Hay Festival 2023

Hay Festival is back, and from 25 May to 4 June, we’ll be there supporting a selected programme of events on the topic of equity and featuring up-and-coming writers from the UK and around the world.

Hay Festival is the world’s leading festival of ideas across literature. It brings readers and some of the brightest thinkers of our time together to inspire, examine and entertain. This international celebration of literature, music, and the arts is set to take place in the stunning Welsh countryside and will feature world-renowned authors, musicians, and performers. This is the place where the year's best new fiction and non-fiction launches, and this year, there will be more than 500 in-person events, all under the slogan ‘11 days of different’.

Literary figures, policymakers, pioneers, innovators, artists and even some of the biggest music stars – including Stormzy and Dua Lipa –  from all around the world will attend to speak and spark debate on a wide variety of subjects and significant global issues, making the festival a true space for big thinking and bold ideas.

This year’s Hay Festival will feature a long list of renowned authors, including Margaret Atwood, Caleb Azumah Nelson, Elif Shafak, Douglas Stuart as well as poet Simon Armitage, journalist Gary Younge, Guardian columnist Marina Hyde, broadcaster Jon Snow, author and TV personality Richard Osman, artist Tracey Emien and many more.

British Council events at Hay Festival 2023


We’re supporting a selected programme of events on the topic of equity, with authors Brenda Navarro, Kevin Jared Hosein, Thea Lenarduzzi, Pilar Quintana and Daniel Hahn. We’re also supporting an event with three novelists – all listed in the renowned Granta’s ‘Best of Young British’ 2023 list – Tom Crewe, Derek Owusu, Yara Rodrigues Fowler and they will be in conversation with psychotherapist Maxine Mei-Fung Chung. Plus, we're bringing to Hay Festival an event exploring writing whilst also addressing the challenges of the climate and ecological emergencies.  


Some of the biggest names in fiction have featured on the prestigious Granta magazine Best of Young British Novelists’ lists, from Zadie Smith and Kazuo Ishiguro to Salman Rushdie and Rose Tremain. From the fifth iteration Tom Crewe (The New Life), Derek Owusu (Losing the Plot) and Yara Rodrigues Fowler (there are more things) take part in a riveting conversation with psychotherapist Maxine Mei-Fung Chung on the writing process, today’s publishing landscape and what it feels like to be nominated as a voice of a generation.

Creativity lies at the heart of our response to the climate crisis. Owen Sheers, Swansea University’s professor in creativity and Co-founder of Black Mountains College, recently curated Everything Change, a series of events about creativity and the climate crisis. He is joined by three of Wales’s most dynamic new writers – novelist Alys Conran, poet Marvin Thompson and singer, comedian and actor Carys Eleri – as they share the work they created in response and discuss the role of the writer and artist in addressing the challenges of the climate and ecological emergencies.

Thea Lenarduzzi’s Dandelions is a family memoir and social history which explores the evocative power of shared language and stories tracing four generations of migration between Italy and England. Colombian author Pilar Quintana’s The Abyss leads us brilliantly into the lonely heart of the child we have all once been, driven by fear of abandonment, through the character of impressionable eight-year-old Claudia. The authors discuss family relations and gender inequality through their books, with author and translator Daniel Hahn.

Brenda Navarro and Kevin Jared Hosein discuss their books, literature, class inequality and other issues that articulate their stories as part of our International Equity Series. Navarro’s Empty Houses is set in Mexico City and unfolds in the aftermath of a child’s disappearance, and examines the desires, regrets and social pressures of motherhood. Hosein’s Hungry Ghosts is a novel about two families, one living in a luxury unrecognisable to the other, who reside in the shadow of their farm. It is a book about violence, religion, family and class, rooted in the wild and pastoral landscape of colonial central Trinidad. They speak to Thea Lenarduzzi, TLS writer and author of Dandelions.

Looking for more?


To catch up on last year’s events supported by us at the festival, watch online for free at the Hay Festival player. Also, follow our British Arts channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more updates about this year’s festival or see the full programme at hayfestival.com.

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