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The Elephant by Selima Hill


42pp, B&W inners
Publication date: 1st April 2022 – but advance copies available here

ISBN 978-1-911048-59-6

£7.50 including p&p



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


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.”

Bloodaxe Books who publishes all her collections has a more comprehensive biog on their About Selima Hill page:

Selima Hill grew up in a family of painters in farms in England and Wales, and has lived in Dorset for the past 35 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), shortlisted for both the Forward Poetry Prize and the Costa Poetry Award; The Sparkling Jewel of Naturism (2014); Jutland (2015), a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation which was shortlisted for the 2015 T.S. Eliot Prize and was earlier shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize; The Magnitude of My Sublime Existence (2016), shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2017; Splash like Jesus (2017); and I May Be Stupid But I’m Not That Stupid (2019)

Previous Books by Selima Hill include:

Dressed and Sobbing 2022
Men Who Feed Pigeons 2021
I May Be Stupid But I’m Not That Stupid 2019
Splash Like Jesus 2017
The Magnitude of My Sublime Existence 2016
Jutland 2015
The Sparkling Jewel of Naturism 2014
People Who Like Meatballs 2012
Fruitcake 2009
Gloria: Selected Poems 2008
The Hat 2008

The first poem in the pamphlet:

Facts About Armpits

If you’ve got no arms, you’ve got no armpits.
Skylarks, for example. If you have,
either sing or never stop washing.
(The armpits of the Amazons were legendary!)
Armpits, like Kafka, are quite shy.
They never meet and never want to meet.
They live and work alone in the dark,
forcing not their rhubarb but their souls.


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