‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

Hay Festival Blues

with 4 comments

One of the many reasons I wish I lived in England is because here in Canada we lack the Hay Festival.

ziaie07For those unawares:

The Hay Festival of Literature & Arts is an annual literature festival held in Hay-on-WyeWales for ten days from May to June. Devised by Peter Florence in 1988, the festival was described by Bill Clinton in 2001 as “The Woodstock of the mind”. Since its inception, the festival was held at a variety of venues around Hay until 2005 when it moved to a central location just outside of the town. The Guardianhas been the main sponsor of the festival since 2002, succeeding The Sunday Times.

The festival has expanded in recent years and now includes musical performances and film previews. A children’s festival, “Hay Fever”, runs alongside the main festival. It has also expanded internationally and sister festivals take place in Cartagena and Segovia.

The 2008 festival included: Gore VidalSalman RushdieJohn IrvingWill SelfJulian BarnesJimmy CarterJhumpa LahiriNassim Nicholas TalebIan McEwanNaomi KleinChristopher HitchensStephen FryBoris SpasskyGary KasparovHanif KureishiJames Ivoryand John Bolton.

The Hay Festival is one of 11 Welsh winners of The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for 2009.  [ Courtesy of Wikipedia ]

It would be nice to have an arts festival that celebrated literature in such a way, but sadly we do not. For those who have interest though, there is non-stop coverage over at the Guardian Book Page and here at the Hay Festival Homepage

From the implications of climate change, food supply, eco-footprint, all the way to interviews with authors and their most recent works, the Hay Festival is a hodge-podge of arts, entertainment, and culture of the highest order open and available for people to explore and consume. It’s a wonderful idea to invite top thinkers, writers, artists, musicians, and allow them to interact with society. 

This is me jealous of my lack of access to such a beautiful collection of minds.

Written by thebeliever07

May 27, 2009 at 7:04 pm

4 Responses

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  1. So, you wish you lived in England because Wales has a literary festival?


    May 27, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    • Who would want to live in Wales. 😉 It’s the literary festival part that fascinates me.


      May 27, 2009 at 8:02 pm

      • Welsh people? (I assume most of them want to live in Wales.)

        You forgot to note that _The Guardian_ has become very dull of late because of the constant reporting on the Hay Festival.

        Or am I just bitter and envious?


        May 28, 2009 at 1:20 am

      • I think it’s a bit of both. We sadly cannot gain access into the aforementioned festival and as such are bored with the commentary and news from that festival. Ah well, only a week further and it should start to fade off, cheers.


        May 28, 2009 at 7:10 am

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