Judges for the 2017 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine

The 2017 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine

Judges for the 2017 International Open, Health Professional and Young Poet Awards are Neal Baer, Jorie Graham, Jackie Kay,  Owen Lewis and May Catherine Popa.

Now in its 8th year, the Hippocrates Prize has attracted over 8000 entries from over 60 countries, from the Americas to Fiji and Finland to Australasia. All awards are for a single unpublished poem in English of up to 50 lines of verse on a medical theme. Judges for the 2017 Hippocrates Prize Open and Health Professional Categories include Harvard-trained paediatrician, writer and producer of Emmy award-winning television show ER Neal Baer, Scottish Makar (National Poet)  Jackie Kay and New York Professor of Psychiatry and poet Owen Lewis. The Young Poets judge is writer and teacher Maya Catherine Popa from New York City.

The 2017 Hippocrates Awards are being organised by the Hippocrates Initiative in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Initiative of Harvard Medical School.

The 2017 Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine Symposium and Awards will be held on Saturday 6th May 2017 at Harvard Medical School.

Entries for the 2017 international Hippocrates Open,   Health Professional and Young Poet awards are now closed. Short-listed and commended entrants will be informed in early April. All winning and commended poems in the Hippocrates Prize are published in the annual Hippocrates Prize Anthology.

The international Open category is open to anyone in the world to enter. There have been entries from over 60 countries since the Hippocrates Prize was launched in 2009, with winning poets from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the UK and the USA.

The international  Health Professional category is open to any in the world who is a Health Professional  employees, a health student or working in a professional organisation or charity involved in education and training of health professional students and staff or in supporting the care of patients.

The international Young Poet category: anyone in the world may enter who is aged under 19 years and at least 14 years old on the date of the Awards (6th May 2017). This £500 award was launched in 2012, and is for an unpublished poem of up to 50 lines in English on a medical theme. The 2017 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine is supported by the healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust.

Neal Baer

440px-neal_baer_by_gage_skidmoreBaer [photo by Gage Skidmore] is an American paediatrician, television writer and producer, best known for his work on the television shows ER and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Baer graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his internship in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Baer also holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.In 2000, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Colorado College.He received the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Scholarship from the American Medical Association as the most outstanding medical student who has contributed to promoting a better understanding of medicine in the media.

Baer has written extensively on adolescent health issues, covering such topics as teen pregnancy, AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse, and nutrition.  Baer serves on the boards of many organizations related to health care, including the Venice Family Clinic, RAND Health, Children Now, the Huckleberry Fund of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  Baer is a member of the Board of Associates at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He is currently engaged in work to improve the visibility of social determinants of health in media.

Jorie Graham

jorie-grahamOne of the most celebrated poets of the American post-war generation, Jorie Graham is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Hybrids of Plants and Ghosts (1980), Erosion (1983), The End of Beauty (1987), Region of Unlikeness (1991), The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1992 (1995) winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Never (2002), Sea Change (2008), Place (2012), From the New World (2015), and Fast (2017), among others. Born in New York City, Graham was raised and educated in Italy and France. She attended the Sorbonne in Paris, where she studied philosophy, and New York University, where she pursued filmmaking. While in New York, she began writing and studying poetry, and went on to earn an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She later taught at the Writers’ Workshop, leaving to join the faculty at Harvard as the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory, a position previously held by Seamus Heaney and a chair whose occupants date back to John Quincy Adams. She was the first woman to be awarded this position.

Jackie Kay

Jackie KayJackie Kay [photo by Mary McCartney] was named Scots Makar—the National Poet for Scotland—in March 2016. She is Chancellor of the University of Salford and Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. The Adoption Papers (Bloodaxe) won the Forward Prize, a Saltire prize and a Scottish Arts Council Prize. Fiere, her most recent collection of poems, was shortlisted for the COSTA award. Her novel Trumpet won the Guardian Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the IMPAC award. Red Dust Road (Picador) won the Scottish Book of the Year Award, and the London Book Award. It was shortlisted for the J R Ackerley Prize. She was awarded an MBE in 2006, and made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002. Her book of stories Wish I Was Here won the Decibel British Book Award. She also writes for children and her book Red Cherry Red (Bloomsbury) won the Clype Award. She has written extensively for stage and television. Her most recent plays Manchester Lines (produced by Manchester Library Theatre) and The New Maw Broon Monologues (produced by Glasgay) were a great success. Her most recent book is a collection of stories, Reality, Reality. She is currently working on her new novel, Bystander.

Owen Lewis


Owen Lewis, is the author of two collections of poetry, Marriage Map (Dos Madres Press, January, 2017) and Sometimes Full of Daylight (Dos Madres Press, 2011) and two chapbooks. Best Man (Dos Madres Press, 2015) is the recipient of the 2016 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize of the New England Poetry Club. Other prizes include the 2016 International Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, second prize in the 2017 Paumanok Award, as well as awards from The Mississippi Review, Connecticut River Review, the Kent and Sussex Poetry Society (UK), the London School of Jewish Studies, and a Pushcart nomination. He is a psychiatrist and professor at Columbia University where he teaches with the narrative medicine group, and an adjunct professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Maya Catherine Popa

maya-c-popaMaya Catherine Popa is a writer and teacher in NYC. A 2015 Ruth Lilly finalist, she is the recipient of the Poetry Foundation Editor’s Prize for review. Her poetry appears in Tin House, Kenyon Review, Poetry London, and elsewhere. Her criticism and non-fiction appear widely, including in Poetry, Poets & Writers Magazine, PN Review, and The Huffington Post. Her chapbook, “The Bees Have Been Canceled,” is forthcoming from DIAGRAM New Michigan Press in the U.S., and Southword Editions in Ireland, in winter 2017.

Her awards include the Hippocrates Poetry Prize, 2nd place in the Magma Poetry Prize, 3rd Place in the Narrative N30B Prize, the Gregory O’Donoghue Competition, Parallel Universe Competition, and the Oxford Poetry Society Martin Starkie Prize. She holds an MFA from NYU and an Mst in Writing from Oxford University, where she was a Clarendon Scholar. She teaches at the Nightingale-Bamford school in New York City.