Performance poet and playwright Joseph Coelho has been awarded £1,000 as winner of the CLiPPA 2015 for his first solo collection of poems Werewolf Club Rules!, illustrated by John O’Leary, published by Frances Lincoln. Joseph will also receive a specially bound copy of Werewolf Club Rules! designed and hand bound by bookbinder Mark Cockram.
Joseph is a performance poet and playwright. He has written plays for the Polka Theatre, the Lyric, Hammersmith, and the Unicorn Theatre. He performs his poetry shows with the UK’s top performance poetry organisation, Apples and Snakes, visiting venues across the UK. Joseph’s poems have appeared in many anthologies, including Green Glass Beads by Jacqueline Wilson and The Works 6, edited by Pie Corbett, but Werewolf Club Rules! is his first solo collection.
Roger McGough, Poet and Chair of the CLiPPA 2015 judges praised the winning collection: “The shortlist this year was very strong and very diverse, it showed the real range of poetic writing that is available. Joseph’s collection showcases his work as a fresh new voice in children’s poetry. The book is a wonderful mixture of lyrical verse, personal experience, humour and insight. His delight in language, ability to tell everyday stories and use of comedy and pathos are what made this book our winner. ”
The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education runs the annual Poetry Award which encourages and celebrates outstanding poetry published for children. It is the only award in the UK for published children’s poetry.
Watched by a packed house of poets, educators, publishers and media and schools, children taking part in the inaugural CLiPPA shadowing scheme took to the stage with passionate performances of their favourite shortlisted poems.
Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, CLPE said: “In our work with thousands of schools and teachers across the country, we see again and again the importance of poetry. Poetry provides the gateway for so many young readers and writers in their journey towards becoming literate – delighting, supporting and engaging children as they build a love of literature…. This is why we put poetry at the heart of everything we do at CLPE. The Poetry Award, the poetry shadowing scheme and our Poetryline website are essential to our work, and to our conception of improving literacy in our nation’s schools.”
More than 1000 children from 40 schools took part in the first year of the Shadowing Scheme submitting between them more than 50 films of students performing their favourite poems from the shortlist. The winning performers were invited to the National Theatre for the day to meet the shortlisted poets and take part in specially planned theatre workshops run by the National Theatre.
The day culminated in The Poetry Show where the winners performed on stage alongside the shortlisted poets before the CLiPPA 2015 winner announcement.
The judging panel was chaired by Roger McGough and the other members of the panel were:
Tony Bradman – children’s author and Chair of the Siobhan Dowd Trust
Allie Esiri – Creative director of iLiterature Ltd, iF Poems and The Love Book literary apps and books
Charlotte Hacking – CLPE Learning Programmes Leader
Tony Mitton – poet and CLiPPA 2014 winner for Wayland
The full CLiPPA 2015 Shortlist:
Mandy Coe (editor): Let in the Stars, illustrated by The Manchester School of Art, The
Manchester Writing School, Manchester Metropolitan University
Georgie Horrell, Aisha Spencer and Morag Styles (editors): Give the Ball to the Poet. A New
Anthology of Caribbean Poetry, illustrated by Jane Ray, Commonwealth EducationTrust
Hilda Offen: Blue Balloons and Rabbit Ears, Troika Books
Rachel Rooney: My Life as a Goldfish and other poems, illustrated by Ellie Jenkins, Frances Lincoln
Performance films and teaching materials for all the shortlisted works are available for free on
The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education works nationally to raise achievement in literacy. It is an independent charity with a national and international reputation for excellence in the fields of language, literacy, assessment and creative learning.