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Selima Hill Biography

(1945– ), Saying Hello at the Station, My Darling Camel, The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: John Hersey Biography to Honest Man's Revenge

British poet, born in London, educated at New Hall, Cambridge University. She was assistant manager of a London bookshop until 1985, when she became a freelance writer and teacher of writing in schools. Saying Hello at the Station (1984), her first collection of poems, gained wide notice for its unusually striking imagery and individual directness of tone. It was followed by My Darling Camel (1988), a collection rich in exotic elements derived from sources which include Eskimo culture and ancient Egyptian mythology. The imaginative and emotional intensity characterizing much of her work is most fully apparent in The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness (1989), a long sequence reflecting the experience of a young girl undergoing a period of acute psychological disturbance. The three parts of the poem make highly inventive use of altering poetic forms to reflect the fragmentation of the consciousness evoked. Subsequent collections include A Little Book of Meat (1993) and Trembling Hearts in the Bodies of Dogs: New and Selected Poems (1994).

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