Fleur Adcock

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


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Life in England
  • 3 Poetry
  • 4 External link

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 poets. In 1952 she married Alistair Campbell & 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. Her publications include Selected Poems (1983) and Looking Back (1997). She has edited The Faber Book of 20th Century Women's Poetry (1987) and The Oxford Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry (1982).

Adcock was created an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1996 for her contribution to New Zealand literature.

She is the 2006 recipient of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

External link

  • Fleur Adcock The Expatriate Poet
  • List of New Zealand literary figures
  • Fleur Adcock at the Internet Book List
  • Fleur Adcock at www.contemporarywriters.com
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