2013 Hippocrates Young Poets Winner 

2013 judge Clare Pollard discussing young poets, medicine and Rosalind Jana

Rosalind Jana talking about her Hippocrates Young Poets Award

Rosalind Jana reads the poem for which she won the 2013 Hippocrates Young Poets Award

Clare Pollard: Judge for 2013 Young Poets Prize

The winner of the inaugural Hippocrates Young Poets £500 Prize is Rosalind Jana from Hereford Sixth Form College in England, for her poem ‘Posterior Instrumented Fusion for Adolescent Scoliosis’.

Rosalind Jana

Rosalind Jana is a sixth form student and part-time freelance journalist. She won the Vogue Talent Contest for young writers in 2011 at age sixteen and has subsequently written for Vogue several times. She regularly contributes to Lionheart Magazine, Oxfam and fashion initiative All Walks Beyond the Catwalk. She has a conditional offer to read English Literature at Oxford. Further information can be found at clothescamerasandcoffee.blogspot.com 

About her winning poem Rosalind said: 'At the age of fifteen I underwent an operation to fix my extraordinarily twisted spine. I had been diagnosed with scoliosis six months previously when my degree of curvature stood at 56 degrees. By the time I was offered surgery this had progressed to nearly 80 degrees. My backbone had compressed into the shape of a lopsided 'S', my right shoulder blade sticking out like a small wing and rib-cage barrelled to the left. I wheezed when I walked. Sharp aches and jabs of pain were expected. The surgical solution was to cut into my back, place titanium rods on either side of the vertebrae and screw them in place. This would manually straighten my spine and it would fuse solid over the next few months."

"Recovery was physically, emotionally and psychologically challenging. All that remains now is my scar. I am fascinated with its visual resonance, the way in which those complicated months full of agony and debilitation could have been reduced to a single, fading line of flesh. The poem was an attempt to express the strange disconnect between the skin I can see, and the muscle and bone lying beneath that my surgeon and his assistants worked with for five hours. I wanted to show how extraordinary a process it is and how intricate, messy and beautiful the body can be."

 © Hippocrates initiative 2012: hippocrates.poetry@gmail.com