Hay Festival 2022 Programme unveiled with 500+ in-person events, 26 May - 5 June

Hay Festival has today unveiled the full programme for its 35th spring edition in Hay-on-Wye, with more than 500 in-person events over 11 days, 26 May–5 June 2022.

Tickets are on sale now to Friends of Hay Festival at hayfestival.org/wales or on 01497 822 629. Public booking opens at noon Friday 8 April.

Returning for its first in-person spring event since 2019, Hay Festival is the world’s leading festival of ideas, bringing readers and writers together in sustainable events to inspire, examine and entertain.

There will be in-person appearances from Svetlana Alexievich, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Stephen Fry, Nicola Sturgeon, Minnie Driver, Monica Ali, Damian Lewis, Jimmy Page, Damon Galgut, Ben Okri, Bernardine Evaristo, Bill Bailey, Bryn Terfel, Serhii Plokhy, Caryl Lewis, Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Corinne Bailey Rae, Áine Ní Ghlinn, Alice Roberts, Amy Liptrot, Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, Cressida Cowell, David Baddiel, David Harewood, David Olusoga, David Spiegelhalter, Ed Balls, Edmund de Waal, Elif Shafak, Fi Glover and Jane Garvey, George Monbiot, Gillian Clarke, Ian Rankin, Inua Ellams, Jacqueline Wilson, Jay Blades, Jarvis Cocker, Jenny Packham, Joe Wicks, Julian Barnes, Lady Hale, Lemn Sissay, Lenny Henry, Lyse Doucet, Mariana Mazzucato, Mieko Kawakami, Oliver Bullough, PJ Harvey, Reginald D Hunter, Sheila Hancock, Simon Amstell, Zelda Perkins, an all-star Letters Live cast led by Benedict Cumberbatch, and more...

This year’s programme launches the best new fiction and non-fiction, while offering insights and debate around some of the biggest issues of our times. Award-winning writers, policy makers, pioneers and innovators take part from around the world, seeking solutions to the biggest issues of our time, from the climate crisis to global conflicts.

Events begin with the free Programme for Schools before HAYDAYS and #HAYYA events for families encourage young readers to get creative throughout the half-term week.

Late nights at the Festival are given over to great music, comedy and entertainment, while theatre is woven throughout the programme in collaborations with Letters Live, Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour, and The Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

Hay Festival international director Cristina Fuentes La Roche said: “We’re delighted to be gathering in our booktown with a vibrant programme to imagine the world anew. It’s been 35 years since writers and readers started sharing their stories together in our Festival tents and we have never needed these stories more urgently. During the day our conversations and debates will tackle some of the biggest issues of the moment, and in the evenings we’ll laugh and dance together again. Join us.”

Hay Festival 2022 is supported by lead sponsors Baillie Gifford and Visit Wales. The free Programme for Schools and the Beacons Project are supported by the Welsh Government.

Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, said: “It’s such excellent news that we are now seeing a return to in-person events. Hay Festival’s global programme is unlike any other in the way that it focuses on some of the biggest topics affecting the world today. While it showcases Welsh talent to the world, the new hybrid format has also afforded more contributions from the best international talent than ever before.

“I’m delighted that we can continue with our sponsorship of The Wales Stage / Llwyfan Cymru – which has hosted hundreds of events over the last two years. Although we haven’t been able to welcome international visitors to Wales to enjoy Hay Festival itself - we have succeeded in showcasing Wales to international audiences, we look forward to welcoming our audiences back.”

Events will take place at the main Dairy Meadows site, in St Mary’s Church in Hay and in a new Festival theatre in the grounds of the recently restored Hay Castle. The Festival site is free to enter, with a range of pop-ups to explore, including the Festival Bookshop, HAYDAYS courtyard, Make & Take Tent, and a host of exhibitors, market stalls, cafés and restaurants.

Major anniversaries and new Festival projects are marked throughout the programme: the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will be explored with a series of conversations on Women & Power; “Imagine...” discussions blend writers and thinkers on some of the biggest global issues of the moment from democracy and equality to science and nature; the Festival’s 10@10 series will showcase debut writers at 10am each morning on site, while a new partnership with Publishing Wales spotlights Welsh publishers and their work on the global stage.

A new marquee stage sees the BBC return to Hay Festival bringing leading programmes and podcasts to the Festival site in free events, while additional media partners TikTok, Sky Arts, Prospect, Country & Town House, Juno, Suitcase and The TLS contribute to programming here and around the Festival site.

Collaborations with eight leading universities will showcase the latest research in the arts and sciences in a Lunchtime Lectures series, while Festival partners including the British Council, The British Academy, BookTrust, International Booker Prize, Brecon Beacons National Park, The Reading Agency, Shakespeare and Company, The Royal Society, Hawthornden Literary Retreat, English PEN, BookAid International, Hay Pride, Hay Music, The Eccles Centre for American Studies at The British Library, Springer Nature, Empathy Lab and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew will feature throughout.

Winners of the Hay Festival Medals 2022 will also be celebrated on stage. Awarded annually since Britain’s Olympic year (2012), the Medals draw inspiration from the original Olympic medal given for poetry. Past winners include Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith, George Monbiot, John le Carré, Laura Marling, Emerald Fennell and Ahdaf Soueif.

Fundraising on site will take place throughout the Festival in aid of the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal via the Cup Return (recycling) points along with proceeds from a special section of the Festival bookshop dedicated to Ukrainian literature.

Partnerships with Adult Learning Wales, Strong Young Minds, The National Literacy Trust, Head4Arts and The Family Place will make this one of the most accessible Festival editions yet with targeted projects to attract harder-to-reach communities, while a plethora of new sustainability measures will help to tack the environmental impacts of running a festival.

A curated selection of Festival sessions will be streamed live online throughout this year’s event with digital passes on sale in May.

Visit hayfestival.org/wales to view detailed event listings and browse the full programme.


Late nights at Hay Festival are given over to great music, comedy and entertainment. There’s new music from Corinne Bailey Rae, Kate Rusby, Danilo Pérez, Penguin Cafe, George Hinchliffe's Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Frank Turner, The Devil's Violin, YolanDa Brown, The Devil’s Violin, The Wellspring and The Waste Land, while Rebecca Evans, Leah-Marian Jones, Trystan Llŷr Griffiths and Bryn Terfel deliver a special Platinum Jubilee Concert; James Runcie talks with violinist Irène Duval (The Great Passion); Jeremy Denk talks Every Good Boy Does Fine: A Love Story, in Music Lessons, Max Boyce presents Max Boyce: Hymns & Arias; PJ Harvey talks Orlam, Jimmy Page presents The Anthology, and Jarvis Cocker offers Good Pop, Bad Pop.

Laughter comes in the form of new comedy shows from Bill Bailey, Nina Conti, Simon Amstell, Reginald D Hunter, Jason Byrne, Natalie Haynes, Rich Hall, Marcus Brigstocke, Milton Jones, Angela Barnes, Rachel Parris, Shazia Mirza and Pierre Novellie; while Lucy Beaumont talks Drinking Custard; Raven Smith talks Raven Smith's Men; Rachel Parris presents Advice From Strangers; Julian Clary and Jules Howard talk The Lick of Love: How Dogs Changed my Life/Wonderdog: How the Science of Dogs Changed the Science of Life; and Early Editions returns with news analysis from Marcus Brigstocke, Carrie Quinlan and André Vincent.

There’s drama and performance as Letters Live returns led by Benedict Cumberbatch and an all-star cast of readers in aid of the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal; Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour shares Julius Caesar in the grounds of Hay Castle; The Lord Chamberlain’s Men offer As You Like It; the Paperchains project culminates with a live performance; creators and stars of the highly anticipated BBC Three series based on Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends discuss the art of adaptation; stars of the BBC/HBO His Dark Materials adaptation Amir Wilson (Will Parry) and Simone Kirby (Mary Malone) join writer Jack Thorne to preview Series Three; and Fiona Lensvelt and Jen Cownie offer Wild Card: Let the Tarot Tell Your Story.

Lunchtime recitals at St Mary’s Church, Hay, feature Chris Tutton and Anne Denholm with Imaginary Landscapes; Hay Festival Chorus with Vivaldi’s Gloria; pianist Maki Sekiya with Ilya Chetverikov; violinist Aleksey Semenenko with pianist Sam Haywood; Mithras Piano Trio with viola player Gary Pomeroy; soprano Ruby Hughes with pianist Huw Watkins; and the Mavron Quartet; while free pop-up performances on site feature Cantorion Y Gelli sharing Welsh choral favourites; the Hay Shantymen; and the Hay Community Choir.


Award-winning novelists share new work including Nobel-winner Abdulrazak Gurnah; Booker Prize- winners Damon Galgut (The Promise), Bernardine Evaristo (Manifesto), Julian Barnes (Elizabeth Finch) and Howard Jacobson (Mother's Boy); Booker-shortlisted Monica Ali (Love Marriage), Rose Tremain (Lily) and Elif Shafak (The Island of Missing Trees); Wales Book of the Year 2021-winner Caryl Lewis (Drift); Hay Festival Book of the Year 2021-winner Deborah Levy (Real Estate); and Stephen Fry, Tessa Hadley (Free Love), Miriam Toews (Fight Night), Sandra Newman (The Men), Jennifer Saint (Elektra), Laline Paull (Pod), Anthony Horowitz (With a Mind to Kill), Annie Macmanus (Mother Mother), Karen Joy Fowler (Booth), Jennifer Egan (The Candy House), Louise Kennedy (Trespasses), Fernanda Melchor (Paradais), Giles Foden (Freight Dogs), Louise O'Neill (Idol), Patrick Gale (Mother's Boy), Joanne Harris (A Narrow Door), Alison Weir (Elizabeth of York, the Last White Rose), Joanna Cannon (A Tidy Ending), Karen Campbell (Paper Cup), Patrick McCabe (Poguemahone), Celia Imrie (Orphans of the Storm), Ardal

O'Hanlon (Brouhaha), Claire Fuller (Unsettled Ground), Gill Hornby (Godmersham Park), Mieko Kawakami (All the Lovers in the Night), Javier Cercas (Even the Darkest Night), Beth Underdown (The Key in the Lock), Stacey Halls (Mrs England), Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry), Alan Titchmarsh (The Gift), Miles Jupp (History), Nina Stibbe (One day I Shall Astonish the World), Sophie Haydock (The Flames), Liz Hyder (The Gifts), Rebecca F. John (Fannie), Kate Mosse (The City of Tears), Okechukwu Nzelu (Here Again Now) and Nell Frizzell (Square One).

Special events will celebrate the soon-to-be-announced winners of the Dylan Thomas Prize and International Booker Prize; literary historian Jonathan Bate talks Mad About Shakespeare; Patrick McCabe, Chloe Aridjis, John Mitchinson and Sinéad Gleeson join Shakespeare and Company’s Adam Biles to talk Joyce and Ulysses at 100; Robert Crawford joins translator Daniel Hahn in a discussion of TS Eliot; Ian Rankin discusses his award-winning thrillers; Sophie Hannah, SJ Parris and Sarah Vaughan lead a conversation about crime fiction; a Publishing Wales panel featuring Manon Steffan Ros, Natalie Williams and Lucy Owen asks what publishing from Wales can do for the world; Ben Okri joins Zainab Umar in a BookAid International discussion; Michael Morpurgo and Lemn Sissay discuss the importance of libraries; and a new collection of writing by Afghan women – My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird – is launched by editor Lucy Hannah, translator Zarghuna Kargar and contributor Masouma Kawsari.


Each morning of the Festival is dedicated to the best debut fiction, showcasing the Festival's selection of future award-winners alongside established authors who champion their work:

  • Ayanna Lloyd Banwo (When we Were Birds) talks to Monique Roffey
  • Emilie Pine (Ruth & Pen) talks to SJ Parris
  • Gurnaik Johal (We Move) talks to Jon McGregor
  • Julie Owen Moylan (That Green Eyed Girl) talks to Louise Hare Lianne Dillsworth (Theatre of Marvels) talks to Stacey Halls
  • Maddie Mortimer (Maps of our Spectacular Bodies) talks to Sarah Moss Melissa Fu (Peach Blossom Spring) talks to Helena Lee
  • Moses McKenzie (An Olive Grove in Ends) talks to Nikesh Shukla Paddy Crewe (My Name Is Yip) talks to Erica Wagner
  • Susan Stokes-Chapman (Pandora) talks to Natalie Haynes


Leading poets and performers share new work and old favourites as Allie Esiri presents an afternoon of poetry with Inua Ellams, Stephen Fry, David Harewood, Simone Kirby, Damian Lewis, Theresa Lola, Lesley Sharp and Lemn Sissay; M. Wynn Thomas talks to Gwyneth Lewis about The History of Wales in Twelve Poems; Inua Ellams presents his R.A.P. Party; while there are conversations with Peter Finch (Collected Poems), PJ Harvey (Orlam), Paul Farley, Tishani Doshi, Raymond Antrobus (All the Names Given), Gillian Clarke and Robert Minhinnick.


The latest environmental science, sustainable policies and creative responses to the climate crisis are brought into focus in the Hay-on-Earth series throughout the Festival. Events kick-off Thursday 26 May with the four-part Hay-on-Earth Forum: Reconnections hosted by Hay Festival sustainability director Andy Fryers and featuring Adele Nozedar (The Tree Forager), Lizzie Harper (Hedgerow Handbook), Anna Jones (Divide: The Relationship Crisis Between Town and Country), Hannah Bourne-Taylor (Fledgling), and a discussion on land, people and farming futures with Minette Batters, Nick Palmer and Rob Penn.

Over the following ten days there are conversations with leading writers and sustainability experts including George Monbiot (Regenesis), Karen Armstrong (Sacred Nature), Joe Shute (Forecast: A Diary of the Lost Seasons), Elizabeth Cripps (What Climate Justice Means and why we Should Care), Rebecca Nesbit (Tickets for the Ark), Sophie Pavelle (Forget me Not: Finding the Forgotten Species of Climate- Change Britain), Isabel Losada (The Joyful Environmentalist), Oliver Milman (The Insect Crisis) and Paul Polman (Net Positive); plus Alice Bell and Peter Stott talk climate change denial history; Danny Dorling, Jukka Siukosaari and Katja Pantjar present Finntopia; Sara Vaughan and Aja Barber discuss sustainable fashion; Feargal Sharkey talks river pollution; Brigitte Baptiste and Partha Dasgupta discuss biodiversity; Darren Moorcroft, Clare Pillman and Rob Penn ask if trees are the solution; Alexandre Antonelli (Hidden Universe: Adventures in Diversity) takes part in the Kew Gardens Platform; Jane Davidson, Bryychan Carey and Greg Lynall discuss solar stories; Ellen Miles, Nick Hayes, Daniel Raven-Ellison and Louisa Adjoa Parker ask if nature is a human right; Bhaskar Vira and Emily Shuckburgh discuss how we might use the climate crisis as an opportunity for a more equitable future; and Martin Wright, Mark Lynas, Nina Skorupska and Harriet Lamb look at clean energy and national security.

The Festival’s four-part Oceans Futures series with Lloyd’s Register Foundation asks experts to explore the impact of the climate crisis on ocean ecosystems with Nicolette Jones (The Plimsoll Sensation: The Great Campaign to Save Lives at Sea), Vincent Doumeizal (Seaweed Revolution), Ruth Boumphrey (Searchlight) and Charles Clover (Rewilding the Sea).

Leading travel and nature writers celebrate the natural world in conversations with Susan Ogilvy (Nests), Patrick Barkham (Wild Green Wonders), Benedict Allen (Explorer: The Quest for Adventure and the Great Unknown), Anna Fleming (Time on Rock: A Climber's Route into the Mountains), Ben Rawlence (Treeline) and Amanda Owen shares Celebrating the Seasons with The Yorkshire Shepherdess; while Amy Liptrot (The Instant) talks to Horatio Clare; Kate Noakes and Rosie Hayles discuss all things Hay-on- Wye; and off site Wayfaring Walks see writers lead guided tours of the natural surrounds with the Brecon Beacons Natural Park team.


Writers, thinkers and activists share first-person narratives to inspire and challenge in conversations with Torrey Peters (Detransition, Baby), Sadia Azmat (Sex Bomb), Norman Scott (An Accidental Icon), Jeffrey Boakye (I Heard What you Said), Sheila Hancock (Old Rage), Minnie Driver (Managing Expectations), Jimmy Page (The Anthology), Melvyn Bragg (Back in the Day), Margo Jefferson (Constructing a Nervous System: A Memoir), Helen Mort (A Line Above the Sky), Theo Fennell (I Fear for This Boy), David Harewood (Maybe I Don't Belong Here: A Memoir of Race, Identity, Breakdown and Recovery), Alex Renton (Blood Legacy: Reckoning With a Family's Story of Slavery), Ed Balls (Appetite: A Memoir in Recipes of Family and Food), Rebecca Mead (Home/Land), Justin Webb (The Gift of a Radio), Sarfraz Manzoor (They: What Muslims and Non-Muslims get Wrong About Each Other), Steve Thompson (Unforgettable: Rugby, Dementia and the Fight of my Life), Jude Rogers (The Sound of Being Human: How Music Shapes Our Lives), Sinéad Gleeson (This Woman’s Work) and Guy Leschziner (The Man who Tasted Words).

Real-life stories shine fresh light on the world around us in conversations with Lucy Easthope (When the Dust Settles: Stories of Love, Loss and Hope From an Expert in Disaster), Christina Lamb (The Prince Rupert Hotel for the Homeless) and Sam Knight (The Premonitions Bureau).


Hay Festival marks the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with the Women & Power series exploring the fight for gender equality in the highest positions of power with Bernardine Evaristo (Manifesto), Nicola Sturgeon, Lady Hale (Spider Women), Mary Ann Sieghart (The Authority Gap), Jess Phillips (Everything you Really Need to Know About Politics: My Life as an MP), and Huma Abedin (Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds). Plus, Tina Brown presents The Palace Papers with Simon Schama, while Rosie Boycott and Carmen Callil talk to Laura Bates about Spare Rib at 50.


Journalists, commentators and sociologists take stock of life in Britain now including John Crace (A Farewell to Calm), Fi Glover and Jane Garvey (Did I say That out Loud?: Notes on the Chuff of Life), Richard Beard (Sad Little Men: Private Schools and the Ruin of England), Simon Kuper (Chums: How a Tiny Caste of Oxford Tories Took Over the UK), Nathan Waddell (Cancel Culture, Extreme Politics and Apology) and Oliver Bullough (Butler to the World: How Britain Became the Servant of Tycoons, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals); Vicky Spratt and Hilary Cottam talk to Oliver Balch about the housing crisis; Tim Brighouse and Mick Waters talk to Fiona Millar About Our Schools; Linda Davies and Nick Bashall talk 10 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Money; Anna Kent, Candice Brathwaite and Joeli Brearley talk to Nicola Cutcher about birth and maternity; and editor of Prospect Alan Rusbridger hosts a trio of discussions around cancel culture, the future of the BBC and the possibility of a British constitution.

Contemporary Wales comes under the spotlight as former Hay Festival Writers at Work Hanan Issa, Grug Muse and Darrent Chetty present Welsh (Plural): Essays on the Future of Wales; Jon Gower and Huw Williams talk The Welsh Way: Essays on Neoliberalism and Devolution; and Dylan Huw, Crystal Jeans and David Llewellyn talk to Kirsti Bohata about their new anthology Queer Square Mile: Queer Short Stories From Wales.

Gender inequality in publishing takes centre stage in a #BreakTheBias discussion in partnership with the Women’s Prize for Literature and Women in Journalism with Mary Ann Sieghart, Kate Mosse and Dorothy Koomson in conversation with Genelle Aldred; while Laura Bates and Laurie Penny talk Fix the System, Not the Women and Sexual Revolution; Amia Srinivasan talks The Right to Sex; Jacqueline Rose presents On Violence and On Violence Against Women; and campaigners Zelda Perkins and Rosa Curling discuss speaking truth to power.


The Hay Festival Imagine... series invites writers and thinkers to tackle the biggest global issues of the moment in discussions and debates around: democracy with A C Grayling, Elif Shafak, Simon Schama, Misha Glenny, Mariana Mazzucato, Gillian Tett and Jamie Susskind; equality with Laura Bates, Laurie Penny, Kübra Gümüşay, Musa Okwonga, Georgina Lawson, Adam Rutherford and Julia Wheeler; science, supported by the Royal Society, with Martin Rees, Catherine Heymans, Miriam Quick, Sharna Jackson, Veronica van Heyningen and Marcus du Sautoy; and nature, supported by Springer Nature, with Alice Bell, Peter Stott, Ellen Miles, Nick Hayes, Daniel Raven-Ellison and Tim Birkhead.

Meanwhile, journalists, economists, philosophers and diplomats take stock of global affairs as a trio of discussions looks at Ukraine and Russia with Nobel Prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich, Serhii Plokhy, Bill Browder, Oliver Bullough, Catherine Belton and Philippe Sands; Francis Fukuyama and Nick Carter discuss A New World Order; Oliver McTernan, Tom Fletcher, Lyse Doucet and Arthur Denaro look at conflict resolution; Sana Safi, Lyse Doucet, Emma Graham-Harrison and Misha Glenny place a spotlight on Afghanistan; Mariana Mazzucato talks Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism; Sally Hayden (My Fourth Time, we Drowned: Seeking Refuge on the World's Deadliest Migration Route) talks to Matthew d’Ancona; Michael Ignatieff presents On Consolation; Yascha Mounk offers The Great Experiment: How to Make Diverse Democracies Work; and a new International Equity series launches with the British Council, featuring Fernanda Melchor and Sophie Hughes.


Leading researchers and innovators share new work to explain the world around us including James Poskett (Horizons: A Global History of Science), Alice Vernon (Inner Workings: How we Understand and Imagine the Inside of the Human Body), Jim Al-Khalili (The Joy of Science), Daniel M. Davis (The Secret Body: How the New Science of the Human Body Is Changing the Way We Live), Suzanne O'Sullivan (The Sleeping Beauties), Marcus du Sautoy (Thinking Better: The Art of the Shortcut), Giles Yeo (Why Calories Don’t Count), Reuben Binns (Building My Own Enigma Machine), Mark Lee (Social Computers and Conversational Robots: Imagining a new Path Towards Human-Centred Technology), A C Grayling (Technology, Climate, Justice and Rights: Can we get the Whole World to Agree on any of Them?), Emma Gannon (Disconnected: How to Stay Human in an Online World), Matthew Williams (The Science of Hate) and Leor Zmigrod on political neuroscience and understanding extremist behaviour.

Meanwhile, leading universities share their latest research in the Festival’s Lunchtime Lectures featuring contributions from Aberystwyth University, University of Birmingham, University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, Swansea University and University of Worcester. Discussions include Richard Brabner, Diana Beech, David Green and Jane Britton on how higher education should adapt for the future; Andrew Bayliss on the Spartans; Martin Innes on how to run a digital disinformation campaign; Michael Ward on the everyday voices of the coronavirus pandemic; Thomas Woolley, Emma Yhnell and Daniel Artus on communicating science during a pandemic; Jo Smith, Rosie Tressler, Nic Streatfield and Tim Jones on preventing and responding to student suicide; David Runciman on Confronting Leviathon; and Atina Krajewska on reproductive rights, democracy and the rule of law.


Historians share their fresh takes on past events in conversations with Janina Ramirez (Femina: A New History of the Middle Ages), Alice Roberts (Buried), Marc Morris (The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England), Greg Jenner (Ask a Historian: 50 Surprising Answers to Things you Always Wanted to Know), Antony Beevor (Russia: Revolution and Civil War 1917-1921), Dominic Lieven (In the Shadow of the Gods: the Emperor in World History), Serhii Plokhy (Atoms and Ashes), Toby Wilkinson (Tutankhamun's Trumpet: The Story of Ancient Egypt in 100 Objects), Tracy Borman (Crown & Sceptre), Amy Jeffs (Storyland), Hugh Purcell and Margaret Percy (Tragic Heroes: The Burney Brothers of Hay at War), Richard King (Brittle With Relics: A History of Wales, 1962-97), Helen Rappaport (In Search of Mary Seacole), Jonathan Freedland (The Escape Artist), Mary Morgan and Elizabeth Bingham (Remarkable Churches near Hay-on-Wye) and Simon Schama, while a special Wolfson History Prize 50th anniversary event features Miranda Kaufmann, Hannah Grieg and Fern Riddell.


Experts explore the long long-term effects of the pandemic on the world around us as Devi Sridhar presents Preventable, Michael Lewis talks The Premonition: A Pandemic Story, Jeremy Hunt (Zero: Eliminating Unnecessary Deaths in a Post-Pandemic NHS) talks to Rachel Clarke; Kate Bingham talks to Fiona Fox about her time in the eye of the Covid-19 storm; David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters offer Covid by Numbers; Kate Muir and Dr Louise Newson bring The Menopause Roadshow; and Julia Samuel and Clover Stroud talk grief.


Thought leaders deliver headline think pieces throughout the Festival tackling some of the biggest questions of our times, including Michael Rosen (Aneurin Bevan Lecture), David Olusoga (Raymond Williams Lecture), FT editor Roula Khalaf (Christopher Hitchens Lecture), Fernanda Melchor and Sophie Hughes (Anthea Bell Lecture), Devi Sridhar (John Maddox Lecture), Dominic Lievan (British Pugwash Lecture) and Wade Davis (Jan Morris Lecture).


A series of Festival sessions encourage audiences to get creative with Michael Marriott (Roses), Jenny Packham (How to Make a Dress: Adventures in the art of Style), John Bulmer and Billie Charity (A Very English Village/Lockdown Light), Tony Fadell (Build), Jay Blades (Making It: How Love, Kindness and Community Helped me Repair my Life), James Fox (The World According to Colour: A Cultural History), Edmund de Waal (Letters to Camondo), Frances Spalding (The Real and the Romantic: English art Between two World Wars), and Gavin Plumley (A Home for all Seasons; food writers set mouths watering including Thomasina Miers (Meat-Free Mexican), Kate Humble and Andrew Montgomery (Home Cooked); and Festivalgoers are encouraged to get active on site with collaging workshops from Hay Festival Illustrator-in-Residence Tom Etherington; Jan Hall (Changing Gear); Rob Orchard (infographics); Jem Poster, Sarah Burton, Gwen Davies and Linda Davies; and creative writing sessions with the Lucy Cavendish Prize, Nikesh Shukla and Dorothy Koomson. Meanwhile, Hay Castle hosts a special exhibition of writer portraits from the National Portrait Gallery with guided tours throughout the Festival, celebrated on stage with a one-off event with photographer Rankin and curators Catharine MacLeod and Dylan Jones.


Festival media partners broadcast live from the Festival site, including free broadcasts of BBC favourites: BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz, Room 5 with Helena Merriman, The Life Scientific, Uncanny, Fortunately... with Fi and Jane, Add to Playlist with Cerys Matthews and Jeffrey Boakye, Screenshot with Ellen E Jones and Mark Kermode, You’re Dead to Me with Greg Jenner and Corin Throsby, Through the Storm with Gabriel Gatehouse, Start the Week with Helen Lewis, Damon Galgut, Margo Jefferson and Jennifer Egan, This Cultural Life with John Wilson, Death by Conspiracy, and War on Truth; BBC World’s Click; BBC Radio 3’s The Verb, Free Thinking, The Listening Service, and Classical Life; and BBC Radio Wales’ The Leak, Tonight at Hay, The Aberystwyth Book Club and The Arts Show. Meanwhile, Sky Arts broadcast a trio of bespoke panel shows – Big Hay Weekend – in front of a live Festival audience.


Festival events inspire the next generation of readers and writers with new fiction from Jacqueline Wilson (The Magic Faraway Tree), Hannah Lee (The Rapping Princess), Ben Okri (Every Leaf a Hallelujah), Joseph Coelho and Fiona Lumbers (Luna Loves Dance), Simon Mole (I Love my Cat), Joe Wicks (The Burpee Bears) and Michael Rosen’s poetry extravaganza; Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre (Kevin Vs the Unicorns), Konnie Huq (Cookie! Book 3: Cookie and the Most Mysterious Mystery in the World), Serena Patel (Anisha, Accidental Detective: Summer Camp), Laura Ellen Anderson (Rainbow Grey: Eye of the Storm), Alex Wharton (Daydreams and Jelly Beans), David Baddiel (The Boy who got Accidentally Famous), Liz Pichon (Tom Gates), Sharna Jackson (The Good Turn), Phil Earle (Whilst the Storm Rages), Annelise Grey (Circus Maximus: Rivals on the Track), Stephen Mangan and Anita Mangan (The Fart that Changed the World), Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston (Julia and The Shark), Greg James and Chris Smith (The Great Dream Robbery), Dom Conlon (Wild Wanderers Series), Lemn Sissay and Greg Stobbs (Don't ask the Dragon), Lenny Henry (The Boy with Wings), Smriti Halls (Who Are You?), Julian Clary and David Roberts (The Bolds Go Green), Madeleine Finlay (Beetles for Breakfast), Pamela Butchart (Wigglesbottom Primary: The Talking Lamb), David Farr (The Book of Stolen Dreams), Michael Morpurgo (There Once Is a Queen), Michelle Paver (Wolf Bane), Petr Horáček (A Best Friend for Bear), Laura Dockrill (Punk Rocker Poodle), Onjali Q Raúf (Hope on the Horizon), Krystal Sutherland (House of Hollow), Helen Rutter (The Boy Whose Wishes Came True) and Derek Landy (Skulduggery Pleasant); while Children’s Laureates from Wales and Ireland – Áine Ní Ghlinn, Casi Wyn and Connor Allen – join forces for a one-off event, and English Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell previews new work.

The world around us comes into focus in science and history events for young readers featuring Jess French (It's a Wonderful World), Amy and Ella Meek (Be Climate Clever), Robert Winston (Ask a Scientist), Miriam Quick (I Am a Book. I Am a Portal to the Universe), Allen Fatimaharan (We are the Egyptians), Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield (Make This Book Wild), Catherine Barr (Water: Protect Freshwater to Save our Earth), Francesca Simon (Two Terrible Vikings: Grunt the Berserker), David Olusoga (Black and British: An Illustrated History), Janina Ramirez (British Museum: Goddess: 50 Goddesses, Spirits, Saints and Other Female Figures who Have Shaped Belief), and Dr Ranj (Brain Power).

Young Festivalgoers are encouraged to get creative in the Make & Take Tent throughout the Festival, while there are workshops with Theraplay, University of Oxford’s Computer Science Department and Strong Young Minds. On stage, Rob Biddulph talks Draw with Rob; 20 years since the first publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Jonny Duddle offers Illustrating Harry Potter; Beano Boomics present Is it a book? No. Is it a comic ? No, Its a Boomic! Comic fun From the Beano Studios); and there are performances from James Mayhew (Once Upon a Tune), YolanDa's Band Jam and storytelling from Daniel Morden (A Ship of Fools).

Teen readers gain inspiration from YA writers including Jessie Burton (Medusa), Manjeet Mann (The Crossing), Manon Steffan Ros (The Blue Book of Nebo), Aneesa Marufu (The Balloon Thief), Lewis Hancox (Welcome to St. Hell), Danielle Jawando (When our Worlds Collided), Jenny Eclair (Writing on the Wall) and Nicola Davies (The Song That Sings Us).


KS2 events on Thursday 26 May see Wales Book of the Year 2021-winner Caryl Lewis introduce her new novel, Seed and Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell present Wizards and Magic. Anthony Horowitz discusses The Diamond Brother Detectives: Where Seagulls Dare; TV scientist Ben Garrod launches Extinct; Maz Evans offers VI Spy: Never say Whatever Again; BBC Radio 4’s Rich Knight talks If I ran the Country; Iszi Lawrence tells the stories of real-life heroic women in Billie Swift Takes Flight; engineer Roma Agrawal shares How Was That Built?; MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman launch the fifth book in their bestseller Adventures on Trains series, Sabotage on the Solar Express; Piers Torday discusses his prequel novel The Wild Before; Nadia Shireen introduces the weird and wonderful animals of Grimwood; and Elle McNicoll presents her magical fantasy Like a Charm.

KS3/4 events on Friday 27 May see Welsh poet and playwright Eric Ngalle Charles perform Homelands and Nigerian-Welsh writer Natasha Bowen offer her unforgettable love story infused with West African mythology, Skin of the Sea. Jacqueline Wilson discusses Baby Love; television’s first lady of the paranormal and presenter of Most Haunted Yvette Fielding talks The House in the Woods; novelist Alex Wheatle shares Kemosha of the Caribbean; Christine Pillainayagam debuts her novel, Ellie Pillai is Brown; Femi Fadugba presents his debut title, The Upper World; Louisa Reid shares the unique power of the verse novel with Wrecked/Gloves Off; Everyday Sexism founder Laura Bates launches her new novel, The Trial; Jeffrey Boakye presents What is Masculinity? Why Does it Matter? And Other big Questions; “Queen of Teen Thrillers” Sophie McKenzie talks Truth or Dare; and podcaster and author Alexis Caught offers Queer Up: An Uplifting Guide to LGBTQ+ Love, Life, and Mental Health.

A special gala event to celebrate the 35th anniversary year of Hay Festival will take place in London on Thursday 7 April as writers and performers share the literary works that have most inspired them over the years along with anecdotes from their favourite Festival moments. Tickets are available now at www.hayfestival.org/p-18658-hay-festival-tales.aspx.