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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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Charlie English

The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu

Event 180 Venue: Oxfam Moot

A medieval centre of learning, Hay’s twin-town was home to tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts on subjects ranging from religion to poetry, law to history, pharmacology to astronomy. When al-Qaeda–linked jihadists surged across Mali in 2012, a remarkable thing happened: a team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the manuscripts into hiding. This is their story. Chaired by Francine Stock.

Price: £8.30

Marie-Elsa Bragg talks to Rowan Williams

Fictions: Towards Mellbreak

Event 182 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Marie-Elsa Bragg talks to Rowan Williams

Bragg’s novel is a hymn both to the landscape of Cumbria and to a disappearing farming world. Poetic, beautiful and tragic, it gives an account of the struggle to preserve traditions and beliefs in the face of change. It is a quietly bold indictment of the treatment of generations of British men, and an assertion of the power to be found in the rituals we pass down through our families. She talks to the poet, academic and former Archbishop of Canterbury.

Price: £6.30