Winner of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, 2006
Poetry Book Society Special Commendation
Fleur Adcock is one of Britain's most accomplished poets. Her poised, ironic poems are tense and tightly controlled as well as shrewdly laconic, and often chilling as she unmasks the deceptions of love or unravels family lives. Disarmingly conversational in style, they are remarkable for their psychological insight and their unsentimental, mischievously casual view of personal relationships.
Born in New Zealand, she 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.
This first Collected edition of her poetry replaces her Selected Poems, with the addition of work from her later Oxford collections The Incident Book, Time-Zones and Looking Back. 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' – as well as the notorious one about kissing John Prescott… She has since published four later collections with Bloodaxe.
Fleur Adcock reads nine poems
Fleur Adcock reads nine poems from Poems 1960-2000 (Bloodaxe Books, 2000): ‘The Video’, ‘For a Five-Year-Old’, ‘The Pangolin’, ‘An Illustration to Dante’, ‘Things’, Weathering’, ‘For Heidi with Blue Hair’, ‘Where They Lived’ and Counting’.. Pamela Robertson-Pearce filmed Fleur Adcock at her home in London on 29 June 2007. This film is from the DVD-anthology In Person: 30 Poets, filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce & edited by Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books, 2008).