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The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June. We very much look forward to seeing you in May.

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Travel

Hugo Spowers, Fiona Clancy and Will Vaughan talk to Andy Fryers

Transport Futures

Event 5 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Hugo Spowers, Fiona Clancy and Will Vaughan talk to Andy Fryers

Spowers is the Chief Engineer and Founder of Riversimple, whose goal is simple – to pursue, systematically, the elimination of the environmental impact of personal transport. Spowers, Clancy and their team have created Rasa, a super-efficient, hydrogen-powered car. They are joined by Will Vaughan, CEO of Hereford Pedicabs and Cargo, who provide financially and environmentally sustainable services by bike – including parcel delivery, trade waste recycling, inner city advertising and pedicab hire.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Mark Purcell

What I Found in the Library

Event 22 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Mark Purcell

For 600 years, exquisitely produced volumes stored everything we know – from Gutenberg’s bibles to Newton’s Principia and Austen’s Persuasion. Purcell tells a rollicking tale of discoveries and bibliophile treasures from some of Britain’s greatest private library collections that are now saved for the nation. Purcell was formerly Libraries Curator for the National Trust and is now Deputy Director of Research Collections at Cambridge University Library.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Chris Boardman talks to William Fotheringham

Triumph and Turbulence

Event 28 Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

Chris Boardman talks to William Fotheringham

A conversation with the legendary British cyclist, gold medallist in the Barcelona Olympics, Tour de France hero, and latterly the backroom ‘marginal gains’  genius of British cycling in his role as head of the R&D team, The Secret Squirrels.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Victoria Hislop talks to Rosie Goldsmith

Cartes Postales from Greece

Event 56 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Victoria Hislop talks to Rosie Goldsmith

The beloved, bestselling author’s new novel is illustrated with photographs that make this journey around Greece, already alive in the imagination, linger forever in the mind. Hislop’s other Greek novels include The Island and The Thread.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Michael Rosen

The Disappearance of Emile Zola

Event 83 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Michael Rosen

18 July 1898 and the world-renowned novelist Emile Zola is on the run. His crime? Intervening in the Dreyfus case and taking on the highest powers in France with his open letter J’accuse. Forced to leave Paris with nothing but the clothes he is standing in and a nightshirt wrapped in newspaper, Zola flees to England with no idea when he will return. This is the little-known story of his time in exile. Rosen offers an intriguing insight into the mind, the loves, the politics and the work of the great writer.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Bettany Hughes

Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities

Event 111 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Bettany Hughes

The historian tells the story of the three-in-one great cities of Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul, which has long been the gateway between East and West. Archaeologists have measured 42 layers of human inhabitation here on the Bosphorus over the past 6,000 years. It has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires and, for many years, was known simply as The City.

Price: £9.30
 
 

Olga Tokarczuk talks to Claire Armitstead

Fictions: Flights

Event 170 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Olga Tokarczuk talks to Claire Armitstead

A rare interview with the great Polish novelist, who discusses her multi-award-winning fiction Flights. Perfectly intertwining travel narratives and reflections on travel with observations on the body and on life and death, Tokarczuk guides the reader beyond the surface layer of modernity and deeper and deeper towards the core of the very nature of humankind. From the C17th, we have the story of the real Dutch anatomist Philip Verheyen, who dissected and drew pictures of his own amputated leg, discovering in so doing the Achilles tendon. From the present we have the trials and tribulations of a wife accompanying her much older professor husband as he teaches a course on a cruise ship in the Greek islands, or the quest of a Polish woman who immigrated to New Zealand as a teen but must now return in order to poison her terminally ill high school sweetheart…

Price: £7.30
 
 

Alys Fowler

Hidden Nature: A Voyage of Discovery

Event 184 Venue: Starlight Stage

Leaving her garden to the mercy of the slugs, award-winning writer Alys Fowler set out in an inflatable kayak to explore Birmingham’s canal network, full of little-used waterways where huge pike skulk and kingfishers dart. Her memoir is about noticing the wild everywhere and what it means to see beauty where you least expect it. What happens when someone who has learned to observe her external world in such detail decides to examine her internal world with the same care? Chaired by Lucy Cotter.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Lighting Up Lives: Solar Technology Programme in Kenya

Event S5 Venue: The Storytelling Nook

Come along to our immersive lantern-lit tented Storytelling Nook to listen to tales from around the world with Veronica Lamond and Auntie Kiko, and experience how solar light is making a difference to millions of families in Africa.

Family event
Drop in

Alastair Sawday talks to Kitty Corrigan

Travelling Light: Journeys Among Special People and Places

Event 271 Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

The campaigner, publisher and wanderer has spent his life travelling: “The richer our imaginations, the richer our travel experience. We British do things one way and the Spaniards another; there are unlimited ways of doing everything. Kindness is found in unexpected places, as is eccentricity. Eccentrics are an endangered species and need as much protection as does the house sparrow.”

Price: £7.30