We are delighted to announce the full programme of events for Hay Festival 2022.
Please note: tickets on sale are for live events, to attend in person. Details of our online Festival will be released on Tuesday 17 May.
The new novel from the Chocolat author opens on an incendiary moment for St Oswald’s School. For the first time in its history, a headmistress is in power, the gates opening to female students. Rebecca Buckfast has spilled blood to reach this position. Barely forty, she is just starting to reap the harvest of her ambition. As the new regime takes on the old guard, the ground shifts. And with it, the remains of a body are discovered. But Rebecca is here to make her mark. She’ll bury the past so deep it will evade even her own memory, just like she has done before.
On the hundredth anniversary of the moment that Howard Carter and Lord Carnavon broke open Tutankhamun’s tomb, Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson gives a riveting account of the treasures they found, in Tutankhamun’s Trumpet: The Story of Ancient Egypt in 100 Objects.
The objects buried with the king open up a wide-ranging, detailed portrait of ancient Egypt – its geography, history, culture and legacy. One hundred artefacts from the tomb are allowed to speak again – not only for themselves, but as witnesses of the civilisation that created them. Wilkinson’s talk is illustrated, so the treasures of Tutankhamun reveal what they can tell us about ancient Egyptian culture, its extraordinary development, its remarkable flourishing, and its lasting impact.
How honestly do we talk about birth? How safe is birth today? Could better conversations lead to better births? Candice Brathwaite addresses the higher maternal mortality rates for black women in Britain. Founder of Pregnant Then Screwed Joeli Brearley highlights the traumatic and isolated experiences of women on maternity wards throughout the Covid pandemic. In her memoir Frontline Midwife, Anna Kent shares her experiences of working in South Sudan, Bangladesh and the NHS. They talk to freelance journalist, writer and documentary filmmaker Nicola Cutcher.
How has humanity sought to harness the power of the sun, and what roles have literature, art, and culture played in imagining the possibilities of solar energy? Gregory Lynall explores the stories that have been told about solar power, from the Renaissance to the present day, how they have shaped developments in science and technology, and how they can help us think about solutions to the climate crisis. Lynall is Professor of English at Liverpool University and author of Imagining Solar Energy: The Power of the Sun in Literature, Science and Culture.
After the lecture, Gregory is joined by Jane Davidson, former director of the award-winning INSPIRE at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and Brycchan Carey, Professor of English Literature at Northumbria University, for discussion and Q&A.
The author of the hugely popular Six Tudor Queens books introduces her new series focusing on the tumultuous life of Henry VII’s bride.
An English princess, born into a war between two families. Eldest daughter of the royal House of York, Elizabeth dreams of a crown to call her own. But when her beloved father, King Edward, dies suddenly, her destiny is rewritten. Her family’s enemies close in. Two young princes are murdered in the Tower. Then her uncle seizes power – and vows to make Elizabeth his queen.
But another claimant seeks the throne, the upstart son of the rival royal House of Lancaster. Marriage to this Henry Tudor would unite the white rose of York and the red of Lancaster – and change everything. A great new age awaits. Now Elizabeth must choose her allies – and husband – wisely, and fight for her right to rule.
Recent and dramatic breakthroughs in our understanding of the body will profoundly change the experience of being human in the coming century. Already they are opening up boundary-breaking possibilities for intervention at every level, from our brains and genes to our microbiomes and immune systems. These will confer unprecedented powers over health, childhood development, our cognitive and physical abilities, and affect every aspect of how we live our lives and think about ourselves.
The author of The Secret Body: How the New Science of the Human Body Is Changing the Way We Live shows how these radical possibilities have been made real – thanks to the decades long work of scientists whose breakthrough discoveries are transforming our understanding of how the body works, what it is capable of and how we might manipulate it.
Rebecca Mead’s Home/Land tells how when she relocated to her birth city, London, with her family in the summer of 2018, she was both fleeing the political situation in America and seeking to expose her son to a wider world. With a keen sense of what she’d given up as she left New York, her home of thirty years, she tried to knit herself into the fabric of a changed London. The move raised poignant questions about place: what does it mean to leave the place you have adopted as home and country? And what is the value and cost of uprooting yourself? She addresses these questions with lawyer and writer Philippe Sands.
Free access to information was once envisioned as a way to promote shared understanding and values. Yet at a time when we need to demonstrate the trustworthiness of science to our global community, endless divisions endanger critical vaccination programmes.
Our three presenters explore vaccine hesitancy from different disciplinary perspectives, demonstrating the challenges they face as researchers communicating new science. Of equal if not greater importance, they seek to engage the audience in discussion to understand how they can do better as researchers, practitioners and people. Thomas E Woolley is a Covid-19 modeller and Emma Yhnell a neuroscientist and science communicator, both at Cardiff University. Daniel Artus is a Postgrad Researcher into vaccine hesitancy at University College London.
Joanna Cannon’s A Tidy Ending explores the sinister side of suburbia and the theme of living life on the periphery. A compellingly crafted mystery, it features an unfulfilled woman fleeing a dark past, with a hint of something nasty lurking behind the net curtains. Karen Campbell’s Paper Cup follows a broken woman’s path back to the small Scottish town from which she previously fled. The authors discuss their novels, how easy it can be to fall through the cracks and what it takes to turn around a life that has run off course.
Jess Gillam brings her award-winning radio show and podcast to Hay Festival. Jess’s guest is the internationally acclaimed trumpeter Alison Balsom, and they sit down for a listening party with the Festival audience to chat about the music and tracks they love the most.
Max Boyce celebrates the publication of the best of his selected poems, songs and stories with award-winning journalist Carolyn Hitt. When ‘Hymns and Arias’ rang out at Cardiff Arms Park some fifty years ago, the great Welsh anthems had found a companion and the valleys of South Wales had produced a new folk hero. Max Boyce captures the spirit and the story of the people of Wales with a warmth and charm that has made his words and music resonate with a worldwide audience. There is only one Max. Join him as he discusses his remarkable career.
In his timely new book Butler to the World: How Britain Became the Servant of Tycoons, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals, the award-winning investigative journalist reveals how the UK took up its position at the elbow of the worst people on Earth – the oligarchs, kleptocrats and gangsters – and explains what steps we can take to change Butler Britain’s underhand ways.
Poguemahone is a wild, free-verse monologue, steeped in music and folklore, crammed with characters, both real and imagined, on a scale Patrick McCabe (The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto) has never attempted before. He talks to Unbound publisher John Mitchinson about writing his wild, 600-page ballad.
Dan Fogarty, an Irishman living in England, is looking after his sister Una, now seventy and suffering from dementia in a care home in Margate. From Dan’s anarchic account, we gradually piece together the story of the Fogarty family. How the parents are exiled from a small Irish village and end up living the hard immigrant life in England. How Dots, the mother, becomes a call girl in 1950s Soho. How a young and overweight Una finds herself living in a hippie squat in Kilburn in the early 1970s. How the squat appears to be haunted by vindictive ghosts who eat away at the sanity of all who live there. And, finally, how all that survives now of those sex-and-drug-soaked times are Una’s unspooling memories as she sits outside in the Margate sunshine, and Dan himself, whose role in the story becomes stranger and more sinister.
Joe Shute has spent years unpicking Britain’s longstanding love affair with the weather. He has pored over the literature, art and music our weather systems have inspired and trawled through centuries of established folklore to discover the curious customs and rituals we have created in response to the seasons. But in recent years Shute has discovered that the British seasons are changing far faster and far more profoundly than we realise.
Climate change has rendered that once familiar pattern increasingly unpredictable and unrecognisable: daffodils in December, frogspawn in November. How do we bridge the void between our cultural expectation of the seasons and what they are actually doing? The author and journalist speaks to BBC Weather presenter Sue Charles.
Who is to blame for the worldwide phenomena of ukulele orchestras and ukulelemania?
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain! Tap your toes with the royalty of the ukulele scene, the independent rock-stars of the ‘bonsai guitar’, who have plucked and sung, joked and whistled with Clean Bandit, Robbie Williams, Madness, Cat Stevens, the Ministry of Sound and Blue Peter. The world’s very first Ukulele Orchestra is not just about ukuleles; it is about entertainment, joy, fun, strum and artistry.
Come and see if Natalie Haynes can squash all 24 books of Homer’s Odyssey down to 28 minutes for her BBC Radio 4 series Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics. She has two chances to practise before she records the show in front of a live audience, and this is the second. Including other new material which she may or may not have written by May.
Stories of lockdown from people with experience of prison, homelessness, addiction, and families of people in the armed forces. Stories from inside the Covid-19 storm. Powerful, often irreverent, heartfelt: words that history cannot forget. Through live performance, animation, film and voice-over, Story Machine presents an anthology of lives that step off the page to hold hands with you.
Paperchains Live is co-developed with The Outsiders Project and funded by Arts Council England through the National Lottery Project Grants programme. Story Machine brings books and artistic ambitions to life through artistic live experiences.
“There have been many amazing projects to help people during the pandemic and Paperchains is one of the very best” HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
From tree to timber – a chance to see for yourself how a small-scale, sustainable wood is managed. The tour visits planting, ecosystem care and tree grading, and goes into the sawmill to see the log being converted into timber. Find out what the challenges and opportunities are for the timber industry.
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.
Award-winning Irish neurologist Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan investigates psychosomatic disorders, travelling the world to visit communities suffering from these so-called mystery illnesses. From a derelict post-Soviet mining town in Kazakhstan to the Mosquito Coast of Nicaragua to the heart of the María Mountains in Colombia, O’Sullivan records the remarkable stories of syndromes related to her by people from all walks of life. She recounts these riveting and often distressing case studies to writer and journalist Oliver Balch as the syndromes continue to proliferate around the globe.