Saturday, March 12, 2016

Fragility of the human form: short-list for the 2016 Hippocrates Open and NHS Prize for Poetry and Medicine

Poets from New York and the UK are among finalists for this year’s Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. Short-listed in the Open Category are Owen Lewis, child psychiatrist and poet from New York, and from the UK poets Anne Ryland from Berwick-on-Tweed and Jane McLaughlin from London.

Competing for the UK NHS 2016 Hippocrates first prize are paediatric cardiologist Denise Bundred from Camberley, former consultant haematologist Karen Patricia Schofield from Crewe and GP Chris Woods from Bury. 

Find out more about the shortlisted poets.

The judges also agreed 16 commendations in the NHS category, and 17 commendations in the Open International category from Australia, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand and the USA.

Find out more about the commended poets.

Chris Woods, Anne Ryland, Denise Bundred, Jane McLaughlin, Karen Schofield and Owen Lewis

Judge Rafael Campo said: "It has been tremendously heartening, in this age of seductive technologies, financial imperatives, and ever more culturally disparate illness experiences, to read so many stunning poems that remain so deeply concerned with healing in the broadest and most fundamental sense." 

He added: "Whether written from the perspective of care providers across many disciplines, or by patients and their loved ones, the poems submitted for the Hippocrates awards are an eloquent and powerful reminder of the the importance of the human imagination in confronting illness.  While medicine may sometimes cure disease, it is poetry, through empathy and a refusal to look away from human suffering, that always heals."

Judge Wendy French said: “Poems inspired by medical topics help us appreciate the humanity of medicine. Evidence for this was amply provided by the range of poems submitted for the 2016 Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine Prizes, with topics drawing on personal experiences as patients, practitioners and observers.”

She added: “Despite their diversity, the quality of the best poems stood out, and the judges were in remarkable agreement about which should be commended or win awards.  It is to be hoped that this important initiative will continue for years to come.”

Judge Rev. Gareth Powell said: “The Hippocrates Prize has attracted a refreshingly vivid collection of poetry that links together human experience, medical precision and the fragility of the human form. In the poems, we glimpse, and are challenged by, something of the intimacy of medicine.  This is all thanks to the skill of the poets in observation and a discerning use of language.”

Now in its 7th year, the short-listed entries for the 2016 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine have been selected from around 1000 entries from 40 countries by judges poet Wendy French, Harvard physician and poet Dr Rafael Campo, and Rev. Gareth Powell, Secretary of the Methodist Church.

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