Selima Hill grew up in rural England and Wales. She spent six months in hospital as a baby after being hurt in a fire.
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 has an ex-husband.
Awards and honours
- 1986 Cholmondeley Award
- ???? Arvon Poetry Prize
- 2001 Whitbread Award, Bunny
- University of East Anglia Writing Fellowship
- 2010 Michael Marks Poetry Award, Advice on Wearing Animal Prints
- "BEING A WIFE". The Independent. 24 January 1993.
- Saying Hello at the Station. Chatto and Windus. 1984. ISBN 978-0-7011-2788-6.
- My Darling Camel. Chatto and Windus. 1988. ISBN 978-0-7011-3286-6.
- The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness. Chatto and Windus. 1989. ISBN 978-0-7011-3455-6.
- A Little Book of Meat. Bloodaxe. 1993. ISBN 978-1-85224-243-5.
- Trembling Hearts in the Bodies of Dogs: New and Selected Poems. Bloodaxe. 1994. ISBN 978-1-85224-288-6.
- Violet. Bloodaxe. 1997. ISBN 978-1-85224-400-2.
- My Sister’s Horse. Smith/Doorstop Books. 1998. ISBN 978-1-869961-77-0.
- Jumping Over Trees: Poems from the Poetry Library, London (The Poetry Library and Royal Festival Hall Education, 2000)
- Bunny. Bloodaxe. 2001. ISBN 978-1-85224-507-8.
- Portrait of my Lover as a Horse. Bloodaxe. 2002. ISBN 978-1-85224-600-6.
- Lou-Lou. Bloodaxe. 2004. ISBN 978-1-85224-671-6.
- Red Roses. Bloodaxe. 2006. ISBN 978-1-85224-740-9.
- Gloria: Selected Poems. Bloodaxe. 2008. ISBN 978-1-85224-805-5.
- The Hat (Bloodaxe, 2008)
- Fruitcake (Bloodaxe, 2009)
- Advice On Wearing Animal Prints (Flarestack Poets, 2009)
- 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.