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What is the potential of complex, ambiguous, wordless picture books and short films as springboards for children’s critical and creative discussions about the world and how we live together in it? Fiona Maine is a lecturer in literacy education at Cambridge University.
Horatio Clare, author of Something of His Art: Walking to Lübeck with JS Bach, The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal and Running for the Hills, will look at writers inspired by the Welsh border landscape including Coleridge, the Wordsworths, Bruce Chatwin and David Jones, and will explore what it means to walk in the footsteps of writers and walkers.
Please wear appropriate footwear. Numbers are limited. There will be a bus journey to and from the walk location; return to Festival site by 1pm.
A Book Club like no other, as our favourite literary vaudevillians read Orwell’s 1984 and Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and think about how things might actually be WORSE. Crace writes the satirical Digested Reads for the Guardian where he is also parliamentary sketch-writer. Sutherland is Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of English at UCL and the go-to senior Eng-Lit Super-Don.
The author of the multi-award-winning The Invention of Nature introduces her magical collaboration with the artist Lillian Melcher. Meet Alexander von Humboldt: the great lost scientist, visionary, thinker and daring explorer; the man who first predicted climate change, who has more things named after him than anyone else (including a sea on the moon), and who has inspired generations of writers, thinkers and revolutionaries. With encounters with indigenous peoples, missionaries, colonists and jaguars, and incorporating Humboldt’s own sketches, drawings and manuscripts, this is a thrilling adventure story of history’s most daring scientist. Chaired by Oliver Balch.
The historian selects letters that have changed the course of global events or expressed a timeless idea – whether passion, rage or humour – from ancient times to the 21st century. Some are noble and inspiring, some despicable and unsettling, some are exquisite works of literature, others brutal, coarse and frankly outrageous; many are erotic, others heartbreaking. His correspondents range from Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great to Mandela, Stalin and Picasso, from Fanny Burney and Emily Pankhurst to Ada Lovelace and Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, Leonard Cohen, Lincoln, Trump and Suleiman the Magnificent.
Evaristo’s fabulous Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years. Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible. Evaristo also appears in Busby’s New Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent.
A circular walk from Hay, heading along the Wye Valley Walk, passing a former golf course, to Pool Pardon and a delightful garden tea room cottage with artisan produce. After refreshments, we continue our loop back via Priory Farm and across fields to Mouse Castle Woods and Cusop Church before our descent into Hay. Strong boots and all-weather clothing recommended. Distance 9 miles. Ascent 300 metres.
Join author Anne Rooney on a journey to the prehistoric age. Walk alongside the massive megalosaurus, take to the skies with terrific pterosaurs and dive to the depths of an ancient ocean with the incredible ichthyosaur. Keep your eyes open, though – you never know what other creatures you might meet along the way. Dinosaur Atlas was shortlisted for the Royal Society’s 2018 Young People’s Book Prize.
David Long tells the extraordinary stories of amazingly brave animals – dogs, horses, cats and even birds. Their intelligence and loyalty as well as their courage is a model for all,and David explores what humans might learn from them as he retells their fascinating true stories.
Ever wondered what a giant’s favourite treat is, or how to find a fairy’s missing wand? Join the Guillains in fairyland and see what happens when you climb a beanstalk. Packed with storytelling and songs – get ready to laugh and sing along.
Come and join Rooted Forest School (rootedforestschool.co.uk) for an outdoor family session inspired by the Forest School approach. We will be making charcoal on the fire, using natural pigments to create our own paint, making brushes from found materials and creating communal land art. These sessions are aimed at families and will run whatever the weather, so make sure you’re wrapped up for the conditions.
Join us in NMiTE’s Studio 1, a hi-tech refurbished shipping container, to explore ideas through making. Experience how highly creative and technological engineering can be. NMiTE is located in Hereford and aims to be the city’s first university with a focus on engineering.
Sign up at the venue for 10am, 11.30am or 1pm. Ingenuity Studio 1 free drop-in sessions for families take place between 2.30pm and 5pm, Sunday 26 May – Saturday 1 June.
Climate change and energy scientist Stephen Peake will discuss the future of education in the climate emergency. Dr Stephen Peake is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Technologies at the Open University.
Part of The Open University’s 50th anniversary celebrations
Susskind confronts one of the most important questions of our time: how will digital technology transform politics and society? The great political debate of the last century was about how much of our collective life should be determined by the state and what should be left to the market and civil society. In the future, the question will be how far our lives should be directed and controlled by powerful digital systems - and on what terms? Those who control these technologies - usually big tech firms and the state - will increasingly control us. Their algorithms will resolve vital questions of social justice, allocating social goods and sorting us into hierarchies of status and esteem. They will decide the future of democracy, causing it to flourish or decay.
We re-read the contemporary classic, narrated by Death and first published in 2007.
It is 1939. In Nazi Germany, the country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier - and will become busier still.
By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed forever when she picks up a single object, abandoned in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, and this is her first act of book thievery. So begins Liesel's love affair with books and words, and soon she is stealing from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library . . . wherever there are books to be found.
The Australian novelist talks to Stephanie Merritt, who also writes historical fiction as SJ Parris. Zusak’s latest novel is Bridge of Clay.
Shafak’s 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World is an intensely powerful new novel from the bestselling author of The Bastard of Istanbul and Honour. For Leila, each minute after her death brings a sensuous memory: the taste of a stew of spiced goat, sacrificed by her father to celebrate the long-awaited birth of a son; the sight of bubbling vats of lemon and sugar which the women use to wax their legs while the men attend mosque; the scent of cardamom coffee that Leila shares with a handsome student in the brothel where she works. Each memory, too, recalls the friends she made at each key moment in her life.
HAYDAYS' favourite Judith Kerr returns to introduce her forthcoming illustrated chapter book, published in June to celebrate her 96th birthday. She talks about her amazing life and work including When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the Mog stories. Judith will be in conversation with Claire Armitstead, Associate Culture Editor, the Guardian.
Award-winning wordsmith, hip hop artist and poet Karl Nova will perform pieces from his new book Rhythm and Poetry. Karl stitches and weaves his performance to tell stories that are humorous, personal and inspirational. He will perform freestyle, inviting the audience to challenge him to create a verse on the spot.
How do you create a compelling adventure that keeps readers guessing? Join bestselling authors Emma Carroll and Lisa Thompson as they discuss building suspense and keeping readers hooked in their page-turning stories including Secrets of a Sun King and The Day I Was Erased. Chaired by Darren Chetty.