Hay Festival 2015

Before I was accepted to Cardiff University, in anticipation of applying to US-based graduate programs, I was preparing to sit for the GRE.

At that point I knew Cardiff was my first choice, but at the same time I also knew very little about Wales itself. So, when one of my practice reading comprehension exercises profiled a 10-day long, annual book festival held in rural Wales I was even more convinced this was the place for me.

Held in the sleepy village of Hay-on-Wye, the Hay Festival is internationally renowned and has hosted speakers including former US President Bill Clinton, actor Benedict Cumberbatch, and newly-turned politician Sandi Toksvig.

Stephen Fry is even a member of the festival’s governing board.

I immediately added a day of book perusing and culture to my prospective “To Do in Wales” wish list.

Fast forward 18 months and I’m sitting in the press tent as a blogger for the Hay Festival 2015. Smiling from ear to ear.

Covering events for the Hay Festival was an enlightening cultural whirlwind. From an in-depth look at Romeo and Juliet to traversing Hay Castle to listening to Cambridge scholars debate the common ground shared by India and Pakistan – in those 10 days I studied more subjects than I did in undergraduate school.

These were most likely the hardest, 15-hour days of my life. As exhausted as I was by the end, the Hay Festival opened my eyes to authors, music and culture it would take a lifetime to experience.

My work can be found on the Hay Festival Facebook page as well as their website, bylines and photography credit appear at the bottom of each post.

 

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