Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hay Festival 2014 - reflections

Being away from home and being at home are equal sides of a 'coin' for me - each wonderful in their own way. It feels good this morning to be in my at home routine - writing and posting my small stone, already dressed for this morning's yoga class with Drew, tipping overnight rain water from flower pots that don't drain very well, and using up some store cupboard food because the fridge is bare!!  This is no bad thing as much in my larder is very near (often past) its sell by date.

But I'm back from an equally wonderful week at my sister's cottage in Wales and The Hay Festival. As usual, the events I planned to go to were very good and those spur of the moment/better to be in a tent than out in the cold events - well, they were all great as well.

So good to hear Carol Ann Duffy reading poems from The Worlds Wife & her other collections to a packed audience in the largest tent and later to listen to the painter Shani Rhys James, with some of the poets, talking about her Florilingua project. See

Toni Morrison was wonderful, talking both to Peter Florence about Beloved and then more generally about literary and global matters to Razia Iqbal -both of them were great interviewers, and Morrison shared many wise words with us all.  I'm now reading her latest, Home  ... it has her wonderful painterly prose.  I'll say more when I've finished it.

Hay is such a good place to discover new writers. So now I have a book by Finnish author Sofi Oksanen -this after a chatty lunch with two Finnish women who are Hay regulars - and I've definitely put the books of Siri Hustvedt on my to read list. At Hay she talked about her new book, The Blazing World and much else. She is a clear deep thinker, un-afraid to respond spontaneously to hard questions in front of a packed audience.

So well done Hay people ... a very good festival, unsullied by the rain and mud.  One plea for next year, please try to arrange better connections to the internet, its no fun tweeting if they go nowhere, and some more seats for those of us who stay all day and need to rest a while with our books would be great ... thank you.

1 comment:

  1. I would love to attend Hay a festival! It is hard to cross "the pond" but it is on my bucket list! Sonia