There’s a long history of memorable poetry born of medical experience. Jonathan Swift wrote about his deafness and Fernando Pessoa complained of a bad cold. For this reading, distinguished poets Geoffrey Lehmann, Stephen Edgar and Peter Goldsworthy are joined by Sydney doctor and poet Andrew Dimitri, whose poems – inspired by a Médecins Sans Frontières mission to Mosul – have made waves internationally. As well as their own work, the poets will read medical poems from Martial to Emily Dickinson and more.
Stephen Edgar (Australian)
Stephen Edgar is the author of ten collections of poetry. The Strangest Place: New and Selected Poems is forthcoming. His most recent book, Transparencies, was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards in 2018 and his previous two books, Eldershaw and Exhibits of the Sun, were also shortlisted for the PM’s awards in 2014 and 2015 respectively. He received the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal in 2006 and the Colin Roderick Award in 2014. He lives in Sydney.
Geoffrey Lehmann (Australian)
Geoffrey Lehmann published his first poem at the age of 18 in The London Magazine in 1959. In 1965 he published a joint book of poetry called The Ilex Tree with Les Murray. He's since practiced law, became a tax partner with PwC and was Chairman of the Australian Tax Research Foundation. In 1994 his book Spring Forest published was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. His Poems 1957-2013 won the Prime Minister's Awards for Poetry in 2014.
Peter Goldsworthy (Australian)
Peter Goldsworthy divides his time between medicine and literature. He has won awards across a range of genres, including poetry, fiction, opera and theatre. His 1989 novel Maestro has been reissued in the A&R Australian Classics series, and his 1996 novel Wish in the Text Classic series. Stevie Rodgers' adaptation of his 1993 novella Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam was staged at Belvoir Street Theatre earlier this year. His new novel, his first in 10 years, is Minotaur.
Andrew Dimitri (Australian)
Andrew Dimitri is a poet and physician based in Sydney. Since 2010 he has been working for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders in some of the most challenging and complex regions of the world. Whilst working in Iraq in 2017 he wrote It Will Make a Fine Hospital which was the runner up in the 2017 Hippocrates Prize, and subsequently the UK Guardian 'poem of the week.' His first collection is Winter in Northern Iraq.