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Thursday, 7 July 2016

3rd annual charity concert evening for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent

The distinguished University of Warwick Chamber Choir are to perform Spiritual and Shakespeare Song Cycles and A Child of our Time on Wednesday 20th July, 2016 at the Packington Estate in North Warwickshire in support of the children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

Order tickets for concert and reception

Contact the organisers

This is the third in an annual series of charity musical evenings organised by the Worsted Weavers Guild of Coventry in support of this national charity, which supports children and their families in the Coventry and Warwickshire area.

The musical performance will be in the St James’ Church on the Packington Estate in
Warwickshire (~ 20 minutes north of Kenilworth).

The performance will be followed by a reception in the Pompeiian Room at Packington Hall, with wine/soft drinks and canapés. TIckets for the concert and the reception are £35 per person.

St James’ Church and Packington Hall are not normally open to the public. The neo-classical St James’ Church was inspired by the Baths of Diocletian in Rome and has an organ designed by Handel for his librettist, who was a cousin of the Earl of Aylesbury of the time, owner of the church and the Packington Estate.


Programme
Leigh arr. Woods: Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue
Trad. arr. Erb: Shenandoah
Tallis: If Ye Love Me
Mantyjarvi: Shakespeare Songs
Morley: It Was A Lover And His Lass
Bennett: Weep O Mine Eyes
Passereau: Il est bel et bon
Bruckner: Locus Iste
Tippett: Spirituals from A Child of Our Time
Shearing arr. Carter: Lullaby of Birdland
Porter arr. Blackwell: Let’s Do It

Map of Packington Hall
The children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. CLIC Sargent provides clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. CLIC Sargent aims to help the whole family deal with the impact of cancer and its treatment. CLIC Sargent is active nationally, and locally in the Warwickshire and Coventry area.


Weavers church
St James’ Church, Packington Estate
The University of Warwick Chamber Choir performs in Warwickshire and further afield, with annual tour destinations including Spain, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Switzerland, as well as regular performances in London. UWCC have appeared on BBC national television in the Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year competition, live television in Greece, and on Central Television with Caliche with whom a CD of Ariel Ramirez’ Latin American Misa Criolla and Navidad Nuestra was recorded (the British première recording). UWCC’s wide ranging repertoire spans sacred, secular and folk music. The UWCC have premiered works by Howard Skempton and Michael Nyman and have commissioned new works from Joe Cutler and Jonathan Dove for 2015/16.

UWCCThe choir’s conductor Lucy Griffiths is the Assistant Director of Music at the University of Warwick. She studied for her undergraduate degree in Music at the University of Bristol, where she first discovered her passion for conducting. She went on to work as a lecturer in Music at Portsmouth University before being awarded the prestigious sinfonia ViVA conducting scholarship. This allowed her to complete her masters in conducting at Birmingham Conservatoire, where she was twice awarded the Sir Michael Beech conducting prize.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Traumspiel - Martinů's French surrealism-inspired Juliette premiered by Staatsoper in Berlin

The Berlin Staatsoper have just premiered a new production of Julietta on Saturday May 28th, 2016.
Schillertheater - Berlin

The performance was held at the Schillertheater, the Staatsoper's temporary home while its main house is being renovated.

Daniel Barenboim conducted, Claus Guth directed, Magdalena Kožená sang Juliette and Rolando Villazón was on stage throughout singing, acting and miming as Michel, the forelorn Parisian bookseller.

This dream play appears inspired by Martinů's exposure to French surrealism while he was in exile in Paris. Overt themes include the fickleness of memory and desire for forgetfulness.  References to violence, loss of memory and wish for forgetfulness are especially poignant in the light of the date and place of the first performance: 16th March 1938 at the National Theatre in Prague.

At the start, Michel is seen as a source of hope of memory regained for other characters in his dream. Later Michel appears to wish to seek refuge in the world of dreams both to capture his ideal woman - Juliette - and to escape from a violent crime he may have committed.

Juliette as temptress through her songs provides a further theme, alluding to Homer, Odysseus and the Sirens, and to the old German Lorelei water spirit myth. 

The dreamworld is also portrayed as a source of fear of a vaguely recalled transgression from within the dream itself or from the real world.

How good was it? The orchestra brilliant under Barenboim's baton. The leads were outstanding, especially Magdalena Kožená for her voice and Rolando Villazón for both voice and stamina. His prolonged indecision at the end of the third Act lost him a few audience members - would he return to real life or hide in his dreams? The brass and percussion struggled with the unremitting cascade from the smoke machine into the pit – making it difficult for them to see the conductor, though not obvious from the playing.

A fine touch, at the end of multiple lively curtain calls, the entire pit orchestra on stage with Daniel Barenboim.

For the music, plot and action - you should judge for yourself if you have the chance to go.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Berlin: encouraging the healthy lifestyle - from exercise to wildlife

In Berlin for the 5th Forum on Companion Diagnostics, organised by the rapidly expanding Brandenburg-Berlin DiagnostikNet of biotech companies and affiliates.

The event has been hosted in the CoLaborator startup building on the former Schering, now Bayer campus. Outside, a volleyball court and all weather table-tennis tables - and a giant chessboard for those wishing to divert the mind.

In the city centre, tremendous buzz around the Brandenburg Gate with an international field
Kestrel with prey in the Tempelhofer Garten in Berlin
of runners, part of the international city move to encourage exercise through amateur runs. The latest field numbers I could find were 25,500 in Berlin for a recent Spring half-Marathon.


In the South of Berlin, an inspiring example of local democracy, Berlin citizens having voted to preserve the former Tempelhof airfield as a vast wild urban common land - the former site of the Berlin Airlift (or air bridge as locally known - Die Luftbrücke: 1948-1949).

This huge space is well worth enjoying while still protected wild city green land.
 
When I visited, the runways were in use by cyclists of all speeds, stylish rollerbladers, families with pushchairs, and general strollers.

There are numerous copses and tall grasslands rich in birdlife. Within 100 yards of the entrance, a kestrel catching an unlucky field rodent (above the old parachute drop training wires), sparrows nesting in an abandoned cargo plane, pied wagtail, goldfinch, wood warbler, swifts and skylarks, common nightingale, chiffchaff ...

Many good examples of making it as easy as possible at work and in leisure time to
Common Redstart in Berlin's Tiergarten
maintain a healthy active lifestyle. This is not only of course a key part of general wellbeing, but well-established to prevent serious diseases. Cardiovascular disease is the most obvious example. 

Healthy lifestyle is also well-evidenced as good for preventing cancers, and for providing clinical benefit in patients with cancer,  the focus of a one day Updates on Cancer Meeting being organised by the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine in London on Thursday 29th September, 2016.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Donizetti in Berlin: playful operatic approach to placebo and quacks

Donizetti's 1832 opera 'L'Elisir d'Amore' is a multi-level satire on reverence for quacks and their
placebos, gullibility of rural communities [set in France, to spare hostility from Donizetti's native Italian audience] and the transformative effect of wealth on desire. In an engaging production [Der Liebestrank],

Berlin's Deutsche Oper makes the most of humour and farce in the opera, cheerful choruses belying the critical content of the libretto.

Berlin-based American soprano Heidi Stober is a fine Adina - the heroine of the story.

Italian tenor Enea Scala as Nemorino is almost undone in his wooing of Adina by the intoxicating effects of an Elixir bought from travelling quack Dolcamara. Nemorino expects the potion to make him irrestible to women - it is in fact wine, rather than the magical potion ascribed by Dolcamara [a showman's performance by Seth Carico] to a recipe from Tristan's Isolde - queen of the Irish. Dolcamara's non-singing assistant at times steals the show with his magician stage-effects.

The quack (from the medieval quacksalver - hawker of salves) came to prominence from the 17th century, with surprisingly not until 1881 the first organisation formed (in the Netherlands) aimed at protecting the public from quacks.    

Donizetti was inspired by the plot of Tristan and Isolde. This idea in fiction of the effective magic potion dates from ancient mythology e.g. Circe bewitching Odysseus' men and through to Oberon's 'love-in-idleness' in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream - a different kind of magic, with origins in the Roman Cupid and the viola.

To her credit, Adina rescues Nemorino from his rival, recruiting officer Becorino [Simon Pauly], and she is not deterred by erratic alcohol/placebo induced dalliances of her man [excellent Elbenita Kajtazi as Giannetta leading the inheritance-inspired female interest in newly wealthy Nemorino].

Adina eventually rescues and accepts Nemorino, not realising and therefore not influenced the fact that he has progressed from no prospects to wealthy heir during the action of the opera. The chorus is large and at best excellent, though esp. in the first act often struggling to keep up with the orchestra and to fine unposed ways to occupy the stage. 

The word placebo appears not to have been used in a health context until the late 18th Century, not long before the 1832 premiere of Donizetti's opera. However the concept of the triad of properties of a potion – medicine, poison and magic charm – dates to Ancient Greek meanings of the word φάρμακον ‎(phármakon), as used for example in Homer's Odyssey. Nemorino suffers both the perceived magical effects and actual toxic effects of his alcoholic treatment. 

As an aside, Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales, uses Placebo as name and code for the behaviour of a character in The Merchant's Tale: pleasing by flattery to obtain advantage, an interesting parallel to the behaviour of the Dolcamara in the opera. 

In medical use, although provision of a placebo may be  well-intentioned within 'do no harm' as a precept, double-blind trials in the modern era show that a placebo may have powerful unintended adverse effects.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Charity concert evening on 20th July 2016 for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent

Weavers church
St James' Church, Packington Estate

The distinguished University of Warwick Chamber Choir are to perform Spiritual and Shakespeare Song Cycles and A Child of our Time on Wednesday 20th July, 2016 at the Packington Estate in North Warwickshire in support of the children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

This is the third in an annual series of charity musical evenings organised by the Worsted Weavers Guild of Coventry in support of this national charity, which supports children and their families in the Coventry and Warwickshire area.

The musical performance will be in the St James’ Church on the Packington Estate in
Warwickshire (~ 20 minutes north of Kenilworth). 

St James’ Church and Packington Hall are not normally open to the public. The event is being held on the Estate by kind permission of the Earl of Aylesbury.

The neo-classical St James’ Church was inspired by the Baths of Diocletian in Rome and has an organ designed by Handel for his librettist, who was a cousin of the Earl of Aylesbury of the time, owner of the church and the Packington Estate.

Order tickets for concert and reception

The performance will be followed by a reception in the Pompeiian Hall at Packington   with wine/soft drinks and canapés. TIckets for the concert and the reception are £35 per person.

Map of Packington Hall

The children’s cancer charity  CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. CLIC Sargent provides clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. CLIC Sargent aims to help the whole family deal with the impact of cancer and its treatment. CLIC Sargent is active nationally, and locally in the Warwickshire and Coventry area.

University of Warwick Chamber Choir performs in Warwickshire and further afield, with annual tour destinations including Spain, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Switzerland, as well as regular performances in London and concerts on our own. UWCC have appeared on BBC national television ...

Read more about the event

Friday, 15 April 2016

A love of life: winners announced for Hippocrates Young Poet Award for Poetry and Medicine


Catherine Wang from Hong Kong has been awarded the 2016 Hippocrates Young Poet £500 Award for Poetry and Medicine for her poem Six pills.

Also competing for the £500 Young Poets award were Mia Nelson, from Denver, USA for love under the scalpel, Audrey Spensley, from Avon Lake, USA for 3 poems: Dissection, Requiem for a Surgery Scar and Variations on a Craniotomy, and Amy Wolstenholme from Salisbury in England for words in the bone.


The awards were announced by Leslie Morgan OBE, DL and Tony Ahearne, patrons of the healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust, which is supporting the 2016 Hippocrates Young Poet Award. 

2016 winner Catherine Wang

Leslie Morgan said: "We are very pleased that the Cardiovascular Research Trust is supporting this year’s Young Poet Award in the Hippocrates Prize for poetry and medicine. This Young Poet Award is an excellent way to encourage young people from around the world to take an interest in their health through poetry and I am delighted that we shall continue our support for this major award in 2017 and 2018."

  
Honorable mentions were awarded to 5 young poets: Cara Nicholson from Oundle, England for An Unwanted Visitor, Alana McDermott from Oldham, England for Letters Upon The Sea, Ally Steinberg from New York City, USA for The Jacks, Norviewu Dzimega from Orpington, England for I am and Naabil Khan from London, England for My Scars.

This year’s awards were judged by poet Siân Hughes. who announce the winner at an Awards Ceremony in London on Friday 15th April.

Back row: CVRT Patron Leslie Morgan OBE, DL, Prize organisers Donald Singer and Michael Hulse, CVRT Patron Tony Ahearne; Front row: young poets at the awards, Amy Wolstenholme and Norviewu Dzimega
Judge Siân Hughes said: “Reading a young writer's work is always a huge responsibility.  Misunderstanding someone, missing the point, is such an unkind, unfriendly thing to do, especially to the young, and no one is more exposed than when they open themselves to the page.

“These young writers take on stories of illness, fear and loss, staring into some of the hardest words in the language with honesty and courage.  What struck me about all of these mentioned, was that they showed a love of words as well as a love of life.

“Those who tackled the subject of mental illness - self-harm, eating disorders, hallucination - took on a challenge as brave as those who grappled with the technical language of cancer treatments.  I was moved by words about the agonies of acne and the madness of first love as well as by stories of hospital corridors and waiting rooms.”

The international Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets is for an unpublished poem in English on a medical theme by poets aged 14 to 18 years from anywhere in the world. The 2016 Prize attracted entries from Canada, England, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, Taiwan and the USA.


More on the 2016 Hippocrates Young Poet shortlist and honorable mentions.
 
Judge Siân Hughes said: “Reading a young writer's work is always a huge responsibility.  Misunderstanding someone, missing the point, is such an unkind, unfriendly thing to do, especially to the young, and no one is more exposed than when they open themselves to the page.  
 
“These young writers take on stories of illness, fear and loss, staring into some of the hardest words in the language with honesty and courage.  What struck me about all of these mentioned, was that they showed a love of words as well as a love of life. 

“Those who tackled the subject of mental illness - self-harm, eating disorders, hallucination - took on a challenge as brave as those who grappled with the technical language of cancer treatments.  I was moved by words about the agonies of acne and the madness of first love as well as by stories of hospital corridors and waiting rooms.”  



Previous Hippocrates Young Poet winners:
-       2013 inaugural Hippocrates Young Poets PrizeRosalind Jana from Hereford Sixth Form College in England, for Posterior Instrumented Fusion for Adolescent Scoliosis;
-       2014 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize Conor McKee, Sidney Sussex College Cambridge for I Will Not Cut for Stone;
-       2015 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize Parisa Thepmankorn from New Jersey, USA for Intraocular pressure

Notes for editors
For photos of finalists, biographies and extracts of their poems, call 07447 441666 or email 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.

2016 Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets judge Siân Hughes
Siân Hughes' first collection "The Missing" (Salt, 2009) was long listed for Guardian first book of the year, and won the Seamus Heaney prize for a first collection.  Her sequence of poems about her mother's breast cancer won second prize in the first Hippocrates awards, and she and her mother Eleanor Cooke continue to write a shared book about this illness as treatments continue today.   In 1998 Siân set up the Young National Poetry Competition when she was working for The Poetry Society and she continues to promote young writers and to work with the National Academy of Gifted and Talented Youth to support the teaching of creative writing. Siân has been poet in residence in Youth and Community Centres, a Youth Theatre, a Health Centre, and a sandwich shop, and is and is currently poet in residence in a Birmingham school when she is not teaching part time for Oxford University. 

Hippocrates Prize founders
Professor Donald Singer is a clinical pharmacologist. 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 will published by Taylor & Francis in the Summer of 2015.
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.

2016 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize is supported by the Cardiovascular Research Trust, a healthy heart charity founded in 1996, which promotes research and education for the prevention and treatment of disorders of the heart and circulation. The charity has a particular interest in avoiding preventable heart disease through educating school students.

The intimacy of medicine: winners announced for the 2016 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine


The judges have announced winning and commended poems in the Open International and NHS categories of the 2016 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine at an awards ceremony in London on Friday 15th April.
 
The Open International First Prize went to Owen Lewis, a clinical psychiatry professor at Columbia University, New York City  and Visiting Professor at Einstein Medical College. 

About what inspired his winning poem At Tribeca’s Edge, he said: "My students at Columbia, College of Physicians and Surgeons, were the inspiration for this poem. 
"I sometimes teach a section of Foundations of Clinical Medicine, a course that extends over their first three semesters. Coming to the end of our time together, I felt overwhelmed considering all they had yet to learn, hoping they would hold onto their optimism and idealism, and humbled by what I had contributed. The poem is dedicated to them.”

Owen Lewis reading  2016 Hippocrates Open First Prize poem

The NHS First Prize went to Denise Bundred from Camberley in England. She trained as a paediatrician in Cape Town and worked as a paediatric cardiologist in Liverpool. 

About her winning poem she said: "A Cardiologist Seeks Certainty is an attempt to capture the ache of anxiety as I struggled to define a complex problem in the chambers and vessels of a baby’s heart, often with the pressing need for urgent surgery."

Denise Bundred reads her 2016 Hippocrates NHS First Prize poem

The Open Second Prize went to UK poet Anne Ryland from Berwick-on-Tweed and the Open Third Prize went to poet Jane McLaughlin from London. 


The NHS Second Prize went to GP Chris Woods from Bury and the NHS Third Prize to former consultant haematologist Karen Patricia Schofield from Crewe.

Judge Rafael Campo said: "It has been tremendously heartening, in this age of seductive technologies, financial imperatives, and ever more culturally disparate illness experiences, to read so many stunning poems that remain so deeply concerned with healing in the broadest and most fundamental sense."  
Chris Woods, Anne Ryland, Denise Bundred, Jane McLaughlin, Karen Schofield and Owen Lewis
He added: "Whether written from the perspective of care providers across many disciplines, or by patients and their loved ones, the poems submitted for the Hippocrates awards are an eloquent and powerful reminder of the the importance of the human imagination in confronting illness.  While medicine may sometimes cure disease, it is poetry, through empathy and a refusal to look away from human suffering, that always heals."

Judge Wendy French said: “Poems inspired by medical topics help us appreciate the humanity of medicine. Evidence for this was amply provided by the range of poems submitted for the 2016 Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine Prizes, with topics drawing on personal experiences as patients, practitioners and observers.”

She added: “Despite their diversity, the quality of the best poems stood out, and the judges were in remarkable agreement about which should be commended or win awards.  It is to be hoped that this important initiative will continue for years to come.”

Judge Rev. Gareth Powell said: “The Hippocrates Prize has attracted a refreshingly vivid collection of poetry that links together human experience, medical precision and the fragility of the human form. In the poems, we glimpse, and are challenged by, something of the intimacy of medicine.  This is all thanks to the skill of the poets in observation and a discerning use of language.”

Now in its 7th year, the short-listed entries for the 2016 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine have been selected from around 1000 entries from 40 countries by judges poet Wendy French, Harvard physician and poet Dr Rafael Campo, and Rev. Gareth Powell, Secretary of the Methodist Church.

With a prize fund of £5500 for winning poems in the Open International category and NHS category, and £500 for the Young Poets Award, the Hippocrates Prize is one of the highest value poetry awards in the world for a single poem. In its first 7 years, the Hippocrates Prize has attracted over 7000 entries from 61 countries, from the Americas to Fiji and Finland to Australasia. 

 
Find out more about the winning poets.

The judges also agreed 16 commendations in the NHS category, and 17 commendations in the Open International category from Australia, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand and the USA.


Commended poets at the 2016 Hippocrates Awards: Back row: Catherine Ayres, Wendy Orr, Simon Currie; Middle row: Nicola Jackson, Denise Bundred, Karen Schofield, Sheila Wild; Front Row: Martin Pearce, Tricia Torrington, Helen Gibson, Emma Storr

Find out more about the commended poets.

More about the awards on the Hippocrates Poetry website.
The Hippocrates Initiative for Poetry and Medicine – 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.

The International Hippocrates Prize is awarded in three categories:
- an Open category, which anyone in the world may enter;
- an NHS category, which is open to UK National Health Service employees, health students and those working in professional organisations involved in education and training of NHS students and staff;
- a Young Poets Award in the international Hippocrates Prize for an unpublished poem in English on a medical theme. Entries for this award are open to young poets from anywhere in the world aged 14 to 18 years.

Notes for editors
For more on the Hippocrates Prize and the 2016 judges, contact 07447 441666 or email hippocrates.poetry@gmail.com

Hippocrates website: hippocrates-poetry.com

2016 Hippocrates Judges


Rafael Campo
is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He is the author of eight highly acclaimed books and the recipient of many honors and awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship, an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Amherst College, a National Poetry Series award, and a Lambda Literary Award for his poetry; his third collection of poetry, Diva (Duke University Press, 2000), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and his fourth, Landscape with Human Figure (Duke University Press, 2002), won the Gold Medal from ForeWord for the best book of poetry published by an independent press.

His work has also been selected for inclusion in the Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize anthologies, and has appeared in numerous prominent periodicals including American Poetry Review, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, Poetry, Salon.com, Slate.com, Threepenny Review, Washington Post Book World, Yale Review, and elsewhere; he has also been featured on National Public Radio and the National Endowment for the Arts website. 
He has lectured widely, with recent appearances at such venues as the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Library of Congress, and the 92nd Street Y in New York. His fifth book of poetry, The Enemy, was awarded the Sheila Motton Book Prize for the best collection of poetry published in 2007 by the New England Poetry Club, the nation’s oldest poetry organization. In 2009, he received the Nicholas E. Davies Memorial Scholar Award from the American College of Physicians, for outstanding humanism in medicine. 
He has also won the 2013 Hippocrates Open International Prize, one of the highest value awards for a single poem in the world, for original verse that addresses a medical theme. His newest collection of poems, Alternative Medicine, was the subject of feature stories on PBS NewsHour and the CBC’s Sunday Edition radio show. See more information at www.rafaelcampo.com.
   
Wendy French won the inaugural 2010 Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine prize for the NHS section in 2010 and was awarded second prize in 2011. She has two chapbooks and two collections of poetry published, Splintering the Dark, Rockingham press 2005, and surely you know this (the title was taken from a Sappho fragment) Tall lighthouse press 2009. Her collaboration with Jane Kirwan resulted in the book Born in the NHS which was published 2013 by Hippocrates press. She has worked for the past twenty years with children and adults with mental health problems and was head of the Maudsley and Bethlem Hospital School. She left this post to concentrate on working with people with aphasia/dysphasia helping them to recover their use of language through poetry. She was Poet in Residence at the Macmillan Centre UCLH from April 2014-2015.
 
Rev. Gareth Powell was appointed in September 2015 as Secretary of the Methodist Conference, one of the most senior positions of Church leadership in Methodism. He read theology at Westminster College, Oxford then undertook ministerial training at The Queen's College, Birmingham, obtaining an MA in Pastoral Theology before spending time at Graduate School at the University of Geneva. He as served in Coventry and Cardiff, where he was university chaplain. Since 2010 he has been a member of the Council of Cardiff University.
Hippocrates Prize Organisers

Professor Donald Singer is a clinical pharmacologist and President of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine. His interests include research on discovery of new therapies, and public understanding of drugs, health and disease. 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.

The 2016 Hippocrates Prize is supported by the Healthy Heart Charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust, founded in 1996, which promotes research and education for the prevention and treatment of disorders of the heart and circulation.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Stories of illness and love of life: the shortlist for the Hippocrates Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine


Six young poets have been shortlisted and a further 5 young poets awarded honorable mentions in the £500 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine, one of the most valuable poetry awards in the world for young poets.

Competing for the £500 Young Poets award are Mia Nelson, from Denver, USA from love under the scalpel, Audrey Spensley, from Avon Lake, USA for 3 poems: Dissection, Requiem for a Surgery Scar and Variations on a Craniotomy, Catherine Wang from Hong Kong for Six pills and Amy Wolstenholme from Salisbury in England for words in the bone.

Honorable mentions have been awarded to Cara Nicholson from Oundle, England for An Unwanted Visitor, Alana McDermott from Oldham, England for Letters Upon The Sea, Ally Steinberg from New York City, USA for The Jacks, Norviewu Dzimegam from Orpington, England for I am and Naabil Khan from London, England for My Scars.

This year’s awards are being judged by poet Sian Hughes who will announce the winner at an Awards Ceremony in London on Friday 15th April.

Judge Siân Hughes said: “Reading a young writer's work is always a huge responsibility.  Misunderstanding someone, missing the point, is such an unkind, unfriendly thing to do, especially to the young, and no one is more exposed than when they open themselves to the page.

“These young writers take on stories of illness, fear and loss, staring into some of the hardest words in the language with honesty and courage.  What struck me about all of these mentioned, was that they showed a love of words as well as a love of life.

“Those who tackled the subject of mental illness - self-harm, eating disorders, hallucination - took on a challenge as brave as those who grappled with the technical language of cancer treatments.  I was moved by words about the agonies of acne and the madness of first love as well as by stories of hospital corridors and waiting rooms.”

The international Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets is for an unpublished poem in English on a medical theme by poets aged 14 to 18 years from anywhere in the world. The 2016 Prize attracted entries from Canada, England, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, Taiwan and the USA.


Register for the Awards Ceremony from 3.30 pm - 6.30 pm on Friday 15th April, at the Medical Society of London,11 Chandos Street, London W1G 9EB. 

Honorable mentions have been awarded to Cara Nicholson from Oundle, England for An Unwanted Visitor, Alana McDermott from Oldham, England for Letters Upon The Sea, Ally Steinberg from New York City, USA for The Jacks, Norviewu Dzimegam from Orpington, England for I am and Naabil Khan from London, England for My Scars.
Judge Siân Hughes said: “Reading a young writer's work is always a huge responsibility.  Misunderstanding someone, missing the point, is such an unkind, unfriendly thing to do, especially to the young, and no one is more exposed than when they open themselves to the page. 
“These young writers take on stories of illness, fear and loss, staring into some of the hardest words in the language with honesty and courage.  What struck me about all of these mentioned, was that they showed a love of words as well as a love of life. 
“Those who tackled the subject of mental illness - self-harm, eating disorders, hallucination - took on a challenge as brave as those who grappled with the technical language of cancer treatments.  I was moved by words about the agonies of acne and the madness of first love as well as by stories of hospital corridors and waiting rooms.”  


Previous winners:
-       2013 inaugural Hippocrates Young Poets PrizeRosalind Jana from Hereford Sixth Form College in England, for Posterior Instrumented Fusion for Adolescent Scoliosis;
-       2014 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize Conor McKee, Sidney Sussex College Cambridge for I Will Not Cut for Stone;
-       2015 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize Parisa Thepmankorn from New Jersey, USA for Intraocular pressure
Notes for editors
For photos of finalists, biographies and extracts of their poems, call 07447 441666 or email 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.
2016 Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets judge Siân Hughes
Siân Hughes' first collection "The Missing" (Salt, 2009) was long listed for Guardian first book of the year, and won the Seamus Heaney prize for a first collection.  Her sequence of poems about her mother's breast cancer won second prize in the first Hippocrates awards, and she and her mother Eleanor Cooke continue to write a shared book about this illness as treatments continue today.   In 1998 Siân set up the Young National Poetry Competition when she was working for The Poetry Society and she continues to promote young writers and to work with the National Academy of Gifted and Talented Youth to support the teaching of creative writing. Siân has been poet in residence in Youth and Community Centres, a Youth Theatre, a Health Centre, and a sandwich shop, and is and is currently poet in residence in a Birmingham school when she is not teaching part time for Oxford University. 
Hippocrates Prize founders

Professor Donald Singer is a clinical pharmacologist. 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 will published by Taylor & Francis in the Summer of 2015.
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.
2016 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize is supported by the Cardiovascular Research Trust, a healthy heart charity founded in 1996, which promotes research and education for the prevention and treatment of disorders of the heart and circulation. The charity has a particular interest in avoiding preventable heart disease through educating school students.