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Poetry award shortlist announced

27th Apr 19

The shortlist for the CLiPPA poetry award (The Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award) has been announced and includes novels in verse as well as poetry for older readers. Schools can now register to shadow the awards.


Kwame Alexander for Rebound (Andersen Press)
Steven Camden for Everything All At Once (Macmillan Children's Books)
Rachel Rooney for A Kid in My Class (Otter-Barry Books)
Philip Gross for Dark Sky Park (Otter-Barry Books)
Eloise Greenfield for Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me (Tiny Owl)

Kwame Alexander's coming-of-age novel in verse, Rebound (Andersen Press) is shortlisted alongside performance poet Steven Camden, whose collection, Everything All At Once (Macmillan Children's Books), details a week in the lives of pupils attending secondary school.

Previous CLiPPA winner Rachel Rooney is also shortlisted for a collection of school-based poems with A Kid in My Class (Otter-Barry Books) and Philip Gross's latest collection, Dark Sky Park (Otter-Barry Books), explores the beauty of the natural world. The warm and funny story of friendship, Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me (Tiny Owl) by Eloise Greenfield completes the shortlist.

The judging panel for CLiPPA 2019 comprised of poet and author A.F. Harrold, CLiPPA 2018 winner Karl Nova, Susannah Herbert, director of Forward Arts Foundation and National Poetry Day, poet Ruth Awolola, and Charlotte Hacking, programme leader for CLPE.

A record number of submissions this year reflects an increase in poetry collections and verse novels being published at the moment.

A.F. Harrold, chair of the judges for CLiPPA 2019, said: "For five judges, coming at this from five different directions, it was a relief to see that there was some crossover and agreement on what 'a good book of poetry for kids' looked like. The shortlist we came up with pleased us for its range, both of writers, intended age groups and subject matter."

Louise Johns-Shepherd, chief executive at CLPE, hopes the poetry award will encourage schools to use poetry more widely. She said, "At CLPE we want to make poetry integral to the school curriculum and for it to be in every school, classroom, library, corridor and book bag.

"This shortlist - selected from the biggest number of submissions in the award's history - shows such a range and breadth of what poetry for children is and can be and recognises a real variety of voices and styles. We look forward to more children, teachers and schools discovering these works through our shadowing scheme."

The judges also wanted to give special mention to England Poems From A School (Picador), edited by Kate Clanchy, in acknowledgement of the raw, emotional and yet extremely accomplished collection of poems written by group of teenage girls from a small comprehensive school in Oxford.

The winner of CLiPPA 2019 will be announced at a ceremony at the National Theatre in central London on Wednesday 3rd July 2019. The event will be attended by children from across the UK who have participated in the CLiPPA shadowing scheme in their schools in the run up to the award.

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