Hay Festival Segovia has today announced the programme for its 14th edition, 19-22 September 2019, with conversations on the future of Europe and the power of fiction to change minds leading the programming, while free events and art installations transform the city’s public spaces.

Speakers include writers James Ellroy, Valeria Luiselli, Inua Ellams, Soledad Puertolas, Elvira Lindo, Fernando Savater, Adam Michnik, Monika Zgustova, Alys Conran, Ahmed Saadawi, Jean-Christophe Rufin and Elia Barceló; environmentalist Suzy Amis Cameron; sociologist Sanaa El Aji; architects Raj Rewal, Jeanne Gang and Amanda Levete; and pianist and writer James Rhodes.

Explore the programme and book tickets at hayfestival.org/segovia.

Spain’s leading festival of literature and the arts, Hay Festival Segovia features a selection of the world’s greatest writers, global policy makers, pioneers and innovators debating the latest ideas in the arts, sciences and current affairs in events across the city.

Drawing inspiration from the agoras of ancient Greece, this year’s Festival will occupy open squares, gardens, palaces, convents and churches with free readings and performances, in addition to a series of talks in venues all over the city.

The Unesco World Heritage-listed city is located one-hour from Madrid amid the magnificent hills of Castilla and against the backdrop of the Sierra de Guadarrama. For visitors, the city offers lots to see beyond the Festival, from the soaring Roman aqueduct that oversees the city, to the fairytale-inspiring castle, Alcázar, the breathtaking cathedral, and the history-filled Jewish Quarter.

Maria Sheila Cremaschi, director of Hay Festival Segovia, said: “Hay Festival Seogiva 2019 brings writers and readers together to discuss the fragility of the world in which we live, and to present ideas that offer us reasons to be optimistic about our shared future. Performers, artists and thinkers will transform the city’s public libraries, squares and iconic theatres, into hubs of creativity, innovation and hope. Join us.”


Hay Festival Segovia opens 9 September with a citywide party to inaugurate Festival art exhibitions and installations by sculptor Ricardo Cárdenas, photographer Ricardo Martín, collector Daniel Parra, and multidisciplinary artist Alberto Reguera, which run to the end of September.

Critically acclaimed writers from around the world take to the Festival stages to discuss the power of storytelling: Iraqi novelist Ahmed Saadawi discusses his book, Frankenstein in Baghdad; British poet, playwright and performer Inua Ellams talks identity, migration and co-existence; Mexican novelist Valeria Luiselli discusses her latest release in Spain, El archivo del niño desaparecido (The File of the Missing Child); Greek writer Theodor Kallifatides presents his memoir, Another Life to Live; and Czech novelist Monika Zgustová talks Un revólver para salir de noche (A Handgun for Going out at Night).

American crime writer James Ellroy talks about his bestselling works, from L.A. Confidential to The Black Dahlia, and, from Wales, the Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol Gwyl y Gelli/Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellowship 2019-20 recipient Alys Conran discusses her work.

A selection of Spain’s greatest contemporary authors present new work, including Antonio Muñoz Molina with his latest psychological thriller, Tus pasos en la escalera (Your Footsteps on the Staircase); Elia Barceló with El eco de la piel (The Echo of the Skin); Domingo Villar with the third instalment of his bestselling series, El último barco (The Last Boat), Elisabet Benavent with Toda la verdad de mis mentiras (The Whole Truth About My Lies); Javier Castillo with his latest thriller, Todo lo que sucedió con Miranda Huff (Everything That Happened with Miranda Huff); María Dueñas with Las hijas del Capitán (The Captain’s Daughters); and César Brandon with Toda la felicidad del universo (All the Happiness of the Universe).

Bestselling Spanish author Fernando Aramburu joins screenwriter Aitor Gabilondo to talk about the adaptation of his novel, Patria (Homeland), into a new HBO TV series; novelists Reyes Monforte and Carmen Posadas discuss their new books, both set in Russia, Una pasión rusa (A Russian Passion) and El testigo invisible (The Invisible Witness); and Soledad Puértolas discusses her illustrious career, from edititng the magazine España Económica to her presidency of the Royal Board of the National Library of Spain.

Some of the biggest issues affecting the world today are drawn into focus as environmentalist Suzy Amis Cameron discusses the climate crisis; historian Mukul Kesavan looks at India’s new wave of nationalism; British philosopher Claire Chambers talks gender norms; Moroccan sociologist Sanaa El Aji and Catalan writer Najat El Hachmi talk Islamic identity; while Spanish lawyer José María Beneyto, French diplomat and Prix Goncourt-winning author Jean-Christophe Rufin and Peruvian journalist Santiago Roncagliolo discuss the rise of populism globally.

Europe comes under scrutiny as economist Andrés Rodríguez-Pose discusses the continent’s economic future; Spanish journalist Javier del Pino discusses the immigration crisis; and Polish historian Adam Michnik joins Octavio Paz prize-winner Fernando Aramburu to debate the political future of Europe.

Leading philosophers and thinkers discuss their latest works as German philosopher Wolfram Eilenberger joins British historian Violet Moller to talk about the history of knowledge; Octavio Paz Prize-winner Fernando Savater joins French philosopher Joseph Cohen to talk European nihilism; Javier Gomá talks dignity; and Fernando Savater presents his memoir, La peor parte, memorias de amor (The Worst Part, Memories of Love). 

Meanwhile, Hay Festival Segovia continues its programme of European festival partnerships promoting cultural exchange, pairing in 2019 with Les Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco to invite Charlotte Casiraghi and Robert Maggiori to present their joint treatise, Archipel des passions (Archipelago of Passions), and director Laura Hugo to discuss her work.

Historian and food writer Vicky Hayward talks Spanish cuisine; Spanish writer and broadcaster Elvira Lindo presents her latest essay collection on women who have broken the mould, 30 maneras de quitarse el sombrero (30 Ways to Take Off Your Hat); and Humboldt 250 is marked by an expert panel who review his impact on the natural sciences today.

Internationally acclaimed artists and performers discuss their work, including architects Raj Rewal, Jeanne Gang and Amanda Levete; pianist and writer James Rhodes; sculptor Marc Quinn; singer-songwriter Christina Rosenvinge; designer Emilio Gil; photographer Eugenio Recuenco; and Director of London Design Festival, Ben Evans. Meanwhile, Leonardo 500 is marked as art historian Paolo Santini talks with author Lorenzo de Medici about his impact.

Late-night Festival entertainment includes free events in the Plaza San Martín as Festival writers and musicians take over with a series of readings, performances and concerts: Voices in the Square; plus a one-off Baroque concert features Andreas Prittwitz, Antonio Toledo and Ramiro Morales.

Meanwhile, Biblioteca Pública de Segovia and Biblioteca Municipal, the city’s public libraries, host free events and ticketed workshops for all ages featuring journalists Teresa Viejo, Juan Carlos Galindo, Manuel Jabois, Juan Fernández Miranda and Jesús García Calero; novelists and writers Vicente Molina Foix, José Ángel Mañas, Idoia Cantolla, Teresa Viejo, Amarna Miller, Pedro Zuazua and Lara Siscar; leadership expert Marta Williams; and actress Amana Miller. Plus, a trio of Festival events takes writers into Segovia’s surrounds.

Explore the full programme of Hay Festivals Segovia events and projects at hayfestival.org/segovia.