Competing for the £500 Young Poets award are Mia Nelson, from Denver, USA from love under the scalpel, Audrey Spensley, from Avon Lake, USA for 3 poems: Dissection, Requiem for a Surgery Scar and Variations on a Craniotomy, Catherine Wang from Hong Kong for Six pills and Amy Wolstenholme from Salisbury in England for words in the bone.
Honorable mentions have been awarded to Cara Nicholson from Oundle, England for An Unwanted Visitor, Alana McDermott from Oldham, England for Letters Upon The Sea, Ally Steinberg from New York City, USA for The Jacks, Norviewu Dzimegam from Orpington, England for I am and Naabil Khan from London, England for My Scars.
This year’s awards are being judged by poet Sian Hughes who will announce the winner at an Awards Ceremony in London on Friday 15th April.
Judge Siân Hughes said: “Reading a young writer's work is always a huge responsibility. Misunderstanding someone, missing the point, is such an unkind, unfriendly thing to do, especially to the young, and no one is more exposed than when they open themselves to the page.
“These young writers take on stories of illness, fear and loss, staring into some of the hardest words in the language with honesty and courage. What struck me about all of these mentioned, was that they showed a love of words as well as a love of life.
“Those who tackled the subject of mental illness - self-harm, eating disorders, hallucination - took on a challenge as brave as those who grappled with the technical language of cancer treatments. I was moved by words about the agonies of acne and the madness of first love as well as by stories of hospital corridors and waiting rooms.”
The international Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets is for an unpublished poem in English on a medical theme by poets aged 14 to 18 years from anywhere in the world. The 2016 Prize attracted entries from Canada, England, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, Taiwan and the USA.