The most important literary gathering in Colombia, Hay Festival Cartagena, launches January 29th and celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with an impressive line up of authors, journalists, essayists and filmmakers. For three days, venues across the historic Old City open their doors (and courtyards) to Hay with a program of events and 150 invited guests from around the world.

This year, Nobel Laureates, J.M.G. Le Clézio (Literature) and Jody Williams (Peace) will be attending Hay Cartagena, as well as writers Javier Cercas, Almudena Grandes, Juan Villoro, Helen Fielding, Taiye Selasi, Sofi Oksanen, Julia Franck, Héctor Abad Faciolince, Petros Markaris and Laurent Binet. Filmmakers Stephen Frears, Sergio Cabrera and Lucía Puenzo are also on the guest list of the prestigious event.

In the nonfiction lecture series, Hay guests include writer and lecturer on psychology, politics, and the arts; winner of the National Book Award Andrew Solomon, the Distinguished Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an international- ly syndicated columnist Moises Naim, Canadian-born experimental psychol- ogist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker and British feminist writer and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, Laura Bates. Tune in with British musician and producer Brian Eno in the conversation category.

For a break between lectures and one on one interviews, concerts by Seu Jorge (Brazil), Latin Caribbean Orchestra Simon Bolivar (Venezuela) and champeta master Charles King and The Intelligent (Colombia) will be held in the Plaza de la Aduana Square.

The festival’s program includes more than eighty events on literature, science, psychology, art, journalism and film for the general public; and there are twenty scheduled events in different neighborhoods in Cartagena de Indias for young audiences with the Hay Festivalito.

The presence at Hay Cartagena of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature, French author JMG Le Clézio is the highlight of the event. Le Clézio is the first French-language author to win a Nobel in literature in 23 years and launched his career with English detective stories after reading English at Bristol University in the late 1950s. Born in the south of France to a French mother and a British father, Le Clézio has written more than 40 books of fiction, including a memoir and some children’s literature. His exstensive bibliography includes, Le Procès-Verbal (The Interrogation), Le déluge (The Flood), La Guerre (War) and Les Géants (The Giants). His books have been published into 36 languages.

The 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, Jody Williams, will be in Cartagena to discuss a life dedicated to political activism and the urgency of banning of anti-personnel mines around the world.

As it’s a landmark year for Hay, and the guest line up is nothing short of impressive, best book those air tickets to Cartagena early and get the entry tickets through their official website: www.hayfestival.com/cartagena

Ticket for Hay Cartagena are also available through the Librería Nacional and you can buy tickets direct and collect your pre-purchased tickets at the box office of Cartagena’s Adolfo Mejía Theatre.