The £5000 Hippocrates Open First Prize for Poetry and Medicine (hippocrates-poetry.org) for 2015 was awarded to poet Maya Catherine Popa from New York City for a poem inspired by her neuroscientist great grandfather.
The Hippocrates Prize is an annual award for poetry and medicine with a closing date of 31st January.
About her poem A Technique for Operating on the Past, Maya said: “There is something pleasantly elliptical about the fact that a neuroscientist relies on the very instrument that is the subject of his study. I had long wanted to write a poem about Gr.T. Popa, my great-grandfather, after whom the Medical University in Iași, Romania, is named.
He worked on neuro-morphology in the 1930s and 40s, but his remarkable research was ultimately cut short in light of his anti-fascist, and anti-communist affiliations. That he was forced into hiding and died of a routine ailment while escaping the communists still seems a dark irony. In a way, writing this poem felt like a letter to him, an acknowledgement of that unfairness.”
Poet Pascale Petit from France and now living in London was awarded the £1000 Second Prize for In the Giraffe House, with the £500 Third Prize going to teacher Catherine Ayres from Northumberland for Making Love to LINAC.