2016 Hippocrates Prize Open and NHS Commendations

Winners will be announced and commendations presented at the 2016 Hippocrates Awards ceremony in London: the 7th International Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine Symposium and  2016 Hippocrates Awards

http://hippocrates-poetry.org

Friday 15th April 2016 at the Medical Society of London, 11 Chandos St, W1G 9EB

Click here to register

The winning poems and commendations in all the 2016 Hippocrates Awards will appear in the annual Hippocrates Prize Anthology, to be published at the end of the Awards event on 15th April.

OPEN CATEGORY - COMMENDED POEMS

Catherine Ayres, Alnwick, England     Choosing a breast 
Megan Baxter, Greenville, USA     Harvest
Angela T. Carr, Dublin, Ireland     The Wish-Giver's Testament
Leila Chatti, West Bloomfield, USA     Anti-Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness
Ken Evans, Matlock, England     The Kidney Consultant's Hairclip
Nicola Mary Jackson, Eden, England     My sister's bones  
Leah Kaminsky    In Memoriam 
Charissa Menefee, Ames, USA    I Am Trying to Remember When You Remembered Me
Wendy Orr, Leven, Scotland     Daylight
Wendy Orr, Leven, Scotland    Leaving The Floor 
Athar Pavis, Paris, France     Banzai
Sarah Rutledge Fischer, Fairhope, USA     Lift and Reach
Andrea Wershof Schwartz, Cambridge, USA     The First Death
Andrew Stickland, Cambridge, England   
The Autopsy Report
J. C. Todd, Philadelphia, USA     The Morning After   
Sheila Wild, Littleborough, England     Benign ovarian teratoma
Sue Wootton, Dunedin, New Zealand    Admission  

NHS CATEGORY - COMMENDED POEMS

Cate Bailey, London     In this illuminated midnight
Denise Bundred, Camberley     Open Heart Surgery
Denise Bundred, Camberley     Taking Heart
Monica Corish, Sligo     A Dying Language
Monica Corish, Sligo     Alzheimer Nursing Home Blues
Simon Currie, Otley     Tension Pneumothorax
Iora Dawes, Stafford     Nessun Dorma
Neil Ferguson, London     The Hospital Porter at 2 am
Helen Gibson, Helensburgh     Tentacles
Martin Pearce, Bristol     A New Aubade
Ruth Quinn, Lancaster     Moon Landing
Karen Patricia Schofield, Crewe     Myeloma Moths 
Ellen Storm, Liverpool England     You, Five Minutes, Out 
Emma Faithfull Storr, Leeds     Differential 
Tricia Torrington,  Cheltenham     Allegories of Separation 
Rowena Warwick, Thame     Stethoscope 

Biographies of commended poets and inspiration for their poems

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Catherine Ayres is a teacher who lives and works in Northumberland. She has a pamphlet published by Black Light Engine Room and a collection – Amazon – to be published by Indigo Dreams Publishing next year. The collection is about her experience of breast cancer and its aftermath.

About her inspiration for the poem Choosing a breast she said: "This poem is about the surreal experience of choosing your first breast after a mastectomy, something I was not prepared for and which was both hilarious and immensely sad."

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Cate Bailey is an Academic Clinical Fellow in Old Age Psychiatry and trainee psychiatrist in East London by day (and often night). At present most of her writing is restricted to systematic reviews, posters and discharge summaries though occasionally she scrawls illegible ramblings on post-it notes and in margins, whilst commuting (if she gets a seat). She has previously won the Mslexia short story competition (2011) and was commended in the Hippocrates Awards in 2015. Her poetry has been published in Popshot, the Lightship Anthology and the British Journal of Psychiatry.

She said: "In this illuminated midnight reflects upon the experience of managing deliberate self-harm in patients who may have experienced past traumas. It attempts to capture the clinician’s desire to maintain hope and avoid iatrogenic harm in what sometimes seems to be an inescapable cycle."

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Megan Baxter has spent the past decade working at an organic farm in Vermont, USA. She is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and Goddard College.  She recently moved to South Carolina where spends her days writing and coaching CrossFit. She has a beloved mutt named Rosalita Springsteen. She is also learning how to bake bread, cakes and cookies. She is currently a graduate student at Vermont College of Fine Arts with a focus on Creative Nonfiction.

About writing Harvest she said: "I was inspired by a discussion I had with a young woman who was  almost like a younger sister to me. She was struggling to understand her brother's sudden death and it seemed to me that it was through the process of donating his organs that she was able to both know that he was gone and feel a sense of grace, through her giving. “

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Denise Bundred trained as a paediatrician in Cape Town and as a paediatric cardiologist in Liverpool. After retiring, she completed an MA in Creative Writing. She has previously had seven poems commended and published in The Hippocrates Prize Anthologies between 2012 and 2015.  In October 2013 she read at a Poetry and Medicine event at the Manchester Literature Festival.  She has poems included in 'The Book of Love and Loss' (eds. J Hall and R.V. Bailey) which was published in 2014.   

She said: "The initial image for the poem Taking Heart was the cloud of blood swirling in the chambers of a child’s failing heart, as I performed a cardiac scan. I usually write from the point of view of the doctor but, in this poem, it was the parent’s voice which insisted on being heard."

"Open Heart Surgery came from a memory of the times I spent in theatre watching my surgical colleagues as they repaired baby hearts and the wonder I felt when, after the operation, the heart began to beat spontaneously."

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Angela T. Carr is an award-winning writer and poet, based in Dublin. Her work is published in literary journals in Ireland and the UK, including Mslexia, Abridged and Bare Fiction. Her debut collection, How to Lose Your Home & Save Your Life, won the Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Competition 2013, and was published by Bradshaw Books. In 2014, she was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions series and won the Allingham Poetry Prize. Her poetry has been broadcast on national radio and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is currently Poetry Editor at Headstuff.org. More at www.adreamingskin.com.

About her poem she said: "I wrote The Wish-Giver's Testament after reading about the work of Kees Veldboer, and his Dutch charity, Stichting Ambulance Wens (Ambulance Wish Foundation). Formerly an ambulance driver, he accidentally stumbled on the last wish idea when transporting a patient. There was a delay, the hospital bed wasn't ready and he asked the patient where he'd like to go. Veldboer saw the powerful transformation and sense of peace that came from their unscheduled outing, and set about granting last wishes for other terminal patients. His work gained international attention recently, when a photograph of a woman visiting her favourite Rembrandt went viral in 2015. I was deeply moved both by his work and the stories of the individuals, what they yearned for at the end of their lives." Link to the article, that prompted the poem, which is also the source for the Rembrandt photograph below.

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Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and received her MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University. The recipient of awards from Narrative Magazine’s 30 Below Contest, Nimrod Journal's Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry, the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize, and the Academy of American Poets, her work appears in Best New Poets 2015NarrativeNorth American ReviewCimarron Review, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. She rarely lingers anywhere for long and lived last year in North Carolina, Michigan, and Southern France. (www.leilachatti.com)

As for why she wrote Anti-Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness, she said: " A year ago, I had surgery for what was thought to be cancer, and this surgery took place just two days after my MFA thesis defense. Our graduate program required us to read a number of poets for the thesis exam, one of whom was John Donne, and I stumbled across his poem "Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness." It rattled around in my head for quite some time, likely because I was a little angry with it: as an Arab woman, a Muslim woman, who was sick and wrestling with faith in the face of sickness, I was tired of white men and their God who had failed me. So, using the same form and nods to the original poem in my first and last lines, I wrote an anti-hymn in response.”

Monica Corish

Monica Corish lives in Co Leitrim in Ireland. She trained as a nurse in London in 1989 and worked for many years in the Primary Health Care sector in Sudan, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Angola. Her poetry has been published widely in literary journals in Ireland and the UK; she has received writing bursaries from the Arts Council, ADAI, and Leitrim Arts Office; her first collection, Slow Mysteries Doghouse Books, was published by  in 2012; and she is currently working on a second collection, inspired by the experience of nursing her mother when she was dying with cancer.

A Dying Language    

Alzheimer Nursing Home Blues 

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Simon Currie, born 1938, qualified at Cambridge in 1962. After The Hammersmith, Queen Square and The London he went to Newcastle, then became a consultant neurologist in Leeds in 1970. He retired early to do medieval landscape surveying as botanist and a PhD on the interaction of medical practitioners, European and indigenous, particularly in British India and West Indies, 1750-1900. His wife, Jane Wynne, was a paediatrician dealing with child abuse; she died at sixty four of Parkinson's. He has been active as a poet fifteen years, with 180 poems published in magazines and/or in a pamphlet Imagine a Forest The Isle of Lewis Chessman and a collection (The Poetry Business Sheffield, smith/doorstop). 

He said: "I wrote the poem Tension Pneumothorax fifty years after the event when in 2014  my publisher Peter Sansom arranged a joint session with a York University temporary Medicine/Poetry set-up on interaction in medicine (you may have heard of it). The two they put in their pamphlet were about me as carer: gynaecologist father with Alzheimer's and my wife with Parkinson's. The event set me writing several afterwards, the pneumothorax poem amongst them.” 

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Iora Dawes: After a postgraduate training in medical social work, she took up posts at Salisbury Infirmary and Kingsmill hospital, Mansfield. Later, she lectured in health and social care in further education. She was commended in the 2013 Hippocrates NHS Awards and her entry published in 2013 The Hippocrates Prize Anthology. 

About the inspiration for Nessun Dorma she said: "I wanted to describe the traumatic effect on medical staff in today's pressurised hospitals. We owe them a duty of care."

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Ken Evans recently gained a Distinction in his poetry Master’s, tutored by John McAuliffe, at Manchester University’s Centre for New Writing in the UK. Ken’s work was longlisted in the UK Poetry Society’s National Competition, and highly-commended in theBridport  and shortlisted in the Troubadour Competition, all in 2015. Ken’s debut pamphlet collection is out in Autumn this year from Eyewear Press His draft debut collection was also shortlisted in both Bare Fiction’s awards and in the Poetry School/Nine Arches ‘Primers’ selection at the end of last year.

He said: "My inspiration for The Kidney Consultant's Hairclip was my being a live kidney donor in 2013 for my sister who has had lifelong lupus and was finally on dialysis. I wrote the poem in awe of the work of the Renal Unit at Hammersmith Hospital, and the strange sense of it being counter-intuitive, to be admitted to hospital well to be made, for a time, 'unwell', and my sense of dependency on the surgical team's professionalism and expertise.”

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Neil Ferguson is a novelist and short fiction writer who occasionally writes poems.   HIs most recent book was Taller Today (Telegram 2013) which is a non-fiction novel about his early years growing up in Paddington and Notting Hill, London, where he still live.

He said: I wrote The Hospital Porter at 2 am about my experience of being a hospital porter at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.  I took the title from Sylvia Plath's poem The Surgeon at 2 am.   The hospital porter is among the lowest in the hospital hierarchy and I wanted to write about such a person in heroic terms.  The poem has a fairly formal shape and uses rhyme and half-rhyme in order to emphasise the mock heroic dark humour.

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Sarah Rutledge Fischer is a writer living near the Gulf Coast of the United States.  She holds a degree in Literature from the University of Chicago and a degree in Law from Duke University.  She has published articles and columns in a handful of small magazines.  This is her first poetry publication. 

About Lift and Reach she said:  "The inspiration for Lift and Reach came when I was lying on a gym mat, struggling through an exercise my workout instructor calls a scoop-and-reach.  Miscarriage and even late-term loss of pregnancy are a common tragedy, yet all too often the grief is kept hidden, silent, and suffered in secret.  As I moved the barbell from behind my head, crunched up, and raised it in the air above my knees, I was overcome by the ways in which a body in grief can betray itself.  The feeling stuck with me, and even thought this particular grief was not my own, I felt compelled to give it a voice.”

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Helen Gibson studied medicine at the University of Manchester and works as a consultant paediatrician in the west of Scotland. She is a recent convert to poetry after taking a creative writing module as part of an Open University Humanities degree in 2014.

She said:’”Tentacles is a celebration of doctor patient interaction. It explores the fluid, dynamic and sometimes unexpected nature of communication between two individuals and poses the question ‘Where is the problem here?'"

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Nicola Jackson said: "I was born to doctor parents, and read Natural Sciences at Clare College, Cambridge as one of their first women students, while enjoying mountaineering with the University club. I took a D. Phil. in Psychopharmacology at Oxford University and continued climbing with my husband. I worked in community education while raising our three sons, finishing as a College Head of Higher Education.  I continue to review UK degrees, and now have time for writing and studying for an MA in Writing Poetry. I divide my time between Hertfordshire and Cumbria, and enjoy rowing on Derwentwater and working with other poets.”  

About the background to My sister's bones she said: "Both my parents were doctors, meeting as war-time medical students in London. My sister always intended to study medicine, operating on her teddy bear to remove his tonsils – prescient as she specialised in ENT as a surgeon. The poem describes a typical evening in our shared and rather chilly bedroom in Kent.”

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Leah Kaminsky, a physician and award-winning writer, is Poetry & Fiction Editor at the Medical Journal of Australia. Her debut novel The Waiting Room is published by Vintage (2015) and will be released by Harper Perennial US in 2016. We’re all Going to Die is forthcoming with Harper Collins in June 2016.  She conceived and edited Writer MD, a collection of prominent physician-writers, which starred on Booklist (Knopf US 2012). She is co-author of Cracking the Code, with the Damiani family (Vintage 2015). Her poetry collection Stitching Things Together (Interactive Press 2010) was highly commended in the Anne Elder Award and IP Picks. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. (www.leahkaminsky.com)

She said: In Memoriam was read at a recent Donor Thanksgiving ceremony at Melbourne University, in which medical students and families came together to honour those who have donated their bodies in order to train students. To dissect a cadaver is far more than a simple mechanical exercise. It is a relationship - a dance, in which the young student learns not only the hip-hop of anatomy, but also the tango of life and death. That first vision of the rigid reality of mortality stays branded in memory, a chilling reminder of what lies ahead, after what Elaine Kasket in Death and the Doctor refers to as our ‘hurry(ing) to get somewhere’. And as young doctors, the constant exposure to the dystopian world of illness and dying can render the body as ‘something not quite human’.  Poetry has the surgical eye that can carve out meaning from despair and understanding from stupor.

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Charissa Menefee is a poet, playwright, director, and performer.  She teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University.  Her poetry chapbook, When I Stopped Counting, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.  A recent finalist for the Julie Harris Playwright Award, she has had plays honored by the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s New American Playwrights Project, Pandora Festival of New Plays, and Tennessee Women’s Theatre Project.  After spending many years in the mile-high mountain town of Prescott, Arizona, she now lives in Ames, Iowa.    

She said: "I am trying to remember when you remembered me was inspired by a dear friend who developed Alzheimer's.  Her daughter told me that, because she was the primary caregiver up until her mother's death, joyous past memories had been crowded out by recent painful ones.  She was having trouble remembering her mother the way she was before the disease progressed."  

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Wendy Orr lives in Fife and leads the Education Programme for StAnza International Poetry Festival, St Andrews. Recent poems are in Ink, Sweat & Tears, Lighthouse, Gutter, Poetry Salzburg and various anthologies. She is winner of Mother’s Milk Books Poetry Competition 2014; commended in the St Cross Oxford University International Competition 2015 judged by Mimi Khalvati; highly commended in Carers UK Poetry Competition 2015 and most recently been longlisted for the Plough Prize 2015.

She said: "Daylight and Leaving the Floor are both poems relating to the last few days in hospital, as my father died. They are two poems from what has become a long (and continuing) sequence of our last moments as a family with him on a ward, in an Ayrshire hospital. Often, they return to single moments, images, visual memories that will stay with me always. The poems seem to gradually close in on our final moments together and so the hospital experience has taken on such a heightened significance in the memory of our relationship, as it may for others who have experienced something similar.

"It became apparent that my father’s nurse, one woman in particular, was often present in these moments - not intrusively, but it seemed, significantly. I realised she is there quite powerfully in my consciousness now, as part of an highly personal and important experience in my own life and I feel more and more grateful to her for doing her job with such attentiveness and sensitivity. For me, the process of writing the poems navigated me through grief in such a way that they are now part of my own life and my father’s memory."

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Athar Pavis said: "I have written poetry from a very young age to express what at the time I felt I needed to keep to myself. I was raised in New York City, in an area then considered the slums of Brooklyn, and left to study at Mount Holyoke College. One of the turning points in my life occurred when I encountered Provençal poetry and when a professor of French gave me Proust’s Un Amour de Swann to read. What followed have been years of travel to and from France, teaching positions at the Sorbonne, and training assignments to prepare French diplomats for various negotiations, which I do by creating conflict scenarios."

About what inspired her to write Banzai: "A visit to the famous Institut Curie in Paris, things unsaid by the man in the waiting room, and especially imagining what it must have been like for my sister, how she stubbornly kept handling the kitchen detail of living when she must have known she was dying, how she must have longed for one last banzai moment of the world’s beauty, but couldn’t bring herself to take it."

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Martin Pearce lives in Bristol and studied English at Sunderland Polytechnic. He previously worked for NHS Blood and Transplant for nearly 30 years. In 2014, Martin won the Bristol Poetry Institute's Likenesses competition, and was longlisted in the 2015 National Poetry Competition. His poetry has appeared in PN Review and on The Guardian website.

Of A New Aubade he said: "This poem was written after experiencing a central vein occlusion in my right eye. Whilst the context has been fictionalised, I hoped to give some idea of the initial visual disturbance, along with the distress it caused at the time.”

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Ruth Quinn is a counsellor and therapist living and working in Lancashire. Before retraining she taught drama and theatre for years and has a passion for language, poetry and creative strategies when exploring how to develop our writing.

Ruth currently works in private practice and in a hospice where she provides support for people who are dying. She said: "Moon landing grew out of a number of conversations with people envisaging their death as a journey into space. The language we use to describe powerful events can unquestionably change how we feel about them."

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Karen Schofield said: "For most of my career I have been a consultant in clinical haematology although I have now retired from the NHS. This gives me time to write poetry and occasionally to supervise medical students who choose a medicine and poetry option at Keele University Medical School.  I am an enthusiastic member of the Stoke Stanza group and ‘Keele Poets at Silverdale Library’ and receive much support from both groups.  My poetry is often informed by my medical experiences and I like to think of unexpected ways to express the emotions of clinical encounters. I was awarded a commended place in 2014 for the Hippocrates Prize."

She said that her poem Myeloma Moths takes a sideways approach to describing the course of a disease that can be difficult to confront directly.

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Andrea Wershof Schwartz MD MPH is a geriatrician who teaches at Harvard Medical School and practices at the Veteran's Affairs in Boston. She began writing as a student in Mount Sinai School of Medicine's Humanities and Medicine program, and placed first nationally in the William Carlos Williams poetry competition. Her work has been published in Annals of Internal Medicine and Journal of Medical Humanities. She serves on the steering committee of the Arts & Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School.

She wrote The First Death while an intern in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and it reflects the challenge of a young physician learning to care for patients at the end of life, balancing the tasks to be completed when pronouncing a death with empathy and grief in the setting of the loss of a life.  

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Andrew Stickland said: I spent the first half of my working life as a theatre lighting technician, until a back injury forced me to find a new career path. I am now a full-time writer, producing Young Adult science fiction novels, short fiction and poetry whenever my other full-time job as a parent allows me the time. I have two published collections of poetry: Broken Bottles (Envoi Poets Publications) and The Opposite Page (Seal Books), and really must get round to producing a third sometime soon.

About his commended poem he said: I was inspired to write The Autopsy Report after reading the actual report produced after the death of my brother, Mark, who died in a climbing accident in New Zealand in 1998. He was a doctor himself and I like to think he would have been quite pleased with the scores he achieved in his final exam.”

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Ellen Storm is a poet and medical doctor who won the Hippocrates Prize in the NHS category in 2014. Her first collection of poetry - Rupture - was published by the Hippocrates Press in 2015.
You, Five Minutes, Out continues some of the themes explored in the book. Ellen is currently completing an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Lancaster, and lives in Liverpool with her partner and twin daughters.

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Emma Storr said: "I am a GP and Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care in Leeds. I enjoy the combination of clinical work and teaching. The poem Differential was inspired by my common experience as a GP trying to manage uncertainty. Making a diagnosis is not always possible. I am very aware that there is a danger in missing something serious amongst the generality of symptoms that patients bring." 

About her poem Differential she said: “The poem was an exploration of that tension and the vulnerability I feel as a health professional not to make mistakes or overlook the rare and unusual causes of disease lurking out there.”

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J. C. Todd (photo by Mark Hillringhouse) is a Pew Fellow in the Arts, the 2016 Alliance of Artist Residencies Pew Fellow at the Ucross Foundation, and a finalist for the 2015 Poetry Society of America’s Robert Winner Award. She is author of FUBAR, What Space This Body a limited edition artist book created in collaboration with visual artist MaryAnn L. Miller (Lucia Press, 2016) and of (Wind Publications, )2008. Todd’s poems have appeared in The Paris Review, American Poetry Review and elsewhere. She is a faculty member of the Creative Writing Program at Bryn Mawr College and the MFA Program at Rosemont, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

She said: "The Morning After is an amalgam of situations and details from the blogs of U. S. military personnel stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan during the first decade of this century. I read the blogs to better understand the experience of my daughter-in-law, Catherine Shoff, a pulmonologist who served as a U. S. Air Force physician in Iraq. This poem is a companion to a sonnet sequence, War Zone, inspired by her work."

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Tricia Torrington is a Poet and Printmaker. She has one collection out, published by Flarestack which was reprinted with permission by Griffin Press. She often creates prints with her poems in and is a founder member of the Gloucestershire Printmaking Cooperative; she is director of the IMPRESS Printmaking Festival. She is married to the poet Michael Henry and lives in Gloucestershire. 

She said: "Allegories of Separation came about during the last year of my mother's battle with vascular dementia. After she had died I looked back at the very many little disjointed pieces I had written about it; these small phrases lingered and clung together like tesserae in the mosaic of that period of time. I realised they documented the many strands of what it was like to see her day after day, not knowing if she would know who I was, whether she would be angry that day, or philosophical, and so on. So I pulled these lost phrases together to make a series of allegories about losing her, well before she actually died.“

Rowena Warwick

Rowena Warwick is a Consultant Radiologist working in Buckinghamshire. She was recently awarded distinction for her Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing from Oxford University Department of Continuing Education. Her poems have appeared in The Interpreter’s House; Ink, Sweat and Tears and Snakeskin. She was commended in the Yeovil Literary Prize in 2013 and won the NHS 3rd Prize in the Hippocrates Prize in 2015. 

Stethoscope

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Sheila Wild was born in Somerset in 1950 and now lives in the South Pennines. By profession a writer of non-fiction, a policy analyst and expert on gender equality issues, Sheila’s debut collection of poetry Equinox will be published by Cinnamon Press in May 2016. 
Her poems have appeared in journals such as Artemis, The Literary Bohemian, MsLexia, the North, Orbis, Obsessed with Pipework and The Rialto. Sheila’s poems have also won, or been the runner up, in competitions such as the Manchester International Religious Poetry Competition, the Wigtown Poetry Competition, and the British Haiku Competition.

About Benign ovarian teratoma she said: "I am now 66. When I was 40, I had an operation to remove what proved to be a benign ovarian teratoma. This marked a turning point in my life. The intense pain I had been enduring for a number of years ceased (the cyst, large as a loaf of bread, had tucked itself behind my bladder, making it undetectable on a series of scans), and the period of convalescence gave me the time and space to rediscover the poet I had been in my teens. Benign ovarian teratoma is a poem I’d long wanted to write, but at first I lacked the skill – it’s hard to tackle something so fraught with pain, but also with the feeling of loss associated with the discovery that I might have had a twin. An only child, I’d always wanted siblings, and as a small child, had an invisible friend, who I called Elizabeth – she became the poem’s unborn twin.”

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Sue Wootton lives in Dunedin, New Zealand. A former physiotherapist, she has a keen interest in the medical humanities and is currently pursuing a doctorate in medicine and literature at the University of Otago. Sue’s awards include the 2015 Caselburg Trust International Poetry Prize, the 2013 Victorian Cancer Council Poetry Award and joint second place in the 2013 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. Her work has been widely published, anthologised and translated. Her first novel, Strip, will be published this year by Mākaro Press, and her fifth poetry collection is forthcoming. Her website is suewootton.com

She said: “Admission is a personal poem. It has taken five years for me to find a way to express my gratitude to the unknown nurse who admitted my emphysemic father to the hospital in which, as it transpired, he would soon die. I hope the poem stands as a tribute to her calm strength, her kindness and her professionalism

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