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Hay Festival 2021 update
29th March 2021update by: Hay Festival
HAY FESTIVAL PREVIEWS RESET-THEMED 2021 PROGRAMME & NEW EVENT FORMATS

Hay Festival Wales has revealed plans for its 34th spring edition, bringing writers and readers together in hundreds of free interactive broadcasts live from Hay-on-Wye to the world, 26 May-6 June.

While the full programme will not be announced until the end of April, the Festival is planning an inspiring array of conversations, debates, workshops and performances online, kicking off with the inaugural Hay Festival Opening Night Gala on Wednesday 26 May in which award-winning writers join performers from stage and screen for an evening of literary fun and inspiration.

Over the 11 days that follow, more than 200 acclaimed writers, global policy makers, historians, poets, pioneers and innovators will take part, launching the best new fiction and non-fiction. The Festival will interrogate some of the biggest issues of our time, from building a better world post-pandemic to tackling the compound crises of climate change, inequality, and challenges to truth and democracy.

Festival conversations will mark a series of key 2021 anniversaries and moments: one year on from the killing of George Floyd, a three-part Festival series will look at racism and the systemic changes we need to see in the UK and around the world; 300 years since Great Britain appointed its first prime minister, a series of panels explore leadership and democracy today; ahead of COP26, the Festivalís Hay-on-Earth programme will spotlight whatís at stake; 200 years since the death of John Keats, poets and performers will offer contemporary responses to his work; and the Festival shares the next generation of innovators changing the world in a series of conversations with debut writers.

Daily Festival lectures will offer thought leaders and experts space to dive deeper into their chosen subjects, including the Hay Festival Friends Lecture in honour of Festival supporters; annual sessions commemorating Aneurin Bevan, Christopher Hitchens, Raymond Williams and Anthea Bell; and the inaugural Jan Morris Lecture to commemorate the Festival favourite who died last year.

Winners of Hay Festival Medals 2021 will be celebrated. Awarded annually since Britainís Olympic year (2012), and crafted locally by silversmith Christopher Hamilton, the Hay Festival Medals draw inspiration from the original Olympic medal given for poetry. Past winners include Hilary Mantel, Inua Ellams, Jeanette Winterson, Margaret Atwood, John le Carrť, Laura Marling and Ahdaf Soueif. Plus, Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellow 2020-21, poet and writer Mererid Hopwood, will continue her global Festival journey, joining the Wales line-up to celebrate the Welsh language.

Each morning will begin with sessions for young people and families, while our Programme for Schools will once more be beamed to pupils across the UK offering primary and secondary pupils the chance to enjoy the Festivalís childrenís and YA programming free anywhere, 27, 28 May.


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