Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities

The 9th Annual Hippocrates Poetry & Medicine Symposium

At the Poetry Foundation and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago
May 10-11, 2018


Held in conjunction with the international Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, one of the highest value prizes for a single poem in the world, the symposium has attracted scholars from across the globe with broad interests in poetry, health humanities and in narrative medicine.

We are thrilled to highlight the following symposium activities:

  • A reading by poet Mark Doty at the Poetry Foundation on the evening of May 10th
  • Academic presentations and panels on May 11th at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine campus (downtown Chicago, just blocks from the Poetry Foundation) on May 11th. (Breakfast and lunch will be provided.)
  • An award ceremony and reading of winning entries of the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine on the afternoon of May 11th at the Poetry Foundation.
  • A seminar on “Art, Poetry, and Medicine,” led by Joel Katz, MD, at the Museum of Contemporary Art on May 11th.

Proposals for Presentation

Proposals for presentations are now being accepted for the 9th Annual Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine Symposium at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, IL on May 10-11, 2018.

Proposals should address any work at the intersection of poetry and medicine. Examples of previous presentations include:

  • “The Power of Poetry: From Petrarch to the Present”
  • “Abortion in 1960s and 1970s American Poetry”
  • “Issues in identifying and assessing a corpus of medical poetry”
  • “The Brain as a Metaphor Making Machine”
  • “Visualizing and Verbalizing Illness: a Window into the Full Patient Experience”
  • “Poetic Re- narration and Chemotherapy: Infusing Purpose and Meaning into the End of Life”
  • “Elegy & Healing: The Poetics of Grief”

Participants will be invited to give either and oral presentation or a poster presentation.

Submissions (for 15 minute presentations or posters) should be up to 500 words in length and should also include the primary author’s Curriculum Vitae.


Submit a proposal


The deadline is March 1, 2018. Decisions will be made by March 15, 2018.

More information about the Hippocrates Poetry Prize competition and how to enter is available on the Hippocrates Initiative website.


Location and Accommodation

Events will be held at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (303 E Superior St), the Poetry Foundation (61 W Superior St), plus an optional event at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E Chicago Ave)—all within blocks of one another.

A limited number of rooms have been reserved at a discounted rate at the nearby Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile hotel. Booking a room in this block can be done online here.



Registration is now open! Spaces are are limited. Early-bird registration rates end on February 28.



Program Committee

  • Catherine Belling
  • Rafael Campo
  • Joshua Hauser
  • Michael Hulse
  • Kelly Michelson
  • Donald Singer
  • Rachel Jamison Webster
  • Stephen Young



For more information

Please contact Myria Knox

Mercury astride Pegasus, Paris 2013 – Creative Commons