Written Portraits: A poetry performance and discussion

Written portraits

Event schedule details

Monday 23 May


Event location details

Free online event


Hear the stories of patients and staff at a typical London hospital, told through the poems of Di Sherlock.

She shrugs off the memory

like a scratchy sweater

or an old skin,

says cancer is one more curve ball

Life’s thrown her way.


‘Written portraits’ is a collection of poems by Di Sherlock drawn from conversations with patients and staff she met during a residency at Charing Cross Hospital and Maggie’s Centre West.

The poems are part of the ‘People Like You’ project which sees Di’s collaborators at Imperial College and Goldsmiths University of London investigating perceptions around personalised medicine. The series of 21 portraits explore the ways that preference, need, desire, pleasure and recognition serve as grounds for judging people to be alike.

At this lunchtime event, the Great Exhibition Road Festival brings Di together with anthropologist Sophie Day to discuss the project and the impact this way of getting to know and profile individuals might inform future approaches to a more personalised approach to healthcare. The event will also feature readings of some of the poems.

Written Portraits was funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Register now for free

Event categories

  • Adults
  • Performance
  • Talks and tours
Written portraits