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Alison has been published in a wide range of poetry magazines including SOUTH, Orbis, Fire, Pulsar, Envoi, 14 Magazine, Ripple, Obsessed with Pipework, ArtemisPoetry, Ariadne’s Thread, and online at Snakeskin and Ink, Sweat and Tears.
Her first pamphlet, Peppercorn Rent, was published by Flarestack in 2008.
‘To a Girl on Platform Three’ (SOUTH 46) was nominated for the Forward Prize 2012.
Anthologies include And The Story Isn’t Over (poetrypRO, 2009), This Island City (Spinnaker Press, 2010), poetry tREnD (LIT Verlag, Berlin 2010) and Words in Praise of Nedd Ludd (Free Radicals and Luddites200, 2013).
A series of poems is included in the anthology, Poets in Person, edited by Aprilia Zank. Her work has also been translated into German and Romanian via poetry pf projects.
Alison has given readings at the Troubadour, Rhythm & Muse, Lumen, Tongues & Grooves and poetry festivals. She has also performed her poetry alongside Judith Watts, as Speranza, weaving lillies and feathers from the cornerHOUSE to the Roundhouse, plus appearances at Chichester and Kingston Universities and the Mary Wallace Theatre.
Alison was Kingston Libraries’ first Poet in Residence (2011/12) and ran a series of events and workshops for adults and children across the seven libraries. She also helped judge Kingston Libraries’ first poetry competition in 2013.
Alison's latest collection SISTERS IN SPITFIRES is available here
Indigo Dreams Publishing
Publication April 2014
138 x 216 mm
They step through the stone arch, taller each time.
From black and white to full colour glory –
they have arrived.
The stone holds true as the sun flickers rust
over the hillside and the birds prepare to risk flight.
She crams her pockets with sparkling slate,
river washed, fountain smoothed. Yet supple, fluid,
still life to ebb and flow some more.
She turns to see a druid on the headland,
head flung back, fire in his belly. She turned again
with wind-whipped hair, but he was gone.
They step through that weathered stone arch
one, two, three – taller each time.
The Doctor’s House
(for Jane Kirwan)
A tall thin house
that tried too hard
to contain our frustration.
Aniseed balls from Everett’s
that stuck to the roof
of our mouths,
refusing to dissolve.
Hot sticky walks
from house to convent,
the smell of leather and fish,
the drift of chlorine.
From suppressed anger
to faceless nuns;
snuffed candles, litany
that burned deep.
And Ireland, running
through our Midlands
existence, pulling me
down Lady’s Lane
calling me home.
“This collection has a poignant, elegiac tone, in spite of its flashes ofhumour and playfulness. Hill combines a strong sense of moving through history, of a cast of characters ‘falling into their past’, with close observation of ‘what is important, what stirs her to the core’. ”
“There is a subtle strength underlying Alison Hill’s quietly voiced poems as she compares then and now, imagines what may follow, to make her meanings and tell her stories. In particular, it is the lives of women that stand proud. Women past and present, in relationships, in conflict and in love. Stoic women, struggling, never giving up.”
“With sensitivity and an exquisite command of the poetic language, Alison Hill transcends the daily ‘she’ into essential femininity with depths and heights of mythical dimensions, the eternal woman who can deal equally with the mill wheel, the piano keys and the lover’s longings; a creature that rises from and immerses into nature in an endless act of creation.”
“A lovely collection: the powerfully emotive poems, calmly presented in careful, elegant diction, are heartfelt and beautiful, and invite the reader to find their deeper layers of meaning and emotion.”
She gives her the gift of life,
a complex love bound up
in her own lost childhood.
She gives her the wet hills stitched
with dry stone contours,
she gives her the wind, the fleeting
sunshine across the landscape.
The local bus winds around the damp
hillside, dropping passengers back
into their villages, back into their lives.
The women turn to chat across the seats,
one last gossip before the weekend sets in.
She gave her the price of a bus ticket,
but she bargained on an open return.
The head of the girl with pigtails
has been placed halfway up
the crimson staircase.
Her back to the window,
she dreams of a sky she cannot see
trees she cannot climb.
The head of a girl with pigtails
catches our eye as we ascend –
again as we go down.
Her patina gaze is unnerving:
she is girlhood without the games,
skipping without the rope.
Mirror in the Bookcase
It wasn’t the way she entered the frame,
squinting into the distance, trying
to find her best angle.
It was the promise, caught
on one leg, mid-pirouette.
It wasn’t the way he leant over,
head stuck, falling backwards.
It was the tilt of his tongue,
the exact snub of his nose
on the cool, bevelled edge.
It wasn’t the way they both came
to visit her, in the long shadows.
It was their need to stoop,
to bend backwards –
falling into their past.
Hands on hips
broadening over the valley
she surveys the impasse:
can she leap, will he follow?
Eyes narrowed, dark squint
lessening the load,
she takes the plunge
and makes it to the other side,
just one damp underskirt
to show for her leap of faith.
He had less belief,
raging on the river bank,
helpless and impotent
as the river surged
and swallowed him whole.
She walked on with a shrug
and two dry stockings.