The daughter of a landowner and a schoolteacher, Adcock grew up in San Augustine, Texas, a small farming community. The landscape of the area, a mix of West and Deep South, influenced her work. She moved to North Carolina after her marriage to Donald Adcock. The two have a daughter, Sylvia.
Adcock is primarily self-taught. She has no degrees, though she attended Texas Tech University, Goddard College, and North Carolina State University. She studied and wrote poetry for more than 10 years while working in the business world. After her 1st book was published, she was awarded a teaching residency at Duke University. Other teaching positions followed, most notably her ongoing position as Writer in Residence at Meredith College, which she held until 2006.
She has served as a faculty member in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers in Asheville, NC and in the Writer-in-Residence program at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. She has also held residencies at Lenoir-Rhyne College, Kalamazoo College, and Duke University, and has twice served as Visiting Distinguished Professor at North Carolina State University.
In 2014, Adcock was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.
Adcock's awards include the following:
- State of North Carolina Artist Fellowship in Poetry, 1988
- North Carolina Award for Literature, 1996
- Texas Institute of Letters Prize, 1996
- Sam Ragan Award in Fine Arts, 1998
- Guggenheim Fellowship, 2002
- Poets' Prize, 2003
- Two Pushcart Prizes
- National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry
- Walking Out: Poems. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1975.
- Nettles: Poems. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1983.
- Beholdings: Poems. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1988.
- The Language They Speak Is Things to Eat: Poems (with Michael McFee et al). Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
- The Difficult Wheel: Poems. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1995.
- Intervale: New and selected poems. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 2001.
- Slantwise: Poems. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 2008.
- Widow Poems. Durham, NC : Jacar Press, 2014.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Adcock, Elizabeth Sharp, North Carolina Literary Map, State Library of North Carolina. Web, Dec. 19, 2013.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 "BettyAdcock.com Bio". http://bettyadcock.com/bio.html. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- ↑ "NC Award Profile". http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/ncawards/nca2.asp?bn=badcock. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
- ↑ "Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers". http://www.warren-wilson.edu/~mfa/newwebsite/W2008fac.php. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- ↑ Betty Adcock, North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. Web, Aug. 21, 2015.
- Betty Adcock: two poems in the Cortland Review.
- "Digression on the Nuclear Age" at The Hinge Poem
- Betty Adcock b. 1938 at the Poetry Foundation.
- Adcock, Elizabeth Sharp at the North Carolina Literary Map, State Library of North Carolina.
- Betty Adcock at the Fellowship of Southern Writers
- Betty Adcock at the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame
- Betty Adcock Official website.
- "Poetry is a Way of Seeing: A conversation with Betty Adcock" at Cerise Press
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