first_imgOn Saturday Dr. Sophia Xeros-Constantinides was awarded the inaugural Ann Morgan Essay Prize for her poem about how the trauma of migrant parents affects their children. The Australian Association of Infant Mental Health (Victorian branch) has awarded the prize jointly to Dr. Xeros-Constantinides and Dr. Fiona McGlade.Dr. Xeros-Constantinides, a general practitioner working in infant mental health, said she was not expecting to win the prize.“People were invited to write an essay of up to 2 000 words exploring the life of the infant,” she said. Instead of an academic essay, Dr. Xeros-Constantinides submitted a personal poem, called, “The Intergenerational Legacy: My Grandmother Yiayia’s Asylum Seeker Baby.”The poem explores her Yiayia, Evdokia Xeros’ experience of fleeing Smyrna as a Greek refugee in 1922, after it was sacked by the Turkish Nationalists. “Her trauma was felt by her whole family, especially her second-born baby, my Uncle Nick, whom she gave birth to on arrival in Melbourne, and whom she nursed through her own grieving,” she said.“I feel that trauma stayed with her, and I feel it got communicated to my uncle Nick,” she said.In a poem that combines the personal and political, she quotes philosopher Karl Marx: “The tradition of all the dead generations/ weighs like a nightmare/ on the brains of the living.”Dr. Xeros-Constantinides said she is looking forward to the poem hopefully being published in a prominent medical journal, as she thinks the experience is one shared by many immigrants.“There are a lot of children of migrants who are traumatized by their parents’ experiences,” she said. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more