Hay Festival

Queer short stories from Wales, the everyday voices of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the winning title of this year’s Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize are among the subjects set to delight audiences at the 35th Hay Festival between 26 May - 5 June.

Returning for its first in-person spring event since 2019, the festival programme will feature more than 600 award-winning writers, global policy makers, pioneers and innovators in conversations, performances and debates, while HAYDAYS events for families give young readers the opportunity to meet their heroes and get creative.

Several Swansea University academics feature in the programme for this year’s festival, as part of the University’s ongoing partnership with the prestigious cultural and literary event.

In his lunchtime lecture, Dr Michael Ward discusses how the CoronaDiaries project was launched to record people’s everyday experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic and shows how the pandemic has been experienced in very different ways across society.

Professor Kirsti Bohata, Co-Director of CREW, the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales at Swansea University, joins Dylan Huw, Crystal Jeans and David Llewellyn in Queer Square Mile – Queer Short Stories from Wales as they map the importance of the short story form in the development and portrayal of queer culture to mark the publication of a groundbreaking anthology of queer writing from Wales.

The winner of this year’s Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize, Patricia Lockwood, is in conversation with author and member of the Prize’s 20222 judging panel, Alan Bilton. Patricia will be appearing via a live link from her home in Savannah, USA. Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the Prize celebrates the international world of fiction in all its forms including poetry, novels, short stories, and drama. The prize is named after the Swansea-born writer and celebrates his 39 years of creativity and productivity – one of the most influential, internationally renowned writers of the mid-20th century.

On Thursday 2 June, former US Secretary of State and Swansea University honorary fellow Hillary Clinton joins Baroness Helena Kennedy, a strident advocate for civil liberties and human rights, and together they will discuss Clinton’s enduring public appeal, how we can collectively process the challenges of the present historical moment, and by extension, Clinton’s hopes for the future.

In an interactive event, Swansea graduate Eric Ngalle Charles shares stories on place, memory and language inspired by his debut poetry collection Homelands, and his fellow alumna and Costa Prize-shortlisted author Rebecca F John takes to the Starlight Stage on 3 June to explore how historical fiction illuminates the world.

View the full Hay Festival programme.

Tickets are now on sale (25% discount for students aged 18 -25) and a limited number of selected events will be streamed. The line-up will be announced, and Online Festival Passes will be able to be purchase, from 17 May.

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