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Hay Festival Segovia, 19–22 September 2019, has now ended. Thanks for joining us! You can watch and listen again on Hay Player.


Event 3

History and Current Affairs

– Venue: Biblioteca Municipal, Casa de la Lectura, Sala segunda

6pm: Presentation of issue num. 111 of Telos magazine, dedicated to The Voice The voice, which has been decisive in human evolution, it is today in the development of artificial intelligence as well, in the relationship human-machine, and a key element in the future of literature and creativity. Participants will be Juliana Rueda (music teacher and sound engineer, front page and main interview in the current issue of Telos) and Juan Zafra (journalist and director of Telos magazine) among other speaker to be confirmed. The issue of the magazine can be downloaded here.

7.05pm: Juan Fernández Miranda and Jesús García Calero in conversation with Carlos Aganzo

Don Juan contra Franco comes from the research carried out by ABC journalists Juan Fernández Miranda and Jesús García Calero, who had exclusive access to spying reports from 1948, with handwritten annotations by the dictator himself, shedding new light upon a key moment in our recent history.

8.05pm: 10-minute break

8.15pm: Lara Siscar and Pedro Zuazua. "Aquí hay gato encerrado”

Journalist and novelist Lara Siscar talks about living with cats and her shared feline weaknesses with Pedro Zuazua, author of En mi casa no entra un gato. The author of La vigilante del Louvre and Flores negras shares the session with the journalist and communication manager of PRISA News, whose book based on his daily life with his cat, Mia, has been a publishing success.

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Event 11

Elia Barceló and Juan Carlos Laviana in conversation with Blanca Rosa Roca

The Carapace That Disfigures the Past: Hard truths, kind lies

– Venue: La Alhóndiga

The best-selling author of The Colour of Silence Elia Barceló once again captures critical acclaim and public imagination with The Echo of the Skin, a novel about a family saga tinged with mystery that showcases her gift for narrating the times in which we live. With her characteristic mastery of narrative construction, Barceló delves into the past and reveals secrets that at once disturb and enrich the profile of the heroine. Barceló has received numerous awards for her work, including the UPC International Science Fiction Award for The World of Yarek and the Ignotus Prize for the best science fiction story in Spanish for Humo y Espejos (‘Smoke and Mirrors’). She will talk with journalist Juan Carlos Laviana, chaired by Blanca Rosa Roca, director of Roca Editorial.

Photo ©: Pau Sanclemente
Event in Spanish
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Event 13

ABC Podcast: New languages for history

Diego Moreno Bermejo, Andrea Carrasco Mejuto, César Cervera, Jesús García Calero

– Venue: Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, MediaLab

ABC newspaper attracts listeners with its voice project, a pioneer among the mass, national media. New audiences and devices allow ABC to reach its listeners through podcasts and newsfeeds, revealing stories and in-depth reports on history, science, women and cinema. Newsfeeds include downloads of the latest news and exclusive features to the device of your choice. The panel includes Diego Moreno Bermejo, ABC Multimedia Coordinator (videos and podcast), Andrea Carrasco Mejuto, ABC Multimedia Editor and voice of Los Boletines for ABC, and César Cervera, ABC history journalist. Chaired by Jesús García Calero, Chief Editor of ABC Culture.

Event in Spanish
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ABC Podcast: New languages for history

Event 21

Vicente Molina Foix in conversation with Renato Cisneros

Hispano-American Notebooks

– Venue: Biblioteca Pública de Segovia

Hay Festival Dialogues with Hispanic American Notebooks fosters knowledge and exchange between writers from different generations and nationalities, bound by the same language and a shared literary tradition, enriched by authors from diverse origins. The project invites an established author to support a younger colleague from overseas. In this case, Vicente Molina Foix (Spain) chooses Renato Cisneros (Peru) for a talk about the latter’s last book Algún día te mostraré el desierto (‘One day I will show you the desert’) and about the writer’s profession.

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Event 24

María Dueñas in conversation with Jesús García Calero

Migration and Liberty

– Venue: Teatro Juan Bravo

In her fourth novel Las hijas del Capitán (‘The Captain’s Daughters’), María Dueñas sets her story among the Spaniards who emigrated to New York in the 1920s, intertwining her fictional characters with real ones. In 2009, following two decades as a university professor, Dueñas burst onto the literary stage with El tiempo entre costuras (‘The Time in Between’), an historical novel in which the heroine leaves her native Spain to seek refuge and fortune in Morocco in the 1930s. The novel became an overnight sensation and was adapted into a miniseries by leading television channel Antena 3, to spectacular acclaim. Her later works, Misión Olvido (2012) and La Templanza (2015’s bestseller) continued to captivate readers and critics. Her work has been translated into more than thirty-five languages and has managed to sell millions of copies. Dueñas has become one of the most revered Spanish language writers in the world. She talks with journalist and writer Jesús García Calero.

Photo ©: Ricardo Martín
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Event 26

Violet Moller and Wolfram Eilenberger in conversation with Miguel Aguilar

Wisemen and Wizards: The revolution of knowledge, from the classical world to today

– Venue: Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, Aula Magna

In her first publication, young historian Violet Moller outlines the path traversed by the ideas of three great wise men from the ancient world – Euclides the mathematician, Ptolomeus the astronomer and Galen the surgeon – in a long, never-ending transformation through seven cities across more than one thousand years. Moller reveals the links between the Islamic world and Christianity that would preserve and transform science from the early Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Some centuries later, when the First World War ended, a decade of exceptional creativity started, which changed the course of ideas in Europe forever.

In his latest work Zeit de Zauberer (‘A Time of Magicians’) Wolfram Eilenberger concludes that Wittgenstein, Benjamin, Cassirer and Heidegger, four giants, shape our contemporary thought and are the true origin of our modern relationship with the world. Eilenberger is editor-in-chief of the German edition of Philosophie magazine. He and Moller talk to editor Miguel Aguilar about the transmission and revolution of knowledge and the new way of writing essays.

Photo ©: Paula Jayne
Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English
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Event 28

Storytel Workshop: Reinventing the experience of the ‘book’

Renato Cisneros, Jesús Ruiz Mantilla and Javier Celaya

– Venue: Biblioteca Municipal, Casa de la Lectura, Sala segunda

Stories born in audio format are then translated onto paper. ‘Audio first’ is now a worldwide trend that pitches the audio format as the first one to launch new works into the market. Renato Cisneros explains the challenges of developing an original series for Storytel, designed to start out in an audio format.

A 1.5-hour-long workshop run by journalist and poet Renato Cisneros, writer and journalist Jesús Ruiz Mantilla and writer Javier Celaya.

1 hour 30 mins
Event in Spanish
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Event 29

What do you want me to tell you?

Listen or record an audiobook

– Venue: Plaza Mayor

We all love a good story. Attendees at Hay Festival Segovia this year can discover the new world of audiobooks, including using a production cabin to listen to books written by authors participating this year. Storytel, the main audiobook platform in Europe, in collaboration with Eclair, the leading studio in sound production and dubbing into Spanish, will transform the bandstand in Plaza Mayor de Segovia into a production studio so the audience can immerse themselves in audiobooks by listening to chapters from thousands of works published by well-known writers.

Attendees will also be able to record texts from their favourite authors’ works, which will be shared through social media. Participants from the public reading series My own and others’ at Plaza San Martín and Jardín del Romeral de San Marcos will also record their readings.

Time schedules:

Friday 20 September, 5.30pm–8.30pm.

Saturday 21 September, 11am–2pm and 5.30pm–8.30pm.

Sunday 22 September, 11am–2pm.

Photo ©: Eclair Madrid

Special offer for Hay Festival Segovia assitants and friends: 30 days free trial of Storytel

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Event 30

Elvira Lindo in conversation with Manuel Jabois

Subtle gesture, bold defiance

– Venue: La Alhóndiga

Elvira Lindo, the much-loved voice and creator of the character Manolito Gafotas, a classic of Spanish children’s literature on Saturday morning radio, shows her mettle as an insightful essayist with a keen eye for the subtleties of social change. Sometimes gestures that seem small are loaded with bold statements and thus have a big impact. In her latest collection of essays, 30 maneras de quitarse el sombrero (‘30 ways to take off your hat’), Elvira Lindo pays homage to the struggle of many women who changed history, for example the gesture made by three Spanish artists in the 1920s right in the centre of Madrid, defying the establishment. Elvira Lindo provides a portrait of, among others, American writers Carson McCullers, Dorothy Parker and Joan Didion and British professor Mary Beard. These women broke moulds in their own way. She will talk with writer and journalist for El País, Manuel Jabois.

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Event 35

Antonio Muñoz Molina in conversation with Ana Gavín

Your footsteps on the staircase

– Venue: La Alhóndiga

One of the most highly acclaimed Spanish writers internationally, Antonio Muñoz Molina, returns to fictional prose with a psychological thriller, Your Footsteps on the Staircase. Set in New York, this story of the love and memories of a couple seen through real-life events and personal emotions straddles fiction and reality; and questions the nature of being human. Muñoz Molina’s work has been translated into numerous languages and he has received many awards, among them the Planeta Award for The Polish Rider and the Prince of Asturias Award for Letters. He will talk with Ana Gavín, Director of Editorial Relations for Grupo Planeta.

Event in Spanish.
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Event 39

Voices at the square

Readings, concerts and dance: My own and others’

– Venue: Plaza San Martín

San Martín Square will be the epicentre of this celebration after its success at last year’s Hay Festival Segovia. A series of readings and music will surprise audiences with their energy and joy.

39a. In case of rain, event 39a moves to the University of Valladolid, at the same time

Once again, the Big Band del British Council School will bring rhythm to the Saturday evening before giving way to:

7pm: My own and others’, Hay Festival Segovia’s proposal to promote reading and gather, in a place of communion and expression, voices renowned for their work and talent. In this edition, the readers of the series will be Ibero-American public figures. Let’s celebrate this space for thought, cohabitation and welcoming surroundings; let’s celebrate cultures. Let’s celebrate that we are here and now. The hosts of the Renfe’s train are Joaquín del Moral who will take these voices to Segovia and the General Director of Renfe Viajeros, Javier Díaz Trisac. The evening’s host will be journalist Ramón Arangüena, who will introduce each guest to read a poem or short text in this event coordinated by Laura VenturaThe Mayor of Segovia Clara Isabel Luquero de Nicolás, opens the reading. The UK Ambassador for Spain, Hugh Elliott, the Director of British Council, Mark HowardMiguel Ángel de Vicentel (President of Council of Segovia), José Mazarías (Territorial Delegate of the Junta de Castilla y León), José Luis Huertas (City Councillor of Segovia Townhall), Pablo Pérez (politician in Segovia Townhall), Alfonso Martín Gómez (General minister)and other authorities will dedicate us their readings too. Participants are, among others: Benjamin Ziff (diplomat), Pablo Jiménez Burillo (poet), Anna Grau (journalist and writer)Javier Rodríguez Marcos (poet), Luz Sánchez Mellado (journalist), Pablo Messiez (theater director, playwright), Gina Aguiar, Counselor of Culture of Segovia,  Ana Gavín (publisher), Andy Mackay (Director EU Europe, British Council), Renato Cisneros (writer)José Félix Valdivieso (poet), Beatriz Celaya (cultural manager), Alonso Ruiz Rosas (writer and diplomat), Ilze Barobs (educator), Ludovic Assémat (British Council), Cristina Ward (British Council), Belén Ferrier (artisan), Jair Leal (plastic artist), Cléo Costa (journalist), Javier Celaya (director of Dosdoce), Isabel Fuentes (writer), Gonzalo Figari (publicist), Ana Guijarro (consultant), Beltrán Gambier (lawyer), Andrea Tenuta (actress), Ronald Muzzangue Muzz (social anthropologist), Noelia Noto (actress), Santiago Herrero (diplomat), Laura Bautista (manager), Javier Gila (president of the NGO AIDA), Idoia Cantolla (cultural manager), Gervasio Posadas (writer), Nani Mosquera (draftswoman), Marta del Riego (writer), Luis Besa (journalist), Carlos Aganzo (poet), Lisbeth Salas (photographer), Clara Paolini (journalist), Ana Corroto (book seller), Selena Millares (writer, professor), Almudena Ballester (writer translator), Elizabeth Gruninger (interior designer), Laura Garrido (journalist), Marta Villegas (writer), Marella Paramatti (cultural manager), Celia Ayllón (blogger), Laura Arache (consultant), Jesús Vigorra (journalist), Javier Olivera (cinema director), Guillermo Solana (curator),​ ​Oliva Arauna​ ​(curator and gallerist), Ricardo Cárdenas (plastic artist), Mar Sancho (manager), Carlos Malamud (historian), Ainhoa Sánchez (manager), Jesús Nieto (journalist), Olga Cuadrado (manager), Alberto Giovanetti (diplomat), Violeta Medina (filmaker and poet), Marife Santiago Bolaños (poet), Agustín García Matilla (professor),Paulina Martínez (writer), Kris Rocha (singer, who will participate with her reading and songs), and Emilio Gilolmo (Hay Festival Vice-President), in charge of closing the readings. 

8.30pm: Kris Rocha, a Brazilian participant in the Festival de San Sebastián, comes to Segovia to communicate her passion for Brazilian music. Musicians from the Music Club of IE University will perform songs from their countries and others, in a great music party without borders. With Giulia Carmago (Brazil), Gilles de Trazegnies and Alejandro Sansour (Peru), Irene Delgado (Guatemala), and Paula Molina (Colombia).

39b. In case of rain, event 39b moves to La Alhondiga, at the same time

Ready to dance? The literary dance will return this year to the sound of Latin American rhythms, alternating readings and dancing steps for everyone. 

10.15pm: As a grand finale, the festival welcomes Inua Ellams to Segovia, one of the most multi-talented and acclaimed artists in the United Kingdom. The poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist and designer will be the host with the actor Nacho Aldeguer of a great R.A.P. (Rhythm and Poetry) party where young authors from different nationalities (including Bubelo Mlilo from Zimbabwe among other artists) will perform literary works influenced by Urban culture, with a soundtrack Hip Hop style. 

Audience and participants are invited to record themselves in a professional recording cabin located at Plaza Mayor. See event 29 for further information. Please register in advance at

Special offer for Hay Festival Segovia assistants and friends: 30 days free trial of Storytel

Event in Spanish, Portuguese and English.
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Event 42

James Ellroy in conversation with Guillermo Altares

The dark side of Hollywood

– Venue: Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, Aula Magna

James Ellroy is one of the most famous writers of contemporary crime fiction. Among his best-known works are The Black Dahlia and L.A. Confidential, which were turned into films with staggering success. Along with The Big Nowhere and White Jazz, they make up the acclaimed L.A. Quartet, a series that has become a classic of 20th-century noir novels. These stories are set in the 1950s and make up a journey through the dark side of Hollywood. Ellroy has just published This Storm, a sequel to Perfidia, which takes place in January 1942, when Los Angeles was reeling from the attack on Pearl Harbor. He talks to journalist and writer Guillermo Altares. Presented by the Counselor of Culture, Tourism and Sports from Junta de Castilla y León Javier Ortega Álvarez.

Photo ©: Marion Ettlinger
Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish
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Event 44

Reyes Monforte and Carmen Posadas in conversation with Carlos Aganzo

Women readers and writers: A new literature

– Venue: Teatro Juan Bravo

It is a phenomenon throughout the world, but especially in Spanish literature: the success of literature written by women whose reading public is comprised mainly of women. Two of the most popular novelists of our time, Reyes Monforte and Carmen Posadas, represent in their own right the definition of a new literature that has another way of narrating, and another way of being read. Both have set historical novels in Russia – Monforte with Una pasión rusa (‘A Russian Passion’) and Posadas with El testigo invisible (‘The Invisible Witness’). Both have garnered awards throughout their careers and are now members of literary awards juries. They are among the female authors who have relaunched the publishing industry in a new direction. What is really behind this phenomenon? Monforte and Posadas, each with hundreds of thousands of readers in Spain and in America, will speak with journalist and writer Carlos Aganzo about this phenomenon and and their latest novels: Monforte's La memoria de la lavanda (Lavender’s memory) and Posadas's La maestra de títeres (The puppetry teacher).

Carlos Aganzo Photo ©: LLANTÉN K

Carmen Posadas Photo ©: EFE

Event in Spanish
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Event 50

Najat El Hachmi in conversation with Sanaa El Aji

The prison of identity

– Venue: Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, Refectorio

Moroccan sociologist and journalist Sanaa El Aji, renowned for her columns advocating a more secular society, and Najat El Hachmi, the Catalan writer born in Morocco, review the concept of ‘Islamic identity’, an everyday reality on both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar, which in some forms silences individual liberties, defends patriarchal rule and, above all, imposes certain behaviours and attire on women. El Aji delves into the struggle of moving forward a nation like Morocco, where the most liberal voices are stifled by a resurgence of fundamentalism, while El Hachmi (The Last PatriarchThe Foreign Daughter, Mother of Milk and Honey) reflects on the condition of life for women in ghettos of immigrant groups – where, under the guise of religious fundamentalism, the label of ‘cultural identity’ can become a prison.

Simultaneous translation from French to Spanish and from Spanish to French
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Event 51

Ahmed Saadawi in conversation with Mónica G. Prieto

Portraying a dismembered Iraq

– Venue: Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, Refectorio

Novelist, poet and screenwriter Ahmed Saadawi has become one of the foremost literary voices in Iraq since he was included in Beirut39 (2010), a selection of 39 of the most promising Arab writers under the age of 40. His novel Frankenstein in Baghdad quickly achieved international recognition, namely the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (2014) and the Prix de L’Imaginaire (2017) as well as being shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize (2018). In the novel, Saadawi reflects on how violence has already become part of everyday life. He talks with the Spanish journalist Monica G. Prieto, an expert in the Middle East, about the reasons for and consequences of the brutality of the war.

Photo ©: Safa Alwan
Simultaneous translation from Arabic to Spanish
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Event 56

Christina Rosenvinge with Bob Pop


– Venue: Teatro Juan Bravo

In her book Debut, singer-songwriter Christina Rosenvinge collects more than twenty-five years of songs. She journeys through the places, the stories and the reflections that underlie her lyrics. They are testimonies of the commitment to, as well as the uncertainty that precedes, each project; reflections on love, freedom and feminine power; in short, a portrait of the moments that intersect life and which would be destined to oblivion if it were not for the electric spark of a song that keeps them alive. In this book, she reveals the literary, musical and artistic references that have influenced her work. She will be in conversation with writer and critic Bob Pop.

Photo ©: Pablo Zamora
Event in Spanish
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Event 57

César Brandon

A bittersweet journey

– Venue: Teatro Juan Bravo

César Brandon burst onto the literary stage thanks to his gift for telling of complicated things with tenderness, with an understandable and intimate language laden with great doses of humour and sincerity. He thrilled both the jury and the public of Got Talent España, which he won in 2018. His new book, Toda la felicidad del universo (‘All the happiness in the universe’), makes readers dream about love, loneliness, forgetfulness, joy, happiness, life and death. Presented by Ana Gavín, Director of Editorial Relations for Grupo Planeta.

Photo by Esif Fotografia
Event in Spanish
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Event 58

Fernando Aramburu and Aitor Gabilondo in conversation with Jesús Ruiz Mantilla

Patria: From the paper to the screen

– Venue: Teatro Juan Bravo

Patria (‘Homeland’) has been the greatest phenomenon of Spanish literature in recent times. Its adaptation to the screen will also make broadcasting history: it will be the first entirely Spanish series produced by the prestigious HBO for television. Fernando Aramburu, its author, and Aitor Gabilondo, scriptwriter and producer of the series, talk about the creative process in which they were both involved. With the production stage concluded and the filming over they will make their first public appearance at the Hay Festival Segovia. The novel continues to expand internationally: it has been translated into all European languages ​​and has sold more than one and a half million copies across the world. The première of the television version is scheduled for 2020. Both will talk with the writer and journalist who has closely followed the entire process, Jesús Ruiz Mantilla.

Event in Spanish
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