About us

The Hippocrates Initiative began in 2009 as the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine for an unpublished poem on a medical subject.  The Hippocrates Initiative now also includes the international Hippocrates Society for Poetry and Medicine, annual international symposia at which the Hippocrates awards are also presented, an international research forum for poetry and medicine, The Hippocrates Press, and workshops, the first held in Venice in September 2013.

Since its launch in 2009, the annual Hippocrates Prize has attracted thousands of entries from over 70 countries, from the Americas to Fiji and from Finland to Australasia.

The Hippocrates initiative was awarded the 2011 Times Higher Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.

Major support for the Hippocrates initiative has come from the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, with additional support from the Wellcome Trustthe Cardiovascular Research Trust, the National Association for Writers in Educationand Heads, Teachers and Industry, and the University of Warwick's Institute of Advanced Study

The Annual international Hippocrates Conferences on Poetry and Medicine and Hippocrates Awards have been held twice in the USA (Harvard Medical School - 2017; Northwestern University and The Poetry Foundation, Chicago - 2018); and in the UK in London (Medical Society of London, Royal Society and Medicine and the Wellcome Trust building) and at the University of Warwick. 

The 2019 events will be held on 17th May at the Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The 2020 and 2021 Awards events were held online as a result of the CVID-19 pandemic.

The 2022 Awards events will be held online on 30th May from 8.30-10pm UK time.

Co-founder: Michael Hulse

michael-hulse med

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 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 permanent judge of the Günter Grass Foundation’s Albatross Prize, a literary award similar to Britain’s Man Booker International. With J. M. Coetzee and Susanna Moore, is an ambassador for Adelaide Writers’ Week. His new book of poems, Half-Life, was published by Arc in August 2013.

Co-founder: Donald Singer

D Singer pic

Donald Singer and Michael Hulse co-founded the Hippocrates Initiative for poetry and medicine in 2009. Donald Singer is a clinical pharmacologist who has published over 200 articles, chapters and books on medicines, on cardiovascular research, prevention and treatment, and public understanding of health. He is an editor and contributor to The Hippocrates Book of the Heart (Hippocrates Press, 2017). He co-authors the prescribing safety guide Pocket Prescriber (Taylor & Francis) now in its 8th edition since 2004. He is President of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine and chairs the advisory board of the FPM’s journal Health Policy and Technology. He is also delegate to the European Medicines Agency for European Association of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, which supports scientific and educational exchange for over 4000 clinical pharmacologists from 34 European and other countries. 

Email the organisers

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