The Land Ballot Paperback – 25 Feb 2015
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This collection certainly should be in every school and college library, and will be of interest, by virtue of its depiction of landscape, of a particular socio-historical period and the excellence of its verse, in various areas of the curriculum. --Frank Startup,The School Librarian
My favourite book of 2015 was also the shortest I read all year, which didn't save me any time because I read it five or six times over, with deepening enjoyment. Fleur Adcock's poetry collection The Land Ballot is just 90-odd pages long. It looks back ambivalently at her native New Zealand and is largely occupied with her late father's life... I left the book on an Edinburgh-Glasgow train and feel slightly lost without it, and only half mollified by the thought that someone else is reading it now. --Brian Morton, Sunday Herald (Books of the Year 2015)
The way a landscape can shape personal and family history is central to Fleur Adcock's The Land Ballot. The title refers to how her immigrant grandparents acquired a plot of bush in New Zealand's North Island, and laboriously transformed it into viable farmland. Adcock plunders family diaries, reminiscences and contemporary news items to piece together the lives and inner worlds of various relatives...her lively narrative poems are interspersed with extracts from her original sources. The settler experience is powerfully captured in this imaginative exercise in resurrecting the dead. --Juanita Coulson, The Lady
About the Author
Fleur Adcock was born in New Zealand in 1934, and 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), which was followed ten years later by Dragon Talk (2010); then by Glass Wings (2013) and The Land Ballot (2015). She has lived in East Finchley, north London, since 1963.
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