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People Who Like Meatballs [Kindle Edition]

Selima Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Shortlisted for the 2012 Forward Poetry Prize. People Who Like Meatballs brings together two contrasting poem sequences about rejection by ‘this brilliant lyricist of human darkness’ (Fiona Sampson). The title-sequence, People Who Like Meatballs, is about a man’s humiliation by a woman. Into my mother’s snow-encrusted lap is about a dysfunctional mother-child relationship. Like all of Selima Hill’s books, both sequences in People Who Like Meatballs chart 'extreme experience with a dazzling excess’ (Deryn Rees-Jones), with startling humour and surprising combinations of homely and outlandish. ‘Arguably the most distinctive truth teller to emerge in British poetry…Despite her thematic preoccupations, there’s nothing conscientious or worthy about Hill’s work. She is a flamboyant, exuberant writer who seems effortlessly to juggle her outrageous symbolic lexicon…using techniques of juxtaposition, interruption and symbolism to articulate narratives of the unconscious. Those narratives are the matter of universal, and universally recognisable, psychodrama…hers is a poetry of piercing emotional apprehension, lightly worn… So original that it has sometimes scared off critical scrutineers, her work must now, surely, be acknowledged as being of central importance in British poetry – not only for the courage of its subject matter but also for the lucid compression of its poetics’ – Fiona Sampson, Guardian. ‘Her adoption of surrealist techniques of shock, bizarre, juxtaposition and defamiliarisation work to subvert conventional notions of self and the feminine… Hill returns repeatedly to fragmented narratives, charting extreme experience with a dazzling excess’ – Deryn Rees-Jones, Modern Women Poets.

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Review

There is no one like the poet Selima Hill. She gets to the heart of a feeling or a thought or a relationship via a symbolism so near the bone, but also so confidingly warm, that you only realise its achievement on second reading. She celebrates the all-too-humanly conflicted unconscious with surrealism and a uniquely lucid, but also lurid, inventiveness. Her tough, chaotic, truthful voice juxtaposes nanoseconds of intimate confidentiality ("having sex with someone when you're sleepy/is hard enough, as we all know") with mad zoology ("a tadpole I called Muriel/would look me in the eye as if to say/Give me back my jellied palisades"). Her new book, People Who Like Meatballs, contains two sequences, one addressed by a woman to a man, one by a woman to her mother, from infant dependence to old age: brilliant, uncompromising, beguiling, painful and very funny. A triumph. --Ruth Padel, New Statesman (Books of the Year)

Arguably the most distinctive truth teller to emerge in British poetry - Despite her thematic preoccupations, there's nothing conscientious or worthy about Hill's work. She is a flamboyant, exuberant writer who seems effortlessly to juggle her outrageous symbolic lexicon - using techniques of juxtaposition, interruption and symbolism to articulate narratives of the unconscious. Those narratives are the matter of universal, and universally recognisable, psychodrama - hers is a poetry of piercing emotional apprehension, lightly worn - So original that it has sometimes scared off critical scrutineers, her work must now, surely, be acknowledged as being of central importance in British poetry - not only for the courage of its subject matter but also for the lucid compression of its poetics. --Fiona Sampson, Guardian.

Her adoption of surrealist techniques of shock, bizarre, juxtaposition and defamiliarisation work to subvert conventional notions of self and the feminine - Hill returns repeatedly to fragmented narratives, charting extreme experience with a dazzling excess. --Deryn Rees-Jones, Modern Women Poets.

About the Author

Selima Hill grew up in a family of painters in farms in England and Wales, and has lived in Dorset for the past 25 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), and People Who Like Meatballs (2012), shortlisted for both the Forward Best Collection Prize and the Costa Poetry Award.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 296 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodaxe Books (27 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009Z2FL7Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #600,050 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best poetry I have read for 5 years 28 Dec. 2012
By JCT
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is a tremendous speed and intensity to the poems which combine passion with humour and are always always completely understandable. Having a collective intent and subject gives them even more power. I would happily read and re-read many times.
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