Jamie McKendrick and Virginia Astley in conversation with Dr Tony Fincham  Hardy Today

Jamie McKendrick, an acclaimed poet and critic, and Virginia Astley, Writer-in-Residence at Hardy's Cottage will read and discuss their work, and the influence of Hardy's poetry with Dr Tony Fincham.

Jamie McKendrick was born in Liverpool in 1955, and lives in Oxford where he teaches and reviews poetry and the visual arts for a number of newspapers and magazines. He is the author of six collections of poetry, winner of the Southern Arts LIterature Award, shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize and Whitbread Poetry Award and winner of the Hawthornden Prize.

Virginia Astley is a songwriter and poet and author of the award winning collection of poems, The Curative Harp. Hardy's works have always inspired Virginia, and she has recently been selected as writer-in-residence at Thomas Hardy's Cottage where she will teach creative writing and explore the influence of the landscape on contemporary writers.

Tony Fincham is Vice President and former Chairman of the Thomas Hardy Society. He has been studying Hardy's Landscape for 40 years and is the author of Exploring Thomas Hardy's Wessex.


Listing Details

Friday 20th October 2.00pm


Duke's Galleries

Ticket Prices

Adults: £10.00


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This Year's Events


I did so enjoy being with you and doing my stuff. I hope to see you again, though I am so busy I don't seem to have time for writing much at present! I am
sure your festival will go from strength to strength….

Daphne Selfe
Feedback From 2016 Festival

William and I had a very interesting and often hilarious time putting (our presentation) together – fortunately we both wanted to be thoroughly prepared, so we refined and refined… we enjoyed ourselves, aided and abetted by the helpfulness of you and yours behind the scenes, the warmth of the audience, and the pleasantness of the setting. Speaking at your festival was an altogether happy experience. I only wish I had managed to organise listening to many of the other talks, which I really wanted to do… Many congratulations to you and all your team, and all wishes for Festival no. 3!

Penrose Halson
Feedback From 2016 Festival

I attended 4 events, next year I will want to attend even more talks. 
A friend came to stay with us and she was equally impressed by the talks she attended.

Gill Borg
Feedback From 2017 Festival

Thanks very much... It was fun and the audience very responsive.

Adam Nicolson
Feedback From 2017 Festival

 I very much enjoyed the whole occasion, and want to thank you for all your hospitality.

Jamie McKendrick
Feedback From 2017 Festival

All of us in the Hardy Society were very positive about 'our' first night and the subsequent events. I thought Tony's event with Rachel and Dinah worked very well with interesting conversations from the both of the women.

You and Paul must be very happy with the positive way Dorchester people are continuing to embrace the Festival, and in impressively increasing numbers. Congratulations to both of you.

Next year's dates are already in our diaries and we are looking forward to meeting up with you soon to discuss our involvement.

Mike Nixon, Thomas Hardy Society
Feedback From 2016 Festival