Swansea University to host series of events at Hay Festival 2018

Swansea University will host five events at this year’s Hay Festival in Wales, 24 May to 3 June, as part of their ongoing partnership with the global arts festival.

Spanning politics, the environment, poetry and Welsh literature, the events feature a range of internationally acclaimed writers and thinkers from across Wales. For the first time, Welsh language events, with simultaneous translation, will be among the events hosted by the University at Hay Festival.

Featuring over 600 of the world’s greatest writers, global policy makers, pioneers and innovators in 800 events across 11 days, Hay Festival showcases the latest ideas in the arts, sciences and current affairs, alongside a rich schedule of music, comedy and entertainment for all ages. A galaxy of literary stars gather to launch new work, while the biggest ever HAYDAYS and #HAYYA programmes give young readers the opportunity to meet their heroes and get creative.

Hay Festival sign

Five events will run throughout the festival in partnership with Swansea University:

  • Winner of the 2018 International Dylan Thomas Prize joins chair of judges Dai Smith to talk about their work. The shortlist for the prize comprises, Kayo Chingonyi, Carmen Maria Machado, Gwendoline Riley, Sally Rooney, Emily Ruskovich and Gabriel Tallent. Click here for tickets. 
  • Wales after Brexit is debated by a blockbuster panel chaired by Welsh internationalist, actor and activist Michael Sheen (also an honorary fellow of Swansea University), and featuring Simon Brooks, Angharad Closs Stephens, Jasmine Donahaye and Daniel G Williams. Click here for tickets. 
  • Rob Penhallurick, author of Studying Dialect, takes the audience on an absorbing journey down the everyday drangways of the English language, analysing why dialect fascinates us so much. Click here for tickets.
  • As Wales marks the centenary of the end of the Great War, author of the Oscar-nominated film Hedd Wyn, and a number of volumes on the Welsh literature of the Great War, Professor Alan Llwyd of Academi Hywel Teifi and Dr Aled Eirug of the Morgan Academy discuss the Welsh response to the call to arms and the effect of the War on the calls for peace in a discussion chaired by poet, broadcaster and leading member of the campaign for a Wales Peace Academy, Professor Mererid Hopwood. Click here for tickets.
  • A world-leading expert in climate change, Professor Siwan Davies, discusses her groundbreaking documentary series Her yr Hinsawdd (Climate Challenge) with the programme’s producer, Elin Rhys, and considers the importance and the challenges of engaging the public with scientific research. Click here for tickets. 

Professor John Spurr, head of the College of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University, said: “Our exciting and ongoing partnership with the Hay Festival gives us the opportunity to showcase the work of a number of Swansea experts across a range of topics including politics, literature and the environment. We are also once again delighted that the winner of the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize, the world’s largest prize for young writers, will be talking about their work at Hay. This year, Michael Sheen, an honorary fellow and great friend of the University, will be talking about Wales after Brexit with a panel of Swansea academics – an event which is bound to attract widespread interest.”

Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, said: “We are facing alarming insecurities and crises. We need to approach the complexity of those challenges with all the hope and courage we can muster. We need to hear the wisest voices, not the loudest. And we need the gift that novelists and poets give – the ability to imagine the world from someone else’s point of view. There has never been a time when we were in such urgent need of empathy. It’s a time for serious thought and serious work, and so too, it’s a time to laugh and a time to dance and a time to feast. Let’s do it together.”

View the full Hay Festival programme.