Alumna wins poetry prize

26 May 2015

Our congratulations go to Kellogg alumna Maya Catherine Popa (MSt Creative Writing) who has won the £5,000 First Prize in the Open Category of the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine.

Maya, who is currently living and working in New York, won the award with a poem inspired by her neuroscientist great-grandfather.

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 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.”

Watch Maya read her award-winning poem.