Dunedin-based poet Sue Wootton has shared equal second prize in the prestigious International Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine for her poem ‘Wild’.
Prize winners were announced in London on 18 May at the International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine.
Sue said she was inspired to write ‘Wild’ when a friend was in the throes of tests and treatment for cancer.
“Technically, her care was excellent. Her body and its biochemistry were expertly mapped and monitored; treatment was successfully planned and carried out. And yet, and yet… this endless focus on the analysis of our component parts, and in turn of their components, and of the parts of their parts – all this can diminish a person. All this can make a person disappear. ‘Wild’ is the disappearing voice asserting itself: uncontrollable, complex, inter-related and essential.
The 2013 competition attracted over 1000 entries from 32 countries and was judged by distinguished poet Jo Shapcott, psychiatrist and medical writer Dr Theodore Dalrymple, and Roger Highfield, science writer and Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum Group.
New Zealand poets have fared well in the competition with Auckland poet CK Stead winning the inaugural award in 2010 and Albany poet Johanna Emeney placing third in 2011.
About Sue Wootton
Sue Wootton is a New Zealand poet and writer, whose publications include three collections of poetry (Hourglass, Magnetic South and By Birdlight), a children’s book called Cloudcatcher, and, most recently, the short story collection ‘The Happiest Music on Earth’ (Rosa Mira Books 2013 rosamirabooks.com).
A former physiotherapist, Sue has a long-standing interest in the intersection of science and the humanities generally, and poetry and medicine in particular.
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