2021 FPM-Hippocrates Prize Open Commendations

We shall announce the winners in the Health Professional, Open and Young Poets categories of the 2021 Hippocrates Prize by live webinar on Zoom 

Wed 19th May from 8.30pm UK time
2021 Hippocrates Prize Awards Ceremony and readings of shortlisted poems
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* Wed 14th July from 9pm UK time - Please note the change of date *
Readings of commended Health Professional poems in the 2021 Hippocrates Prize  
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Wed 11th August from 9pm UK time
Readings of commended Open poems in the 2021 Hippocrates Prize  
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Open Commendations

Vasiliki Albedo  Kifisia, Athens, Greece

Kathryn Bevis  Winchester, England

Karen Jane Cannon   Sway, Lymington, England
A poem for my mother to make her drink water

Mark Fiddes  Dubai, UAE
Antibodies for kids

Mark Fiddes  Dubai, UAE
For the love of strangers

Kate Hendry  Edinburgh, Scotland
Breaking the News

Rosie Jackson  Gulworthy, Tavistock, Devon
Post-Partum: Don't think these doors will ever close

Alison Love   London, England 

Michelle Lovric  London, England

Palma McKeown  Motherwell, Scotland

Elisabeth Murawski  Alexandria, VA, USA

Robert Randolph  Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, USA
Shoreline of Light

Gillian Shearer  Alford, Aberdeen, Scotland
Thank You

Rosie Shepperd  London, England
Be not ashamed to say, I know not

Linda Snell  Corsham, Wiltshire, England
Woman on Ventilator

Sarah Terkaoui  Twickenham, England
Daddy's Dying 

Sarah Terkaoui  Twickenham, England
My Father's Medicine

Tim Waller  London, England 

Sophia Wilson  Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Line of Sight

Mary-Patrice Woehling  Whitestone, NY, USA
Care-Giver Daughter 

Jamie Woods  Tircoed, Swansea, Wales
Ring the Bell

Vasiliki Albedo's poems have been published in Anthropocene, Ambit, Magma, Mslexia, Poetry Salzburg, The Rialto and elsewhere. In 2017 she won second prize at the Oxford Brookes International Poetry competition (EAL) and joint third prize in the Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize. In 2018 she was commended in the National Poetry competition. In 2020 she was joint winner in Live Canon's pamphlet competition.

About her poem Hysteria, she said: "I grew up in Greece, where the word ‘hysterical’ is regularly weaponised against women in the private and public domain. I became interested in researching how hysteria has been treated in the medical and psychiatric system and came upon articles and documentaries detailing the ‘vibrator treatment’, which pathologized female behaviour that did not conform to social norms, such as having no desire to get married or have children. There were even cases of rape victims who rather than be vindicated, were institutionalised and subjected to treatment."

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Kathryn Bevis is Hampshire Poet 2020-21 and founder of The Writing School Online. Her poems are published in The Alchemy Spoon, The Fenland Poetry Journal, iamb (forthcoming), and The Live Canon 2020 Anthology.  In 2019, Kathryn won the Poet and Players and Against the Grain Press competitions. She is working towards her first collection. 

She said: "In Matryoshka, I attempt to explore complex emotional territory in a playful, irreverent way. Stepping outside the witness perspective by using the voices of alter egos in this poem has allowed me to explore the experience of not becoming a mother. I hope it connects with others who – for medical, political, emotional, financial, or other reasons – have not become parents themselves."

KB Headshot

Karen Jane Cannon is a UK poet and author. She has written two poetry pamphlets—The Curfew Bell published In 2021 by Indigo Dreams Publishing, and Emergency Mints published by Paper Swans Press in 2018. She was a finalist in the Mslexia Poetry Competition 2017 and shortlisted for The Bridport Prize in 2019. Karen is a PhD candidate at the University of Southampton researching Vision and landscape. She lives in the New Forest, Hampshire.

About her poem she said: "My mother — who lives quite a distance from me — has the onset of dementia and it’s very difficult to get her to drink enough fluid as she doesn’t feel the need. After speaking to her on the phone, I went for a walk in the forest and it struck me how vital  water is for replenishing the landscape — both the land and ourselves — and this became the inspiration for the poem.”

Karen Jane Cannon

Mark Fiddes' first collection The Rainbow Factory was published by Templar Poetry in 2016 following the success of his award-winning pamphlet The Chelsea Flower Show Massacre. He is a winner of the Oxford Brookes University International Prize and the Ruskin Prize. He was placed third in the UK National Poetry Competition and runner up in both the Robert Graves Prize and the Bridport Prize. His work has been published in Poetry Review, POEM, The New European, The Irish Times, Magma, Aesthetica, Poetry Salzburg and London Magazine. A new collection will be launched in May 2021 by Live Canon entitled Other Saints Are Available.

About the inspiration for his two commended poems, he said: "For the love of strangers started as a different poem about a woman of around 80 who I sat next to in a waiting room after my positive diagnosis for prostate cancer." 

He added: “Antibodies for kids recalls my first-born as a youngster in hospital with tracheitis and I tried to explain later how healing happens. It struck me that their effect on the body is like the effect of a poem on the mind. They carry light to where it is needed."

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Kate Hendry is a writer and teacher, living in Edinburgh. Her first collection of poems, The Lost Original, was published by HappenStance Press in 2016.

She said: "Breaking the News is a kind of found poem - it’s an accumulation of some of the words of love and sympathy I received from friends and family on hearing of my diagnosis of breast cancer. Their support sustained me, but was sometimes overwhelming, particularly in the early days.”

Kate Hendry

Rosie Jackson  Gulworthy, Tavistock, Devon
Post-Partum: Don't think these 
doors will ever close

ROSIE JACKSON is a prize-winning poet and creative writing tutor recently moved to Devon. Widely published in journals and anthologies, her collections include What the Ground Holds (2014), The Light Box (2016), Two Girls and a Beehive: Poems about Stanley Spencer and Hilda Carline (co-written with Graham Burchell, 2020) and Aloneness is a Many-headed Bird, co-written with Dawn Gorman, which won the Hedgehog Press Dialogue Competition 2019. Other prizes include 1st prize Teignmouth 2021,  3rd prize Acumen 2021, 3rd prize Hippocrates 2020 and 2017, 1st prize Poetry Space 2019, , 1st prize Wells 2018, 2nd prize Torbay 2018, 1st prize Stanley Spencer Competition 2017. More details on her website www.rosiejackson.org.uk

About her shortlisted poem Rosie said: "I often write poems inspired by art and in spring 2019, I visited an exhibition of paintings by the surrealist artist Dorothea Tanning at London’s Tate Modern Gallery. I passionately loved all her work, but one in particular really struck me: Maternity, from 1946-7. Tanning had no children, but this portrait of early motherhood, capturing a woman standing in a desert with randomly placed open doors, and wearing a body of symbolically tattered clothes, is a brilliant depiction of the alienated, dis-integrated and ragged frame of mind that can be part of post-natal experience, sometimes culminating in post-partum psychosis. The torment of insomnia, which can accompany the first months of mothering a new baby and which I certainly experienced, also throws the psyche into disarray. To convey the woman’s recurrent sense of disorientation, I deliberately chose the form of a sestina, with its six stanzas of six lines each plus a three line envoi, the words ending each line in the first verse repeated in a set pattern in subsequent verses: abcdef; faebdc; cfdabe, etc. It’s a tight yet haunting form which I felt suited the tormented inner mind of the potentially psychotic patient. But I also wanted the poem to act as a kind of allegory for the overwhelming and invasive experience, both physically and  psychologically, that motherhood is. I felt it was a testament to Tanning’s vision that she could catch this so acutely when she had no children of her own.”    

Rosie Jackson

Alison Love is a novelist, poet and short story writer who lives in London [photo credit: Richard Sena]  Her most recent novel, The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom, was published in the UK, USA and Germany. Her stories have appeared in several magazines and anthologies including the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology 2013, and her poems have been published by Poetry Space and the Frogmore Press. She has previously worked in theatre, television and media relations.

Cherries is one of several poems Alison has written about her late husband Barry MacDonald. It draws on the experience of caring for him during cancer treatment.

Michelle Lovric is a novelist, journalist biographer and poet. She has particular interests in Venice, art, trauma and the history of medicine. She also campaigns on environmental causes. The Remedy, a literary murder-mystery, was long-listed for the 2005 Orange Price for Fiction. The Book of Human Skin takes on Holy Anorexia, psychopathy and a very unusual form of bibliomania. It chosen by the Channel 4 TV Book Club as a Summer Read. She has also written six historical novels for children. She worked with Milly Dowler’s sister Gemma to produce a memoir of the girl and her family. My Sister Milly, published in July 2017, was both an Amazon No 1 and a Sunday Times best-seller. Testimony, her play about the terror attack at London Bridge, was performed in Southwark Cathedral on the first anniversary.

She has been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Kings College London’s Graduate School; she’s recently been appointed an RLF Lector. Her poetry has been recognized in many competitions including the Bridport, the National and the Troubadour.  www.michellelovric.com.

Regarding the inspiration for Ciarlatano she said: "I write historical novels with medical themes. I’ve always been attracted to the exaggerated claims of quack doctors as well as their picturesque repertoire of exotic ingredients. Most of all, I love their perversions of logic. It’s hard to write humour – attempted entrapment of butterflies always suffers high casualty rates – yet quack-tongue seems to platter up laughs on all kinds of levels.

Michelle Lovric

Palma McKeown is a Scots-Italian late-emerging poet. Recent poems have appeared in Prole, Rattle and Poetry Scotland. When she’s not writing poetry she runs an on-line vintage business and is attempting to learn to play the clarsach (Celtic harp).

She said: "My poem Etiquette came from my own experience of breast cancer. When I was diagnosed I was in a long-term relationship with my now husband, however I have often wondered what life post-mastectomy would have been like if things had been different and what it must be like for those who have undergone a mastectomy but are still seeking romantic/sexual relationships. It’s a topic that I don’t ever remember seeing in the leaflets and pamphlets provided to help you on your road to recovery."

Palma McKeown

Elisabeth Murawski is the author of Heiress, Zorba’s Daughter, which won the May Swenson Poetry Award, Moon and Mercury, and three chapbooks. Still Life with Timex won the Robert Phillips Chapbook Prize. Her work has been widely published in journals. For individual poems she has won, among others, the Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition, the University ofCanberra’s International Poetry Prize, and the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize. Born and raised in  Chicago, an alumna of De Paul University, she earned an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. She currently resides in Alexandria, VA. 

About her poem ICU she said: "It’s been nine years since the accident and the traumatic brain injury that eventually took the life of my son, Alexander Michael Evans. He was in the ICU for ten days, lived another fifteen months, and never came home. In ICU I tried to capture the sense one gets, walking in, that the worst possible thing might happen. It is a place for honesty; the letters for its name spell “I See You.” Almost hidden is the sound of “ice.” Amid the awful hush, the crazy machine keeps beeping like a mourning dove. Writing it, I was aware that the patient could be my son, could be any loved one, could be me."

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Dr. Robert M. Randolph, called “Dr. Bob” by his students, is a Professor in the English Department at Waynesburg University, in Pennsylvania.  He has been a Fulbright Scholar in Finland and Greece, a counselor, and a pastor.  His poems have appeared in about fifty journals, and Elixir Press published his book of poetry.  He has been nominated for a Pushcart four times.  He lives not far from the Monongahela River with his wife, daughter, a cairn terrier and a black Labrador retriever.  

About the poem, he writes, “My father died at age 93.  His death caused the world to fade, literally, for me; vibrant colors became pastel.  I felt as though I were living shallowly, distant from deep meaning.  He had seemed more full of life, even in his last few days, than I felt possible ever for me.  Where did his vitality and outlook come from?  In my trying to figure that out I remembered that one of the things my father did as long as he could see was read the Bible.  When he lost his eyesight, he asked me to read biblical passages to him.  In my faded world I started with chapter one, verse one, of Genesis.  With a PhD in modern poetry I approached the text as a poet/scholar and became so interested that I went to seminary to study it in its original languages.  My father’s passing turned me in a direction I had previously never considered.  Over the years I have several times in poems written about his death, trying to touch the still beating heart of it.”

Robert M. Randolph

Gillian Shearer is a poet and writer from the north east of Scotland. A 2021 recipient of a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust, Gillian has had her work published in Lallans, Northwords Now, Southlight and Causeway/Cabshair. Gillian has read her work at local poetry readings including Poetry at Books and Beans in Aberdeen as well as the Big Lit Festival in Gatehouse of Fleet and the Wigtown Book Festival.

About the inspiration for poem she said: “It’s been six years since my mother died and I still feel her loss. This poem is a thank you letter to the NHS; to the doctors and nurses and carers who looked after her in the last couple of years of her life.”

Gillian Shearer Photo hippocrates poetry

Rosie Shepperd's That so-easy thing was a PB prize winner. Her collection is The Man at the Corner Table (Seren) and she is writing her doctorate (Goldsmiths) to identify a way to understand a poem/reading as a paradigm of the creative process of the poet/reader. Her poems have appeared in publications on both sides of the Atlantic including The Times, Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review and Poetry Wales. She has been a finalist for the Cardiff, Forward, Ledbury, Liverpool, Manchester and Moth prizes and is a chef at the charity, FoodCycle, that cooks 2,000 meals a week for guests facing various challenges.

She said: “Be not ashamed to say, I know not is one outcome of my thoughts on the semblance between the Hippocratic oath - “be not afraid to say I know not” - and the ideas of the American logician and philosopher, Susanne Langer, who suggested a way to examine the logic of language used to find and explore what is ineffable. That semblance forms the basis of my understanding of symbolic import and is also how I hear Keats’s plea to be “free”. I.e., that in reading and writing a poem, we abstract our ideas from that which exists outside it, and we find a way - in that poem - to think about what we do not “know".

Rosie Shepperd

Linda Snell said: "I have been writing poetry since my early thirties.  My poems tend to be about the imperatives of blood – and its unstoppable drive to survive, love, procreate, and make the best that we can of our lives.  I have had poems published in Envoi, Equinox, The Interpreter’s House, Iota, Obsessed with Pipework, South, and The Cannon’s Mouth.  I was short-listed for the Live Canon international poetry prize in 2018 and have twice been short-listed for the Bridport prize (2006 and 2016). I jointly set up the “open mic” Corsham Poetry Café in 2008 and am very much interested in the art of reading poems to a small audience.  I work as a plants woman and have loved the opportunity to fill gardens with beauty and colour."

About the inspiration for Woman on Ventilator she said: "I wrote this poem around ten years ago, long after I had left nursing, and the scene described took place when I was in my twenties and working as an intensive care nurse.  We were looking after a woman who was very seriously ill with TB and who was on a ventilator.  At the time, I recall feeling concerned that my own BCG vaccination might not protect me against such a fulminating case of infectious illness, and so – although not a religious woman – I turned to my idea of what might be the protection afforded by the serenity of Faith.   When the COVID-19 pandemic began and nurses were brought into close proximity with infected patients, I remembered the courage that it takes to attend to people whose care might result in your own death or the death of a loved member of your family.  And I remembered my poem."

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Sarah Terkaoui lives in leafy Twickenham in Greater London and has been writing poetry for a year and a half. She grew up in both the Middle East and the West and this duality is something she explores in her writing. Growing up, the house was always filled with books and her love of language is the greatest gift her Irish mother gave her. After more than 20 years working in the arts and in project management, she is now writing more seriously, in particular poetry with several poems due for publication later in the year. She is currently working on her first poetry collection. 

About her commended poems she said: 'Daddy’s Dying is a series of poems which track the death of her father from terminal cancer. In the face of this impending loss, old conflicts are set aside as the important things in life suddenly come into sharp focus. The poem reflects the feeling of helplessness at the slow unravelling of someone you love, which can be unbearable at times, as you begin to grieve for them before they are gone. One becomes a guardian of their memory; each action and word catalogued carefully for retrieval when they are not here anymore." 

She added: "My Father’s Medicine embraces the duality of her heritage, as well as paying homage to the medical household she grew up in with two paediatricians as parents.”


Tim Waller, an American, studies in London and writes about his Southern and Midwestern roots.  His poetry has been published in the U.K. and the US. He has been successful in competitions. A former acting teacher, he has performed his poetry at many venues, including The Troubadour, Torriano, Fourth Friday, and the Dugdale.  Currently, he is working on a first collection.

He said: "My black and white Australian Shepherd was the inspiration for the poem.  Love will always define Tiffany.


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: "Line of Sight was inspired by my recent need for reading glasses, as well as by an exploration of 'vision' in its wider sense as a creative response to a fraught world."

Sophia Wilson

Mary-Patrice Woehling  Whitestone, NY, USA
Care-Giver Daughter

Mary-Patrice Woehling, Ph.D., has been a finalist in poetry competitions in the United States, Scotland, and England.  (When one of her villanelles was commended in the 2008 Manchester Cathedral Religious Poetry Competition, she was honored to read it in the cathedral; she was delighted to learn during some later genealogical research that her Irish great-great-grandparents were married in the cathedral in 1847.)  Her lyric poems have been published in First Things and America.  She teaches English and moderates the Poetry Club at The Mary Louis Academy in Jamaica Estates, New York.

She said that Care-Giver Daughter was inspired by her beautiful mother’s descent into the Alzheimer’s that destroyed her and challenged Mary-Patrice.


Jamie Woods is a writer from Swansea, Wales, and has had short-fiction published in Evergreen Review, The Lonely Crowd, and Smoke. He works for technology company by day, and at night he teaches creative writing and digital publishing at Cardiff University's centre for lifelong learning.

About the inspiration for Ring the Bell he said: "In August 2019 I was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia, a rare form of blood cancer. Now in remission, I'm dealing with the changes to my body and the PTSD, both through conventional therapy, and by writing about my experiences. This poem is about the cancer-ward tradition of ringing the bell after your final treatment. I'm a shy introvert with anxiety, depression, and survivor's guilt, and this poem explains why I couldn't really contemplate doing it.”

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