The 2021 shortlist for the CLiPPA (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award)—the UK’s only award for poetry published for children—was announced yesterday.
The five books on the shortlist are:
Slam! You’re Gonna Wanna Hear This, chosen by Nikita Gill, Macmillan
Bright Bursts of Colour, Matt Goodfellow, illustrated by Aleksei Bitskoff, Bloomsbury Education
Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann, Penguin
Big Green Crocodile Rhymes to Say and Play, by Jane Newberry, illustrated by Carolina Rabei, Otter-Barry Books
On the Move, Michael Rosen, illustrated by Quentin Blake, Walker Books
Allie Esiri, chair of the judges, said ‘If you think your child doesn’t like poetry, please share the books on this year’s CLiPPA shortlist. They are varied – a picture book, an anthology, outstanding single collections and a verse novel – but each one reminds us what the best poetry for children can do. The poets capture real life experiences that will excite their audience and speak directly to them; they plant images and ideas and allow them space to grow. Poetry demands more than other kinds of literature but gives back more too and there are poems in these books that will remain in the minds of their readers forever. I’m particularly pleased that there is a book for the very young on the shortlist, but all these collections could start a lifetime of poetry pleasure.’
This year the judges are poets Zaro Weil, who won the 2020 CLiPPA with her collection Cherry Moon and Amina Jama; Julie Blake, co-founder and Director of Poetry By Heart; and Charlotte Hacking, Learning Programmes Leader at CLPE. Allie Esiri, aka the ‘poetry powerhouse’, whose poetry anthologies include A Poem for Every Day of the Year and regularly top the bestseller lists, is chair of the CLiPPA 2021 judging panel.
The winner of the 2021 CLiPPA will be revealed at the The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, on Monday 11 October, in a Poetry Show introduced by CLiPPA judges, Zaro Weil and Allie Esiri, and featuring performances by the shortlisted poets. Schools across the UK and beyond will be able to watch the show on The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival platform and access poetry CPD sessions created by CLPE.