e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Hay Festivals

What do Hay-on-Wye and Beirut have in common? I would have said ‘not much’ until I came across a mention of Hay Festival Beirut on the British Council website.

Checking further I found that the Hay Festivals are international with events as far apart as Xalapa, Mexico and Nairobi, Kenya. Fabulous – peoples of the world united through a love of literature.

Of course, I’ve long known of the Hay Festival, and long intended to go. Now I can really pig out on festivals everywhere. Around the world in 80 bookfests. Yummy.


Single Post Navigation

18 thoughts on “Hay Festivals

  1. Thanks! I should have been first! Hadn’t finished reading your site, but am intrigued – the categories look great.


  2. They also call it The Woodstock of the Mind, very interesting.


  3. I see I mispelled Wye and called it Way.
    I like Wye better ..sounds mysterious from a land far far away..which it is..


    • While I can understand why you like the ‘Wye’ better, I thought your ‘Hay on Way’ has a ring to it. On the way to a great time, perhaps.


      • How do you pronounce Wye?


      • The ‘ye’ is pronounced as a long ‘i’ – same as in ‘why’. The ‘w’ is as normal for English speakers. For the people who pronounce ‘why’ with no reference to the ‘h’, the two words would sound the same.


      • Thank you…do you know why this town has all the book stores?


      • Thank you for this question. While roaming the web looking for the answer I came across some other interesting things about Hay-on-Wye that I will blog about later. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the answer to your question. Most of the booksellers are second-hand or antiquarian, and I guess once a couple had settled there and the place had a reputation for books, that others followed.


      • Thank you for Hay-on Wye and Timbuktu..

        Digitizing a text written in Arabic has really got to be a project especially one that was written 500 yeas ago ..

        Kudos to the researchers.

        I have never seen an Arabic computer keyboard and don’t know if there is a direct correlation for typing an Arabic text in to the computer..in any event sounds quite tedious.



      • I don’t know the Arab alphabet so I can’t imagine how it’s done. I think they have roughly the same number of letters we do, but they may also have accents and other marks. As you say, kudos to those doing the work.


      • Hi, I hope this come through OK, I’ve not gone back and replied to a comment a second time. If you look at the comments on the “Hay on Wye and Timbuktu’ post you’ll see some interesting info from Anne Camille of Four Deer Oak. She also gives some links to articles about the early days of Hay bookshops.


      • Yes, I got it…thank you.


  4. I sent your Hay on Way post to friends and am getting fun responses..thank you. Hank


  5. I am assuming that Hay Festivals are not Hay Wagon rides which also unites people but only on the Hay Wagon and not the world.

    Can you give me an example of Hay Festival?

    Thank you, Hank


    • Thank you for your comment. The ‘Hay’ is short for Hay-on-Wye which is a small town in Wales (the Wye is a river). For some reason this town has an inordinate number of book dealers and they’ve run a book festival for many years. There seems to be a festival organisation which is in existence all year. According to their website they’ve branched out and now run festivals in other countries.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: