See links for news of the 2013 Open International and NHS Awards:
Hippocrates Young Poets winner Rosalind Jana. ©Hippocrates Prize
The international Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets is for an unpublished poem in English on a medical theme. Entries were invited from young poets anywhere in the world aged 14 to 18 years. The 2013 Prize attracted entries from young poets from the UK, USA and Australia.
The winning entry was announced at the Hippocrates Awards ceremony at the Wellcome Trust in London on Saturday 18th May by judge and award-winning poet Clare Pollard who also commended US poet Talin Tahajian from Belmont in Massachusetts.
Paul Munden, Rosalind Jana, and Clare Pollard at the Awards ©Hippocrates Prize
About the Hippocrates Young Poets Prize she said: “I'm very pleased to be judging the first Hippocrates Prize for Schools - in bringing science and art together, I hope it will deepen students’ understanding of both, and uncover poets of the future.” She added that the top entries were “extraordinarily accomplished for writers of 18 or under”.
The award was presented by Paul Munden, Director of the National Association of Writers in Education, which donated the inaugural £500 Hippocrates Young Poets award.
Rosalind’s poem was inspired by her own experience of major surgery to correct scoliosis - twisting of her spine.
About Rosalind’s poem Clare Pollard commented: “It is an incredible display of control and craft, formally brilliant and full of striking visual imagery - the shuttered murk, the meaty spine, the cloak of skin, the ‘morphine black blown out by light’. It is both passionate and eerily detached - a deeply impressive piece of work.”
Donald Singer, Hippocrates Prize co-founder and President of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, the major patron of the Hippocrates Initiative said "The FPM is delighted with the success of this first Hippocrates Young Poets Award.
"This year's winner Rosalind is a wonderful ambassador for the Hippocrates Young Poets initiative. She movingly delivers a key aim of the FPM in supporting these international awards by, from her own experience, illustrating imaginative ways in which to engage young people, and through them the public of all ages, in their health".
Hippocrates Prize co-founder poet Michael Hulse added: “We are delighted that this first year of the Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets is already having an international impact in inspiring a new generation of poets.”
The Hippocrates Initiative – winner of the 2011 Times Higher Education Award for Innovation and Excellence in the Arts – is an interdisciplinary venture that investigates the synergy between medicine, the arts, and health.
Notes to editors Acknowledge the Hippocrates Prize when reproducing photos. For more information about Hippocrates Prize winners and extracts of their winning poems, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
About judge Clare Pollard Clare Pollard has published four collections of poetry, the most recent of which, Changeling (Bloodaxe, 2011), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She published her first collection, The Heavy-Petting Zoo, with Bloodaxe in 1998 aged 19. Her play The Weather premiered at the Royal Court Theatre and her documentary for radio, ‘My Male Muse’, was a Radio 4 Pick of the year. She co-edited the anthology Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century and her new collection, Ovid’s Heroines, will be published by Bloodaxe this year.
More about the Hippocrates Young Poets winner 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 Posterior Instrumented Fusion for Adolescent Scoliosis 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."
More about the Hippocrates Initiative The Hippocrates initiative was established in 2009 and already offers two successful annual poetry prizes, one open to submissions from anyone anywhere in the world, the other restricted to NHS employees (present and past) and UK health students. In each category a first prize of £5,000 is awarded. The Hippocrates Prize has attracted thousands of entries from 55 countries, from the Americas to Fiji, from Finland to Australasia, and prizewinners have come from New Zealand and the US as well as the UK.
In the 2013 awards, the Open £5000 prize went to Harvard poet and physician Rafael Campo and the NHS £5000 first prize to Mary V Williams from Shropshire, who trained as a psychotherapist. The Open and NHS awards were judged by poet Jo Shapcott, medical writer Theodore Dalrymple and Roger Highfield, science writer and Science Museum Group Director of External Affairs.
Hippocrates Prize founders
Donald Singer is Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Warwick, and President of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, the main patron of the Hippocrates Prize. His interests include research on discovery of new therapies, and public understanding of drugs, health and disease.
He co-edits Pocket Prescriber, the 6th edition of which is published by Taylor & Francis this June, with a new Pocket Prescriber for Emergency Medicine due this summer.
Michael Hulse is a poet and translator of German literature, and teaches creative writing and comparative literature at the University of Warwick. He is also editor of The Warwick Review.
His latest publications are: The Secret History (poems, Arc) and The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (translation of Rilke's novel, Penguin Classics). With Donald Singer he co-founded in 2009 the International Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine.