Fleur Adcock is one of Britain's most accomplished poets, unmasking the deceptions of love and unravelling family lives through her poised, ironic poems.
This first complete edition of her poetry is published on her 90th birthday, and updates her earlier retrospective, Poems 1960-2000, with five later collections published by Bloodaxe, along with 20 new poems.
Born in New Zealand, Fleur Adcock has explored questions of identity and rootedness throughout her work, both in relation to her personal allegiances to her native and adopted countries as well as her family history, whose long-dead characters she brings to life. She has also written movingly of birth, death and bereavement, and has tackled political issues with honest indignation and caustic wit.
All her most celebrated poems are here, from the highly entertaining 'Against Coupling', 'Smokers For Celibacy' and 'The Prize-Winning Poem' to modern classics such as 'The Ex-Queen Amongst the Astronomers' and 'Things'.
About the Author
Fleur Adcock was born in New Zealand in 1934, and spent the war years in England, returning with her family to New Zealand in 1947. She emigrated to Britain in 1963. She received an OBE in 1996, and the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2006 for Poems 1960-2000 (2000). In 2019 Fleur Adcock was presented with the New Zealand Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry by the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern. She has lived in East Finchley, north London, since 1963.
'Adcock has a deceptively laid-back tone, through which the sharper edge of her talent is encountered like a razor blade in a peach.' - Carol Ann Duffy, former UK Poet Laureate, writing in The Guardian
'Adcock's reputation has been founded on her spare, conversational poems, in which the style is deceptively simple, apparently translucent...those who see in such poems only flatness are missing the power of a voice which teases both reader and subject.' - Jo Shapcott, TLS
'Informality and immediacy are good ways to remake a world; and Adcock's style has not dated in the half-century since her debut.' - Fiona Sampson, The Guardian