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PBS Review of Selima Hill’s pamphlet

This is a chilling reminder of climate catastrophe. Hill’s poems weigh heavy upon us, an urgent warning we can no longer ignore.

Poetry Book Society review, Winter 2022

Selima Hill is one of our greatest living poets. She has always found new ways to speak the unspeakable. Each of these tiny poems somehow contains a vast grief. After reading The House by the Sea, I stood up vertiginous and changed. Clare Pollard 

In this remarkable set of poems – something like a narrative, something like a sequence, but also something like a drystone wall or a mosaic – Selima Hill brings a rare weight to the pamphlet form. It’s no longer sufficient, she seems to be telling us, to feel uneasy at the sound of water moving stones on a shore. We are a long way beyond such small emotions, faced with sounds and pressures from both elsewhere and the heavy centre of our lives. They combine and threaten to crush us. Without ever saying it quite directly, the intense and often suffocating scenes of these poems make our frayed imaginations feel once again all the burdens we see and hear and cannot quite cope with anymore. That she does this with precision and calm, and flickers of natural light and landscape, makes the thing even more striking. James Sheard

This year, Fair Acre Press are issuing a dozen pamphlets by Selima Hill, for decades a cult classic of the poetry world.
The typically laconic titles include The Fly, Susan, and Men in Shorts.
In them this “daughter of a mother/ it’s too late/ to say I’m sorry to/ for being me” is now adventuring fiercely towards older age, a territory with black humour to match her own.
Fantastical and highly readable, this extraordinary poetry is too often sidestepped as unclassifiable.
We should relax, and admire its formal and emotional virtuosity.
Saturday Guardian’s Books of the Month, Issue 45, 6 August 2022 by Fiona Sampson – to buy all 12 for £60 incl p&p click here

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