Peter Kenrick Florence, CBE FRSL (born 4 October 1964), is a British festival director, most notable for founding the Hay Festival with his father and mother, Norman Florence and Rhoda Florence, funding the first festival with winnings from a poker game.
Education and career
Peter Florence was educated at Ipswich School, Jesus College, Cambridge, and the University of Paris and has an MA in Modern and Medieval Literatures. He holds honorary doctorates from The Open University, Queen Mary University of London, Worcester University and The University of Glamorgan, and is a Fellow of Hereford College of Arts, The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and the British-American Project, and an Honorary Fellow of Bangor University and of Cardiff University.
A number of his interviews with writers appear in the Hay Festival's 30th-anniversary book Hay Festival Conversations.
He is a trustee of the Baillie Gifford Prize. He is a member of the Board of The Deborah Rogers Foundation. He was a governor of Fairfield High School in Peterchurch, Herefordshire, and a trustee of Hay Castle Trust.
Florence chaired the jury of the 2019 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and controversially defied the foundation’s 1993-established rules to award the prize to two authors. Bernardine Evaristo - the first black woman to be awarded the prize - shared the prize with Margaret Atwood.
Florence was awarded an MBE in 2005 for services to Arts and Culture.
He was awarded a CBE in 2018 for services to Literature and Charity.
- "New Year's Honours 2018" (PDF). Gov.uk. Government Digital Service. 29 December 2017. p. 15. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- Channel 4 The Hay Festival 2006 from Channel4.com, retrieved 2007-01-26
- University, Worcester. "Graduation News". Worcester University News. Worcester University. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- Index. "Freedom of Speech". index on censorship. Index on Censorship. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- The Guardian. "Guardian profile". The Guardian. Guardian Newspapers. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- "EFA Jury". EFA Newsletter. EFA. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- Ideas 2007: Creativity Beyond Borders: Peter Florence Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 2007-01-26
- "Brecon and Radnoe".
- The Hay Festival Homepage
- BBC Radio 3 Private Passions - interview with Michael Berkeley, Sunday 27 May 2018.
- Prospect Magazine 11 Questions, 17 May 2018.
- Guardian op ed - A Golden Age, Peter Florence on Hay's 30th Anniversary, 3 March 2017
- PEN International interview with Peter Florence, 6 June 2013.
- Peter Florence on Freedom of Speech, Index on Censorship, 25 January 2017.
- Peter Florence profile, The Guardian.
- Dylan Moore, "Interview: Peter Florence, Director of the Hay Festival", Wales Arts Review, Issue 5, 2012.
- "Hay Festival 2011: Hay director Peter Florence in conversation", The Telegraph, 26 May 2011.
- Ben Duckworth, "Making Hay: Peter Florence reveals his festival secrets", Total Politics, 13 May 2013.
- "Peter Florence: Hay Festival will always be a snapshot of today's world", WalesOnline, 27 May 2012.
- Peter Florence profile, Open University.
- EFA jury video, European Festivals Association 28 April 2017.
- Publishing Perspectives interview, 22 September 2016.
- Man Booker Prize jury announcement.