Hill, Selima 1945-

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HILL, Selima 1945-

PERSONAL: Born October 13, 1945, in London, England; daughter of Jas (a painter and writer) and Elisabeth (a painter; maiden name, Robertson) Wood; married Roderic Colin Hill (a painter), July 23, 1968; children: Maisie, Moby, Albert. Education: Attended New Hall, Cambridge University, 1965-67, received special degree in English. Hobbies and other interests: Swimming, learning Mongolian.

ADDRESSES: Home—Lyme Regis, Dorset, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Bloodaxe Books Ltd., High-green, Tarset, Northumberland NE48 1RP, England.

CAREER: Associated with Morley College of Further Education, 1967-75; Tetric Bookshop, London, England, assistant manager, 1980-85. University of East Anglia, writing fellow, 1991; Royal Festival Hall Dance Festival, writer-in-residence, 1992; South Bank Centre, reader-in-residence, 1998; University of Exeter, fellow, 2003-04. Participant in Greater London Arts program writers in schools; gives readings.

MEMBER: Books against Nuclear Deterrent.

AWARDS, HONORS: Cholmondeley Award, 1986; Arvon Foundation/Observer International Poetry Competition prize, 1988, for The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness; shortlisted for Forward Prize, Whitbread Poetry Award, and T.S. Eiot Prize, 1997, all for Violet,; shortlisted for T. S. Eliot Prize, 2001, for Bunny; Whitbread Poetry Award, 2002, for Bunny.


Saying Hello at the Station (poems), Hogarth Press (Richmond, Surrey, England), 1984.

My Darling Camel, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1988.

The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1989.

A Little Book of Meat (poems), Bloodaxe Books (Chester Springs, PA), 1993.

Trembling Hearts in the Bodies of Dogs: New and Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books (Chester Springs, PA), 1994.

My Sister's Horse, Smith/Doorstop Books (Westgate, England), 1996.

Violet, Bloodaxe Books (Chester Springs, PA), 1997.

Bunny (poems), Bloodaxe Books (Chester Springs, PA), 2001.

Portrait of My Lover As a Horse, Bloodaxe Books (Tarset, England), 2002.

Work represented in anthologies, including Chatto Book of Post-feminist Poetry and No Holds Barred: Women's Poetry. Author of television script for program, "Why Women Write." Contributor of poems and reviews to magazines and newspapers, including London, Poetry Review, New Statesman, Writing Women, Time Out, Honest Ulsterman, Literary Review, London Review of Books, Observer, Resurgence, Nexus, and New Poetry.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A ninth collection of poetry titled Suitcase; editing an anthology of dog poems; a libretto for a multimedia project about bees.

SIDELIGHTS: Selima Hill once told CA: "I am interested in learning more old languages and visiting Egypt, black Africa, Easter Island, Peru, Greenland and the Arctic, and the West Indies. Ancient civilizations show us that other ways are possible. I like comparative mythology and religions, especially Buddhism, so-called 'primitive religions,' and Rastafarianism. The last of these is a young black faith, Bible-based but not Christian, rooted in the experience of the black people of Jamaica. I prefer doing workshops and reading other people's work to 'performing' my own, although I value the feedback and the people I meet at poetry readings very much indeed.

"I write because my pen is my friend and will not judge me or tell me to shut up. I write to bear witness, to express my emotion in action, to refract and transform my experience, to explore it by having it in front of me instead of inside of me, to take risks, and to celebrate. Unlike a lot of writers, I write when I am happy as well as when I'm sad. I started writing because I was shy but felt like sharing my thoughts."



Booklist, March 1, 1994, Whitney Scott, review of A Little Book of Meat, p. 1176.

New Statesman & Society, July 15, 1988, Robert Sheppard, "Gravity-Haunted Logos," pp. 41-42.

Times Literary Supplement, June 3, 1988, Fleur Adcock, review of My Darling Camel, p. 625; August 4, 1989, Michael O'Neill, review of The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness, p. 850; November 26, 1993, Ian Sansom, review of A Little Book of Meat, p. 15; February 24, 1995, Stephen Knight, review of Trembling Hearts in the Bodies of Dogs: New and Selected Poems, p. 23; August 1, 1997, Kevan Johnson, review of Violet, p. 26.


Contemporary Writers in the UK,http://www.contemporarywriters.com/ (March 4, 2004), profile of Selima Hill.*

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