Fleur Adcock Launch Readings

Fleur Adcock Launch Readings


'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


The first complete edition of the poetry of Fleur Adcock, one of the UK’s most celebrated poets, was published by Bloodaxe Books on 10 February to mark her 90th birthday. 

Fleur Adcock launched her Collected Poems with an in-person reading at London Review Bookshop on 13 February and will take part in Bloodaxe’s live-streamed reading and discussion event on 20 February. She’ll also appear at StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival on 10 March in St Andrews.

Collected Poems brings together Fleur Adcock’s work from the past fifty years. It supersedes her earlier retrospective, Poems 1960-2000, for which she was awarded The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry for 2006, and includes her five subsequent collections from Bloodaxe, along with 20 new poems. Her poised, ironic poems are disarmingly conversational in style, remarkable for their psychological insight and their unsentimental, mischievously casual view of personal relationships.

Fleur Adcock writes about men and women, childhood, identity, roots and rootlessness, memory and loss, animals and dreams, as well as our interactions with nature and place. Her poised, ironic poems are remarkable for their wry wit, conversational tone and psychological insight, unmasking the deceptions of love or unravelling family lives. Born in New Zealand in 1934, she spent the war years in England, returning with her family to New Zealand in 1947. She emigrated to Britain in 1963, working as a librarian in London until 1979. In 1977-78 she was writer-in-residence at Charlotte Mason College of Education, Ambleside. She was Northern Arts Literary Fellow in 1979-81, living in Newcastle, becoming a freelance writer after her return to London. She received an OBE in 1996, and The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2006 for Poems 1960-2000 (Bloodaxe Books, 2000). In October 2019 Fleur Adcock was presented with the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry 2019 by the Rt Hon (now Dame) Jacinda Ardern.


‘Fleur Adcock may be about to turn 90, but – as her new Collected Poems shows – she’s still writing essential work. Originally from New Zealand, since settling in England in 1963 she has become one of the most celebrated, and quietly influential, voices in British poetry. Adcock writes with a rare lightness of touch, and a candour that’s often seen her labelled a confessional poet. “For a Five-Year-Old” is one of her earliest poems, but its careful balancing act of light and dark – warmth on the one hand, faintly shocking, self-critical humour on the other – sets the tone for her later writing.’ – Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph (Poem of the Week)

This poem feature appeared in print in The Telegraph on 13 January 2024.  It was featured in the Telegraph Culture newsletter of 11 January.   Scroll down to see a video of Fleur reading this and other poems now included in her Collected Poems.




StAnza: Scotland's International Poetry Festival, Sunday 10 March 2024, 6.30pm

Fleur will be reading in-person from her Collected Poems alongside Anthony Joseph. The event will also be livestreamed.

In person at Byre Theatre ABP Auditorium (Pay What You Can £20.00 / £15.00 / £10.00 / £5.00) - Tickets here.

Online (£5.00) - Tickets here.  


Further festival readings will be taking place later in 2024 - details to be confirmed.






Online launch reading by Fleur Adcock, Kerry Hardie and Aoife Lyall, 20 February 2024

Fleur Adcock, Kerry Hardie and Aoife Lyall celebrated the publication of their new books with an online launch reading on our YouTube channel. All three poets read live and discussed their work with the host, Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley. This free Bloodaxe launch event is now available to watch on this YouTube page: https://youtube.com/live/_dLjHYNGf1Y.



Tuesday 13 February 2024, 7pm

London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Pl, London WC1A 2JL

Launch of Collected Poems

Fleur Adcock launched her Collected Poems in person at London Review Bookshop on 13 February 2024.  She read from the book and was in conversation with Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley. 

A podcast of this sold-out event will be made available in due course.



Fleur Adcock reads nine poems

Fleur Adcock reads nine poems from her Collected Poems: ‘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).

[04 January 2024]

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