Selima Hill, 2010 Recipient

Selima-Hill [From Bloodaxe Books] Selima Hill grew up in a family of painters in farms in England and Wales, and has lived in Dorset for the past 30 years. She received a Cholmondeley Award in 1986, and was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Exeter University in 2003-06. She won first prize in the Arvon International Poetry Competition with part of The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness (1989), one of several extended sequences in Gloria: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2008), which also includes work from Saying Hello at the Station (1984), My Darling Camel (1988), A Little Book of Meat (1993), Aeroplanes of the World (1994), Violet (1997), Bunny (2001), Portrait of My Lover as a Horse (2002), Lou-Lou (2004) and Red Roses (2006). Violet was a Poetry Book Society Choice and was shortlisted for all three of the UK’s major poetry prizes, the Forward Prize, T.S. Eliot Prize and Whitbread Poetry Award. Bunny won the Whitbread Poetry Award, was a Poetry Book Society Choice and was also shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Lou-Lou and The Hat were Poetry Book Society Recommendations. Her most recent collections from Bloodaxe are The Hat (2008), Fruitcake (2009), People Who Like Meatballs (2012), which was shortlisted for both the Forward Poetry Prize and the Costa Poetry Award, and The Sparkling Jewel of Naturism (2014).


2015 Jutland, Bloodaxe Books (forthcoming)

2013 The Sparkling Jewel of Naturism, Bloodaxe Books

2012 People Who Like Meatballs, Bloodaxe Books

2009 Fruitcake, Bloodaxe Books

2008 The Hat, Bloodaxe Books

2008 Gloria: Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books

2006 Red Roses, Bloodaxe Books

2004 Lou-Lou, Bloodaxe Books

2002 Portrait of My Lover as a Horse, Bloodaxe Books

2001 Bunny, Bloodaxe Books

1997 Violet, Bloodaxe Books

1994 Trembling Hearts in the Bodies of Dogs: New and Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books

1993 A Little Book of Meat, Bloodaxe Books

1989 The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness, Chatto & Windus

1988 My Darling Camel, Chatto & Windus

1984 Saying Hello at the Station, Chatto & Windus


Selected Poems from Recent Work

[retrieved from The Guardian] 


tiptoes down our veins

like bees
that tiptoe down inside narcissi trumpets.


Hooded figures trundle wooden carts
up and down the valleys of their motherland

searching for the bones of their dear mothers
that glimmer in the mauvish light like iris bulbs,

bones they snatch and stow at top speed
as if the fact they're being dreamt enrages them.

Evening Out

Like people in their nineties shovelling snow
side by side on a dark night,

we're hoping that an evening out together
is saying what we want it to say!

What It Feels Like to Feel Like Me

It feels like my body has been trampled on
by herds of knitted cattle with felt ears -

which leaves me feeling curiously elated
for having been mistaken for a field.

Follow Selima Hill reading her poem Cow here.

Listen Selima Hill reciting her poetry here.


A brief comment from Selima Hill about her visit in Greece, in 2010

I will always remember my time at the Harvard’s Summer School in Olympia. A unique opportunity to experience a little bit of America and a little bit of Greece in a magical combination. The company of fellow lovers of learning enhanced by the hospitality of our hosts, meant that we worked hard and relaxed hard! It kept me on my toes, which is what I love: I love a challenge, especially the challenge of new and exciting ideas being played around with by new exciting people!

Cover of the awarded pamphlet, ‘Advice on Wearing Animal Prints’:

CHS GR Hill pamphlet