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12 Selima Hill pamphlets in ONE YEAR!


Publication date: the 1st of every month in 2022

Each pamphlet available to buy singly at £7.50, and also in a bundle of 12, for £60



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

At 77, Hill is writing faster than ever, publishing a new pamphlet every single month in 2022 with the terrific small press Fair Acre.
She’s beloved by today’s young writers, but not as well-known among the general public as she deserves to be. I hope this award will change that.

Tristam Fane Saunders, Telegraph – on the news Selima Hill has been awarded the King’s Medal for Poetry,  Jan 2023

About Selima Hill:

In 2021 her Bloodaxe collection is shortlisted for both the Forward Prize and the T.S.Eliot prize. And her pamphlet published by Rialto is shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award. She is at the top of her game, as the saying goes!

Selima Hill says of herself that she “has won lots of prizes, and not won many more. She lives by the sea in Dorset with her dog and a bald robin.”

About Fair Acre Press:

Fair Acre Press has published a hardback A to Z by Selima Hill and artist Tim Nicholson ~ From Angel to Zebu

and the highly regarded poets Mario Petrucci, Martin Figura and Fred D’Aguiar; the acclaimed NHS anthology These are the Hands; the prize-winning #MeToo anthology; the Ted Hughes Award for New Poetry-winning play by Kate O’Reilly; the first novel of polymath and nature writer Charles Foster; and other eclectic award-winning and 5 star reviewed books. Please click here for more information on other books published by Fair Acre Press. 


Something horrific is occurring; Selima Hill is playing eye-spy with us, focusing our brains on little pieces of the picture – donkeys, dresses, pencil sharpeners – and, as time goes on, we half-forget where we are, wrapped up the child’s play, enjoying the innocence… until the game ends and we realise, with a jolt of dread, just how much we’ve seen. Caroline Bird

Heartbreakingly honest and glistering encapsulations of a complex blood relationship – The Chauffeur drives, is driven, stokes up the heat and watches somewhat joyful, somewhat bemused as the vehicle trails away. Selima Hill’s voice is, as ever, a smidge above reality yet deeply embedded in reality’s cat fur and teabags. Helen Ivory


February ~ DOLLY

Selima Hill is like our very own Emily Dickinson, but quintessentially herself and unique. We must treasure her. Her poems are usually short but compressed as bombs, and simmer with electrifying power. They are often funny but each word is written as if with bone marrow. Every collection is a world wonder.  Pascale Petit

Selima Hill is an expert in mixing the dinky with the dangerous. Dolly is the pinnacle of just that. Keenly observed and complex in the relationships they portray, these poem-portraits of women are both so darkly surreal and intensely intimate, you shouldn’t be surprised if their eyes follow you wherever you go.  Isabel Galleymore


Straight talking, strange and darkly funny, these poems walk the pathway between the bewilderment and the surprising comforts of becoming an old woman. ‘cosy in our large expensive swimwear’ All the women the poet has been, seem to make their appearances in this marvellous feat of magic; of facecloths, the gratitude of warm underwear on a heated towel-rail and an amazing tenderness. Selima Hill at her best!  Deborah Alma

These new poems, trenchant and suave, see Hill in charge of all she surveys. As wry in tone as ever, the experience of aging is addressed with nonchalant jest beyond which we glimpse universal hard truths. Her world is energetically peopled with seagulls, pigs, the Messiah.  And throughout Hill’s bracingly-lyrical wit sparkles with astonishing immediacy and purpose, as do the wondrous conversations with the self.  Penelope Shuttle


These poems are the only facts you need. In The Elephant, Selima Hill pays due respect to porcupines, finds a language for bereavement, gifts stowaways, bungalows, lovers, sons, skinny jeans and daughters equal attention and gives invaluable life advice (‘never hide chocolate in an oven / in a sandpit, on a level crossing’). Her writing is indispensable. Don’t go anywhere without it.  Helen Mort

We usually think of facts as being hard as a quarry, Selima Hill manages to reinvent facts as trapeze works that fling us back to the old truths utterly refreshed. Hill remains among the vanguard poets of the line. Daljit Nagra



‘Yet again Selima Hill creates a brand new country out of language and invites us to enter. I urge you to cross the border and take a journey through this enchanted land.’  Ian McMillan 

“Selima Hill never disappoints.  She shines a torch into the corners of small worlds, lights up the strangest of details and oddest of angles.  Fishface is sad, beautiful and completely compelling.”  Emma Purshouse


June ~ THE FLY

Selima Hill enacts all the qualities that we cherish in poetry: enigma, epigram, surrealism, vulnerability, politics viewed ‘at-a-slant’ (Emily Dickenson), laughter and serious play. She has the light touch of the enlightened, the depth of the metaphysicals, the feel for sensuous detail of an embodied sensibility. Fred D’Aguiar

It’s over two decades since Selima Hill’s poetry first jolted me awake to with its courage and insight, the way her darkly surreal imagery makes reality at once deeper, stranger and more knowable. In the “The Fly”, she turns her gaze to the Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, and his anguished relationship with his mother. Speaking in the voice of a man who massacred 77 people takes an astonishing degree of skill and control. Deeply sinister, reflective and unsettling, this sequence is testimony not just to Selima Hill’s mastery of language, or to humankind’s ability to damage each other horribly; but to poetry’s ability to embody meaning in the darkest of stories. In “The Fly”, Selima Hill continues to expand my expectations of poetry, to take my breath away.  Clare Shaw


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


Men in Shorts offers us a world of Bull Terriers called Toothpaste and conversations with power boat owners, cricket played in mist and octogenarian romance. These fabulous short glimpses of poems are so alive, a celebration of the world of the park and its fascinating brief encounters – to read the poems is like throwing open a window and seeing all these people there, in all their wonderful realness. Each short poem is so much bigger than itself, suggestive, leading us everywhere, and the reading experience is one of such enjoyment. The pamphlet’s last line might also summarise the joy of these poems: ‘Perfect! Not a cloud in the sky!‘  Jonathan Edwards

The small talk of dog owners is a wonderful thing – Selima Hill’s trademarked sharpness combines tact, intrigue, dachshunds and delight.  Chrissy Williams


Everything looks innocent from here, says one poem – yet nothing does. This is experience – of a girls’ boarding school in the Fifties, and parents encased in frighteningly gendered armour – recollected in fragility. Selima Hill’s immaculate observations of tiny things offer  hugely compassionate glimpses of loneliness, tenderness and hope. There is no one like her.’  Ruth Padel

“I have always been in awe of Hill’s blazingly perceptive raids on the unconscious which say so much more and feel so much more awake and alive than any so-called straightforward account could ever claim to. In My Friend Weasel we enter a picture-perfect and nightmarish boarding school, and the minds of its abandoned charges as they contemplate fatherhood, motherhood, absence, femininity, and their picturesque and hellish lot. As you’d expect from Hill, there’s a matchless clarity and honesty to every poem, and it’s beautiful and terrifying.”  Luke Kennard


This fragmented narrative with its determined focus on loneliness, ageing and desire unfolds into a quietly dazzling, reverberating web of poems. Dogs, snails and humans cohabit in a series of simultaneously surreal and credible moments and meditations, providing flashes of laugh-out-loud humour that only serve to highlight a profound and inescapable pathos.  Jacqueline Saphra

The delight, surprise, and attack of Selima Hill’s poetry: an accumulation of miraculous acts of anarchy.  David Morley


Selima Hill, who always wakes up the language and stirs up our notions of emotional and social propriety, is up to her brilliant tricks once again. This time she confounds us with the spectacle and spectre of age, alternately threatening us with what dementia does and cajoling our compassion for last journeys. Compelling and salutary.  Fiona Sampson

Selima Hill is the queen of UK poetry. I cannot imagine how much worse off we’d be without her. Thankfully, I don’t have to – she keeps producing work like Reduced to a Quivering Jelly, in which a depth of experience we don’t have language for is somehow made manifest.  Wayne Holloway-Smith


December ~ SUSAN

Selima Hill is expert in her craft, and wonderful at creating juxtapositions that surprise. This new pamphlet, a sequence about love and loss, is a thing to celebrate.  Michael Mackmin

Just knowing Selima Hill is in the world gives me great joy. Freewheeling, wayward and brilliantly anarchic, her poems are a singular bliss.  Liz Berry




King Charles awards first poetry medal to mental health and family conflict author
The Gold Medal for Poetry was given to ‘inimitable talent’ Selima Hill, a London-born poet known for tackling ‘difficult’ subject matters
Victoria Ward,​ ​ROYAL CORRESPONDENT14 January 2023 • 12:01am
The King has chosen to award his first Gold Medal for Poetry to an author whose work covers family conflict and mental health.
Selima Hill was described as an “inimitable talent” by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, who chairs the Poetry Medal Committee.
The award is the first Gold Medal for Poetry presented in the King’s name since the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September.
Hill, 77, published her first book of poems, Saying Hello At The Station, in 1984 and has gone on to publish 19 further collections.
The London-born poet is known for tackling “difficult” subject matters, such as mental illness and sexual abuse, often exploring family conflict and female vulnerability.
She is famed for juxtaposing seemingly opposing objects. Among her most popular poems is Please Can I Have a Man, which imagines the ideal man “who knows the names of 100 different roses… who walks like Belmondo in A Bout de Souffle”.
Her work has prompted comparisons with poets including Sylvia Plath and Stevie Smith.
Hill, who lives in a coastal cabin in Dorset, said last year that she wrote “more or less non-stop.” She added: “If I am not writing something I feel bereft, like a teabag without water!”
“Life in general might be said to be her subject, the complications, contradictions and consequences of simply existing. Nevertheless, Hill’s writing is eminently readable and approachable, even fun at times, the voice of a person and a poet who will not be quieted and will not conform to expectations, especially poetic ones.”
The Gold Medal for Poetry was founded by King George V in 1933 and has previously been won by British and Commonwealth poets including Siegfried Sassoon, John Betjeman, WH Auden, Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes.
During Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, the award was known as The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. It was most recently won by Grace Nichols, a Commonwealth writer who has spoken of celebrating her Caribbean heritage along with the “English traditions we inherited as a former British colony”.
Hill is likely to be presented with the award by the King at Buckingham Palace at a later date.
The Telegraph’s poetry critic Tristram Fane Saunders said: “I’m thrilled to see this medal go to Hill, one of the most distinctive voices in English poetry.
“Her sharp, funny, unsettling poems could never be mistaken for anyone else’s work. This is not a lifetime achievement award for an old poet resting on her laurels.
“At 77, Hill is writing faster than ever, publishing a new pamphlet every single month in 2022 with the terrific small press Fair Acre. She’s beloved by today’s young writers, but not as well-known among the general public as she deserves to be. I hope this award will change that.”


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