Hay Festival has announced the line-up for the eighth Hay Festival Querétaro in Mexico, 7–10 September 2023, including National Poet of Wales Hanan Issa.

Launching the best new fiction and non-fiction, while engaging with some of the biggest issues of our times, the programme blends 151 artists – Nobel laureates, award-winning writers and journalists, global policy makers and innovators – in 105 activities live and online over four days.

Issa will take part in the international event as part of the 2022/23 Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Hay Festival | Hay Festival International Fellowship. 

Funded by Arts Council Wales, the Fellowship supports a writer in Wales in attending Festival editions around the world in Mexico, Spain, Peru and Colombia while developing a writing or research project.

Open to exceptional writers of all ages, it provides a unique opportunity for career development, while increasing Wales’ artistic profile internationally. 

A participant of the Hay Festival Writers at Work development programme, Issa’s debut pamphlet My Body can House two Hearts was published by Burning Eye Books in 2019. 

Her work has been performed and published in a variety of places including BBC Wales, ITV Wales, Huffington Post, StAnza festival and Poetry Wales.

She is the co-founder of the Where I’m Coming From open mic collective and was named National Poet of Wales last year. 

She will appear in Mexico alongside guests including Nobel laureates Serge Haroche and Carlos Umaña; writers Douglas Stuart, Hernán Díaz, Liliana Colanzi, John Boyne, Muriel Barbery, Goran Petrović, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Manuel Vilas, Brenda Navarro, Gaëlle Obiégly, Geoff Dyer, Fernanda Melchor and Irene Solà; scientist Anil Seth; economists Ha-Joon Chang and Thomas Porcher; journalists and historians Carissa Véliz, Andrea Wulf and Fortino Domínguez; plus musicians and performers Andrea Echeverri, Galen&Paul and León de Aranoal; and actor Gael García Bernal. 

Hanan Issa said: “I’m excited to connect with the amazing, insightful authors that will be attending the festival in Queretaro and to delve into connections of myth and folklore between Welsh and Mexican cultural oral traditions.”

Julie Finch, Hay Festival CEO, said: “Over the next 12 months, Hay Festival brings citizens and artists together in eight events across four continents, starting in Mexico this September.

"Tackling some of the biggest issues of our time, we celebrate the power of words to unite us in solutions.

"In Querétaro, we are delighted to present a programme of conversations and performances to inspire, examine and entertain featuring 151 of the world's most essential writers, thinkers, scientists and leaders.

"Please join us in-person or online as we seek to imagine the world anew.”

Cristina Fuentes La Roche, Hay Festival international director, said: “As we mark our eighth year in Querétaro, here is a bold programme full of new thinking, innovative ideas, and rigorous analysis of the world around us.

"We are delighted to welcome Hanan Issa as part of the Hay Festival International Fellowship as we develop a unique space for writers, thinkers and audiences from across the world to share ideas in free, open conversations.”

A World Heritage City, Querétaro’s majestic architecture makes for a unique Festival backdrop as Hay Festival Querétaro takes over the city’s cultural venues and offers events in the municipality of Cadereyta. 

Outreach and education programmes across the region, including Hay Joven and Hay Festivalito, will continue to open access to Festival inspiration more widely, while some sessions will be broadcasted live online, maintaining Hay Festival’s commitment to digital accessibility.

Explore the programme, book tickets, and register for the live-streams at hayfestival.org/queretaro