2022 FPM-Hippocrates Prize Open Shortlist


Ankylosing Spondylitis
Christina Dreier
Sutton Courtenay, Abingdon, England

My First Crush was my Cardiologist
Victoria Gatehouse
Ripponden, Halifax, England

Do You Still Frame Me On Your Desk?
Pamela Gormally
Alnwick, Northumberland, England

Jess Skyleson
Rehoboth, United States

Scenes with a dead brother
Veronica Zundel   London, England

Biographies and inspiration for the poems

Jess Skyleson Photo

Jess Skyleson (pronouns they/them) is a former aerospace engineer who began writing poetry after being diagnosed with stage IV cancer at age 39. Currently in remission, they are now exploring new potential paths in creative writing, with a particular interest in Narrative Medicine, digital literature, and the poetry of Zen Buddhism. Their work has been selected as a finalist for the Kalanithi Writing Award and received Honorable Mentions in the Tor House and Yemassee Poetry Prizes. They have been published in a number of journals, including Oberon Poetry Magazine, Nixes Mate Review, and Ponder Review, among others, and their poems will appear in an upcoming anthology of disabled writers by Stillhouse Press.

About Until Jess said: "I wrote this villanelle in honor of my wife and the many hours we have spent waiting together throughout my ongoing journey into cancer diagnosis and treatment; those quiet moments as we sat side by side in hospital waiting rooms, doctors’ offices, and oncology wards. The one moment of waiting depicted in the poem has become a larger symbol of my life in the shadow of stage IV cancer, living always in anticipation of the next test result, the next scan, knowing that the inevitable awaits, yet finding peace in the current moment: in the still, quiet space that this waiting provides. We have built our life together in that stillness, each moment made more precious by the unspoken knowledge of its end, that ever-present “until”— an inevitability that we all, as humans, share. But before that ultimate stillness prevails, there can be found such a depth of love and connection in the silent, gentle touch of our hands”.  

 Open Shortlist Veronica Zundel 007-1

Veronica Zundel is a freelance non-fiction writer and graduate of  the Poetry School/Newcastle University MA in Writing Poetry. She has been writing poetry for 50 years and has had poems published in Magma, The Alchemy Spoon and Snakeskin as well as several anthologies. Veronica has won the Barnet Open and Cruse Lines competitions, been a finalist in the Mslexia poetry competition 2020 and come second in the Sonnet or Not competition 2021.

She said: "The inspiration for my poem is obviously my late brother’s history, but also the poem ’Ten places where I see my mother’ by Jennifer Copley, which I encountered in the 2018 Poetry School MA Summer School."

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