Welcome to Hay In this extraordinary year with all its argument and division, there has never been a better time to come together, and nowhere more beautiful and happier to gather than Hay. Everyone is welcome here. The Hay medals this year will be awarded to honour exceptional work in poetry, illustration, fiction and journalism. The poetry medal winner is Julia Donaldson, who brings parents and children together with books all over the world. The illustration medal goes to her collaborator and Gruffalo co-creator, the peerless German artist, Axel Scheffler, who brings his Drawing Europe Together exhibition to the festival. The fiction medal is awarded for The Order of the Day, a terrifying black comedy by the Goncourt prize-winning French novelist Eric Vuillard. The medal for journalism is awarded for the heroic and rigorous investigative journalism of Carole Cadwalladr. Hay is a space to think, and to think again, and to put the great issues of the day in a context of global history. Empires fall, technology empowers and enslaves us, faiths are shaken, orthodoxies disrupted and still we come together and talk and sing and dance, break bread and tell stories. Minds change. Government is fiendishly hard, democracy is vulnerable, and living together, the ‘Convivencia’, is a precious dream. The good news is that complexity is beautiful and rich, our potential is limitless, and friendship is our pleasure. Let’s talk. Let’s listen.
PETER FLORENCE DIRECTOR, HAY FESTIVAL
The dates of next year’s festival are 21-31 May 2020
Hay Festival celebrates its 32nd festival in Wales, 23 May–2 June 2019.