2nd Annual Summer Evening: 2012 Hippocrates Awards for Poetry and Medicine

The 2nd Annual evening event organized by the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine was devoted to an update on the Hippocrates initiative for poetry and medicine for which the FPM is a major patron. The initiative combines annual international and NHS related awards, academic symposia, a research forum and publications of outcomes as anthologies, journal papers and other related content on the relationship between medicine and poetry.

2012 hippocrates evening

M Henry, CK Stead, DRJ Singer, T Torrington, W French, D Abse  © The Hippocrates Press

Following a review of the Hippocrates initiative, poets described the inspiration for their poems then gave readings from their winning entries from the first 3 years of the Hippocrates Awards: Michael Henry, the patellar hammer used by his orthopaedic surgeon father; Wendy French - scenes from her doctor father's life, beginning with disappointment at news from Sir Alexander Fleming of no penicillin available for a sick patient; Tricia Torrington the shrinking world of a relative's experience of the frailty of ageing; CK Stead his own experience of stroke and recovery, expressed through the voice of the Roman poet Catullus as told to an amanuensis. Poet and doctor Dannie Abse went on to give a reading from a series of his poems with themes from the soul to side-effects, closing with his recent 'Blue song'.

The evening closed with a panel discussion, the contributors discussing their approach for moving from idea to poem; the role of linguistic content; engaging the reader; artefacts as inspiration for medical poetry; the impact of personal experience of illness on the poet; use of humour within discussion of challenging medical themes; the process of developing the finished poem; and combining the personal and universal within poetry.

Monday 18th June 2012

Chandos House, 2 Queen Anne Street, London 


The Hippocrates initiative for poetry and medicine

Professor Donald Singer, President, FPM

Readings by Winners of Hippocrates Awards
Michael Henry, Gloucester - 2011 Open winner

Wendy French, London - 2010 NHS winner and 2011 NHS 2nd Prize

Tricia Torrington, Gloucester - 2012 NHS commended award

CK Stead ONZ, CBE, Aukland, New Zealand - 2010 Open winner

Reading - Dannie Abse, CBE: inaugural Hippocrates Awards judge

Panel discussion

For information on future events related to the Hippocrates initiative:

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