Lyse Doucet, David Harewood, Robert Minhinnick and Jacqueline Wilson to receive Hay Festival medals

Hay Festival has today announced the recipients of this year’s Hay Festival Medals to be awarded at the 35th spring edition, 26 May–5 June, in the booktown of Hay-on-Wye. 

Awarded annually since Britain’s 2012 Olympic year, the Medals draw inspiration from the original Olympic medal for poetry. With Athena as muse, silversmith Christopher Hamilton crafts them locally. 

Recipients for 2022 are Lyse Doucet (Medal for Journalism), David Harewood (Medal for Drama), Robert Minhinnick (Medal for Poetry) and Jacqueline Wilson (Medal for Fiction). 

Lyse Doucet is the BBC's chief international correspondent and has been reporting for the BBC for nearly 30 years, with posts in Abidjan, Kabul, Islamabad, Tehran, Amman and Jerusalem. She joined the BBC's team of presenters in 1999 but most of her time is spent reporting from abroad, most recently in Ukraine where she has covered the Russian invasion. 

David Harewood trained as an actor at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He is best known for his roles in Homeland and Supergirl. His critically acclaimed BBC documentary Psychosis and Me received a BAFTA nomination for best documentary. Maybe I Don't Belong Here is his first book.

Robert Minhinnick is the prize-winning author of four volumes of essays, more than a dozen volumes of poetry, and four works of fiction. He has also edited a book on the environment in Wales, has written for television, and provided columns for The Western Mail and Planet. He is the co-founder of the environmental organisation Sustainable Wales, and was formerly the editor of Poetry Wales. 

Jacqueline Wilson wrote her first novel when she was nine years old, and she has been writing ever since. She is now one of Britain's bestselling and most loved children's authors. She has written over 100 books and is the creator of characters such as Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather. More than 40 million copies of her books have been sold. 

Previous Hay Festival Medal recipients include Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith, George Monbiot, John le Carré, Laura Marling, Inua Ellams, Hilary Mantel, Lydia Cacho, Emerald Fennell and Ahdaf Soueif. 

Hay Festival international director Cristina Fuentes La Roche said: “Hay Festival Medals this year will be awarded to honour exceptional work in journalism, drama, poetry and fiction as we celebrate four of the most vital storytellers of our time. While we look forward to welcoming audiences back in Hay-on-Wye next month to imagine the world anew, it’s a joy to celebrate this quartet whose work has touched the lives of many.”

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. 

Taking place 26 May–5 June 2022, this will be the 35th spring Hay Festival edition, featuring more than 600 writers, thinkers and performers in over 500 in-person events through 11 days. 

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.

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 welcome harder-to-reach communities, while a plethora of new sustainability measures will help to tackle the environmental impacts of running a festival.

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. 

Explore the full Hay Festival 2022 line-up here.