Welcome to the Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2021 programme.
You will need to purchase tickets whether you attend in person or watch online.
If you wish to attend in person, please see the individual listings below for ticket prices.
If you intend to watch online, the best value option is the Online Festival Pass for £25, which will allow you to watch all streamed events either live or on replay for the duration of the Festival. Individual online event tickets cost £5 each. Please note that the Online Festival Pass is for viewing events online only.
There are also five Winter Warmer events, free for everyone to watch and enjoy online featuring Matt Haig, Siri Hustvedt, Bill McKibben, Steven Pinker, and the 2021 Booker Prize winner, Damon Galgut.
Anyone attending in person must adhere to current Welsh Government Covid-19 guidelines and the entry requirements of the Festival, which can be found here.
Explore your artistic expression with this print-based workshop where you will learn how to create images with the cyanotype process, a technique using the power of the sun, invented in 1841 by Sir John Herschel and popularised by photographer and botanist Anna Atkins. Tuition by the Castle’s historian.
Fourteen-year-old Maryam and Zahra have always been the best of friends, despite their different backgrounds. Maryam takes for granted that she will stay in Karachi and inherit the family business, while Zahra keeps her desires secret, and dreams of escaping abroad. In 1988, anything seems possible for the girls; and for Pakistan, emerging from the darkness of dictatorship into a bright future under a young woman, Benazir Bhutto. But a snap decision at a party celebrating the return of democracy brings the girls’ childhoods abruptly to an end. Its consequences will shape their futures in ways they cannot imagine…
Three decades later, in London, Zahra and Maryam are still best friends despite living very different lives. But when unwelcome ghosts from their shared past re-enter their world, both women find themselves driven to act in ways that will stretch and twist their bond beyond all recognition.
This is a novel about Britain today, about power and how we use it, and about what we owe to those who have loved us the longest.
In conversation with BBC broadcaster Razia Iqbal.
Kamila Shamsie’s most recent novel, Home Fire, won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2018. It was also longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017, shortlisted for the Costa Best Novel Award, and won the London Hellenic Prize. She is the author of six previous novels including Burnt Shadows, and A God in Every Stone.
The early tramways in the Wye Valley (variously termed as railways, wagon-ways or tram roads) were a transport system of horse-drawn wagons on rails. In this richly illustrated book, the local historian explores all known tramways – the routes taken, the companies that built and ran them and the people who used them – in and around the Wye Valley, to provide a fascinating history of this short-lived form of transport from the late 18th century to the introduction of steam railway on the Welsh border.
Drawing on extensive research of tramway company archives, maps and plans, newspapers and journals, archaeological reports, books and illustrations, the author also carried out fieldwork in Monmouthshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Powys.
The former Liberal Democrat leader curates the ultimate book of political advice, conjuring the warp, weft, ebbs, flows, highs and lows of a political life, in the words of those who said it best.
His book follows the arc of a life in politics – from childhood signs of potential to running for office, getting elected and forming a government; climbing the greasy pole to the pinnacle of leadership and a place on the world’s stage; dealing with mistakes, detractors, criticism, humiliation and failure; and finally escaping the political life altogether.
The wittiest, wisest and most acerbic political quotations from the last two thousand years are interspersed, making this an entertaining education in the dark art of politics.
In conversation with Ceredigion Councillor Elizabeth Evans.
The Central and South American collection at the British Museum contains approximately 62,000 objects, spanning ten thousand years of human history. The vast majority of this heritage is not displayed.
These objects are the subject of Untold Microcosms and his contribution, Heritage, a project resulting from the collaboration between the British Museum’s Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research and Hay Festival. His previous work includes the novels Coronel Lágrimas and Museo Animal, the essay La lucidez del miope, which won the National Prize for Literature in Costa Rica.
Natalie Haynes is a writer, broadcaster and classicist.
Offering a unique and vital contribution to the discussion around Britain’s colonial past, this is a powerful tale about the making of modern international law, one woman’s fight for justice and a personal journey that culminates with an historic ruling.
Deftly combining powerful storytelling with history and matters of law to unveil the devastating impact of Britain’s racist grip on its last colony in Africa, this is the story of the struggle for justice in the face of a relenting crime against humanity.
The author is Professor of Law at University College London and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He was involved in important international cases including Pinochet, Congo, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq, Guantanamo and the Rohingya. His books include Lawless, Torture Team, East West Street, which won the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fiction, and The Ratline. He is President of English PEN.
In conversation with BBC broadcaster Razia Iqbal.
How to buy jeans that fit. Thirty-seven things to have in your kitchen cupboard. Tiny acts for mental health. How to support a friend going through IVF. Why bad boys are an absolute waste of your time. How to cope with working mum guilt
This smart guide will help you navigate modern life, enabling you to save money and time. The Guardian beauty editor offers striking good sense on: home, food and drink, fashion, health and beauty, life and finances, friends, relationships and family.
From everyday tips such as how to cut your own fringe and how to buy great secondhand clothing, to the less talked about, agonising questions such as how to split finances with your partner and how to grieve, there’s advice on the big and the small, and everything in between.
She talks to Jenny Valentine, children’s and Young Adult novelist, author of Finding Violet Park, Broken Soup and Fire Colour One.
Temperate rainforest may once have covered up to one-fifth of Britain and played host to a dazzling variety of luminous life-forms, inspiring Celtic druids, Welsh wizards and Romantic poets. Though only fragments now remain, they form a rare and internationally important habitat, home to lush ferns and beardy lichens, pine martens and pied flycatchers. But why are even environmentalists unaware of their existence? And how have we managed to excise them so comprehensively from our cultural memory?
Taking the reader on an awe-inspiring journey through the Atlantic oakwoods and hazelwoods of the Western Highlands and the Lake District, down to the rainforests of Wales, Devon and Cornwall, the writer and campaigner maps these under-recognised ecosystems in exquisite detail – but underlines that without political and public support, we risk losing them from the landscape, and perhaps our collective memory, for ever.
In conversation with journalist and editor Kitty Corrigan
The artist’s coveted designs incorporate flowers, foliage, seeds, twigs, and berries grown in her organic garden and foraged from the countryside in the Welsh Borders, capturing the wild beauty of nature in sustainable, everlasting artistic pieces. Her wreaths and centrepieces can be playful and bursting with colour, or delicate, calm and subtle. In this workshop, she will show you how to make a unique flower lampshade for your home. All materials provided.
The author dedicates her first book of poetry to her late husband George Harrison in the 20th anniversary of his death. With an introduction by Martin Scorsese, the book includes personal photographs and mementos. Olivia co-produced the Grammy award-winning film of the 2002 Concert For George. She also received an Emmy for Outstanding Non-fiction Special from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2012 for her role as producer on the Martin Scorsese documentary: George Harrison: Living in the Material World. In 2005, she established The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF, which has helped children affected by civil conflict, natural disasters or poverty in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Angola, Romania, the Horn of Africa, Burma and Nepal and Mexico.
She talks to journalist and Hay Festival trustee Dylan Jones.
Test your wits with rounds on 2022, Living, Loving and Lying. Music, picture rounds and a review of the best bits of the year. Bring your own team of four, or come and make new friends. Points mean prizes…
Join our Quizmaster, John Mitchinson, the publisher of Unbound, one of the creators of QI, the television panel show, and co-host of the Backlisted books podcast.