Lyrical beauty: international shortlist announced for Hippocrates Young Poet Prize for Poetry and Medicine

Media Advisory – for immediate release

22 April 2021: The shortlist for the 2021 Hippocrates Young Poet Prize for Poetry and Medicine, includes finalists from Scotland, the Philippines and USA.

Now in its ninth year, having been established by the Hippocrates Initiative for Poetry and Medicine in 2013; the prize has been recognised with a Times Education Award for innovation and excellence in the arts, due to its unique support of the synergy between medicine, the arts and health. 

With an awards fund of £500, it is one of the highest value young poet awards in the world for a single unpublished poem and is open to young poets aged 14 to 18 years from anywhere in the world.

With entrants from 18 countries this year, Judge, Anna Jackson, a poet and academic from New Zealand was tasked with shortlisting entries; “Every entry for this award had something to commend it for – these were poems that took important matters into consideration with interesting approaches to form, lyrical beauty, original imagery, startling perspectives or beautiful design, and some of the best poems combined more than one of these elements.”

Competing for the Hippocrates Young Poets Prize 2021 are:

·       Yvanna Vien Tica from Quezon City, Metro Manila, the Philippines for Euphemisms for Cancer

·       Rhys Pearce from Hawick, Roxburghshire in Scotland for Mai ho’oka’awale (separating sickness)

·       Rachel Brooks from Trumbull, Connecticut, USA for November Is When I Become

·       Elane Kim from Walnut Creek, California, USA for Origami

·       Olivia Yang from Charlotte, North Carolina, USA for still life: quarantine.

Above: Rachel Brooks (L) and Elane Kim; below: Rhys Pearce (L) and Yvanna Vien Tica: learn more about the shortlisted Young Poets here.

Winners will be announced during a live webcast event from 20.30 GMT on Wednesday 19th May; register free for the awards session here.

John Jackson, Trustee of healthy heart charity, the Cardiovascular Research Trust which is supporting the prize commented: “We are delighted to support the Hippocrates Young Poets Prize, and to have received such a strong range of international entries during this ninth year.”

Prize organiser, Donald Singer added: “We look forward to the announcement of winners during the free online event in May, when we will also hear the winning entries. 

“This year, some of our entries have taken inspiration from the challenges of Covid-19, which have been felt so strongly across the world. Our webcast event on 19th May is an opportunity to join us and to enjoy the winning poems from wherever you are.”

You can also view details of all shortlisted and commended poets on the Hippocrates Prize website

The International Hippocrates Prize is awarded in three categories:

£500 award for the Hippocrates Young Poets Prize for an unpublished poem in English on a medical theme. Entries are open to young poets from anywhere in the world aged 14 to 18 years. There are further commendations in the Young Poets category. There is no entry fee for the Young Poets prize.

£1,000 first prize, £500 second prize and £250 third prize in the FPM-Hippocrates Open category, which anyone in the world may enter. There are a further 20 commendations in the Open category.

£1,000 first prize, £500 second prize and £250 third prize in the FPM-Hippocrates Health Professional category, which is open to Health Service employees, health students and those working in professional organisations anywhere in the world involved in education and training of health professional students and staff.  


Notes to editors:
For further information on the Hippocrates Prize, including embargoed details of the winners and the winning poems, please contact Donald Singer on 07494 450 805 or

Support for the 2021 Hippocrates Prize

The 2021 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize is supported by the Cardiovascular Research Trust, a healthy heart charity founded in 1996, which promotes research and education for the prevention and treatment of disorders of the heart and circulation. The charity has a particular interest in avoiding preventable heart disease through educating school students.

The 2021 FPM-Hippocrates Open Awards and FPM-Hippocrates Health Professional Awards are also supported by the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine. The FPM, founded in 1918, is a UK medical society which publishes the international journals the Postgraduate Medical Journal and Health Policy and Technology. 

2021 Hippocrates Judges

Judge of the 2021 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize is Anna Jackson from Wellington, New Zealand – a poet, writer and Associate Professor in English Literature. 

Senior New York Times reporter Anne Barnard from New York City, distinguished poets Keki Daruwalla from Delhi, India and Neena Modi, paediatrician, Professor of Neonatal Medicine at Imperial College, London and President-Elect of the British Medical Association, were the judges the 2021 FPM-Hippocrates Open and Health Professional awards.

Further information on the 2021 judges is available here.

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