Swansea University is Education Partner of the Hay Festival

Swansea University is pleased to announce that it is an Education Partner of this year’s Hay Festival, one of the most prestigious literary festivals in the world.

The exciting collaboration will see the launch of the Swansea University Series, which includes four hour-long lectures, discussions, and presentations delivered across the festival, which runs from 26 May to 5 June.

After Coal: screening, debate, and live music

What happens when fossil fuels run out? How do communities and cultures survive? After Coal profiles inspiring individuals who are building a new future in the coalfields of Eastern Kentucky and South Wales. Stories of coalfield residents who must create new careers illustrate the challenge of creating a sustainable future. Introduced by the film’s director.

How can cultural exchange inform community regeneration?  In 1974 John Gaventa met Hywel Francis and initiated an exchange between Welsh and Appalachian coalfield communities. This work was expanded by researcher Helen Lewis, cinematographer Richard Greatrex, and community organiser Mair Francis. Following the After Coal screening, they discuss the benefits, pitfalls and insights gained from a long-term cultural exchange over four decades. They will be in conversation with Dai Smith, Raymond Williams Chair in Cultural History at Swansea University.

After the debate, an evening of beautiful music from two sides of the Atlantic coal seam. Appalachian folk superstars Jones and McKenzie bring you sounds from their native mountains while Hennessy and Jones give us true Welsh folk.

Events 33, 39 and 40 • Friday 27 May 2016, from 7pm • Venue: Starlight Stage

Claire Vaye Watkins and John Wray Talk to Laura Powell

Gold Fame Citrus is the debut novel from Claire Vaye Watkins, winner of the 2013 International Dylan Thomas Prize in Partnership with Swansea University. In a dystopian, apocalyptic vision, desert sands have laid waste to south-west America and challenge the resilient to survive.

The Lost Time Accidents is a bold and epic saga set against the greatest upheavals of the C20th. Haunted by a failed love affair and the darkest of family secrets, Waldemar ‘Waldy’ Tolliver wakes one morning to discover that he has been exiled from the flow of time. The world continues to turn, and Waldy is desperate to find his way back.

Laura Powell is Features Commissioning Editor at the Daily Telegraph and her debut novel, The Unforgotten, was recently published.

Event 143 • Sunday 29 May 2016, 7pm • Venue: Cube

Dai Smith in Conversation with Max Porter, Winner of the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize in Partnership with Swansea University

As 2016 marks ten years of the prestigious prize for writers aged 39 and under, this year’s winner talks with Dai Smith, Chair of the Judging Panel and Raymond Williams Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University. Max Porter won the award for his extraordinary book, Grief is the Thing with Feathers.

Event 400 • Saturday 4 June, 10am • Venue: Starlight Stage

Max Porter Catherine Fletcher - The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de Medici

From dazzling palaces and Tuscan villas to the treacherous backstreets of Florence and the corridors of papal power, the story of Alessandro’s spectacular rise, magnificent reign and violent demise takes us deep beneath the surface of power in Renaissance Italy – a glamorous but deadly realm of spies, betrayal and vendetta, illicit sex and fabulous displays of wealth, where the colour of one’s skin meant little but the strength of one’s allegiances meant everything. Catherine Fletcher is an Associate Professor in History and Classics at Swansea University. Chaired by Peter Florence.

Event 422 • Saturday 4 June 2016, 4pm • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

In addition to the Swansea University Series, writers and associates of the College of Arts and Humanities will also be taking part in a number of events.

Owen Sheers‌Award-winning fiction writer and singer-songwriter Dr Fflur Dafydd (Department of English Language and Literature) will preview clips from her debut feature Y Llyfrgell/ The Library Suicides ahead of its UK release this autumn on Sunday 29 May, 8.30pm, Cube. Dr Dafydd will be joined by the multi-BAFTA-award-winning director Euros Lyn (Happy Valley, Broadchurch). Chaired by Jon Gower, a tutor on Swansea University’s Creative Writing programme.

Swansea University’s Professor in Creativity, Owen Sheers, joins a constellation of writers, artists and photographers of the Welsh Marches to celebrate the first issue of The Keep, Hay’s new literary and arts magazine, with an evening of readings, stories and pictures, under the editorial baton of Iain Finlayson. Friday, 27 May, 8.30pm, Good Energy Stage. Owen will also be in conversation with Sarah Howe, winner of the 2015 T S Eliot Prize, at the Starlight Stage on Saturday, 4 June, 5.30pm.

Dr Alan Bilton and Dr Jasmine Donahaye (Department of English Language and Literature) will feature in Writers at Work, a new professional development opportunity for Welsh writers, in partnership with Literature Wales. The programme will allow selected writers to attend masterclasses, workshops, and to network with UK and international publishers, press and agents. It will also enable writers to attend sessions with established international artists.

Professor John Spurr, Head of the College of Arts and Humanities, said: “Swansea University’s Arts and Humanities community are represented in force at this year’s Hay Festival, a premier international showcase for the best in literature. We are proud to be an Education Partner of the Festival, and the Swansea University Series is part of our commitment to public engagement.”

Browse the full Hay Festival programme.