By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
New’Europa 28′ Project Features Women of EuropeClose on the heels of rolling out its new branding, the 32nd edition of Wales’ Hay Festival has announced its full program for the event running this year May 23 to June 2.
Highly internationalized and cross-cultural in the age of Brexit and #MeToo, the Hay has a network of events in many parts of the world and this year will open a new project: Europa 28 is to “bring together prominent female authors, thinkers, writers and scientists-one participant from each European Union country, across genres and generations—to discuss their visions for the future of Europe, culminating at a new festival in the upcoming European Capital of Culture, Rijeka, Croatia, in June 2020.”
What’s more the flagship festival at Hay-on-Wye this year will mark world anniversaries including:
- Da Vinci 500
- Rembrandt 350,
- Kindertransport 80
- Stonewall 50
- Tiananmen Square 30
Literary award winners also are to be celebrated, including winners of the Man Booker Prize as the Man Group’s sponsorship comes to an end, Baillie Gifford Prize, Prix Goncourt, Wellcome Book Prize, New Welsh Writers Awards, The Bookseller YA Book Prize, CLiPPA poetry award, and 2019 Hay Festival Medals.
The full program is available here.
In a prepared statement, Peter Florence, the festival’s founding director, is quoted, saying, “Hay Festival is a space to think, and to think again, and to put the great issues of the day in a context of global history. Empires fall, technology empowers and enslaves us, faiths are shaken, orthodoxies disrupted and still we come together and talk and sing and dance, break bread and tell stories. Minds change. Government is fiendishly hard, democracy is vulnerable, and living together, the ‘Convivencia’ is a precious dream.
“The good news is that our potential is limitless, and friendship is our pleasure. Let’s talk. Let’s listen.”
In lectures, speakers will explore issues from the inevitable topic of Brexit to the state of libraries, with MP David Lammy, journalists Carole Cadwalladr and Fintan O’Toole (Heroic Failure), historian Bettany Hughes (Istanbul), novelist Elif Shafak, psychologist Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now), physicist Paul Davies (The Demon in the Machine), translator Daniel Hahn, author Michael Rosen, and more.
Novelists scheduled to appear this year include Arundhati Roy, Ian McEwan (Machines Like Me), Jeanette Winterson (Frankissstein), Max Porter (Lanny), Amitav
Ghosh (Gun Island), Siri Hustvedt (Memories of the Future), Pat Barker (The Silence of the Girls), Leila Slimani (Adele), Eric Vuillard (Order of the Day), Steinunn Sigurðardóttir (Heiða: A Shepherd at the Edge of the World), Mia Couto (Woman of the Ashes), and debuts from Wayetu Moore (She Would Be King), Isabella Hammad (The Parisian), and more.
Performers appearing are to include Matthew Hall and Eve Myles on Keeping Faith and Richard Eyre talks Place to Place, and all-star Diaries Live! and Speeches Live!
Performances, while the BBC Tent hosts live broadcasts and recordings of flagship shows.
More on the programming and available tickets is at the site.
After the Wales run, the international Hay Festival iterations upcoming are:
- Querétaro, Mexico (September)
- Dallas, USA (September)
- Segovia, Spain (September)
- Santiago, Chile (November)
- Arequipa, Peru (November 7 to 10)
- Hay Festival Wales Winter Weekend, Wales (November 28 to December 1)
- Hay Festival Medellín, Colombia (January 29 to 31, 2020)
- Hay Festival Cartagena de Indias, Colombia (January 30 to February 2, 2020)
English PEN Announces Daniel Gorman as Director
Daniel Gorman is to succeed Antonia Byatt as English PEN’s director in August. Gorman comes to the organization from the Shubbak Festival, where he’s executive director. Under his five-year guidance, the Shubbak is said to have become the largest festival of Arab culture in the UK.
PEN’s hire takes into account his “extensive experience of working with writers and supporting artists in areas of conflict, both with Shubbak and as co-founder of Highlight Arts,” according to media messaging.
In a prepared statement, Gorman is quoted describing English PEN as “the UK’s oldest free speech organization whose work ranges from campaigning for writers at risk to supporting new opportunities for literature in translation.
“I look forward to working alongside the English PEN membership and the network of international PEN centers to continue and develop their vital work toward the centenary celebrations in 2021 and beyond.”
English PEN’s chair Maureen Freely is also quoted, thanking Byatt for her service and saying that Gorman is “brilliantly placed to lead English PEN when the freedom of ideas has never been more important.”