The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) has announced the 2022 shortlist for the CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education Poetry Award). Established in 2003, the CLiPPA is the UK’s leading award for published poetry for children.
The full shortlist is:
Stars with Flaming Tails by Valerie Bloom, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max, Otter-Barry Books. The judges called this a lively demonstration of how children’s poetry can move from the personal to the planetary, the surreal to the scientific, laugh-out-loud to stop-and-think, in a breath.
Being Me Poems about Thoughts, Worries and Feelings by Liz Brownlee, Matt Goodfellow and Laura Mucha, illustrated by Victoria Jane Wheeler, Otter-Barry Books. The judges said: Being Me weaves three distinctive writing voices with a deft and witty illustrator’s eye to give young readers words and images to help them map all angles of their inner lives.
Caterpillar Cake by Matt Goodfellow, illustrated by Krina Patel-Sage, Otter-Barry Books. The judges said: Caterpillar Cake shows that we can bring subtlety and scope to the youngest reading ages by the power of reading aloud, not just hearing but feeling the words on your tongue.
The Crossing by Manjeet Mann, Penguin. The judges said: The Crossing combines the narrative reach of a novel and the line by-line impact of poetry to tell the most urgently contemporary of stories in personal voices we cannot ignore.
Cloud Soup by Kate Wakeling, illustrated by Elina Brasliņa, The Emma Press. The judges said: Cloud Soup whirls its readers deep into the play of the imagination so effortlessly that we barely notice how much we are learning about the craft, the thrilling possibilities, of poetry.
Poet and former professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Wales Philip Gross, who is chair of the judges, said, “This year’s crop of books shows the diverse energies of children’s poetry exploding in all directions, a glorious quandary for the judges to have: how to reduce this abundance to a shortlist, let alone a single winner. There seems to be a new confidence in the air, among publishers as well as writers – building on poetry’s full resources, searching out new growing points.”
Philip Gross is joined on the judging panel by fellow poets Nikita Gill and John Lyons, Becky Swain, Director of the Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Charlotte Hacking, Learning and Programme Director at CLPE.
In keeping with its aim of involving children in the CLiPPA celebrations, the shortlist was announced live at a special event at the Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Metropolitan University, hosted by poet Ruth Awolola. Schools from across the city attended with pupils reading poems from each of the shortlisted collections on stage. Shortlisted poets Valerie Bloom, Matt Goodfellow, Laura Mucha and Kate Wakeling also attended and read their poems for the hugely enthusiastic audience.
The Shadowing Scheme is free for schools and launches on 17 May 2022.
The next date on the CLiPPA calendar is a celebration at The Globe on 20 June when shortlisted poets will perform for another live audience at the Poetry By Heart competition finals at The Globe.
The winner of the CLiPPA 2022 will be announced at a very special ceremony in central London on Friday 8 July. The venue is the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Young winners of the 2022 Shadowing Scheme competition will perform live onstage to an invited audience as will all the shortlisted poets. The event will be streamed live into schools across the UK and beyond.