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Selima Hill

Collected Voices

Selima Hill (née Wood) was born in 1945 in Hampstead, London, into a creative family; both her parents were artists, as were her grandparents. She won a scholarship to study Moral Sciences at New Hall College, Cambridge in 1965. After marrying in 1968 and starting a family in the 1970s, Selima published her first collection of poetry, Saying Hello at the Station, in 1984.

After winning the Cholmondeley Award for Poetry in 1986, Selima won the Arvon International Poetry Competition in 1989 for parts of her collection The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness, first published in 1988. In 1997, her collection Violet was shortlisted for three British poetry awards: the Forward Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize, and the Whitbread Poetry Award. She was also shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize for her 2001 collection, Bunny, which won her the Whitbread Poetry Award. Her work has been recognised numerous times by the Poetry Book Society; her collections Violet (1997) and Bunny (2001) were both Poetry Book Society Choices, and her collections Lou Lou (2004) and The Hat (2008) were also Poetry Book Society Recommendations.

Selima has held various posts related to her work as a poet. In 1991, she was awarded a Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia, and was writer-in-residence at the Royal Festival Hall in 1992, and at the Science Museum in London in 1996. She has taught creative writing courses at hospitals and at HMP Norwich, and also been a tutor at Exeter and Devon Arts Centre in the 1990s.

On her relatonship with her publishers

On her writing process

On publishing her first collection Saying Hello at the Station

On the extent to which she feels part of a community of poets

On the key themes of her writing

On winning her first poetry award