CHILDREN’S author Sir Michael Morpurgo will be helping mark the tenth anniversary of York Festival of Ideas.

The festival has unveiled its 2021 programme on the theme of Infinite Horizons and as part of a special tenth anniversary celebration day on Monday, June 7, children’s author Sir Michael Morpurgo will be reading A Song of Gladness and will reveal what inspired the story, in a YouTube premiere of the work.

Other high-profile festival speakers in the last ten years will join him in explaining the objects and ideas that have inspired them.

This year’s festival, sponsored by Holbeck Charitable Trust, offers headline speakers, also including Channel 4’s Editor-at-large Dorothy Byrne; and historians Greg Jenner, William Dalrymple and Timothy Garton Ash.

Speakers also include leading economists Mariana Mazzucato and Kate Raworth; political philosopher Michael Sandel; poet, Salena Godden, broadcaster, Krista Tippett; musicians, Supriya Nagarajan and Anna Phoebe; forensic anthropologist, Sue Black; and journalist Lina Attalah.

York Festival of Ideas runs from June 8-20, and has programme partnerships spanning Bangladesh, France, Greece, The Netherlands, India, and the USA.

Joan Concannon, Director of York Festival of Ideas, said: “We are enormously proud to announce this exciting and inspirational programme for the 2021 York Festival of Ideas. We have radically adapted our model of engaging audiences in the light of Covid-19 restrictions but our programme for 2021 is as ambitious as any we have attempted in the last decade.

“We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all our sponsors and partners without whose support we would be unable to deliver the festival free to our audiences.

“I am especially delighted that we have an opportunity to build on our relationship with partners from across the world – ideas and knowledge have no borders and we are honoured to work with such inspiring partners from around the world.

“With our fascinating city centre walking trail to mark our 10th anniversary, we are honoured to showcase our 10 Trailblazers - the men and women who have helped to make York a city of ideas, innovation and inspiration through the ages.”

York Festival of Ideas includes a series of sponsored focus events which place the spotlight on some of the most pressing questions facing humankind. Panels of experts will explore how to create a fairer economy, the role of imagination in science, and the challenge of restoring serious debate in a politically polarised world.

Tickets for all festival events are available from Tuesday, May 7. Click here to see the full festival programme and to book tickets.