Welcome to the Hay Festival Podcast, supported by our friends at Baillie Gifford, where we release remixed conversations with the world's greatest writers and thinkers from our festivals around the world.
For the last episode of this series, stars of literature, stage and screen come together to celebrate the unique power of words in our very special Hay Festival 2021 Gala. Join host Natalie Haynes for this evening of joy and celebration with guests including Stephen Fry, Louise Brealey, Hafsa Zayyan, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Rob Brydon, Clemency Burton-Hill, Juno Dawson and many more.
Poet and Professor of Languages Mererid Hopwood selects Ifor ap Glyn from Hay Festival 2017, who took Hedd Wyn as his theme for the Gwyn Jones Hay Festival Lecture, Rutger Bregman discussing his book Humankind with Lily Cole at Hay Festival 2020 and Daniel Williams, Leanne Wood and Michael Sheen discussing the work of Raymond Williams at Hay Festival 2021.
Artist, poet, rapper, literary activist and songwriter Rufus Mufusa selects Caleb Femi talking about his astounding debut collection to Max Porter from the Hay Book of the Month, November 2020, Kayo Chingonyi accepting the International Dylan Thomas Prize from Hay Festival 2018, and the award winning poet and linguaphile Mererid Hopwood from Hay Festival 2020.
The award winning author of Bearmouth Liz Hyder selects Jackie Morris and Robert Macfarlane talking Lost Spells at the Winter Weekend 2020, the magnificent mathematician Marcus du Sautoy from Hay Festival 2013, and the incomparable Lemn Sissay performing his poetry at Hay Festival 2017.
Writer, novelist and columnist Tahmima Anam selects her very first Hay event back in 2012 with Helena Kennedy, Joan Bakewell, Martin Rees and Anita Anand, Shahidul Alam speaking at Hay Festival Dhaka in 2014 and the novelist, cultural commentator and founder of Palfest, Ahdaf Soueif talking to George Alagiah at Hay Festival 2017.
Writer, broadcaster and comedian Natalie Haynes has chosen Colm Toibin and Lisa Dwan giving a rehearsed reading of Pale Sister in 2018, Troy Story, the Trojan War from a female perspective, an event she presented with Chris Riddell at Hay Festival 2020, and star gazer Maggie Aderin Pocock’s event from the Winter Weekend in 2018.
Former BBC journalist, writer, presenter and director of the European Literature Network Rosie Goldsmith selects the incomparable Clive James from 2007, the Man Booker International Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk from 2010 and the David and Ben Crystal double act from the Winter Weekend in 2014.
The Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford and author of Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration, selects Adam Rutherford on the Book of Humans from 2019, Matt Hancock talking to Amol Rajan pre-Covid in 2018 and Jeanette Winterson giving the Raymond Williams lecture in 2016.
In Series 3 of the Hay Festival Podcast we celebrate the Hay interviewer. We have asked some of our regular interviewers to choose their own personal Hay moments from the festival archive.
Associate Editor for Culture at The Guardian Claire Armitstead selects poet, writer, musician and activist Akala, speaking about his memoir Native, Professor of Psychology Sarah-Jayne Blakemore on the secret life of the teenage brain, both from Hay Festival 2018, and the award-winning Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh from 2019.
Magazine Journalist Kitty Corrigan selects nature writer and farmer John Lewis-Stempel from 2015, award-winning British-Turkish novelist Elif Shafak from 2013, and one of the major poets of the 20th Century and Nobel Prize winner for literature, the magnificent Seamus Heaney from Hay Festival 2006.
The author and editor of GQ selects the remarkable Tracy Emin speaking in 2017, Simon Schama on the Story of the Jews, an epic tale of endurance against destruction, from Hay Festival 2014 and Brigadier James Cowan, who commanded the Black Watch in Iraq and the multinational 11 Brigade in Helmand from 2011.
The Professor of Law and author of Baillie Gifford Prize winning East West Street and Sunday Times bestseller The Ratline selects President Jimmy Carter from 2008, the Director of Public Prosecutions, now Leader of the Labour party, Keir Starmer speaking in 2012 and interpreter Amanda Galsworthy in 2013.
A reflection on poetry and the Great War, sampling the Josephine Hart Poetry Hour and our Armistice anthology, The Echoes Last So Long with actors Eileen Atkins and Dan Stevens and poets Margaret Atwood, Tishani Doshi, Mererid Hopwood, Ulrike Almut Sandig and Owen Sheers.
A very brief introduction to machine learning, neural networks, darkest fears and wild intelligence as dreamed into being by Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing. Garry Kasparov and Stephen Fry, Beth Singler, James Scott, Ian McEwan, Marcus du Sautoy, Nigel Shadbolt and Margaret Boden share insights into Artificial Intelligence, fiction and (then) fact.
In this first episode of the new series we glean insight and analysis of the historical and contemporary context of Global Health, zoonotic disease and pandemics from experts including Mary Dobson, Jeremy Farrar, Thomas J Bollyky, Devi Sridhar, Chelsea Clinton and Sally Davies.
Matthew Francis’ re-telling of the first four stories of the Welsh classic The Mabinogi is the first to situate it in poetry, and captures the magic and strangeness of this medieval Celtic world. Permeating the whole sequence is a delight in the power of the imagination to transform human experience into works of tragedy, comedy and wonder. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.
A compelling and hilarious rallying call for our times from superstar journalist and author Caitlin Moran tackling topics as pressing and diverse as a women-only language, flawed heroes, and the reasons the internet is like a drunken toddler, in conversation with Stephanie Merritt.
How did humans turn themselves from hustling African apes into the rulers of planet earth? The Israeli historian and philosopher Yuval Noah Harari looks at the secrets of our success and explores the themes of his bestselling debut Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind in conversation with Rosie Boycott at Hay Festival Cartagena in January 2016.
The Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists talks about how she discovered Gabriel García Márquez. She responds to his statement “I am a journalist above everything else” in an intriguing exploration of how imagination turns historical fact into fictional truths.
Stephen Fry and the international human rights lawyer Philippe Sands discuss his award-winning book East West Street, a compelling family detective story and exploration of the legal principles that defined the Nuremberg War Trials. It's riveting and exacting and you'd expect that, of course. But it's also hilarious, and the laughter is the light in this deep darkness.