On behalf of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) Michael Rosen today announced the 2020 shortlist for the CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award). Established in 2003, the CLiPPA is the UK’s only award for poetry published for children.
Birmingham-based independent The Emma Press has two books on the five-strong shortlist, including a collection by the Spanish poet Karmelo C. Iribarren, newly translated into English by Lawrence Schimel, and an illustrated collection of LGBT-themed poetry based on retellings of Scottish folk tales.
Tiny independent Troika Books are also represented with Cherry Moon, a collection of nature poems by Zaro Weil, illustrated by newcomer Junli Song. The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehogpublished by Walker Books is an anthology of ‘how to’ poems collected by the late poet Paul B. Janeczko (1945-2019) and illustrated by Richard Jones that features an eclectic mix of topics and ends with a directive to readers to: “Close this book./Look”. In Midnight Feasts, published by Bloomsbury, A. F. Harrold collects together poems ancient and very modern all on the theme of food.
Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, CLPE said “In this challenging year, we are particularly delighted to be announcing the shortlist for the CLiPPA and to be doing it on National Poetry Day, when everyone is invited to celebrate and share poetry. Our judges have selected five poetry collections that, though very different, will each inspire and enthral young readers. We are excited to make the announcement and look forward to sharing the shortlist through our shadowing scheme.”
The full shortlist is:
Midnight Feasts. Tasty Poems chosen by A.F. Harrold, illustrated by Katy Riddell, Bloomsbury. The judges said: a delicious and quirky collection of poems old and new, skilfully curated and perfectly paced.
Poems the Wind Blew In, Karmelo C. Iribarren, illustrated by Riya Chowdhury, translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel, The Emma Press. The judges said: a book to carry around with you, proof that poetry is ideas, thoughts and emotions captured in words.
The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems, compiled by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Richard Jones, Walker Books. The judges said: a wonderfully varied collection of poems that will speak directly to young children, full of beautiful examples of the craft of poetry
Wain. LGBT Reimaginings of Scottish Folklore, Rachel Plummer, illustrated by Helene Boppert, The Emma Press. The judges said: a fresh voice and take on something that could have felt archaic but is made to feel new.
Cherry Moon, Zaro Weil, illustrated by Junli Song, ZaZaKids Books/ Troika Books. The judges said: meditative and nicely paced; Weil presents beautiful snapshots of the natural world and has thought carefully about the form for each.
This year the judges are poets Valerie Bloom and Steven Camden (winner of the CLiPPA 2019), alongside Tracey Guiry, director of the Poetry Archive and Charlotte Hacking, Central Learning Programmes Leader at CLPE.
In a first for the CLiPPA, thanks to a new partnership with The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, the winner of the 2020 Award will be revealed at the culmination of the CLF schools’ programme, on Friday 9 October, in a Poetry Show introduced by CLiPPAjudges, poets Valerie Bloom and Steven Camden, and featuring performances by the shortlisted poets as well as live drawing by former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell. Schools across the UK and beyond will be able to watch the show for free on The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival platform and access poetry CPD sessions created by CLPE.