Fleur Adcock

Fleur Adcock

Fleur Adcock, CNZM, OBE (born February 10, 1934 in New Zealand) is a poet and an editor of English and Northern Irish ancestry, who has lived much of her life in England. She has published thirteen books of poetry.

Early life

Adcock was born in Papakura, Auckland, New Zealand but spent the years between 1939 and 1947 living and studying in England. She is a sister to Marilyn Duckworth. She studied Classics at the Victoria University of Wellington, graduating with a M.A.. She worked as an assistant lecturer librarian at the University of Otago in Dunedin until 1961. She was married to two famous New Zealand literary personalities. In 1952 she married Alistair Campbell, and later divorced. Then in 1962 she married Barry Crump, divorcing in 1963.

Life in England

In 1963, Adcock returned to England and took up a post as librarian at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. Apart from a brief return to New Zealand in 1975-1976, she has lived in Finchley, north London ever since, teaching and working as a freelance writer.


Adcock's poetry is typically concerned with themes of place and everyday activities, but frequently with a dark twist given to the mundane events she writes about. Formally, her early work was influenced by her training as a classicist but her more recent work is looser in structure and more concerned with the world of the unconscious mind.


  • 1964: Eye of the Hurricane, Wellington: Reed
  • 1967: Tigers, London: Oxford University Press
  • 1971: High Tide in the Garden, London: Oxford University Press
  • 1974: The Scenic Route, London and New York: Oxford University Press
  • 1979: The Inner Harbour, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press
  • 1979: Below Loughrigg, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe Books
  • 1983: Selected Poems, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press
  • 1986: Hotspur: a ballad, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe Books
  • 1986: The Incident Book, Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press
  • 1988: Meeting the Comet, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe Books
  • 1991: Time-zones, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press
  • 1991: Selected Poems, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press
  • 1993: Mary Magdalene and the Birds: Mezzo-sporano and Clarinet, by Dorothy Buchanan, with words by Fleur Adcock, Wellington: Waiteata Press
  • 1993: Five Modern Poets: Fleur Adcock, U.A. Fanthorpe, Tony Harrison, Anne Stevenson, Derek Walcott, Edited by Barbara Bleiman, Harlow, England: Longman
  • 1997: Looking Back, Oxford and Auckland: Oxford University Press
  • 2000: Poems 1960-2000, Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books
  • 2004: Contributor, The 2nd Wellington International Poetry Festival Anthology, Edited and compiled by Mark Pirie, Ron Riddell and Saray Torres. Wellington: HeadworX

Edited or translated

  • 1982: Editor, Oxford Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry, Auckland: Oxford University Press
  • 1983: Editor, The Virgin and the Nightingale: Medieval Latin poems, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe Books,
  • 1987: Editor, Faber Book of 20th Century Women's Poetry, London and Boston: Faber and Faber
  • 1989: Translator, Orient Express: Poems. Grete Tartler, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press
  • 1992: Translator, Letters from Darkness: Poems, Daniela Crasnaru, Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • 1994: Translator and editor, Hugh Primas and the Archpoet, Cambridge, England, and New York: Cambridge University Press
  • 1995: Editor (with Jacqueline Simms), The Oxford Book of Creatures, verse and prose anthology, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Awards and honors


External links

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