I am sitting in the former monastery, turned hotel Santa Clara where the classically Hay festival like convergence of friends, writers, general public are all happily bumping into each other as if this diversity of  conversations and people were a…

Beyond the walls of old Cartagena

Yesterday the best event at Hay Cartagena took place, but it wasn’t in the program and it was far beyond the colonial theaters and little plazas of the beautiful old city. Cartagena has two very distinct faces. The charming center,…

Machismo matters fuelled the session about men’s magazines featuring Daniel Samper Ospina, editor of ‘Soho’ and Dylan Jones, who has edited i-D, the Face and now helms GQ, now a worldwide brand, with a very successful GQ launched in China…

Once upon a time there was a Xalapan bar filled with red dragons. They cried, they whooped, as scrum-half Mike Phillips went to work and Wales made it into the Rugby World Cup semi-finals. Those dragons were the National Poet…

We came from the mountains of Bogota, thin on oxygen. It didn’t take long for this coast and the soft, thick air of Cartagena to revive us. This year Hay began with a Hollywood blast. Colombia’s son (via Jackson Heights),…

This is the story for Thursday: 3 days of planes and buses from the Peruvian Andes – bus almost fell off cliff Arrived Cartagena, muggy, Caribbean, one part Havana one part New Orleans with a dash of getting you lost…

“Dickens could have been a comedy writer, his work is full of catch phrases that could work as mobile ring tones.”  That’s what Andrew Davies thinks.  Doyen of TV screen adaptation, he was in Cartagena as part of the British…

“Writers reveal our truest dreams to us, ones that shape our lives.” That’s what Ben Okri believes, and he should know.  A writer who’s shaped  dozen dream like novels, including the Booker prize winning ‘The Famished Road’ Ben’s innate skills…

This, the seventh Hay Festival in Cartagena de los Indios kicked off with a packed house for homecoming for Hollywood actor John Leguizamo. Born in Colombia but raised from the age of three in the United States, he shared with…

I have approached my first blog of 2012 with trepidation since the apocalypsians tell us we are well and truly in for some nasty surprises. On a personal level I hope not. I’m only just getting up and about after…

A week after the winter entertainments in Hay I find myself in the town that is to chocolate what Hay is to books. Bruges/Brugge is very pretty, of course, and great for a couple of days in the company of…