The £5000 First Prize in the Open Category in the Hippocrates Prize was awarded to Maya Catherine Popa from New York City for a poem inspired by her neuroscientist great grandfather.
Maya Popa was among 9 poets from the US named in the 2015 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and
Medicine announced on Friday May 22nd at an Awards Ceremony in
London at the close of an International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine.
|Maya Catherine Popa|
The Hippocrates Prize is an annual award with a closing date of 31st January.
About her poem A Technique for Operating on the Past, Maya said: "There is something pleasantly elliptical about the fact that a neuroscientist relies on the very instrument that is the subject of his study. I had long wanted to write a poem about Gr.T. Popa, my great-grandfather, after whom the Medical University in Iași, Romania, is named.
He worked on neuro-morphology in the 1930s and 40s, but his remarkable research was ultimately cut short in light of his anti-fascist, and anti-communist affiliations. That he was forced into hiding and died of a routine ailment while escaping the communists still seems a dark irony. In a way, writing this poem felt like a letter to him, an acknowledgement of that unfairness."
Maya Popa is a teacher and writer living in New York City. She holds degrees from Oxford University, where she was a Clarendon Scholar, NYU, and Barnard College. Her poetry appears in Tin House, Kenyon Review, Poetry London, and elsewhere. Her essays and criticism appear widely, including in Poets & Writers Magazine, PN Review, The Rumpus, and The Huffington Post. Her first collection of poems, Severe Clear, was completed this year.
A further 4 US poets were commended in the Hippocrates Open Prize: Richard Brostoff from Belmont Massachusetts, Eleanor Ellis from Portland, Oregon, Elisabeth Murawski from Alexandria, Virginia and Nicole Rubin from Farmington, Connecticut.
Also featured from the US were 4 poets in the Hippocrates Young Poet Prize. Parisa Thepmankorn from Rockaway, New Jersey received the £500 2015 Hippocrates Young Poet Prize and Alex Greenberg from New York City and Alexandra Spensley from Ohio were shortlisted and Talin Tahajian from the Boston area, now studying in Cambridge, England, commended, as Young Poets.
Two Scots poets commended by Hippocrates Prize for poems inspired by Edinburgh's Royal College of Surgeons
The Hippocrates £5000 UK NHS first prize went to former counsellor Kate Compston from Cornwall for a poem about revealing the diagnosis of dementia.
Now in its 6th year, the short-listed entries for the 2015 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine were selected from around 1000 entries from 31 countries by judges poet Rebecca Goss, poet Simon Rae, psychiatrist Professor Femi Oyebode and doctor and writer Theodore Dalrymple.
Judge Rebecca Goss said: “The subject of medicine is sprawling and complex, but poetry is the perfect medium to explore it closely and aid our understanding of human experience at its most raw. A variety of voices make up the winning and commended entries in this year’s Hippocrates Prize.
Experiences of both medic and patient are explored, but so too, are the insights of the bystander. Included in this list are the carers, the relatives, the friends, revealing the impact illness also has on their lives."
Judge Theodore Dalrymple remarked: “Once again, the Hippocrates Prize has stimulated poets and health workers around the word to put their experiences of hope, despair, sadness, and compassion into poetic form, with impressive success."
Judge Professor Femi Oyebode said “I feel very privileged to be involved in the Hippocrates poetry prize. This experience has been most humbling."
He added: “The wondrous thing is to imagine that these are poems written by healthcare workers who, in their everyday work, deploy their technical expertise with emotional commitment and compassion, all over the world, in a variety of settings in order to care for people; and yet, in-between times, having observed the most extraordinary human situations of trauma, tragedy, hope, despair, death and suffering, find the words to communicate these with sensitivity, with original and unique images, and sometimes with humor.”
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 synergy between medicine, the arts, and health.
At £5000 first prize both in the NHS category and the Open international category, and £500 for the Young Poets Prize, this is one of the highest value poetry awards in the world for a single poem.
Notes to editors
Photos of all finalists, along with biographies and extracts of their poems are available on request. Contact 07447 441666 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Awards: In each category there are: 1st prize £5,000, 2nd prize £1,000, 3rd prize of £500, and further commendations each of £50.??The 2015 Hippocrates Anthology of winning and commended poems launched at the Awards Ceremony in London on Friday 22nd May.
Hippocrates Prize judges
Rebecca Goss grew up in Suffolk. She returned to live in the county in 2013, after living in Liverpool for twenty years. Her first collection The Anatomy of Structures was published by Flambard Press in 2010. Her second collection, Her Birth (Carcanet/Northern House), was shortlisted for The 2013 Forward Prize for Best Collection and winner of the Poetry Category in The 2013 East Anglian Book Awards. In 2014 she was selected for The Poetry Book Society's Next Generation Poets.
Femi Oyebode is Professor of Psychiatry University of Birmingham & Consultant Psychiatrist National Centre for Mental Health Birmingham. His research interests include clinical psychopathology and medical humanities. His publications include Sims’ Symptoms in the Mind: textbook of descriptive psychopathology 5th edition (translated into Italian, Portuguese and Estonian); Mindreadings: literature and psychiatry; & Madness at the Theatre.
He is a poet and his published works include Naked to your softness and other dreams; Forest of transformations; Master of the leopard hunt; Indigo, camwood and mahogany red; & Femi Oyebode: Selected poems (edited O. Okome). For a critical review of his poetry see Home and exile in Femi Oyebode’s poetry (edited Obododimma Oha).
Theodore Dalrymple is the pen name for Dr Anthony Daniels, who has worked as a doctor in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Gilbert Islands, London and Birmingham, most recently as a psychiatrist and prison doctor. His writing has appeared regularly in the press and in medical publications, including the British Medical Journal, the Times, Telegraph, Observer and the Spectator and he has published around 20 books, most recently Admirable Evasions: How Psychology Undermines Morality (2015).
Hippocrates Prize Organisers
Professor Donald Singer is President of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine. His interests include research on discovery of new therapies, and public understanding of drugs, health and disease. He co-authors Pocket Prescriber, the 8th edition of which is published by Taylor & Francis in the summer of 2015.
Professor Michael Hulse is a poet and translator of German literature, and teaches creative writing and comparative literature at the University of Warwick. He is also editor of The Warwick Review. His latest book of poems, Half-Life (2013), was named a Book of the Year by John Kinsella.
2015 Hippocrates Prize supporters
The Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, a national medical society founded in 1918 and publisher of the Postgraduate Medical Journal and Health Policy and Technology.
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.