12 OCTOBER 2017
Hoard brings together poems Fleur Adcock had to keep under wraps for several years because they didn’t suit the themes of her last two collections, The Land Ballot and Glass Wings. They include reflections on the tools of her trade (handwriting, typewriters), snatches of autobiography (a brief, ill-considered second marriage followed by her migration from New Zealand to England in 1963), and poems on trees, wildlife and everyday objects. Ellen Wilkinson, who led the Jarrow March in 1936, makes two appearances, joining Coleridge, several ancestors and two dogs. The most recent poems in the book recall Adcock’s visits around the North Island in 2015, affirming her renewed although not uncritical affection for the country of her birth.
Cover: The Magic Apple Tree (1830), by Samuel Palmer © Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Born in New Zealand in 1934, Fleur Adcock spent the war years in England, returning with her family to New Zealand in 1947, and has lived in Britain since 1963, with regular visits to New Zealand. She has published many collections of poems, including her collected poems, Poems 1960–2000 (2000), and most recently Dragon Talk (2010), Glass Wings (2013) and The Land Ballot (2014). Her many awards include the 1961 Festival of Wellington Poetry Award, the Jessie Mackay Prize in 1968 and 1972, the Buckland Award in 1968 and 1979, the New Zealand National Book Award in 1984, an OBE in 1996, a CNZM in 2008, and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2006.