Acclaimed poet Selima Hill is the subject of the latest edition in The Poetry Review podcast series.
In a searching, wide-ranging and often very funny exchange, Hill talks to Review editor Emily Berry about being both a prolific writer and a private person, about secrecy and rebellion, embodiedness and encodedness.
Her writing process is, Hill says, less about cutting (“which sounds so violent”) and rather like “lifting your hair – loosen, loosen, then tighten, tighten, tighten – spread it as far as you can, then tighten”. In a conversation that ranges across relationships with family, men and audiences, they also discuss Eastern European literature and animals, including Hill’s pet giant land snail. Hill describes how her diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, her experiences in psychiatric hospital, and periods of muteness have affected her writing. She gives vivid readings of all of her poems published in the winter 2020 issue of The Poetry Review, including ‘Standing on his doorstep’, ‘Jelly’ and ‘Berries’, which will appear in Men Who Feed Pigeons, published by Bloodaxe this September.
Stay up to date with The Poetry Review podcasts by subscribing to the series via Soundcloud. Share diverse conversations and resonant readings from magazine contributors including Denise Riley, Nick Makoha, Don Paterson, Sandeep Parmar, Fiona Benson, Chelsey Minnis and Ishion Hutchinson.
Hutchinson is among the contributors to the launch of the spring issue of The Poetry Review via Zoom on 14 April; Gail McConnell, Jamie McKendrick and Stephanie Sy-Quia complete the line-up. The event is free but advance booking is essential to reserve your place.