Today, Thursday, May 25, sees the opening of this year's edition of Hay Festival, the internationally renowned literary festival.

The programme for 2023 launches the best new fiction and non-fiction, while offering insights and debate around significant global issues, and launches with the Hay on Earth Forum. Award-winning writers, policy makers, pioneers and innovators take part from around the world, offering bold thinking and big ideas.

Among those on the line-up this year are novelists Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale), Barbara Kingsolver, who will be talking about her David Copperfield-inspired novel Demon Copperhead, quiz-show host and best-selling crime novelist Richard Osman and Booker-Prize-winners Douglas Stuart and Eleanor Catton as well as Jojo Moyes, Max Porter and Jonathan Coe. Poetry comes in the form of Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, Hay alumni Owen Sheers, author of Resistance, and former Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.


For the younger readers in the family, some of the biggest names in children's books will be appearing for Hay Fever, among them children’s heroes Cressida Cowell, Jacqueline Wilson, Julia Donaldson and Connor Allen.

Many events are already sold out, including music icons Stormzy in an evening of discussion and performance, focusing on #Merky Books, the imprint he launched in 2018. Also sold out are sessions with Richard E Grant, and What Our Food is Doing to Us – featuring Tim Spector, author of Food for Life: The New Science of Eating Well and Chris van Tullekan, author of Ultra-Processed People.

The festival's music strand sees the return of Baaba Maal, who has collaborated with artists including Mumford & Sons, and helped Ludwig Goransson create the sound of Marvel’s Afrofuturistic Black Panther films. And the laughs will be brought by Dara Ó Briain, a regular on the Hay stage, Tom Allen, Jason Byrne, Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Josie Long and Isy Suttie.

As always, Hay Festival invites audiences to imagine the world as it is and as it might be. For the full progamme and to book, visit or on 01497 822629.