The Land Ballot

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More About This Title The Land Ballot


A land ballot was the means by which Fleur Adcock’s grandparents, immigrants from Manchester during World War I, were able to bid for a piece of native bush on the slopes of Mount Pirongia in the North Island of New Zealand. Their task was to turn this unpromising acreage into a dairy farm. When things didn’t work out as they had hoped much of the responsibility for running the farm and engineering their eventual escape fell on their teenage son, Adcock’s father. This sequence of poems follows the course of their efforts and builds up a portrait of a small, isolated community. The Land Ballot is at once a moving family memoir, an extraordinary act of historical imagination, and a dazzling sequence of poems.


Fleur Adcock is the award-winning author of many collections of poems, including Dragon Talk, Glass Wings, and Poems 1960–2000.