Sunday, December 2, 2007

Adcock, Fleur

[Photograph: Neil Astley]

Fleur Adcock (b. 1934)


Classic New Zealand Poets in Performance (2006):

A Game
The Pilgrim Fathers
Smokers for Celibacy

Aotearoa NZ Poetry Sound Archive (2004):


1. The Pilgrim Fathers
2. Camping
3. The Wars
4. For Meg
5. Smokers For Celibacy
6. Libya
7. Cattle in Mist
8. Willow Creek
9. A Visiting Angel
10. The Video

New Zealand Poets Read Their Work (1974):

LP 2, side 1

A Game
Stewart Island

LP 3, side 2

The Pangolin
Country Station

Waiata Archive (1974):

CD 16

For a Five Year Old
I Ride on My High Bicycle
Think before You Shoot
The Pangolin
A Game
Being Blind
Stewart Island
On a Son Returned to New Zealand
Country Station
An Illustration to Dante
External Service

Bio /Bibliography:

Fleur Adcock was born in Papakura in 1934. At the age of five, she moved with her family to England, where she ‘went to eleven schools in seven and a half years’, before returning to New Zealand in 1947. She attended Wellington Girls’ College, and, later, Victoria University, from which she graduated M.A. (first class honours) in Classics.

After moving to Dunedin in 1958, she lectured briefly in the Classics Department at Otago University, after which she worked as a librarian. She had a number of poems published in Landfall in the late 1950s and early 1960s; her first volume appeared in Wellington in 1964. By this time, however, she had emigrated to the U.K., where she worked at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for sixteen years, before resigning in order to write full-time.

In Britain, she has said that she ‘had to start again’ as a poet, submitting to British poetry magazines and attending readings and workshops before becoming established in the 1970s. During this time, however, and through the 1980s, ‘90s, and beyond, she maintained links with the New Zealand literary scene, seeing poetry published in, among other places, Landfall, Islands, The New Zealand Listener, and JAAM, and reviewing the work of New Zealand writers in British journals and newspapers.

Since becoming a full-time writer in 1979, she has, in addition to publishing ten volumes of poetry, reviewed widely, held a number of writing fellowships at British Universities, written and broadcasted for the BBC, edited poetry anthologies, and translated Romanian and Medieval Latin poetry. She was awarded an O.B.E. for services to literature in 1996. She has two sons, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Selected Bibliography

Poetry Volumes:

The Eye of the Hurricane (Wellington: Reed, 1964)
Tigers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967)
High Tide in the Garden (London: OUP, 1971)
The Scenic Route (London: OUP, 1974)
Below Loughrigg (Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books, 1979)
The Inner Harbour (Oxford: OUP, 1979)
Hotspur: a Ballad for Music (Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe, 1986)
The Incident Book (Oxford: OUP, 1986)
Time Zones (Oxford, OUP, 1991)
Looking Back (Oxford: OUP, 1997)


Selected Poems (Oxford: OUP, 1983)
Poems 1960-2000 (Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe, 2000)


The Virgin and the Nightingale: Medieval Latin Poems (Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe, 1983)
Orient Express, by Grete Tartler (Oxford: OUP, 1989)
Letters from Darkness, by Daniela Crasnaru (Oxford: OUP, 1991)

Edited Poetry Anthologies:

The Oxford Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry (Auckland, OUP, 1982)
The Faber Book of 20th Century Women’s Poetry (London: Faber and Faber, 1987)

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