Selima Hill

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Selima Hill (born 13 October 1945 in Hampstead) is a British poet.


Selima Hill grew up in rural England and Wales. She spent six months in hospital as a baby after being hurt in a fire.[1]

She read Moral Sciences at New Hall, Cambridge University (1965-7). She regularly collaborates with artists and has worked on multimedia projects with the Royal Ballet, Welsh National Opera and BBC Bristol. She is a tutor at the Poetry School in London, and has taught creative writing in hospitals and prisons.

Selima Hill won first prize in the 1988 Arvon Foundation/Observer International Poetry Competition for her long poem "The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness", and her 1997 collection, Violet, was shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year), the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award. Her book of poetry, Bunny (2001), a series of poems about a young girl growing up in the 1950s, won the Whitbread Poetry Award. A selected poems: Gloria, was published in 2008.

She was a Fellow at University of Exeter.[2]

She has an ex-husband.[3]

Selima Hill lives in Lyme Regis.[4] Her most recent collections are The Hat (2008); Fruitcake (2009); People Who Like Meatballs (2012), shortlisted for both the Forward Poetry Prize and the Costa Poetry Award; The Sparkling Jewel of Naturism (2014); Jutland (2015), a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation which was shortlisted for the 2015 T.S. Eliot Prize and was earlier shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize; The Magnitude of My Sublime Existence (2016), shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2017; and Splash like Jesus (2017).

Awards and honours[edit]



  • Carol Rumens (1985). Making for the open: the Chatto book of post-feminist poetry, 1964-1984. Chatto & Windus. ISBN 978-0-7011-2848-7. 
  • Judith Kinsman, ed. (1992). Six women poets. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-833181-0. 


Selima Hill's 1984 collection Saying Hello at the Station introduced arguably the most distinctive truth teller to emerge in British poetry since Sylvia Plath. In the quarter-century since that debut, her voice has deepened and strengthened as its subject matter has widened from bereavement and life in a psychiatric unit to more general difficulties with men, family relationships, and the business of living. The simultaneous publication of Hill's new collection The Hat, and a Selected Poems, Gloria, is the perfect moment to rediscover this inimitably exhilarating poet.[5]


External links[edit]