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Hay Festival 2010: 27 May - 6 June

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Laura Chamberlain Laura Chamberlain | 14:10 UK time, Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The beautiful 'book town' of Hay-on-Wye plays host to one of the world's largest festivals of literature and arts, with events beginning on Thursday.

The Hay Festival of Literature and Arts was described by former US President Bill Clinton as 'the Woodstock of the mind' when he attended in 2001. This year's festival promises the eclectic variety of authors, musicians, comedians, political figures and international guests that the thousands of annual attendees have come to expect.

Photograph of the 2009 Hay Festival site © Finn Beales

Photograph of the 2009 Hay Festival site © Finn Beales

2010 festival highlights are likely to include literary stars Bill Bryson, Philip Pullman, Roddy Doyle and Stephen Fry, international figures such as Pervez Musharraf, sporting favourites Nigel Mansell and Shane Williams, Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel, musicians Laura Marling, Beth Orton and Christy Moore, and comedians Jo Brand, Tim Minchin, Shappi Khorsandi and Ruby Wax.

There's also an extensive range of Welsh authors making an appearance at this year's event.

Owen Sheers and Russell Celyn Jones will discuss their modern interpretations of the Mabinogion - White Ravens and The Ninth Wave respectively - while TS Eliot Poetry Prize winner Philip Gross and Dannie Abse will be involved in a discussion on creative reading.

Photographs of Rachel Trezise, Rob Brydon and Owen Sheers. (Image of Owen Sheers © Charlotte Medlicott)

Photographs of Rachel Trezise, Rob Brydon and Owen Sheers. (Image of Owen Sheers © Charlotte Medlicott)

Wales Book of the Year longlisted authors Peter Lord, John Davies (Welsh-language prize) and Richard Marggraf Turley are all set to attend; the shortlists for this year's prizes are also set to be announced at the festival.

Other authors involved over the 10 days include Robert Minhinnick, Rachel Trezise, Chris Meredith, Menna Elfyn, National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke, Trezza Azzopardi and Catrin Dafydd. And Welsh comedian Rob Brydon is set to perform on the first Sunday night of the festival.

Plus, there's plenty of events to keep the children entertained with Hay Fever; the half-term programme events, activites and workshops are aimed at youngsters of all ages. Jacqueline Wilson, Charlie Higson, Morris Gleitzman and Carlos Ruiz Zafón are just some of the guests attending.

The Guardian Hay Festival runs from Thursday 27 May to 6 June. Visit the website for further information, for the full programme of events and to book tickets.

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