Jones grew up in 1970s London, spending the next decade building a glittering career as a newspaper editor leading up to his multi-award-winning tenure at GQ. In These Foolish Things he reflects on how he sought to stir up music, politics and fashion. In My Family and Other Rock Stars, Murray recounts a freewheeling whirlwind of a childhood in the late 1970s, living with her mum, a Cordon Bleu chef, at the iconic recording studio Rockfield. At this place of legend, where some of the most famous rock albums of all time were recorded, the chances of bumping into Freddie Mercury or David Bowie were as normal as hopscotch and homework.

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ConversationMadeleine Bunting, Nicola Chester, Lucy Stone and Andy Fryers in conversation

Event 362

Madeleine Bunting, Nicola Chester, Lucy Stone and Andy Fryers in conversation

Climate Fiction Prize Launch

–  Writers at Work Hub – Hwb Awduron wrth eu Gwaith
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Celebrate the ways in which storytelling can tackle the climate crisis with the official launch of the Climate Fiction Prize. The Prize aims shed light on the exciting growing number of bold, exciting, nuanced and timely climate storytelling that is emerging in fiction publishing. In the prize’s inaugural year, judges Nicola Chester (author of On Gallows Down), Madeleine Bunting,(writer and the Chair of Judges), Lucy Stone (founder of Climate Spring) and Andy Fryers (Hay Festival Global Sustainability Director) will explore the ways in which fiction enables society to comprehend the impacts of climate change and manifest responses to combat apathy and doomism. The Prize is supported by Climate Spring, an organisation using the power of storytelling to change the narrative on the climate crisis.

This event has taken place
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