Selima Hill

Selima Hill

Selima Hill s a British poet, born on 13 October 1945 in Hampstead) London, England and grew up in rural England and Wales.

She read Moral Sciences at New Hall, Cambridge University (1965-7). She regularly collaborates with artists and has worked on multimedia projects with the Royal Ballet, Welsh National Opera and BBC Bristol. She is a tutor at the Poetry School in London, and has taught creative writing in hospitals and prisons.

Selima Hill won first prize in the 1988 Arvon Foundation/Observer International Poetry Competition for her long poem The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness, and her 1997 collection, Violet, was shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year), the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award. Her book of poetry, Bunny (2001), a series of poems about a young girl growing up in the 1950s, won the Whitbread Poetry Award. A selected poems: Gloria, was published in 2008.

She was a Fellow at University of Exeter.

Selima Hill lives in Lyme Regis. Her most recent book of poetry is People Who Like Meatballs (2012), shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year).

My Sister's Horse was a winner in the 1994 Book & Pamphlet Competition.


She drives until she can’t drive anymore.
And then she drives some more. And then she stops.
She thinks she can’t be seen but she can.
I’m watching her reflection in the mirror.
It slips into a shop and buys a paper
and reads it in the corner like a thief.
Then hides it in a box of tennis balls.
But why is she so secretive about it?
And why does she keep asking me for cash?
And why to I keep saying ‘Yes of course’
and why can’t people look her in the eye?
And why can’t I? And where are all my friends?
And why can’t they be told our mother died?
She died this afternoon like a lamb.
We left her covered up on her bed,
took away her things in a bag,
and tiped the flowers into a litter bin.
My sister’s gone all tall like a nail.
The mirror’s playing tricks on us, I see.
Now she reappears as my sister,
slides a tub of ice cream on my lap,
changes back into her driving shoes
and drives away as fast as she can.

Titles by this author

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