Selima Hill's Women in Comfortable Shoes reviewed in The Guardian & The Telegraph
'The miniaturism of Martial and Emily Dickinson is reinvented in this iridescent collection which brings together 11 sequences... Over 254 pages, Hill creates a new kind of narrative poem, which has all the rewards of reading a good novel – or novels – yet she retains poetry’s unique ability to zoom in on minutiae...' - Philip Terry, The Guardian (The best recent poetry)
Selima Hill’s 21st book of poetry, Women in Comfortable Shoes, was published by Bloodaxe in June 2023. It presents eleven contrasting sequences of short poems relating to women, and is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Summer 2023.
'Surging with shrieks of pain and howls of laughter, these poems transform life’s inevitable mundanities into the fizziest, memorable moments.' - Jo Clement, PBS Selector, Poetry Book Society Summer Bulletin 2023, on Women in Comfortable Shoes
A brilliant in-depth review of Selima Hill’s Women in Comfortable Shoes went online in The Friday Poem on 3 November.
‘This is the twenty-first poetry collection from the unstoppable Selima Hill. These days she tends to present her work as sequences of small poems, some extremely minimal. Women in Comfortable Shoes consists of eleven such sequences. Their power lies not so much in the individual poems as in the cumulative, immersive effect of each sequence, and in Hill’s charismatic voice which seizes attention from the get-go … I seem to see the world more vividly and sense it more intensely after reading Selima Hill, and this highly readable collection is no exception. She shakes things up and wakes up your mind like no other poet. She’d probably hate to hear me saying this but – genius!’ – Annie Fisher, The Friday Poem
London Grip, online 20 October 2023
An excellent review of Women in Comfortable Shoes went online in London Grip on 20 October.
'A lovely and generous book this if you enjoy Selima Hill’s wry sense of humour and surreal approach to difficult subjects. Her latest is a collection of eleven sequences of poems and is a masterclass in how to tie poems together with imagery and motif ... Hill’s collection demonstrates how the pitch perfect short poem can be woven into a series of troubling woman-centred tales. It is a rewarding read, one to be returned to often.' - Kate Noakes, London Grip
Morning Star, 21st Century Poetry, Thursday 5 October 2023
‘The Dead’ and ‘Telepathy’ from Selima Hill’s 21st book of poetry Women in Comfortable Shoes were featured in the Morning Star’s 21st Century Poetry feature of 5 October. Alistair Findlay introduced to the four women poets whose work was featured.
‘Turning to today’s Thursday poem from Selima Hill, who received the King’s Gold Medal for Poetry in January this year, Simon Armitage said hers was “the voice of a person and a poet who will not be quieted and will not conform to expectations, especially poetic ones.”’ – Alistair Findlay, Morning Star
Read the poems online here.
POETRY BOOK OF THE MONTH IN THE TELEGRAPH
The Daily Telegraph, Poetry Book of the Month, online 30 June 2023 - in print Saturday 22 July 2023
Tristram Fane Saunders has reviewed Selima Hill’s Women in Comfortable Shoes as his poetry book of the month.
‘Her poems resist analysis. Short, precise and startling, funny in both senses, they make everything else look like pretentious waffle… Hill is especially good at capturing young girls’ voices, a strength of the early sequences here, in a book that charts a kind of Seven Ages of Woman … Selima Hill is a great poet.’ – Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph (Poetry Book of the Month)
Online by subscription. Published in the Review section of The Daily Telegraph on Saturday 22 July 2023.
‘Winner of the King’s first Gold Medal for Poetry, the brilliantly unpredictable Hill is the missing link between Kafka and Stevie Smith’
REVIEW COVERAGE IN THE GUARDIAN
Selima Hill's Women in Comfortable Shoes was very well reviewed in The Guardian ahead of publication.
'The miniaturism of Martial and Emily Dickinson is reinvented in this iridescent collection which brings together 11 sequences whose subjects range from girls misbehaving in convent schools to fridges contemplating death, plus a pair of bad-tempered sisters, a parrot and hair clips... Over 254 pages, Hill creates a new kind of narrative poem, which has all the rewards of reading a good novel – or novels – yet she retains poetry’s unique ability to zoom in on minutiae...' - Philip Terry, The Guardian (The best recent poetry) on Women in Comfortable Shoes
In print on Saturday 3 June 2023, and online on The Guardian's website here.
Selima Hill: Women in Comfortable Shoes
Selima Hill reads a selection of short poems from eight of the eleven sequences in Women in Comfortable Shoes: ‘Fishface’, ‘My Friend Weasel’, ‘Susan and Me’, ‘Dolly’, ‘My Mother with a Beetle in Her Hair’, ‘Fridge’, ‘The Chauffeur’ and ‘Dressed and Sobbing’. Neil Astley filmed her reading in the octagonal Garden Tower in Dorset in May 2023.
LIVE-STREAMED LAUNCH EVENT ON TUESDAY 20 JUNE 2023
Selima Hill’s readings from her new book Women in Comfortable Shoes - filmed especially for this event by Neil Astley - were presented in tandem with Mark Waldron reading live from his new collection A Straight Up Giant. This was followed by a discussion with Mark Waldron, Julia Copus, Wayne Holloway-Smith and host Neil Astley, Bloodaxe’s editor.
You can watch Selima's readings with better sound quality via the above Vimeo video. The discussion part of the event, in which Mark, Julia and Wayne discuss Women in Comfortable Shoes and A Straight Up Giant, starts at 58:02. Julia Copus' correspondence with Selima Hill for the Spring 2022 issue of Poetry London is linked to below.
Now available on YouTube by clicking on the arrow below, or by going to this page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MttVRiJmG8
‘Telling You The Truth, As Best As I Can’. Selima Hill and Julia Copus in correspondence
A correspondence between Julia Copus and Selima Hill was published in the Spring 2022 issue of Poetry London. The piece includes photographs of Selima's handwriting, and can be read on the Poetry London website here.
[02 June 2023]