Buckingham Palace announced that the famous writer Selima Hill was awarded the King’s Gold Medal for Poetry.
King approved the award to Hill after it was recommended by the Poetry Medal Committee chaired by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, which described Hill as “a unique talent”.
The award is the first Gold Medal for Poetry awarded in the King’s name since the Queen’s death in September.
Hill published his first book of poetry, Saying Hello At The Station, in 1984 and has written more than a dozen collections throughout his career.
Bunny, a collection of poems published in 2001 about a girl growing up in the 1950s, won the Whitbread Poetry Award.
Award-Winning Poet, “Selima Tepe is an inimitable talent. The mind is fragile and unreliable in his poetry, but it is also stubborn and puzzling, capable of the most unusual responses and always fighting language as a survival kit.
“Life in general can be said to have complexities, contradictions, and consequences of simply being. Yet Hill’s writings are highly readable and approachable, sometimes even funny, the voice of a person and a poet who will not be silenced and do not live up to expectations, especially poetic ones.”
His poems cover a variety of topics, from mental illness to family conflicts and the love that is the mainstay of many famous writers.
He is famous for juxtaposing seemingly opposite objects, as in the poem Our Softness is Appalling: “Love is like a bag of hot eyeballs being passed around in the dark.”
Can I Please Be A Man is a favorite poem of many readers, and imagines the ideal man who “knows the names of 100 different roses… walks like Belmondo in A Bout de Souffle”.
The Poetry Medal Committee recommended Hill based on her working group and her evolving and empowering creativity, with special appreciation for Gloria: Selected Poems, a compilation of her top ten collections published by Bloodaxe Books in 2008.
The Poetry Gold Medal was established by King George V in 1933 at the suggestion of then-Poet Laureate John Masefield and is awarded annually for excellence in poetry.
During Queen Elizabeth’s reign, the Medal was known as the Queen’s Poetry Gold Medal.