Hay Festival 2019 Programme

BOX OFFICE: 01497 822629

Event 61

Antiquarian & Rare Book Auction

Venue: Oliver Usher's Auction Rooms, John Street
Read more

A pre-festival treasure trove for book-lovers. More than 600 lots, including a three-volume set of the Book of Kells (Codex Cenannensis) Verlag edition 1950, volumes of Irish literature, rare maps, books on 1916 and the War of Independence, topography and travel books, papers and ephemera from Meath and the surrounding counties.


Download PDF of the Auction Catalogue.

This event has taken place

Event 62

Launch of Kells Type Trail

Venue: Church of Ireland
Read more

This year’s Type Trail is a celebration of the legacy of the Book of Kells and the illustrated text produced by the monks in the Kells monastic settlement. The annual Type Trail treats modern typography as an art form at various locations and sites throughout the town, employing language to celebrate the growing internationality of the town’s community.



Maps of the trail are available from the Tourist Information Office in Kells.

This event has taken place

Event 1

Karrie Fransman

The House That Groaned

Venue: Eirgrid Stage
Read more

The graphic novelist and comic strip creator talks about her latest novel, about the oddball tenants of a shared London house. ‘A brilliant gothic description of the atomized nature of city living’ – Metro.


This event is not suitable for children.

This event has taken place

Event 2

Meeting Future Energy Needs

The Eirgrid Debates 1

Venue: Eirgrid Stage
Read more

More than 1.3 billion people currently lack access to electricity, while a burgeoning global middle class is demanding more. How can we meet these energy needs while still reining in greenhouse gas emissions?

This event has taken place

Event 3

Tiffany Murray

Reading Literature – Creative Writing Workshop

Venue: Church of Ireland Hall
Read more

A creative writing workshop for students aged 16-19 years. Murray, who was Hay International Fellow 2011–2012, is the author of two novels, Happy Accidents and Diamond Star Halo. She is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glamorgan.

16–19 years

This event has taken place

Event 4

Arena

Recording

Venue: Eirgrid Stage (Kenlis Suite)
Read more

Join Festival authors and artists for the recording of RTÉ's daily arts and popular cultural show Arena.

ENTRY TO THIS EVENT IS FREE BUT PLEASE RESERVE A TICKET

This event has taken place

Event 5

Owen Sheers

Pink Mist – Reading followed by Q&A

Venue: Eirgrid Stage
Read more

A reading from this verse drama originally broadcast over a week on Radio 4. Three school friends return from Afghanistan to face the consequences of their tours, for them and the women in their lives. Drawn from interviews with wounded veterans, Pink Mist is a lyric narrative of rare dramatic and emotional intensity. Followed by Q&A with poet Nerys Williams.

‘Breathtaking, unforgettable’ – Dannie Abse.

‘A phenomenal poem’ – Captain Ed Poytner, 2 Rifles.

This event has taken place

Event 7

Lisa Dwan

Not I

Venue: Breslin Stage
Read more

Lisa reprises her performance of Samuel Beckett’s play Not I, which she performed to rave reviews earlier this year at London’s The Royal Court. Followed by Q&A session with Elizabeth Hunt.

‘It was a privilege to hear her’ – 5-star review from Lyn Gardner, The Guardian.

This event has taken place

Event 8

Germaine Greer

Shakespeare’s Lovers

Venue: Eirgrid Stage
Read more

Shakespeare is the inventor of the comedy of wooing and wiving; his idea of the lover has more in common with Justin Bieber than with Mr Darcy. What can we learn from the example of Shakespeare’s boy lovers? Shakespeare’s notions may be closer to female fantasy than we think.

This event has taken place

Event 9

Frank McGuinness and Nerys Williams

Venue: Church of Ireland
Read more

Frank McGuinness, the playwright and poet, author of The Factory Girls and the screenplay of Dancing At Lughnasa, and Nerys Williams, a native Welsh speaker and recipient of a Fulbright Scholar’s Award at UC Berkeley, whose latest book is entitled Sound Archive, read from their collections of poetry.

This event has taken place

Event 10

Jeanette Winterson

The Biggest Book Club in Ireland

Venue: Eirgrid Stage
Read more
The author of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, The Daylight Gate and The Passion introduces her fabulous memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
This event has taken place

Event 11

Owen Sheers

Calon: A Journey To The Heart Of Welsh Rugby

Venue: Church of Ireland
Read more

This year’s Hay Festival International Fellow spent the last year as Artist in Residence with the WRU and has produced this astonishing book about sport, about myth, about nationhood and identity. He talks to Hugh Cahill of RTÉ Sport.

This event has taken place

Event 12

Fred Cooke

Ready Freddie Cooke?

Venue: Eirgrid Stage
Read more

The big man himself, Kells’ own comedian and author, presents his unique, playful brand of musical comedy.

‘Comedy genius; he has so much energy that he could power a small village in the west of Kerry’ – The Laughter Lounge. ‘High octane, manic brand of surreal genius’ – Munster Express.

This event has taken place

Event 13

Guided Tour of Girley Bog

Eco Walk With Oliver Usher

Venue: Girley Bog (Trailhead 7km out of Kells on N52)
Read more

Girley Bog is a site of considerable conservation significance, as it comprises raised bog, a rare habitat in Europe and one that is becoming increasingly scarce and under threat in Ireland. The loop covers a variety of landscape including forest and bogland, where there is a wonderful variety of birdlife, plants and animals.

This event has taken place

Event 14

Sustaining A Growing Population

The Eirgrid Debates 2

Venue: Eirgrid Stage
Read more

With the world’s population expected to hit 10 billion by 2100, the earth’s capacity to sustain the human population and its increasing demands remains a critical issue. What are the energy implications for Ireland? What will be the balance between technological breakthrough and lifestyle change?

This event has taken place

Event 15

The Secret of Kells

Film Screening

Venue: Breslin Stage
Read more

Follow 12-year-old Brendan as he battles Vikings and confronts an ancient serpent god on a mission to locate a legendary crystal…


Film: 78 minutes. PG.


All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

This event has taken place

Event 16

Sarah Webb

Interactive Nursery Rhyme Fun

Venue: Church of Ireland Hall
Read more

Join Sarah as she shares Irish and international rhymes from her popular collection Sally Go Round The Stars with young children and their parents.


3–5 years


All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

This event has taken place

Event 17

Gabriel Rosenstock

Venue: Church of Ireland
Read more

Údar/aistritheoir breis is 160 leabhar é Gabriel Rosenstock, dánta, haiku, úrscéalta, leabhair do dhaoine óga, drámaí, gearrscéalta, aistí agus eile ina measc.

Haiku master Gabriel Rosenstock will conduct a bilingual haiku workshop in Irish and English. Rosenstock's Irish translation of the haiku of Jack Kerouac, sioc maidine/morning frost, was recently launched at the Dublin Writers Festival. Internationally known as a poet and haikuist, Rosenstock's titles include Haiku Englightenment and Haiku, The Gentle Art of Disappearing (Cambridge Scholars Publishing). Come and learn how to write and enjoy haiku.

Irish language event

This event has taken place

Event 18

Donna Mullen in conversation

Law And The Environment

Venue: Eirgrid Stage
Read more

What are the benefits to society of an unpolluted environment? Donna Mullen, a director at The Irish Environmental Network discusses this and their current Constitutional Campaign.

This event has taken place

Event 19

Sarah Webb

Writing The Book of Kells

Venue: Church of Ireland Hall
Read more

An innovative writing workshop based on the famous book. Sarah will introduce the Book of Kells in a fun, accessible way and will help young writers to create an original story idea, based in the 9th century. She will also help them to design their own Book of Kells-inspired name-script and symbols.


10+ years


All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

This event has taken place

Explore All Genres