2013 Venice - delegate biographies


 Photo credit: Eric Toccaceli

Damiano Abeni MD, MPH, is an epidemiologist who has been translating American poetry into Italian since 1973. In Italy, he has published volumes of Bidart, Bishop, Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, Strand, Simic, C.K. Williams, and others, as well as novels and short story collections by Barth, Bender, Heti, and Tey. With Mark Strand, he edited West of your Cities, a bi-lingual anthology of contemporary American poets.  His translations appear in numerous Italian journals and he is among the editors of the journal Nuovi Argomenti. He has been a Literature Fellow at the Liguria Study Center of the Bogliasco Foundation and a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center.


moira egan

 Photo Credit: Eric Toccaceli

Moira Egan Moira Egan’s poetry collections are Hot Flash Sonnets (Passager Books, 2013); Spin (Entasis Press, 2010, for whom she also co-edited Hot Sonnets, 2011); Bar Napkin Sonnets (The Ledge Chapbook Competition, 2009); La Seta della Cravatta/The Silk of the Tie (Edizioni l’Obliquo, 2009); and Cleave (WWPH, 2004). Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in the U.S. and abroad, including Best American Poetry 2008 and Lewis Turco’s most recent edition of The Book of Forms. With Damiano Abeni, she has published more than a dozen books in translation in Italian, by authors such as Barth, Bender, Ferlinghetti, Hecht, Strand, Tey, and John Ashbery, whose collection, Un mondo che non può essere migliore: Poesie scelte 1956-2007, won a Special Prize of the Premio Napoli (2009). She has been a Mid Atlantic Arts Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; Writer in Residence at St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Malta; a Writing Fellow at the Civitella Ranieri Center; and a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. She lives in Rome.

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Wendy French’s own published works include two full collections: Splintering the Dark (2005, Rockingham Press) and surely you know this (2009, tall lighthouse) in addition to chapbooks and numerous poems in magazines and anthologies. She won first prize in the Torbay Festival Poetry Competition in 2008 and the same year was commended in the Troubadour prize and won third prize in the Spread the Word/Time Out competition. Her collaboration with Jane Kirwan resulted in the book, Born in the NHS  (Hippocrates Press, 2013), and she won 3rd prize in the PoetrySpace competition, 2013. The poem, it’s about a man, was written as a tribute to her father who was one of the first doctors to work for the NHS in 1947, and had to be moved to a care home. It won the NHS section of the Hippocrates Poetry & Medicine prize in 2010. In 2011 Wendy won second prize in the NHS section of the Hippocrates prize.


 Photo credit: Alison Harris

Marilyn Hacker is the author of twelve collections of poems, including Names (Norton, 2010), Essays on Departure (Carcanet, 2006) and Desesperanto (Norton, 2003) , an essay collection, Unauthorized Voices ( Michigan, 2010), and thirteen books of translations from the French. Her awards include the American PEN award for poetry in translation, the American PEN Voelcker Award, and the International Argana Prize for Poetry from the Beit as-Sh’ir/ House of Poetry in Morocco in 2012. She lives in Paris.

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Peter Herbert trained and qualified in medicine at Middlesex Hospital Medical School in 1975, before working in Intensive Care Medicine and Cardiology, and then Psychiatry. He became MRCP in 1979. He then trained in General Practice in 1980 and became a principal in NW London in 1983. He trained in medical acupuncture and was awarded DipMedAc by the British Medical Acupuncture Society in 1997. More recently he has pioneered the use of low intensity laser therapy in inflammatory conditions. He was primary care tutor for Camden and Islington and South Barnet from 1998 and conceived and ran the Practice Tutor Scheme across North London. He was elected FRCP in 2000. He has taught medicine in the community for UCLH since 2009.

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Michael Hulse has won numerous awards for his poetry, and has translated more than sixty books from the German, among them works by W. G. Sebald, Goethe and Rilke. His most recent collection of poetry, The Secret History (Arc, 2009), and the co-edited anthology The Twentieth Century in Poetry (Ebury, 2011), brought him invitations to read and talk in Mexico, the US, Australia, New Zealand, and several European countries. He is a judge of the Günter Grass Foundation’s biennial international literary award and consultant to Adelaide Writers’ Week. His new book of poems, Half-Life, was published by Arc this August. In 2009, with Donald Singer he co-founded the Hippocrates initiative for poetry and medicine.

Alex Jospehy

Alex Josephy lives in the East End of London and in central Italy, and works as an education adviser in the NHS.  Her work has been published in The Rialto, Smiths Knoll, The Interpreter's House and others, and she was awarded a second prize in the Hippocrates prize for poetry and medicine 2010.

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Jane Kirwan’s poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies in Great Britain and the Czech Republic where she lives half of the year. Her poetry collections Stealing the Eiffel Tower (1997) and The Man Who Sold Mirrors  (2003) and Second Exile, poems with prose by Ales Machacek (2010), were published by Rockingham Press and a Czech version Druhy Exil by Novela Bohemica. In 2013 she co-authored with Wendy French Born in the NHS published by the Hippocrates Press. She won an Arts Council Writers’ Award in 2002, has been commended and won prizes in many competitions including the National and Hippocrates and has appeared on Czech television and read at poetry festivals in the UK and abroad.

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Shehzad Latif works as a Surgeon in Swansea. When asked why he was interested in the interface between poetry and medicine, Shehzad said that ‘poetry, like surgery and painting, is a passion. Life, people and places inspire me. I love to write about my observations, how I see things. I love my work and am proud of my hospitals. I want people to see them through my eyes, feel what is it like to be on the other side. We all have our stories.’ 

Dennis Linder

Dennis Linder MD, MSc, dermatologist and mathematician, is a dermatologist in private practice in Venice, Italy; he is a lecturer at the University of Padua Medical School and at the Medical University of Graz. He also regularly lectures at Université Paris V on the subject of medical humanities. His interests range from Medical Humanities to Psychodermatology, Dermatoepidemiology, Doctor Patient Communication and Life Course Epidemiology.  He is the president of the European Society for Dermatology and Psychiatry.

Bella Madden

Bella Madden has been a senior lecturer in Midwifery at the University of Bedfordshire since 1999, following 9 years in clinical midwifery and a previous background in social sciences/education. She has a specific interest in the use of the arts and humanities generally to facilitate reflection in midwifery students, which she believes to be a vital component of the self-awareness required to be an effective and compassionate healthcare professional. Her involvement with the Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine Initiative follows a discovery of the website while looking for ‘an interesting study day,’ and receiving joint third-place in the Hippocrates NHS Category 2013 poetry competition. Her winning poem, The New Man, was written during her first partner’s illness, and was inspired by the change serious illness can bring in people and relationships.

Femi Oyebode

Femi Oyebode is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Birmingham. His research interests include clinical psychopathology and medical humanities. He is a published poet and has contributed critical essays on African poets to a number of books. His most recent books are: Mindreadings: literature and psychiatry and Madness at the Theatre.

Laura Salisbury

Laura Salisbury is a Senior Lecturer in Medicine and English Literature at the University of Exeter. She has teaching and research interests in literary modernism (particularly the work of Samuel Beckett), medical humanities and critical theory. Her most recent research has centred on the relationship between aphasia and modernist writing. She has published widely on this topic, including a number of essays on Beckett and a contribution to her co-edited collection, Neurology and Modernity: A Cultural History of Nervous Systems, 1800-1950. She is currently working on a book entitled Aphasic Modernism: A Revolution of the Word.

Joanna Sedgwick has an English Literature degree from the Open University and has recently completed an MA in Interpreting: British Sign Language – English from the University of Leeds. She is now a qualified British Sign Language interpreter and lives and works in West Yorkshire. She has had poems published in magazines including Magma and The Rialto and was commended in the 2013 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine.

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Donald Singer has published over 170 articles, chapters and books on medical research, and public understanding of health. He is President of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine and co-chairs for the British Pharmacological Society the UK committee of heads and professors of pharmacology and therapeutics. He is also Secretary of the European Association of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, which represents clinical pharmacology in 32 European countries. He co-authors Pocket Prescriber (6th edition this June and a new Emergency Medicine edition this September) both published by Taylor & Francis. In 2009, with Michael Hulse he co-founded the Hippocrates initiative for poetry and medicine.

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C.K. Stead ONZ, CBE, FRSL, is one of New Zealand’s foremost literary figures. He is a distinguished novelist, literary critic, poet, essayist and emeritus professor of English of the University of Auckland. Stead has won and been nominated for many prestigious awards and fellowships, including the Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers’ Fellowship in 2005. Stead was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand in 2007. Throughout his extensive sequence of poetic experiments, however, Stead often turned back to coherent personal narrative, as in his lengthy sequence of sonnets reminiscent of Baxter, his ‘Clodian Songbook’ (adaptations of Catullus to the writer’s own personal situation), and his 1990 volume Voices, commissioned for the sesquicentennial celebrations, which depicts scenes from New Zealand history and from Stead’s own family history. He won then inaugural 2010 open international Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine for the poem Ischaemia, which was inspired by his own experience of stroke.

Kelley Swain

Kelley Swain is a freelance writer and educator in poetry, science, and the Medical Humanities. She is coordinator of Humanities in Global Health at Imperial College London. She is the author of poetry collections Darwin’s Microscope (Flambard Press, 2009), Opera di Cera (forthcoming, Valley Press, 2014), Atlantic (forthcoming, Cinnamon Press, 2014), and editor of the poetry and art volumes The Rules of Form: Sonnets and Slide Rules (Whipple Museum, 2012) and Pocket Horizon (Valley Press, 2013). Her novel Double the Stars: The Life and Adventures of Miss Caroline Herschel is forthcoming with Cinnamon Press (2014)

Tverskaya Svetlana Semenovna is a pediatrician, a candidate of Medical Sciences, and Professor in the Department of Medical and Biological Disciplines at the Moscow State Regional Social-Humanitarian Institute in Russia. She was born in the Moscow region and graduated from Ivanovo State Medical Institute in 1963. She is the author of more than 200 scientific and teaching papers. Her main areas of scientific interest and teaching of medicine in non-core High Schools, and medicine in literature.

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Nicola Williams completed her MA in English at the University of Warwick in September 2013. Her undergraduate degree in English and Italian Literature allowed her to live in Rome for a year, and cemented her love of Italy and the Italian language. She is an aspiring spoken-word poet, and a film of her poem ‘In the Name of Greatness’ won the Young filmmaker documentary category of the Guardian and Intergenerational Foundation film competition 2013. She has run spoken word workshops with a youth club in Coventry as a member of the poetry collective, Shoot from the Lip. She was recently a finalist in the Roundhouse Poetry Slam final in Camden, London.

Clare Wilmot

Clare Wilmot was born in Africa to British parents, but trained as MB ChB at Bristol University in England, before taking a Surgical Residency in Boston, USA. She practiced in New York and New England for 27 years. In 2009 she was diagnosed with Leukaemia, and was put into remission by chemotherapy. Over the next year, she underwent two unsuccessful and one successful stem-cell transplants. During hospitalisation, she used the Palliative Care Services available and worked with a poet, finding the therapeutic value of engaging with an artistic endeavor to be invaluable. She has since continued to take workshops and do readings with their poet. Her new occupation is a Home Doctoring Service, a pilot for local Home Nursing Services and for the local clinic, which also serves most of the local under and uninsured people. She has kept up with professional exams and licensing requirements, and presented at the International Hippocrates Symposium for Poetry and Medicine in 2012. 

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