News and Live Updates from Hay Festival 2019

Hay Festival 2021 unveils digital programme

Hay Festival has today revealed its free digital programme for its 34th spring edition, bringing writers and readers together for an inspiring array of conversations, debates, workshops and performances online, Wednesday 26 May to Sunday 6 June. 

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Our January Book of the Month is...
All the Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks is Hay Festival Book of the Month for January. The author joins us live online 26 January at 7pm in conversation with Philippe Sands with copies over on our bookshop for sale now. Read more
A statement from Caroline Michel, chair of Hay Festival

A statement from Hay Festival chair Caroline Michel:

"What happened to our colleague and friend Caitlin McNamara in Abu Dhabi last February was an appalling violation and a hideous abuse of trust and position. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan made a mockery of his ministerial responsibilities and tragically undermined his government's attempt to work with Hay Festival to promote free speech and female empowerment.

"We continue to support Caitlin in seeking legal redress for this attack and we urge our friends and partners in the UAE to reflect on the behaviour of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and send a clear signal to the world that such behaviour will not be tolerated.  Hay Festival will not be returning to Abu Dhabi while he remains in position."

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Hay Festival Wales Programme for Schools revealed

Hay Festival Wales has today unveiled the Programme for Schools for this spring’s edition, 21-31 May, merging award-winning writers with inspiring new takes on science and history reimagined...

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Oh Happy Hay

The Kingdom Choir moved Heaven and Earth as they closed Hay Festival 2019.

Picture by Sam Hardwick

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Fire and Freedom

“I love the feeling of being lost in a story,” said Ken Follett at Hay. 

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The Rule Of Law
Thomas Grant and Geoffrey Robertson, two of the UK's leading legal thinkers, cross-examined the British justice system today at Hay.  Read more
Hay Festival top picks, Sunday 2 June.  Read more
Remembering Doggerland

“It’s an absurd book to take on” -  that was Julia Blackburn’s verdict on Time Song  which bridges the gap between absence and presence.

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Technology transforms Education
Technology’s importance to the education sector was the subject up for debate by a panel of experts at Hay Festival today. Read more
Drawing Europe Together
The Gruffalo illustrator, Axel Scheffler has brought together 45 artists from across Europe to share their powerful illustrations of the European Union’s shared past and our unsure future.  Read more
The award-winning campaigner and writerCaroline Criado-Perezshows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population.  Read more
Rebel With a Pen
Booker prize winner Arundhati Roy told Hay about her book, My Seditious Heart.  Read more
Curtains up
Joseph O'Connor's follows three extraordinary people whose lives intertwine at London's Lyceum Theatre in his new novel Shadowplay. Read more
Muck And Magic.
War Horse author Michael Morpurgo delighted children with a reading of his latest work Muck and Magic at Hay today. Read more
Following suit

"Clothes are about who we are and how we see ourselves". Shahidha Bari and Anna Murphy spoke about the power and meaning of clothes at Hay today.

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In extremis: The turbulent life of Marie Colvin
The biographer and journalist Lindsey Hilsum brought the former American journalist to life at Hay today.  Read more
The Fritter Shack won the top award for sustainability among all the food outlets at Hay Festival. Read more
The Patient Assassin

“They fire 1,650 bullets that day. It takes ten minutes. Ten minutes of sustained firing, and then they leave”. Anita Anand, author and radio presenter, gave a compelling insight into her book The Patient Assassin.

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The History of Philosophy
A.C. Grayling returned to Hay Festival to launch his magnum opus The History of Philosophy  Read more
Sindhu Vee gained new fans as she entertained the Hay audience tonight. Read more
Jimmy's full of 'Carr'isma
Carr warned his audience that his show would be full of "funny, terrible things". He didn't disappoint. Read more
Being a teenager is universal
The creator of the hit Netflix series Sex Education spoke of the programme’s popularity and influence at Hay Festival.  Read more
Breaking News:  Maitlis in Hay
It was Emily Maitlis' turn to be in the hot seat tonight when the Newsnight presenter and “queen of the withering side eye”  come to the Hay Festival. Read more
Bach with a Twist

Acclaimed violinist Rachel Podger borrowed Bach's Cello music at the Hay Festival tonight.

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Living but barely surviving
Death On The Third Floor is the harrowing story of Eric Ngalle Charles' journey from Cameroon to Europe.  Read more
Matt Haig's Notes on a Nervous Planet investigates how to be happy in a world riddled with social pressures. Read more
Hay Festival top picks, Saturday 1 June.  Read more
"I have no identity and that's why I am a writer," said Leila Slimani. Read more
Robots with feelings
Ian McEwan shared his vision of what a world of artificial intelligence will look like.  Read more
Let's talk about death

“The death rate remains at 100%” said Dr Kathryn Mannix who is on a mission to reclaim public understanding of dying through her book With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial.

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Books make the rest of the world fall away
Katherine Rundell spoke glowingly of the escapism one can find in books as she entertained a crowd of children at Hay Festival.  Read more
Computers and Consciousness
Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy explains why he believes Artificial Intelligence can boost human creativity.  Read more
The wonderful work of Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson spoke about her 110th book this afternoon.

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Anarchic humour from Max Porter
Reading from his latest book Lanny, alongside the Herefordshire band, Alula Down, Max Porter produced an enchanting performance at Hay Festival.  Read more
Jared Diamond, political therapist
The Pulitzer Prize winner diagnosed the world’s current political polemics at Hay today.
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the shakespeare of the sciences
Andrea Wulf presented her take on "the father of environmentalism" whose name deserves to be better known today. Read more
Death's diary

It’s been twelve years since Marcus Zusak was last at Hay to talk about Book Thief. He returned this year to re-read the contemporary classic.

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Super Nova dazzles at Hay

The wordsmith, hip hop artist and poet Karl Nova performed original rap poetry from his award-winning book Rhythm and Poetry.

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The Eccles Centre for American Studies and Hay Festival announced a new literary award today. Read more
Shining a light on black female writers
The difficulties that black women face to get their work published was discussed at Hay today. Read more
A love letter to history
Simon Sebag Montefiore took an audience at Hay through the correspondence that changed the world.  Read more
Ellroy Works Up A Storm At Hay

No-one does noir better than James Ellroy.  His hardboiled, telegraphic style is immediately recognisable.

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Dylan Moran's Brexit bashing
The comedian unpicked the current political stalemate with his sarcasm and schtick. Read more
Monty Don and Derry Moore talked about their extraordinary experience of visiting Japanese Gardens. Read more
Poet, Musician, Revolutionary.
Benjamin Zephaniah said now more than ever was the time for social commentary in music in a rootsy set at Hay tonight. Read more
Billy Bragg takes the Great Leap Forward at Hay
“We can all see the same stars, I’m trying to join the dots in an interesting way”.  Bragg received a standing ovation after his talk introducing his book Three Dimensions of FreedomRead more
The Plant and Dec of vegan cooking

The plant-based pioneers behind BISH BASH BOSH! gave their audience an exclusive taster of their delicious brand-new recipes at Hay today.

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a chorus of approval
Moving and uplifting – tonight's community choir performance. Read more
Profound and Powerful Poetry
A group of young emerging poets performed a blend of funny and striking original poems at Hay tonight.   Read more
Hay Festival top picks, Friday 31 May.  Read more
Peter Frankopan:

The Oxford scholar on connecting the dots of our histories to make sense of our present.

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Tales of the Supervet
Noel Fitzpatrick, aka, the Supervet, talked about the purpose of his life, gave advice to his 11 year old self, and even got a packed Hay audience to sing Happy Birthday to his 90 year old “mam”.  Read more
Saladin: Separating life from legend
Warrior, diplomat, hero, villain, Saladin has cast a spell over the Near East for centuries. Read more
10 Lessons For An Ageing World
By 2020, for the first time in history, the number of people aged 65 and over will outnumber children aged five and under. Camilla Cavendish joined Joan Bakewell at Hay Festival to contest taboos around ageing.  Read more
The future of the English language: it's crystal clear

“When English becomes a global language, people adapt it to suit their cultural needs”.

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Connecting culture and history
The author and historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto charmed the audience at Hay with a light-hearted talk on how we understand history.  Read more
How To Stay Sane in An Age of Political Uncertainty
In The Wellcome Book Prize Lecture 2019 Elif Shafak explored how to stay sane in the age of populism, political uncertainty and pessimism. Read more
The cost of digital distractions

Technology is all pervasive, so how do we properly concentrate in a digital age? That was the question posed by Tyler Shores to an audience at Hay today.

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How the classics shaped Shakespeare
William Shakespeare, one of the greatest literary icons in human history, was heavily reliant on inspiration from classical literature, said an expert at Hay.  Read more
Jubber’s journey to the Epic Continent

In 2016, Britain chose to detach itself from the EU. This inspired Nicholas Jubber to adventure into Europe’s past.

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Kings put in a Royal performance at Hay tonight
Legendary salsa, pop and flamenco outfit featuring André Reyes introduced their unique blend of music to a sell-out crowd. Read more

Prue Leith traced her journey from a kitchen in Paris to The Great British Bake Off.

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Rescuing art from conflict
Art is of utmost cultural importance, and a panel of experts examined how it is preserved and protected during wartime at Hay Festival.  Read more
Gender, Sex and Gossip in Ambridge

The Academic Archers were at Hay today for a session on 'Ambridgeology'.

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Top picks from Hay Festival Bookshop, Thursday 30 May Read more
Let's not define Englishness by solely our DNA
The MP for Tottenham investigated the modern concept of ‘tribes’ and how New Tribalism has pernicious effects on the health of our society. Read more
Fears on fertility

World population is increasing rapidly. Sarah Harper explained how a lower childbearing rate would benefit the planet.

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Hogarth's Heirs  - a British way of seeing things
Guardian Art critic Jonathan Jones is passionate about William Hogarth, placing him at the top of the pile when it comes to influencing British artists down the ages. Read more
Licence to kill
Assassination has always been a morally contentious issue for countries to navigate. Two experts analysed its history and examined the issue in a modern context at Hay Festival.   Read more
goodbye and hello
The Bookseller YA Book Prize this year has been awarded to Sara Barnard for Goodbye, Perfect.  Read more
“We can solve this problem, because we’re human”

We are in danger of having increasing health problems, and not enough staff to treat them.

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The real and fictional worlds
In an age of heightened interest in gender politics and the discovery of identity, two experts examined issues of inequality in children’s literature at Hay today  Read more
Coleridge meets the Wordsworths
The Romantic movement, poetry and the importance of place were up for discussion with author Adam Nicolson and illustrator Tom Hammick at Hay today. Read more
Unnatural Selection

A self-taught scientist told a Hay audience that Darwin’s theory of the “survival of the fittest is the most inaccurate, misunderstood, damaging and downright dangerous phrase in the whole history of science”. 

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Resist: Stories of Protest
Bidisha, Nikita Lalwani, Eley Williams and Ra Page previewed forthcoming anthology, Resist, with stories inspired by British protest movements. Read more
Take a deep breath...but only if you're away from a busy road. Read more
Problems with our private schools: privilege and preferentiality

“It’s an extremely unfair system that we have here” - that was the damning verdict on the education system generally, according to a panel of experts speaking at Hay today.

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Will Malaria be eradicated by 2040?

Following several fruitless attempts to eradicate the disease, two experts at Hay analysed whether Malaria will be eradicated by 2040

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar chomps his way to 50 at Hay
The Very Hungry Caterpillar  delighted children in a quest for food at the festival. Read more
Freedom Writers

Meltem Arikan, Turkish novelist and playwright, and Memet Ali Alabora, actor and director, told a Hay audience about their traumatic censorship in Turkey and their exile to Wales.

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A truly spellbinding performance
"It started as an acorn of an idea" - Spell Songs brings The Lost Words to life. Read more
Time to act
We must all become activists now, in the face of the climate crisis. Read more
Rugby heaven at Hay
It was the equivalent of heaven for Welsh rugby fans at Hay this evening, as Carolyn Hitt chaired an all-star panel.  Read more
East doesn't meet West
Launching a new partnership between Hay Festival and Aberystweth University, a law lecture defined the East-West divide. Read more
Living with the Legacy of Suicide.
The act of suicide that inevitably brings pain to the families left behind was sensitively explored at Hay Festival tonight. Read more
Hay Festival top picks, Wednesday 29 May Read more
Finding your authentic voice

Three writers Leah Cowan, Nina Dahmani and Kuba Shand-Baptiste from the award-winning magazine gal-dem spoke passionately about the issues facing teenagers today, at the Hay Festival.

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There is No Planet B
Environmental thinker and writer, Professor Mike Berners-Lee spoke to Rosie Boycott about a course of action for us to navigate the make or break years of the climate crisis.  Read more
Authors4oceans: small steps to saving the planet

Four writers representing the Authors4oceans initiative spoke passionately on the devastating reality of ocean pollution and damage to wildlife by mankind at Hay Today.

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A Stitch In  Time - The Thread of Life

“Needlework is used as a form of language, and what a universal language it is”, according to  Clare Hunter who unpicked history in a panel discussion at Hay today.

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Two writers shared their passion for nature and survival skills in the animal kingdom. Read more
“There are real signs of hope”
The creators of the acclaimed Netflix show Our Planet told remarkable tales of the work involved making the Wildlife series at Hay Festival today. Read more
AI meets ethics: should we be worried?

"It's really concerning" - Dr Adrian Weller spoke on the rapidly moving phenomenon, artificial intelligence.

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A love lecture to trees
Jonathan Drori had the crowd rooted to their seats at Hay with a comprehensive talk on trees and nature.  Read more
A Shepherd at the Edge of the World.

Heiõa Ásgeirsdóttir, a solitary farmer with a flock of 500 sheep in a remorseless part of Iceland, also happens to be a prize-winning international bestseller

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Making Your Mark
A new British Library exhibition traces the development of the written word. Read more
Art Maestro's Masterclass
The Hay audience was treated to an art masterclass today by Jackie Morris, who recently collaborated with nature writer Robert Macfarlane.    Read more
Ezra Furman performed in his typically energetic, exciting style at Hay tonight. Read more
Nish Nails It

Comedian and all-around funny guy, Nish Kumar, left the audience in hysterics at Hay Festival.

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Outwitting terrorists and kidnappers
Fighting terrorism and how you negotiate with kidnappers was at the heart of a sobering discussion at the Hay Festival tonight.  Read more
Boateng and Pearson talk books

Reading has the “ability to change a life”, according to Neil Pearson.

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the biggest health challenge today
Progress in person-centred dementia care in the past 20 years was discussed by a panel of experts.  Read more
Hay Festival top picks, Tuesday 28 May Read more
Double Dutch

On the 20th anniversary of the publication of their books, Deborah Moggach and Tracy Chevalier entertained the audience at Hay with memories of their best-selling novels of life in Holland in the17th century.

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Is Fake News rife in science?
A scientific panel chaired by Bronwen Maddox vigorously debated the notion of misinformation in science, focusing on media coverage.  Read more
Plagues and the Paradox of Progress

Director of the Global Health Programme Thomas J. Bollyky explained we may be getting healthier - but we are doing so in worrying ways.

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Languages crucial in keeping minds alive
Exploring the beauty of the Greek language and its importance in the formation of other languages, the writer and author, Mary Norris, charmed an audience at Hay today.  Read more
Remembering Sappho

Germaine Greer spoke of the historical impact, and tragic mis-remembrances, of the life and work of Sappho at the Hay Festival today.

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Never trust an expert

"It's rarely sensible to ask an expert to make decisions for you." That was the surprising advice from Bill Sutherland, conservation biologist at Cambridge University.

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Lost and found: The story of a Holocaust survivor
Bart Van Es spoke to Philippe Sands at the Hay Festival about his deeply moving and personal award-winning biography of Holocaust survivor, Lien.   Read more
Novels that Shaped Our World
Ahead of BBC Arts’ Novels That Shaped Our World Festival, Jo Whiley asked a panel of guests at Hay to discuss the novels that have shaped their worlds.  Read more
A modern day fairytale
Jessie Burton’s new book The Restless Girls is a dazzling, feminist retelling of Grimm’s The Twelve Dancing Princesses.   Read more
Political rhetoric: the art of persuasion

Henriette van der Blom of Birmingham University provided a masterclass on political rhetoric and its ability to alter public perceptions at Hay Festival.

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In June 1969, police raided the New York gay bar, the Stonewall Inn. Fifty years on, tonight's event at Hay Festival looked at progress since then by activists and ordinary people. Read more
Baloji in party mood

Afrobeats got Bank Holiday revellers dancing at Hay last night.

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Do animals share our emotions?
The primatologist and professor, Frans de Waal, captivated the audience at Hay by examining emotional similarities between humans and animals.  Read more
Electric cars were given a boost at Hay tonight. Read more
A night of musical delight at St Mary's Church
William Howard and Howard Skempton teamed up to celebrate their latest exquisite compositions.  Read more
BBC Radio 2 Live with Jo Whiley

Jo Whiley presented her BBC Radio 2 show live from Hay with a selection of music, poetry, and a special edition of her Radio 2 Book Club.

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The Way We Live Now
Humour and offbeat facts ruled at Hay tonight in Sandi Toksvig's new stand-up show Great Dane. Read more
50 things that made the modern economy

Economic journalist Tim Harford shared his thoughts on modern technology and how it shapes our lives, at Hay Festival tonight.

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Hay Festival top picks, Monday 27 May.   Read more
Fintan O'Toole on Brexit
The multi-award-winning journalist examined heroic failures of Brexit in The 2019 Christopher Hitchens Lecture Read more
Chernobyl, History of a Tragedy

Serhii Plokhy’s Baillie Gifford Prize-winning record of the tragic events of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster were today retold at the Hay Festival.

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A love story about life itself
Jeanette Winterson rebooted Mary Shelley's gothic horror story at the Hay Festival today with a bravura performance of her novel Frankisstein.   Read more
Eric Vuillard on French fiction and modern politics

The French author came to collect the Hay Medal for Fiction and discuss his latest novel, The Order of the Day.

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John Lanchester: Hope in an age of division
The journalist and author transported the Hay audience to his vision of the future through the prism of the present.  Read more

Fortunately, hosted by Fi Glover and Jane Garvey, is the gloriously insightful podcast brought to you by BBC Radi 

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The Brief Life of Flowers
Each day of the Festival a walk is led out into the spectacular landscape that surrounds Hay-on-Wye. Read more
The magic of children’s books
Top children’s authors - shortlisted for the BookTrust Storytime Prize - performed extracts of their books today at Hay Festival.    Read more
Bateman: My Body, My Choice
British feminist, economist and academic, Victoria Bateman, gave a powerful insight into female empowerment discussing her book The Sex Factor: How Women Made the West Rich at the Hay Festival. Read more
Hay Festival today announced the names of 28 women writers, artists and scientists, one for each European country, who are taking part in a global project reimagining the future of Europe. Their short stories and essays will be published in an anthology, Europa28: Visions for the Future, at a new Hay Festival next year in Rijeka, Croatia, European Capital of Culture 2020, and at other events around the world.   Read more
Amitav Ghosh, one of the world's great storytellers, launched his new novel at Hay today. Read more
books to inspire
A joint campaign between Hay Festival and the TES aims to inspire the next generation of world changers. Read more
the moving finger writes
Stand-up comedian and classicist Natalie Haynes regaled the Hay audience tonight with Troy Story, her version of the Trojan War story from a female perspective. Read more
poetry is a go-anywhere art form

The new Poet Laureate launched his latest collection at Hay today.

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Bill Bailey larks about
Veteran funny-man Bill Bailey entertained the crowds at Hay tonight. Read more
Sorrell and Schama on 60 years of friendship
Eminent historian and writer Simon Schama and Martin Sorrell, businessman and advertising legend delighted the Hay audience with tales of their 60 year friendship.  Read more
Six eminent poets gathered in Hay to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of the great publisher Faber and Faber. Read more
The magic and mystery of Ancient Greece with Stephen Fry
Hay's President celebrated the classical tales of his books, Mythos and Heroes.  Read more
Hay Festival top picks, Sunday 26 May.   Read more
Underland: A Deep Time Journey

Author of Landmarks and The Lost Words Robert Macfarlane took the Hay Festival on a journey into the underland this afternoon.

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The Life and Times of Kamal Ahmed
BBC journalist Kamal Ahmed recalled being a mixed-race child growing up in the 1970s, at the Hay Festival this evening. Read more
Stephen Fry and Friends: a melting pot of culture
From social media in China and rhubarb in America to poems of hope in Britain and finding love at Hay, this afternoon was a celebration of art and literature.  Read more
Chaucer – a fashion icon?
The audience at the Hay Festival were left spellbound today as Marion Turner detailed the epic biography and adventures of Chaucer, the ‘Father of English Literature’.  Read more
Diaries Live: Tales of love and anguish
A star-studded line-up entertained the audience at Hay in the Festival Foundation Gala performance of 'Diaries Live'.  Read more
Creating a Man Booker Prize winner
Milkman author Anna Burns explained to an audience at the Hay Festival the "messy" process of writing behind her books. Read more
How Britain Really Works

Editor of TLS Stig Abell led a thoughtful discussion into Britain’s institutions with Professor and author David Olusoga, Director of the Institute for Government Bronwen Maddox, Labour politician Keir Starmer and presenter of the BBC’s Today Programme Nick Robinson.

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A Feminist Iliad
Pat Barker's retelling of Homer's The Iliad  from a different perspective.  Read more
Winning and losing the genetic lottery
Nicole Soranzo, Professor of Human Genetics at Cambridge shed light on the nature vs. nurture debate.  Read more
Making sense of mathematics

Steven Strogatz is a man composed of numbers. In his talk at Hay today, he explained why studying calculus can help us understand the complicated equation that is life.

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Winner Stibbe meets her Cheerful piggy
Author Nina Stibbe was today presented with the 2019 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction for her novel Reasons to be Cheerful at the Hay Festival... Read more
An exciting new educational institution was launched at Hay Festival today.   Read more
Four Words for Friend

Marek Kohn explained the thinking behind his book Four Words for Friend that depicts the significance of multilingualism, how we inherit our language, and what our emotional connections are to it.

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The Building Blocks for Brands
The MP for Didcot and Wantage, Ed Vaizey, chaired a discussion on how to establish successful brands with leading entrepreneurs Jean-Christophe Chopin, Annoushka Ducas, Edeline Lee and Geordie Willis.  Read more
Nigerian singer Eno Williams fronted Ibibio Sound Machine at Hay tonight. Read more
How to Fail:  Elizabeth's Day of success

Elizabeth Day’s success stems from her failure. In her latest book she outlines how things going wrong can translate into happiness and self-acceptance.

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politicians are the problem
Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, outlined her manifesto for climate justice at Hay Festival today. Read more
Vaccinating against fake news

What happens when facts fail? Social psychologist at the University of Cambridge Sander van der Linden spoke at the Hay Festival about how his game Bad News can be used to inoculate people against fake news.

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Pascoe pulls no punches
Stand-up comedian Sara Pascoe regaled Hay Festival tonight with stories of her life following the break-up of a relationship. Read more
Are robots going to take our jobs?

How will new tech shape our lives?John Browne was positive  about the future in an upbeat presentation at the Hay Festival.

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Hay Festival top picks, Saturday 25 May.  Read more
Outrages: Sex, censorship and the criminalisation of love

Beauty Myth author Naomi Wolf revealed the premise of her most recent piece of scholarly detection, centred on the resistance of sexual dissident John Addington Simmons and the aftermath of the 1857 Obscene Publications Act.

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Hay was honoured with the presence of five children's laureates today, talking about how they promoted reading and the joy of words.  Read more
Bryony Gordon: Liking yourself shouldn't be a radical act
The journalist and mental health campaigner shared her life lessons with audiences at Hay today.  Read more
Saving lives on the front line

David Nott, often styled the ‘Indiana Jones of surgery’, came to Hay Festival to discuss his book War Doctor.

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Siri Hustvedt talks about her seventh novel

American novelist, Siri Hustvedt, talked about her latest book, Memories of the Future and cited Charles Dickens as one of her literary inspirations.

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'Noughts and Crosses'  - where fiction reflects society.
Malorie Blackman can't get away from her hugely successful Noughts and Crosses series urged on by the the voices of her characters. Read more
“You don’t have any free will”
The London School of Economics professor and author, Paul Dolan, enthralled today’s audience at Hay Festival with a humorous talk on the pursuit of happiness and people’s tendencies to conform to social norms.  Read more
African voices and magical tales

Authors Mia Couto and Wayétu Moore are united by the past. They tackle the awkward and painful stories that the history books so often choose to forget.

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The Man Booker International Prize Winner

Bettany Hughes, chair of the Man Booker International Prize, discussed with this year’s winners Jokha al-Harthi and Marilyn Booth their winning novel Celestial Bodies.

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A new global environmental project was launched today between Hay Festival and the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), pairing artists and scientists to convey the latest in cutting-edge research.

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BBC Click Live at Hay

Television  presenter Spencer Kelly wowed the crowds at Hay with live demos of the latest technology.

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A Journey to the Edge of Europe
"It's not lost of me that Hay Festival sits on a border and if there have to still be borders in this world, I wish more of them were like Hay" - Kapka Kassabova  Read more
HAYDAYS and #HAYYA authors live-stream

Hay Festival live-stream to libraries around the UK

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The Hay audience gave Jo Brand a very warm welcome tonight. Read more
Michael Fuller: From bullied child to pioneering chief constable

Michael Fuller’s memoir is one of silence and noise- the moments in which he chose to speak out and the moments in which he chose to take the higher ground. His book, Kill the Black One First, charts his life. From his childhood in care to his remarkable career in policing, it encapsulates social changes and personal successes.

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It’s the 21st century, let’s stop worrying about sexuality

How does someone “become gay”? Why do babies have to “come out”? And why on earth are we still talking about it?  These are some of the questions Stephanie Merritt posed to comedian Mae Martin on her new book Can Everyone Please Calm Down.

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Do we truly understand sleep?
In a myth-busting talk at Hay today, the neurologist, Guy Leschziner, explained the extent to which scientists and medics understand sleep.  Read more
Devil visits Hay
It takes some front to play a stand-up comedy routine dressed as Lucifer, but Marcus Brigstocke was full of devilment at the Hay Festival tonight Read more
Postcard from Hay, Friday 24 May
Enjoy a short film about today's action at Hay Festival. Read more
Hay Festival top picks, Friday 24 May Read more
Hay hosts Front Row Late

What is sayable in today's society? Racism, anti-semitism and where the line should be drawn in humour, satire and on social media were all subjects tackled on Front Row Late broadcast from the Hay Festival.

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“If there is a heaven, it’s going to be a Library”
Michael Rosen entertained the crowds at the Hay Festival today in an engaging discussion with Peter Florence where he emphasised the significance of libraries and paid homage to the late Judith Kerr.  Read more
What is the future of our countryside?

The Oxford economist and academic, Dieter Helm, laid out his vision for a green and sustainable future at the Hay Festival today.

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A New Divan: the writers fusing East and West

Poetry on paradise and eternity seen from East and West perspectives were read to an enthralled audience at the Hay Festival today.

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Winning Welsh Writers
The two winners of the New Welsh Writing Awards 2019 were announced at Hay this afternoon. Read more

Hay Festival devoted four stages today to local young activists in order to raise awareness of the climate crisis, and to support the millions of young people striking across the world.

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The Waterboys
Mike Scott leads his Waterboys to triumph at Hay  Read more
The Misinformation Age

To what extent are we fed misinformation in this digital age, and has this led to a moral epidemic on the climate crisis? Hay Festival sustainability director Andy Fryers spoke to astronomer David J Helfand on his recent book A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age.

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“I never thought I’d write a book but life works in mysterious ways” said Stacey Dooley on the opening day of Hay Festival talking about her new book On The Front Line With Women Who Fight Back.

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“The upland areas can play a major role” - Dr Fraser

Dr Mariecia Fraser from Aberystwyth University in conversation with the poet Elizabeth Jardine-Godwin provided a scientific and literary overview of the significance of upland farming in Wales.

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Hay Festival top picks, Thursday 23 May

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Programme for Schools
Hay Festival opened with spectacular enthusiasm from more than 5,000 children on the first of the free Programme for Schools days. Packing out the Festival venues for a day of events with Cressida Cowell, Harry Hill, Caroline Lawrence, Chris Bradford, Abi Elphinstone and Ade Adepitan, it is a fabulous way to begin the Festival. Read more
Rewilding - The Return of Nature to a British Farm

Inspirational conservationist Isabella Tree spoke about her pioneering project to hand a 3,500 acre farm back to nature.

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Veggies and vegans: the planet savers?

Are we destroying the planet by eating meat? Campaigner, author and founder of People Tree Safia Minney and writer and agricultural worker Simon Fairlie discussed with Martin Wright one of the most prevalent issues facing the food and waste industry today.

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Anthony Warner, aka The Angry Chef, took a butcher's cleaver to the fashion industry and the media in a discussion about obesity at Hay Festival today. Read more
What can we do about polluting plastics?
Natalie Fee, Lucy Siegle and Paula Owen were at the Hay Festival today highlighting the problem of plastic pollution.  The main theme of the discussion centred around what more can we do to subvert the detrimental impact on our planet.  Read more