'Bougainvillea' explores love and having a mother. 'Nylon' is about happiness, and not having or being a mother. Then 'Bunker Sacks' brings grace but also the shock of being a young mother. Finally, 'Grunter' shows the impact of Asperger's syndrome on both mother and child. Like all of Selima Hill's books, Fruitcake charts "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 poetryÖ 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 lexiconÖ using techniques of juxtaposition, interruption and symbolism to articulate narratives of the unconscious. Those narratives are the matter of universal, and universally recognisable, psychodramaÖ hers is a poetry of piercing emotional apprehension, lightly wornÖ 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 ñ not only for the courage of its subject matter but also for the lucid compression of its poetics."
Fiona Sampson, The Guardian
"The volume brings into sharp relief the talents of one of our most agile contemporary poetic voices."
Natalie Pollard, TLS
"Her adoption of surrealist techniques of shock, bizarre, juxtaposition and defamiliarisation work to subvert conventional notions of self and the feminineÖ Hill returns repeatedly to fragmented narratives, charting extreme experience with a dazzling excess."
Deryn Rees-Jones, Modern Women Poets