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CLPE Children’s Poetry Award (CLiPPA) 2017

CLiPPA Shortlist Credit Michael Thorn
CLiPPA Shortlist Credit Michael Thorn

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is delighted to announce the 2017 shortlist for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award (CLiPPA). Established in 2003, CLiPPA encourages and celebrates outstandeing poetry published for children. 2017 is the 15th anniversary of the award, which remains the only annual award in the UK for published poetry for children.

This year’s shortlist truly celebrates the breadth and depth of poetry for children being published in the UK. From the early years appeal of Zim Zam Zoom! by James Carter to the verse novel for older readers, Booked by Kwame Alexander; from Kate Wakeling’s debut collection for children Moon Juice, to Jelly Boots, Smelly Boots by long-time favourite and previous CLiPPA winner Michael Rosen; and from single poet collections to the celebratory anthology Wonderland, Alice in Poetry edited by Michaela Morgan..  

The full shortlist is:

  • Kwame Alexander: Booked, Andersen Press - A free verse novel, written in the voice of 12 year old soccer-loving boy.
  • James Carter: Zim Zam Zoom!, illustrated by Nicola Colton, Otter-Barry Books - Perfectly pitched for the young listener or early reader with plenty of opportunities for joining in.
  • Michaela Morgan (editor): Wonderland; Alice in Poetry, Macmillan - Anthology celebrating the spirit of Wonderland with each poet bringing their own refreshing spin.
  • Michael Rosen: Jelly Boots, Smelly Boots, illustrated by David Tazzyman, Bloomsbury - Quirky, clever poems from those that involve humorous misunderstandings to thoughtful and more intimate musings.
  • Kate Wakeling: Moon Juice, illustrated by Elīna Brasliņa, The Emma Press - A debut collection of poetry that presents magical, strange and unlikely events in a confident and persuasive way.

Rachel Rooney, Poet and Chair of the CLiPPA 2017 Judges commented: “Judging was made a challenge by the spread of books that were submitted as the CLiPPA is open to published poetry books for a diverse and changing readership, from the pre-schooler to the early teen. Writing poetry for children can appear easy but writing powerful poetry that is accessible and appealing to children is considerably more difficult to achieve. In their own particular way, all the shortlisted books did this.” Watch Rachel announcing the shortlist https://vimeo.com/217660795

Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, CLPE said: “This year we celebrate 15 years of the Poetry Award with the largest number of submissions for many years and an award show where we will have more than 1000 children in the audience. We are delighted that the power of the poetic form is being recognised so widely by schools and by publishers and that thousands of children will discover the wonderful books on this shortlist through our Poetryline resources and our shadowing scheme.”

The judging panel is chaired by the poet and CLiPPA 2012 winner, Rachel Rooney along with Sarah Crossan, poet and CLiPPA 2016 joint winner for One, Caleb Femi, poet and the Young People's Laureate for London, Charlotte Hacking, CLPE Learning Programme Leader and Imogen Russell Williams, children’s book critic and editorial consultant. Children's Laureate, Chris Riddell, will live draw the Award Ceremony.

The winner of the 2017 Award will be announced on July 14th 2017 at a special ceremony celebrating 15 years of the CLiPPA Poetry Award in the 1000+-seater Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre in London.  The audience will enjoy poetry performances from children participating in the Shadowing Scheme, the shortlisted poets and special poet appearances. The winner of the Award will receive £1000 and a specially bound edition of their book created by the bookbinder Mark Cockram.

The free Shadowing Scheme to involve schools in the Poetry Award 2017 is now open. In 2016 over 3900 children participated in the Shadowing Scheme and this year it is set to be even more successful with a record number of pre-registrations. The Shadowing Scheme gives children an opportunity to enjoy literacy with tremendous vigour and high expectations. Exploring and performing poetry demonstrates how children can work to high standards and still enjoy a thrilling experience that will remain with them for a long time. Watch Young Person’s Laureate for London, Caleb Femi open the Shadowing Scheme https://vimeo.com/217660608

As part of the Shadowing Scheme, a competition will see children from winning schools invited to perform on stage at the Award Ceremony. Schools are also invited to apply for tickets to attend the Award Ceremony which will encompass a Poetry Show with all the shortlisted poets.  All schools, regardless of whether they are participating in the Shadowing Scheme, can take poetry into the classroom supported by free high quality resources including films of shortlisted poets performing and accompanying teaching resources; available on CLPE’s Poetryline website www.clpe.org.uk/poetryline

For further information about the award, the shadowing scheme or the shortlisted books please visit https://www.clpe.org.uk/poetry.

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