Cover artwork by Josh Leach
Date: 2nd December 2021
Extent: 72 pp
Shaun Hill’s debut poetry collection, warm blooded things is a radical and intimate encounter with boyhood, sexuality, and violence, love, desire and solitude. Wandering the nocturnal city streets, through random encounters, co-opting space and capturing conversations in a multitude of voices, this collection evokes alienation whilst longing for tenderness.
Hill’s agile poems are alive to fear, loss, danger – and to the possibility of other ways of being, other, better stories that we can write. The poems also explore a uniquely queer archive of time and place, the legacy of AIDS, and draw strength from giving voice to unheard histories. Seeking sanctuary and alternatives to a capitalist reality, these precise, humane poems gesture towards hope, survival and the necessity to be responsible for one another.
Praise for warm blooded things:
"Shaun Hill is one of my favourite performers, his poems charged with vulnerability and raw intimacy. Now warm blooded thing offers us this same tender gift. "Whistling to the animal in us", these poems move upon waves of danger and lostness, through the city's darkest spaces, yet always, in Hill's gentle hands, seeking soul-healing and deep connection." - Liz Berry
"Shaun Hill ventures into his writing with his whole self, bringing the reader along for a vivid and unexpected journey" - Sabrina Mahfouz
“This extraordinary collection of poetry wrestles with themes of reflection and religion, sex, intimacy and self-harm; it contends with the digitisation of modern life and the death machine of capitalism. Shaun Hill knows our lives have been hacked and we are living in glitches, fingering our way into any moment of tenderness, scratching desperately towards any kind of grace to be found. Yet this is not a despairing book, the warm blood of living is pulsing in these pages.” – Amy Sharrocks
"This glorious debut by Shaun Hill is a road map towards inner light. Those lit paths within we too often ignore, yet should tread more often. '...pull back the curtain', Hill says, 'and climb inside the rain.' Above all else, these are poems that encourage us to truly feel. To seek and find ourselves on the 'raw edges' of encounters with others. To indulge in the momentary, grey ugliness of the world, and find resolve. Much like the artistic work of Leonard Baskin, these poems are exposed, fixed: as bright as they are dark. As gut-twisting as they are beautiful. A breathtaking collection, one I shall return to again and again." - Helen Calcutt
Shaun Hill is a queer writer exploring post-capitalist ways of being. He is a recipient of an Apple and Snakes | Jerwood Arts Poetry in Performance Award for 2020. Shaun has shared his words widely at festivals across the UK and has facilitated for a range of organisations including: Birmingham Buddhist Centre, City of Culture, and Out on the Page. He has completed commissions for Overhear, Verve Poetry Festival, and appeared on BBC Radio 4. Thirty of his poems have been published, in anthologies such as Eighty-Four: Poems on Male Suicide, and magazines like Magma and StreetCake. warm blooded things is his first collection.