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Hay Festival Letters to the Future
25th May 2018update by: Hay Festival

Hay Festival publishes Letters to the Future: On Equality and Gender by Laura Bates and Owen Sheers

Hay Festival has today released Letters to the Future: On Equality and Gender (Hay Festival Press, paperback, £5.), in which pioneering feminist, activist and bestselling author Laura Bates joins playwright and poet Owen Sheers in writing letters to the next generation, exploring and planning for a future where women and men live free of gender prescription and expectation. Published to coincide with Secondary Schools day at Hay Festival Wales (Friday 25 May), and available via the Hay Festival bookshop and all good booksellers, this new collection invites readers to join the authors in their imagining and mapping-out of the benefits for all in creating an equal future.

Seeds of the project were sown last year when Sheers drew on Bates’ work in delivering his reformation of masculinity for the festival’s 30th anniversary series of reformations. His tender, challenging poem addressed to his daughters, The Men You’ll Meet, was delivered to live audiences at Hay Festival events throughout the year.

Laura Bates will talk about the project with Owen Sheers along with her new book Misogynation on Saturday 26 May. For more information and to download the free teaching resources for the collection visit

Becky Shaw, Hay Festival Press publisher, said: “We are delighted to publish Letters to the Future by Laura Bates and Owen Sheers. This book is for adults and young people exploring all the issues around equality and gender that face societies everywhere. We hope that it will provoke discussion and engagement, and that it will sit alongside some of the further recommended reading both authors have suggested here.”


Laura Bates, pioneering feminist, activist and bestselling author, has given voice to hundreds of thousands of women through her international Everyday Sexism Project. Drawing attention to both hidden and blatant sexist acts and attitudes, Laura has exposed the startling truth behind misogyny in our society: systemic, ingrained and ignored. Her new book Misogynation is out now, published by Simon & Schuster.

Owen Sheers is a poet, novelist and playwright. Twice-winner of the Wales Book of the Year, his books of poetry include Skirrid Hill, winner of a Somerset Maugham Award, the BAFTA-nominated The Green Hollow, and the verse drama Pink Mist. In 2013 he received the Hay Festival Medal for Poetry. In 2018 he was awarded the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award. Sheers’ theatrical work includes The Two Worlds of Charlie F., winner of the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, Mametz, and National Theatre Wales’s 72- hour The Passion. He is chair of Wales PEN Cymru and Professor in Creativity at Swansea University.

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