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Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets

@HealthMed The Hippocrates Initiative has launched the international Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets for an unpublished poem of up to 50 lines in English on a medical theme. 

To date there have been entries from young poets from the UK, USA, Hungary and Australia.

Entrants may be young poets from anywhere in the world aged 14 to 18 years. 

New deadline: midnight GMT 31st March, 2013. 

The Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets will be judged by poet Clare Pollard who published her first collection of poetry at the age of 19.

This new award offers a prize of £500 for the best poem (in English) on a medical subject, no longer than 50 lines, by a schoolchild (anywhere in the world). There will also be ten commendations. 

A medical subject may be anything from experience of illness, birth or death, to hospitals, ambulances and doctors’ surgeries, to the nature and history of medical instruments, processes, drugs, and much more. The field is vast. Poems may be entered individually or in batches by schools, and submission costs £2 per poem or £15 for a group of ten. 

The deadline is midnight GMT 31st March 2013 and the winner will receive his/her prize at an award ceremony at the annual international poetry and medicine symposium at the Wellcome Collection in London on 18 May 2013. 

The first prize is GBP 500 for the winning young poet, with a further 10 awards of commendation for the most highly rated entries.

Judge Clare Pollard said:  “The great thing about poetry is that age doesn't matter. It's hard as a teenager to find the time and stamina to write a perfect novel, but you can write three perfect verses.  If you put down the things you really want to say about our world, in your own voice, you will have written a powerful poem.”

She added 'I'm very pleased to be judging the first Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets - in bringing science and art together, I hope it will deepen students' understanding of both, and uncover poets of the future.'

Awards will be announced on Saturday 18th May, 2013 at the end of the 4th International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine, at the Wellcome Collection Rooms, Euston Road, London. 

Clare Pollard has published four collections of poetry, the most recent of which, Changeling (Bloodaxe, 2011) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She published her first collection, The Heavy-Petting Zoo, with Bloodaxe in 1998 aged 19. Her play The Weather premiered at the Royal Court Theatre and her documentary for radio, ‘My Male Muse’, was a Radio 4 Pick of the year.  She co-edited the anthology Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century and her new version of Ovid’s Heroines will be published by Bloodaxe in 2013.

The inaugural Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets is supported by the UK medical charity the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine and the UK National Association of Writers in Education.

NAWE said it is delighted that it is becoming a partner in the Hippocrates initiative and will be sponsoring the first Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets.

Full details and rules, and the name of the young poets competition judge, are posted on the Hippocrates initiative website (

'The Hippocrates initiative was established in 2009 and already offers two successful annual poetry prizes, one open to submissions from anyone anywhere in the world, the other restricted to NHS employees (present and past) and UK health students. In each category a first prize of £5,000 is awarded. The Hippocrates Prize has attracted thousands of entries from 44 countries, from the Americas to Fiji, from Finland to Australasia, and prizewinners have come from New Zealand and the US as well as the UK. Judges have included poets Gwyneth Lewis, Marilyn Hacker and Dannie Abse, journalists James Naughtie, Mark Lawson and Martha Kearney, and NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, Professor Steve Field CBE, and Professor Rod Flower representing the medical profession. In 2011 the Hippocrates initiative received a Times Higher Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.

Professor Donald Singer and poet Michael Hulse, of Warwick University, said: “We are delighted to welcome NAWE as the sponsor of the £500 Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets, and look forward to reading exciting work by a new generation of poets.”

Further information on the Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets

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