2021 FPM-Hippocrates Prize Health Professional Winners

First Prize

Sophia Wilson Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand                  
The Body Library

Second Prize

Roger Bloor  Newcastle, Staffordshire, England             
Commedia dell’ Arte

Khadija Rouf  Witney, Oxfordshire, England                   

Third Prize

Andrew Rafik Azmy Dimitri  Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia                       

Elizabeth Osmond  Bower Ashton, Bristol, England                     

Joyce Turner  Rock Hill, South Carolina,  USA                  
Passing among Strangers

Wed 19th May from 8.30pm UK time
2021 Hippocrates Prize Awards Ceremony and readings of shortlisted poems

Wed 14th July from 9pm UK time
Readings of commended Health Professional poems in the 2021 Hippocrates Prize  
Free EventBrite registration link

Wed 11th August from 9pm UK time
Readings of commended Open poems in the 2021 Hippocrates Prize  
Free EventBrite registration link

Roger Bloor is  a retired NHS Consultant Psychiatrist; he has an MA in Poetry Writing from Newcastle University studying at the Poetry School. He is the founder of Clayhanger Press and coeditor of The Alchemy Spoon poetry magazine

His work has been published in Magma, Poetry London, Allegro and a number of anthologies including The Hippocrates Prize Anthology 2017 & 2019, Words for the Wild Anthology 2018, The Bridges Anthology 2018 & 2019, Landscapes Anthology 2018, Poems for the NHS 2018 ,These are the Hands 2020, Affect Publications 'StillBorn', and the language of salt Fragmented Voices 2020. His pamphlet 'A Less Clear Dream' was shortlisted for the Arnold Bennett Book Prize 2018, and his poetry book ‘Aldgedeslegh’ was shortlisted for the Arnold Bennett Book Prize 2019. He was the prize winner of the 2019 Poetry London Clore Prize.  His collection  ‘Stacking Winter Wood’ is to be published by Dempsey and Windle in June 2021

He can be found at  www.roger bloor.co.uk

He said: "Commedia dell’ Arte was written as a reflection on the difficult balance faced by health professionals, no matter how experienced, in maintaining a ‘professional mask’ when faced with complex  challenging  and often distressing  situations in clinical practice.”

Roger Bloor author photo

Andrew Rafik Azmy Dimitri is an Egyptian-Australian poet and physician based in Sydney, Australia. Since 2010 he has been doing missions for Médecins sans frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in some of the most challenging and complex regions of the globe, in response to conflicts, refugee crises and disease outbreaks. Andrew's poetry draws deeply from these experiences. In 2017 he was the runner up in the Hippocrates Prize, and his first collection of poems, Winter in Northern Iraq, was published by the Hippocrates Press in 2019. 

He said: "Caaliyah was written after working in the Dollo Zone in East Africa in 2017, and describes the story of a young girl treated at a tent hospital in the desert.

Andrew Dimitri-5

Elizabeth Osmond works as a consultant neonatologist caring for newborn babies who need intensive care. 

She said: "Some of these have been identified as having problems before they are born and some of them are unexpectedly sick at birth. Many of them are born prematurely and need to be on ventilators, like the baby in this poem. I wrote Conversation in response to an exercise devised by the poet Kate Clanchy. The exercise imagined talking to someone who cannot talk back and I immediately thought about my patients. I thought about how the babies communicate with us, even though they are too young to talk. Even a tiny premature baby can tell us if they are in pain or distress and it is important for us to respond to this. When they are settled and soothed their vital signs readings become stable. Neonatal intensive care is about hope: of the future child and their potential. This is what I was aiming to show in this poem.

ELizabeth  Osmond

Khadija Rouf is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who has recently started work with Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Trust. Since qualifying, she has worked in the NHS for over twenty five years, mainly with adults who have serious mental health problems. She is published professionally, contributing to The Oxford Guide to Behavioural Experiments in Cognitive Therapy (OUP), Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre’s self-help resources and for the British Psychological Society. She has an MA in Poetry from Manchester Metropolitan University. Her poetry has been published in Orbis, Six Seasons Review, Sarasvati and she is honoured to be included in the NHS poetry anthology, These Are The Hands, edited by Katie Amiel and Deborah Alma (2020).

About Tacet she said: “Of course, the pandemic has dominated our lives for more than a year, and there has been such a focus on the NHS during this time. The poem tumbled out as a result of trying to capture some of the feelings I've had whilst working through the shifting tempo of these many months. Until very recently, I spent many years working in Oxfordshire, mainly in community mental health, in a small market town. A year ago, our lives changed so dramatically; one of the first things that felt so eerie was the change in sound - silences - which were then pierced by the shrill of ambulances, many times a day. It felt so awful, because every siren meant a very sick person, in need of emergency care. Each time, I would think of the person in that ambulance, and fellow NHS colleagues battling through this pandemic, doing their best in such challenging circumstances.

Khadija Rouf

This change in the auditory landscape made me think about what we have been through, almost as an orchestral piece. It has made me think of our lost connections and the loss of our usual rituals. There have been so many forms of loss this year. Emerging from this tumult will need compassion, kindness and the nurturing of hope. I am surprised and delighted that Tacet has made it to the shortlist. I hope my poem resonates with others, and does so in helpful ways.” 

Joyce Ellen Turner is a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina. She graduated from Winthrop University with a BS in General Biology and a BA in Philosophy and Religion. She spent nine years long-haul team driving an 18-wheeler in the US and Canada. She later worked for ten years as a lab technician at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in Fiction after taking fiction and poetry classes. She worked as a Writers’ Workshop TA Coordinator and completed a manuscript of poems centered in Iowa City. A lab poem from this collection appeared in the Examined Life Journal. Joyce later served as the journal’s Nonfiction Editor. Other poetry of hers has appeared in the Cotton Alley Writers Review. Her fiction was published in Ploughshares. She now writes and paints. Her website is www.joyceturnerfinearts.com.

About how she wrote Passing Among Strangers she said: "I wrote this poem in my Moleskin notebook, which I carried in my lab coat pocket. Usually I mentally revise a poem in its entirety before I write it down. It’s original title was Phlebotomy--Foot Draw, but I changed the title to reflect the odd intimacy of end-of-life situations, playing on the word ‘passing,’ of course.  I changed the patient’s age slightly for improved poetic cadence. 
There is no pressure like that of not being able to find a vein when the situation is urgent, as it was with this patient. Expectation hangs heavily in the air.  Some patients have small veins, or sunken veins. You first feel the antecubital region--inside one elbow, then the other. If you poke the wrong place, you might damage a nerve. Hands often have prominent veins, but those are painful for the patient. You don’t want to add to their troubles. I never found out what happened to this woman, who lay like a statue as I drew blood from her foot. That is how it often is in the hospital, and how is should be, but still, you are human, you wonder."

Joyce Ellen Turner Headshot

Sophia Wilson has recent writing in Mayhem, Blackmail Press, Intima, Australian Poetry Anthology, Shot Glass Journal, The Poetry Archive, Landfall, A Fine Line, Not Very Quiet, Ars Medica, Hektoen International, Poetry New Zealand, Flash Frontier, Best Microfiction 2021 and elsewhere. She was runner-up in the 2020 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems and her poem ‘The Captive’s Song’ won the 2020 Robert Burns Poetry Competition. Sophia has a background in arts and medicine and is based in Aotearoa New Zealand.

She said: "‘The Body Library is a mélange of memories of the anatomy and pathology museums at Sydney University. I recall in particular the enormous sense of privilege, the bizarreness of human body parts being presented and objectified in this way, and the relief of exiting the hallowed rooms into daylight."

Sophia Wilson

onion © Hippocrates initiative 2012: hippocrates.poetry@gmail.com