INSPIRE in partnership with ASLE-UKI is pleased to announce its public lecture competition winner for the third year running, and the winner of the competition for this year, Hayden Gabriel was invited to deliver her submission as "The 2015 INSPIRE Lecture on Literature and Sustainability" at the 2015 Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts (Hay-on-Wye, 28th May 2015).  

Once again, this competition has invited submissions that explore how literature, in any of its forms, responds to and is shaped by our contact with other creatures in the context of debates around sustainability. Entrants submitted the text of a half-hour public lecture, which is both scholarly and accessible to an audience ranging from interested lay-people to professional literary critics and sustainability practitioners.

THE ANNUAL INSPIRE/ASLE-UKI LECTURE: ANIMAL LIVES, BINARY OPPOSITION, AND BARBARA KINGSOLVER’S ‘PRODIGAL SUMMER’ highlighted the environmental crisis which entails profound and often catastrophic changes to animal habitats as well as to human lives. Within this year’s winning lecture, Hayden Gabriel explored the complex and dynamic relationships between humans and animals in both the lecturer’s own work and Kingsolver’s bestselling novel.

Hayden Gabriel is a novelist and also Programme Leader for Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of St Mark and St John, Plymouth.

The lecture was followed by a public discussion between the competition winner and Jane Davidson, Director of INSPIRE, and former Welsh Government Minister for Sustainability.

Further details of the winning 2015 lecture can be found here:


Previous winners for ‘INSPIRE Lecture on Literature and Sustainability’ competition:

The winning entry for 2013 was, ‘Reading with the Grain: Sustainability and the Literary Imagination’ co-authored by Dr Jayne Archer, Professor Richard Marggraf Turley and Professor Howard Thomas from the University of Aberystwyth.  Footage of the lecture can be found here:

In 2014, INSPIRE and ASLE-UKI were proud to present  INSPIRE Lecture on Literature and Sustainability at the Hay Festival: ‘ Dr Richard Kerridge on ‘ What is New about the New Nature Writing with excepts from his recent book ‘Cold Blood’.  Click below to read.