Fleur Adcock is one of Britain’s most accomplished poets. Her poised, ironic poems are tense and tightly controlled as well as shrewdly laconic, and often chilling as she unmasks the deceptions of love or unravels family lives. Disarmingly conversational in style, they are remarkable for their psychological insight and their unsentimental, mischievously casual view of personal relationships. Born in New Zealand, she has explored questions of identity and rootedness throughout her work, both in relation to her personal allegiances to her native and adopted countries as well as her family history, whose long-dead characters she brings to life. She has also written movingly of birth, death and bereavement, and has tackled political issues with honest indignation and caustic wit. This first Collected edition of her poetry replaces her Selected Poems, with the addition of work from her later Oxford collections The Incident Book, Time-Zones and Looking Back. All her most celebrated poems are here, from the highly entertaining ‘Against Coupling’, ‘Smokers For Celibacy’ and ‘The Prize-Winning Poem’ to modern classics such as ‘The Ex-Queen Amongst the Astronomers’ and ‘Things’ – as well as the notorious one about kissing John Prescott… She has since published four later collections with Bloodaxe.