Health researcher’s poem to appear in prize anthology

7 May 2019 12:30
Dr Emma Halliday
Dr Emma Halliday

A poem by health researcher Dr Emma Halliday is to be published after it was commended by the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine.

Her poem “The MOT”, inspired by women’s stories of cervical screening, was one of only 22 selected from around a thousand entries in the Health Professional category and will appear in the 2019 Hippocrates Prize Anthology.

Dr Halliday embeds creative approaches in her professional role to engage public audiences with issues of health inequalities and is studying creative writing part-time.

She said: “I’m delighted my poem has been selected as part of this important initiative. Poetry and creative arts more generally can play an important role in communicating health issues and help to express the emotional impact of people’s health experiences as well.”

The Hippocrates Initiative for Poetry and Medicine is an interdisciplinary venture that investigates the interface between medicine, the arts and health.

The winners of the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine award, which is supported by UK based medical charity the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine,  will be announced at the 2019 Hippocrates Awards Ceremony as part of the 10th annual international Hippocrates conference on poetry and medicine, jointly organised by the Hippocrates Initiative for Poetry and Medicine and the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

The 2019 Judges are UK journalist and broadcaster Kate Adie CBE, DL, American-Mexican poet and author Jennifer Clement, International President of PEN International and UK physician Professor Dame Jane Dacre.

Judge Kate Adie said: “The poems which caught my eye - and my heart - were both arresting and illuminating. I was fascinated by the breadth of subject, and felt I was listening to those who have a deep insight into the human condition - not in a contemplative, detached way, but deeply involved and at times feeling a huge responsibility about the heath and state of mind of others. There was humour, grief, sadness, reflection, and I found it a joy to read through all of them.”

Judge Jennifer Clement added: "It's important to bring the humanities and sciences together and the Hippocrates Prize does this in a valuable and original way. The shortlisted poems speak to both medical issues and literature in unique ways.”

Judge Professor Dame Jane Dacre said: “ As a doctor, being a judge for the Hippocrates poetry competition has been a fascinating exercise. The words used, and the emotions expressed have helped my understanding of some of the more complex and difficult clinical areas. This heightened understanding came from the poems written for both health professional and open categories. Medicine is emotional and complex and poetry helps us all to come to terms with it.”