2024 CLiPPA Shortlist Announced

Date: 08 05 2024

At a live online event watched by thousands of school children across the UK, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) announced the shortlist for the 2024 CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education Poetry Award), the UK’s leading award for published poetry for children. 

Established 21 years ago, each year the CLiPPA highlights the best contemporary poetry for children. Past winners include Carol Ann Duffy, John Agard, Jackie Kay, Michael Rosen and Valerie Bloom as well as current Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate, Joseph Coelho. 

This year’s shortlist is particularly exciting, featuring outstanding new collections from both a past winner and frequently shortlisted poet; a carefully compiled anthology exploring the world of feelings; poems describing the everyday lives of young siblings in Guatemala, translated from Spanish; and an emotionally intense collection drawing on the poet’s experience as a wheelchair user after becoming paralysed following an accident.

The CLiPPA shortlist (by suggested reading age):

  • A Dinosaur at the Bus Stop by Kate Wakeling, illustrated by Eilidh Muldoon, Otter-Barry Books (4+)
  • My Heart is a Poem, various poets, various illustrators, Little Tiger Press (6+)
  • Balam and Lluvia’s House by Julio Serrano Echeverria, illustrated by Tolanda Mosquera, translated by Lawrence Schimel, The Emma Press (7+)
  • The Final Year by Matt Goodfellow, illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton, Otter-Barry Books (10+)
  • And I Climbed And I Climbed by Stephen Lightbown, illustrated by Shih-Yu Lin, Troika Books (10+)

Award-winning poet Liz Berry is chair of the 2024 judges and says, “We're so excited to share this year's CLiPPA shortlist with the world: five brilliant and very different books to enchant and transport young readers, listeners and dreamers. Each book on the shortlist is unique and offers something special: there are poems full of feeling, poems to make us laugh and dance, poems to help us see into the hearts and lives of others and feel changed. It's wonderful to see poetry for children flourishing and to discover such diverse and inspiring voices at work. Here, children are equals and collaborators in the poetry magic-making, invited to keep poems as friends for the rest of their lives.”

The CLiPPA encourages schools to explore the shortlist with their pupils through its unique Shadowing Scheme, which each year prompts poetry performances in hundreds of classrooms. In keeping with its aim of fully involving children in the CLiPPA, the shortlist was announced at an online event beamed live into schools at 2.15pm today, 8 May. Shortlisted poets gave readings at the event, including Matt Goodfellow, Stephen Lightbown and Kate Wakeling. Children will now choose their favourite poems from the collections and create their own poetry performances, either solo or in groups. The best of these will be celebrated at the CLiPPA award ceremony at the National Theatre.

Rebecca Eaves, Chief Executive, CLPE said “At CLPE, we know how important poetry is in the classroom and how much teachers and their pupils enjoy the experience of reading poetry, hearing it read, and performing it themselves. Full of joy and magic, this year’s shortlist reminds us what poetry for children is for: that it enables children to understand themselves and the world and to express their feelings. We are delighted that schools will now explore these five superb poetry books and can’t wait to see the poetry performances that they create. We’re already looking forward to the CLiPPA award ceremony at the National Theatre in July.” 

The Shadowing Scheme is free for schools and launches on 8 May 2024. Schools can register their interest to take part now.

The winner will be announced at the CLiPPA Poetry Show, live onstage at the National Theatre, Friday 12 July and receives £1,000. The event will feature live poet readings from each shortlisted collection and the winning Shadowing performances too. Long-time CLiPPA supporter, former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell will live draw the event.

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