Hay-on-Belfast 2010

Get a taste of the famous literary festival at The Black Box

Since its inception in 1988 the Hay-on-Wye Festival of Literature and Arts has been a beacon of literary excellence. Since 2002 it has been supported by The Guardian and attended by such luminaries as Stephen Fry, Dylan Moran, Melvyn Bragg and Desmond Tutu.

The festival has been described as 'Woodstock of the mind' by Bill Clinton. Now, with the support of Belfast City Council and Tourism Ireland, the best of the Festival is coming to Belfast.

Over the weekend June 4-6 some of the Festival's most thought-provoking guests will be In conversation with Northern Ireland arts personalities at The Black Box in Belfast.

Yann Martel in conversation with Marie-Louise Muir
Friday 4th June at 5pm
Beatrice and Virgil

The spirit of his Booker-winning Life of Pi resonates in this new novel, launched at Hay, which takes us on an imaginative odyssey in the company of a donkey and a howler monkey. Martel asks profound questions about the nature of human cruelty, kindness and the liberating power of stories.

Yann Martel was born in Spain in 1963. After studying philosophy, he worked at odd jobs and travelled before turning to writing at age 26. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed 2002 Man Booker Prize–winning novel Life of Pi. His collection of short stories, The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, and his first novel, Self, both received critical acclaim. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Simon Singh in conversation with William Crawley
Saturday 5th June at 3pm
The Battle for Free Speech

The brilliantly entertaining science writer and freedom of speech hero talks about alternative medicine, chiropractic, his infamous libel case and the campaign for libel reform. He is the author of Trick or Treatment, The Code Book, Big Bang and Fermat's Last Theorem.

Having completed a PhD in particle physics, Simon Singh joined the BBC science department in 1991 and worked on series such as Tomorrow’s World and Horizon. He is the author of Fermat’s Last Theorem, the first book about mathematics to be a No.1 bestseller.

This was followed by Big Bang (a history of cosmology), The Code Book (a history of cryptography) and Trick or Treatment? (an investigation of alternative medicine). Most recently he has successfully defended a libel action against him and has campaigned for libel reform.

Hugh Ambrose in conversation with Tim Loane
Sunday 6th June at 3pm
The Pacific

The writer discusses and shows clips from his gripping story following the intertwined odysseys of four US Marines and a US Navy carrier pilot within the Pacific theatre during World War II. Certificate 15.

Hugh Ambrose is vice president of the national World War II Museum and has led battlefield tours through Europe and along the Pacific Rim. He served as a consultant on HBO TV series The Pacific, and is also the son of Stephen E Ambrose, author of the bestselling Band of Brothers. He lives in Montana.