The conference runs from this Saturday until Saturday August 2 and poet Bernard O'Donoghue will opening the conference with a reading at the Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester.
He was also be handing out a cheque for £3,000 to the winner of the Thomas Hardy Society's poetry competition.
A special auction on Friday, August 1, will take place after the conference dinner by Duke's Auctioneer Gary Batt.
He will be taking silent bids for 12 items ranging from Mike Bowman paintings of Thomas Hardy to original Hardy play theatre programmes and memorabilia.
There will be 13 coach excursions throughout the week with expert guides on board. Expert speakers from around the country and overseas will be giving lectures and talks on Thomas Hardy.
In the evenings there will be live music by the Yetties, Tim Laycock and the New Scorpion Band. On Thursday July 31 there will be cider tasting at Dorchester Town Hall before the Yetties' concert.
Tickets for the opening night are £5 and tickets for the other activities are available from the society.
For more information and tickets visit www.hardysociety.org or call 01305 837331.Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 23rd July 2008