‘Extraordinarily assured and compelling responses’ in the 2014 Hippocrates Young Poet Prize

Shortlisted for the £500 2014 Hippocrates Young Poet Prize are UK poets Joseph Davison-Duddles, Molly Garbutt, and Conor McKee, and US poet, Talin Tahajian from Belmont, Massachusetts. The winning entry will be announced at an International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine at the Royal Society of Medicine in London on Saturday May 10th.

Tickets are still available.

This new International Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets is for an unpublished poem in English on a medical theme by poets aged 14 to 18 years. The 2014 Prize attracted entries from England, Ireland, and Scotland, Israel, Italy, Nigeria, South Africa and the USA. It is one of the most valuable poetry awards in the world for young poets.

This year’s poems were judged by adult and children’s author, and winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, Kit Wright.

2014 judge kit-wright med-2

2014 Hippocrates Young Poet judge: Kit Wright

Kit said of the entered poems: ‘It was a remarkable experience to judge these poems, highly various in their approaches, both stylistically and in their choice of subject. The world of medicine is an extraordinarily rich one for the writer, and these young poets have produced some extraordinarily assured and compelling responses to it.’

Of the inspiration for his poem Nothing Happened, Joseph Davison-Duddles remarked: ‘My poem seeks to place silences and utterances in a narrative of childhood and illness’.

Joseph is sixteen and studies at Queen Elizabeth College in Darlington. In 2013 he received both a Foyle Young Poets commendation and Young People First Place in the Ledbury Poetry Competition.

Molly Garbutt said of her poem, Cadaver: ‘It stemmed from discussion with my Biology teacher about medical school, and dissecting cadavers, and from my love of writing about the supernatural.’

Molly studies at Hereford Sixth Form College and hopes to study Veterinary Medicine. She has been shortlisted for several poetry awards, including the COMPAS Schools Prize for Poetry.

Commenting on the inspiration behind his poem, I Will Not Cut for Stone, Conor McKee said: ‘This poem expresses my own fears about the life of a surgeon and my interest in understanding the mechanics of the human body.’

Conor studies English literature at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. In 2012 he won the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and was subsequently commended in 2013.

US poet Talin Tahajian is at school in Massachusetts. Her poetry is published by PANK, Hobart and The Adroit Journal. In the autumn she plans to attend Sidney Sussex College at the University of Cambridge where she will study English. Her poem ‘Dream …’  was inspired by her grandfather’s experience of lymphoma.

Notes to editors

For photos of all finalists, biographies and extracts of their poems, contact 0759 0478078, 07447 441666 or hippocrates.poetry@gmail.com

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 relationship between medicine and poetry.

Hippocrates Prize founders

Professor Donald Singer is 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-authors Pocket Prescriber, the 7th edition of which is published by Taylor & Francis in May 2014.

Michael Hulse is a poet and translator of German literature, and is Professor of creative writing and comparative literature at the University of Warwick. He is also editor of The Warwick Review. His latest collection of poetry, Half Life, was chosen as a Book of the Year by John Kinsella.

2014 Hippocrates Prize is supported by:

The Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, a national medical society founded in 1918 and publisher of the Postgraduate Medical Journal and Health Policy and Technology, has supported the Hippocrates Prize since its launch in 2009.

The Cardiovascular Research Trust, a charity founded in 1996, which promotes research and education for the prevention and treatment of disorders of the heart and circulation. 




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