Hay Festival Segovia presents programme for sixteenth edition

Hay Festival has today announced the line-up for the sixteenth Hay Festival Segovia in Spain with more than 80 speakers from 20 countries set to take part, 16-19 September 2021, with appearances from authors Luis Landero, Hector Abad, Bernardine Evaristo (pictured), Mathias Enard, Goncalo Tavares, Maria Dueñas, Douglas Stuart, Pilar Quitana and Orlando Figes; designers and architects Shigeru Ban, Josechu Carreras, Alvaro de la Rosa, Babette Porcelijn and Agatha Ruiz de la Prada; photographer Hussain Aga Khan, sportswoman Garazi Sánchez; conservationists Santiago Beruete, Joaquin Araujo and Vicente Todolí; filmmakers Fernando Trueba and Rodrigo Cortés; musician Amancio Prada; and more.

Blending leading Spanish writers and thinkers with a galaxy of international thought-leaders, the programme celebrates the best new fiction and non-fiction, while tackling some of the most pressing questions of the moment in 43 activities live and online over four days. 

Meanwhile, pop-up events will see Festival writers taken into the region of Castilla y León for special workshops and conversations, 7-11 September, including the cities of Soria, León, Valladolid and Burgos. 

Explore the full programme, book tickets, and register for free streams at hayfestival.org/segovia.

Physical events will once again run within strict health and safety protocols to allow readers and writers to connect face-to-face, while the free digital streams ensure the Festival remains open and accessible to the widest possible audience globally. 

Sheila Cremaschi, Hay Festival Segovia director, said: “Renaissance. Repair. That’s what’s at the core of Hay Festival Segovia 2021. The pandemic has taught us one thing: that a renaissance is not possible without bringing new life to the understanding of the vital link between the environment and humankind and this year’s programme puts this relationship centre-stage. Join us.”


Hay Festival Segovia opens 7 September with conversations and debates to inaugurate Festival art exhibitions and installations including To Exist is to Resist by Palestinian photojournalist Maysun Abu-Khdeir, which will run to the end of September, and an exhibition by French artist Joanie Lemercier, from 15 September.

Critically acclaimed writers from around the world take to the Festival stages to discuss the power of storytelling: the Spanish authors Jesus Carrasco, Maria Dueñas, Julia Navarro, Eva García Sáenz de Urturi, Luis Landero and Manuel Jabois, plus many more; Colombians Pilar Quintana and Hector Abad Faciolince; from the UK Bernardine Evaristo and Douglas Stuart; Irish novelist John Boyne; Swedish thriller writer Niklas Natt och Dag presents 1794; Prix-Goncourt winning French novelist Mathias Énard presents Le banquet annuel de la confrérie des fossoyeurs, Icelandic environmental writer and activist Andri Snaer Magnason discusses the climate crisis; award-winning Portuguese novelists Gonçalo Tavares and José Luis Peixoto discuss their lives in fiction; and Mererid Hopwood, Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol Hay Festival/Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellow 2020-2021, talks to fellow poet Antonio Colinas.

Some of the biggest issues affecting the world today are drawn into focus as journalists Enric Juliana, Sandrine Morel and Reinhard Spiegelhauer discuss a post-pandemic Europe, while actor, presenter and comedian Eva Hache launches her new issues-based podcast series. And the past is brought to life from fresh perspectives, offering insights on the modern world as Orlando Figes presents The Europeans.  

Architects and designers explore how our environment affects us, including conversations with designer Babette Porcelijn, curator and conservationist Vicente Todolí, botanist Jean Paul Brigand, nature writers Santiago Beruete and Joaquín Araújo, garden designer Álvaro de la Rosa, Josechu Carreras director of Hauser & Wirth, and Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, while fashion designer Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada discusses her life’s work.

The value of culture in times of crisis comes under the Festival spotlight as Sanjoy Roy, founder of Jaipur Literature Festival joins foreign correspondent Pallavi Aiyar to discuss the value of book events, while the director of Círculo de Bellas Artes Valerio Rocco joins cultural entrepreneur Sonia Mulero to discuss the transformational power of art, and writer Cesar Antonio Molina talks about culture in our polarised times.

From the film world, director Fernando Trueba talks to Hector Abad about transforming his book El olvido que seremos, followed by a screening, and the director and actor Rodrigo Cortés presents his new book Los años extraordinarios.

The singer Amancio Prada talks about music and rural life, the surfer Garazi Sanchez speaks of the urgency to protect the oceans, while another marine advocate, Hussain Aga Khan, participates in a poetry reading. 

Hay Festival Segovia takes place with the support of principal sponsors Ayuntamiento de Segovia, Junta de Castilla y León, Fundación Sabadell, Fundación Telefónica, Fundación IE University, Correos, AC/E (Acción Cultural Española) and Visit Wales.

The Festival follows the recent hybrid edition in the UK, which saw 135 countries tune in, while further events are scheduled to take place around the world this autumn: Querétaro, Mexico (1-5 September 2021) and Arequipa, Peru (28 October-8 November 2021), while Hay Festival Winter Weekend returns to the heart of Hay-on-Wye live and online 24-28 November 2021. 

Explore the full programme, book tickets, and register for free streams here.