Thursday, April 30, 2015

Human experience at its most raw: the short-list for the 2015 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine

 The judges have just met to agree shortlisted and commended poems in the Open International and NHS categories of the 2015 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. 

Poets from New York and the UK, a general practitioner, a radiologist and a former counsellor are among finalists for this year’s Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. At £5000 first prize in both Open and NHS categories, this is one of the highest value poetry awards in the world for a single poem. The winners will be announced at an International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine at the Medical Society of London on Friday May 22nd.

Now in its 5th year, the short-listed entries for the 2015 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine have been selected from around 1000 entries, from 31 countries by judges poet Rebecca Goss, psychiatrist Professor Femi Oyebode and doctor and writer Theodore Dalrymple.

Short-listed in the Open Category are teacher and writer Maya Popa from New York, and poets Pascale Petit and Catherine Ayres from the UK. Competing for the UK NHS 2015 Hippocrates £5000 first prize are former counsellor Kate Compston, GP Ann Lilian Jay, tutor Carole Bromley and radiologist Rowena Warwick.

The judges also agreed 13 commendations in the NHS category, and 18 in the Open International category, from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the USA and New Zealand.

Judge Rebecca Goss said: “The subject of medicine is sprawling and complex, but poetry is the perfect medium to explore it closely and aid our understanding of human experience at its most raw. A variety of voices make up the winning and commended entries in this year’s Hippocrates Prize. Experiences of both medic and patient are explored, but so too, are the insights of the bystander. Included in this list are the carers, the relatives, the friends, revealing the impact illness also has on their lives."

Judge Professor Femi Oyebode said “I feel very privileged to be involved in the Hippocrates poetry prize. This experience has been most humbling.”

He added: “The wondrous thing is to imagine that these are poems written by healthcare workers who, in their everyday work, deploy their technical expertise with emotional commitment and compassion, all over the world, in a variety of settings in order to care for people; and yet, in-between times, having observed the most extraordinary human situations of trauma, tragedy, hope, despair, death and suffering, find the words to communicate these with sensitivity, with original and unique images, and sometimes with humor.”

Judge Theodore Dalrymple remarked: “Once again, the Hippocrates Prize has stimulated poets and health workers around the word to put their experiences of hope, despair, sadness, and compassion into poetic form, with impressive success.”

See more about the awards on the Hippocrates Poetry website

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