Ever since memorizing ‘The Chiffonier’ for a speech and drama exam I’ve respected Adcock. Born in Papakura, the sister of writer Marilyn Duckworth. Educated in Britain and New Zealand, married to the poet Alistair Campbell and, later, to the infamous Barry Crump, she has had an undeniably eventful life.
After several decades of consistently powerful writing, and three years’ drought (while giving up smoking), Adcock has recently been awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry. Her work ranges from the cutting wit of ‘Smokers for Celibacy’ to the chilling science fiction poem ‘Gas’, to the famously direct ‘Against Coupling’. Not concerned with visually experimental poetry, Adcock’s writing reveals its strength in her skilful control of rhythm, rhyme and stanza, her clever use of observation, and her famous knack of capturing the anti-erotic in everyday relationships.