Welcome to our Early Bird programme. The full programme will be released at the end of March.
Wake up and re-energise with our morning yoga class. Iyengar yoga is characterised by precision, alignment and attention to detail and is an inclusive and accessible yoga practice. Mats are provided; wear comfortable clothing; all abilities welcome. Wye Valley Yoga
What is the best Booker winner? To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the fiction prize, five judges have each selected what they think is the best winner of each decade since 1968. The shortlist result will be announced at Hay on 26 May. Wood, the Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, hosts an all-star panel who will have read the shortlisted books and will pick a Hay winner. Sands won the non-fiction Baillie Gifford Prize for East West Street. Turkish author Shafak’s novels include Honour, The Forty Rules of Love and Three Daughters of Eve. The Colombian novelist Gabriel Vasquez won the Premio Alfaguara and the IMPAC award for The Sound of Things Falling. His latest novel is The Shape of the Ruins.
Imagine a future in which humans fundamentally reshape the natural world using nanotechnology, synthetic biology, de-extinction and climate engineering. Emerging technologies promise to give us the power to take over some of nature’s most basic operations. It is not just that we are exiting the Holocene and entering the Anthropocene; it is that we are leaving behind the time in which planetary change is just the unintended consequence of unbridled industrialism. The philosophy professor argues that a world designed by engineers and technicians means the birth of the planet’s first Synthetic Age. Chaired by Gabrielle Walker.
A rare interview with the former Prime Minister of Israel, the most decorated soldier in his country’s history and author of a new memoir. Barak is a fierce proponent of a two-state solution for a lasting peace with Palestinians, with a shared capital in Jerusalem. He reflects on the current state of the peace process, on Israeli, Arab and American politicians and on the opportunities that are still available.
Bronwen Maddox is the director of The Institute for Government. She was previously editor of Prospect and Foreign Editor of The Times.
Can art and business coexist, or does a drive for profit lead to the end of creative integrity? From art to literature, fashion to ceramics, four creative pioneers discuss the tensions between art and the corporate world with former Minister for Culture, Ed Vaizey, jewellery designer Theo Fennell, economist Linda Yueh, Jo Jo Maman Bebe founder Laura Tenison and curator at The Wedgwood Museum Gaye Blake-Roberts.
The Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford leads a walk through ancient woodland at Whitney-on-Wye talking about her acclaimed book, The Long, Long Life of Trees, a lyrical tribute to the diversity of trees, drawing on material from folklore, natural science, literature, cultural history, European art, ancient mythology and modern medicine to illuminate each tree’s central place in Western civilisation. Walk accompanied by naturalist and forester Tom Fairfield and Lydia Robbins.
Adam Rutherford and guests discuss some of the big ideas in science today.
Broadcast on Thursday 7 June at 4:30pm and repeated at 9:30pm
Join the author and illustrator for a dinosaur event with a difference. Hear Rob talk about how he became a children’s author and illustrator, listen to him read from his latest book and take part in creating some dinosaurs of your own.
What does it take to be a Dragonsitter? Could you be one? This is your opportunity to find out. Join the author and illustrator to learn about The Dragonsitter series in a fun-filled event packed full of storytelling and live-drawing.
Come to our extraordinary hand-writing workshop. Learn all there is to know about the science behind ink and quills, make your own colours from vegetables, follow the trail of ink on paper with chromatography and lose yourself in the realm of optical illusions and STEM.
Create the wildest creature you can imagine and make it come to life and run loose over the Hay Festival site in this exciting digital animation and projection workshop. You will design your own 2D digital creature on an iPad and animate it, then you’ll learn about video mapping and projection and have a chance to see your creations projected 30ft high. In the evening MASH Cinema will be in guerrilla mode projecting your monsters all over the Festival site and we'll make a film of the projections that will be available to watch later.
Come to this family and children's nature adventure session run by Rooted Forest School in the Hay Festival Wild Garden. Join in a range of outdoor, Forest School-inspired activities including nature games, natural crafts and making, fire skills, foraging and cooking.
(parents must attend but do not require a ticket)
Join Sophy for a storytelling session and live draw-along where children will learn how to depict some of the adorable animal characters from her book Almost Anything, and then make their own magic hats; materials provided.
The eminent neurologist examines the stories of people whose symptoms are so strange that even their doctor struggles to know how to treat them. A man who sees cartoon characters running across the room; a teenager who one day arrives home with inexplicably torn clothes; a girl whose world turns all Alice in Wonderland; another who transforms into a ragdoll whenever she even thinks about moving. The brain is the most complex structure in the universe and neurologists must puzzle out life-changing diagnoses from the tiniest of clues – it’s the ultimate in medical detective work. O’Sullivan’s book about psychosomatic illness, It’s All in Your Head, won both the Wellcome Book Prize and the Royal Society of Biology Book Prize. She talks to Rosie Boycott.
Since the days of Adam Smith, economists have grappled with a series of familiar problems but often their ideas are hard to digest, even before we try to apply them to today’s issues. Yueh is renowned for her combination of erudition, as an accomplished economist herself, and accessibility, as a leading writer and broadcaster in this field. She explains the key thoughts of history’s greatest economists, how our lives have been influenced by their ideas and how they could help us with the policy challenges we face today.
The Great Storm of 1987 is etched firmly into the national memory. Everyone who was there that night remembers how hurricane-force winds struck southern Britain without warning, claiming 18 lives, uprooting more than 15 million trees and reshaping the landscape for future generations. Thirty years on, the discovery of an old photograph inspires the author to make a journey into that landscape. Weaving her own memories and personal experiences with those of fishermen and lighthouse keepers, rough sleepers and refugees, she creates a unique portrait of this extraordinary event and a moving exploration of legacy and loss. Chaired by Corisande Albert.
In troubling times, it’s tempting to retreat to our comfort zones, to be with people just like us. But what if actively seeking the unfamiliar was proven to be the key to a brighter future – both personally and for society at large? In this fierce, empowering call to arms, Sarpong uncovers how a new approach to how we work, learn and live can help us reach our maximum potential, lessen the pressure on the State and solve some of the most stubborn challenges we face.
Tom Sutcliffe presents Radio 4’s flagship programme of ideas, exploring our desire to survive – from Homer’s epic poetry to global pandemics – with guests Emily Wilson, Antony Beevor, David Christian and Jonathan D. Quick.
Broadcast every Monday at 9am on BBC Radio 4
Meet the beetles that inspired the entomological trilogy. M.G Leonard and Max Barclay, Curator and Collections Manager of Coleoptera at the Natural History Museum, introduce the wonderful world of beetles through the important collection owned by the Museum, which is where the trilogy begins. Starring actual beetles from Charles Darwin’s Beagle voyage and from the Alfred Russel Wallace collection.