Just in case you missed this new weekly treat…
Just in case you missed this new weekly treat…
The 2016 CLIPPA Poetry Award has been won jointly by Michael Rosen for his book A Great Big Cuddle, illustrated by Chris Riddell and by Sarah Crossan for One.
The prize presentation was, like last year, held at the NT’s Dorfman Theatre. Louise Johns-Shepherd went out of her way to praise the National Theatre for their support in hosting the event, especially as CLPE had not been able to secure funding for this year’s event.
The Poetry Show leading up to the announcement included readings in person from all the shortlisted books (with the exception of Roger McGough who read his selected poem via a pre-recorded video, being unable to attend on this occasion). Additionally there were dramatised readings of poems from all five shortlisted books by
The Gattons Infant School (Bendy Man from A Great Big Cuddle)
Marton Park Primary School (Carnival Dance Lesson from Dancing In The Rain)
Springfield Primary School (Furies from Falling Out of the Sky)
Highfield Primary School (Maternal Impressions from One)
All Saints Primary School (Poetry Pie from Poetry Pie)
All presentations were exceptionally vibrant and accomplished.
This was also the second year of the CLiPPA shadowing scheme. Shadowing schools were able to watch poet performances on Poetryline, use teaching sequences, write their own poems inspired by the shortlist and enter the competition to perform at today’s Poetry Show.
Last year’s winner was Joseph Coelho.
The full shortlist:
CLiPPA 2016 Shortlist
Sarah Crossan: One, Bloomsbury Publishing
“Being shortlisted for the CLiPPA award is so special as it recognises my novel as poetry, which is always how I see it. And I’m over the moon to be on the list with such a talented array of poets.” Sarah Crossan
John Lyons: Dancing in the Rain, illustrated by the poet, Peepal Tree Press
“I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for the CLiPPA, especially as it gives me the opportunity to make a real connection with younger readers and encourage them to write poetry too!” John Lyons
Roger McGough: Poetry Pie, illustrated by the poet, Puffin Books
“Children are important, poetry is important. Put the two together and you have CLPE.” Roger McGough
Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright (editors): Falling Out of the Sky, Poems about Myths and Monsters, illustrated by Emma Wright, The Emma Press
“We are thrilled that Falling Out of the Sky has been shortlisted for the CLiPPA Award, especially as it’s our first venture into children’s poetry books. We hope we can encourage more poets to write for children, and more bookshops to stock children’s poetry books.” Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright
Michael Rosen: A Great Big Cuddle, illustrated by Chris Riddell, Walker
“I’m delighted to be on this shortlist. This book means a lot to me – it’s a collection of views of life as seen from a toddler’s angle so it was a way of looking back at the last toddler I was helping to bring up. But also, I love the way Chris’s pictures have entered that world and brought it to life visually.” Michael Rosen
Chair and Judges
This year the Chair of the Judging panel was the much-loved poet John Hegley. John was joined by a range of poetry experts who share a passion for poetry and its place in children’s developing literacy.
The winner will be announced at The Poetry Show at the National Theatre on 13th July 2016.
CLPE announced the shortlist for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award 2016 at the opening of the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival following a show featuring performances from children and the 2015 shortlisted poets and judges.
Established in 2003, this annual Poetry Award encourages and celebrates outstanding poetry published for children.
The shortlist is as follows:
Sarah Crossan for One, Bloomsbury Publishing
A powerful and moving verse novel narrated from the viewpoint of one of a pair of conjoined twins. A significant change in the girls’ lives is documented in verses that are contextualised within a page-turning narrative but also work as standalone poems.
John Lyons for Dancing in the Rain, illustrated by the poet, Peepal Tree Press
This collection provides an insight into the poet’s Trinidadian childhood described by the judges as ‘breath of fresh air’. Readers are treated to poems with themes including the climate, ghosts and ghouls from Caribbean folklore and sharing food with family.
Roger McGough for Poetry Pie, illustrated by the poet, Puffin Books
This collection is an invitation to be excited about poetry and not be limited by the world. Food is a subject often chewed upon whether it’s the fate of a chip summed up in English and French or the delicious variety of ingredients that can be baked in a poetry pie.
Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright (editors) for Falling Out of the Sky, Poems about Myths and Monsters, illustrated by Emma Wright, The Emma Press
This anthology brings together new poems inspired by myths, legends and folk tales. Poems inspired by classical Greek myths join those inspired by Norse myths and traditional tales. An exciting collection that challenges in a way few anthologies for children do.
Michael Rosen for A Great Big Cuddle, illustrated by Chris Riddell, Walker
Subtitled ‘Poems for the Very Young’ this is a collection children can have fun and identify with, enabling them to see the point of poetry. This large and beautiful book is a happy marriage between words and pictures, the illustrations like another version of each poem.
The winner of the 2016 Award will be announced on July 13th 2016 at a ceremony in the Dorfman Theatre at the National Theatre in London. There will be poetry performances by children and the shortlisted poets. The winner of the Award will receive £1000.
for images of the shortlisted poets and editors and short reactions to the news that they have been shortlisted, see
Janetta Otter-Barry, the founder of independent publisher Otter-Barry Books, is hoping to publish new voices in children’s poetry with her new list.
Otter-Barry Books Poetry will publish two poetry titles this year: Adder, Bluebell, Lobster by Chrissie Gittins (illustrated by Paul Bommer), and Dinosaurs & Dinner-Ladies by John Dougherty (illustrated by Tom Morgan- Jones) in August, followed by two more in March 2017: How to be a Tiger by George Szirtes and Where Zebras Go by Sue Hardy-Dawson. All titles will be published in B-format paperback, priced £6.99.
Otter-Barry said she would then aim to issue four poetry books per year, looking at new voices as well as established writers, and that one title every year will be by a poet who has not published their own collection before.
“Sue Hardy-Dawson is our début for 2017. She has already been published in anthologies but this is her first single collection,” said Otter-Barry. “I found her through word of mouth. Poets are very generous in promoting each other and she was recommended.”
The Guardian Children’s Books website has been doing a splendid job all week of plugging poetry in general and today’s National Poetry Day celebrations in particular.
Here, in a piece posted at the start of the week, The Guardian’s “book doctor” (the title always makes me laugh) Julia Eccleshare gives some recommendations which, by chance, include a like-minded recommendation for Rachel Rooney…
Rachel Rooney won the CLPE Poetry Award for The Language of Cat and her new anthology, My Life as a Goldfish and other poems, illustrated by Ellie Jenkins, is full of new and equally pleasing poems. There is a delightfully light touch to poems such as the title poem and a delicious interplay of stories in Wolf Play, which touches on the interaction of Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf.
Rachel Rooney is far and away the most refreshing and distinctive new voice in children’s poetry in recent years. She won the CLPE Poetry Prize in 2012 with her debut collection The Language of Cat and came very close to winning it a second time with her most recent collection My Life Is A Goldfish.
It is highly likely that you won’t have come across either of these slim paperbacks, such is the low prominence given to stocking and displaying children’s poetry collections in bookshops, so I take this opportunity on National Poetry Day of bringing them to your attention.
Here, in a poem taken from My Life Is A Goldfish, is an example of Rooney’s unique imagination and wordplay:
It’s five past three.
Sixty-four eyes look at me.
He hasn’t learnt to read my face.
He’s got digital. A disgrace!
I reach to ten.
The school bell sounds and then – relief.
No more glueing, sticking.
Just me and the teacher
And one from the earlier collection:
Who cast the P from a spell
sold it for profit as sell,
then kept what was left
in a locked letter chest?
And who sucked the O from a hoop,
hopped off with that loop
which she balanced for fun
on the tip of her tongue?
Who stole the E from a cheat
in the street when they met for a chat,
slipped her hand in a bag
and made off with the swag?
Then who plucked the T from a thorn,
carved an ivory pen out of horn
and dipped it in ink…
Well, who do you think did that?
Like most people, you probably think of Silverstein as a children’s book author, and you’ve got that right. He became famous after the publication of one of his first children’s books, The Giving Tree. He cemented his reputation with three volumes of whimsical poetry for children: Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic and Falling Up. These books and other children’s fare sum up his legacy for many fans – they read the stories and poems to children and grandchildren, maybe even grew up on Silverstein’s poetry themselves. It’s a good thing to be remembered for, and Silverstein was proud of his children’s books.
But Silverstein’s career proved extremely diverse, and it neither began nor ended with his writings for children. He was a cartoonist for Playboy magazine and, earlier, for the Pacific Stars and Stripes military newspaper while he served in the U.S. Army. He wrote plays, typically for adults, penning more than 100 one-acts over the course of his career. He penned screenplays, and he even wrote whimsical poems directed distinctly toward the over-18 set; his adult work often tended toward the risqué.
You may not have seen any of his plays or read any of his ribald verses, but we bet you’ve heard some of his songs. Other singers made them famous, but many of them bear his unmistakable voice. Here are five Silverstein songs to listen to in celebration of his 85th birthday Sept. 25, 2015.
1. “A Boy Named Sue”
Yes, it’s true! “A Boy Named Sue” is probably Silverstein’s best-known song, the one that topped the charts and won a Grammy, and perhaps the only one that was ever recorded in a prison. Johnny Cash made Silverstein’s tune famous after recording it in his At San Quentin prison performance, and the song became a smash hit. It was inspired by childhood stories told by Silverstein’s close friend Jean Shepherd, the humorist who wrote and narrated the holiday classic movie A Christmas Story. When Cash recorded the song at San Quentin, he didn’t yet know it well; he was giving it a try, to see how it went over, and had to consult the lyric sheet frequently. The audience loved it – see them laughing over and over in the clip – and Cash made it a regular part of his repertoire.
see other songs via Shel Silverstein Set to Music | Legacy.com.
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.
Full list of dates and venues for this year’s Children’s Bookshow now on the website… [see link below]
Booking is now open and you can find full details at The Children’s Bookshow website:http://www.
One of this year’s participants in the The Children’s Bookshow is Rachel Rooney,shortlisted for the CLPE Poetry Award. In conjunction with The Children’s Bookshow Rachel is running a poetry competition for children in two age brackets (9 and under, and 9-11).
The last time a poetry collection was shortlisted in the children’s section of Costa prize was in 1999 when it was still called the Whitbread Book Awards. This year, out of 91 nominations for the Carnegie prize, only one was for a poetry collection, and that book didn’t make the longlist. (Any professional librarian can nominate a book and it is added to the nominations.)
Certainly children’s poetry doesn’t win these prizes, even on the very rare occasion it is shortlisted. Why is that?
If you read newspaper summer and Christmas book round-ups, or lists of top 10/50/100 book recommendations, they hardly ever include poetry. If you go into bookshops and libraries, do you see signs for children’s poetry? Not many? Is it perhaps because in many bookshops poetry is likely to be found under signs which say “Fairy Tales and Gifts”, “Jokes”, “Rhymes and Giggles” and “Hobbies”? Do you see much stock of children’s poetry? No? Why is that?
Booksellers say to me that there aren’t many poetry books being published; book consultants and journalists tell me that they aren’t told about new children’s poetry books when they are published. It seems that the chain between children’s poetry and its audience has many broken links. Some of the broken links are caused by fear.
Children’s poets visit schools and we know that children love poetry. They respond enthusiastically when it’s read to them, they love the wordplay, rhythms and rhymes, and they write their own fantastic poems in workshops.
A poet who visits schools can expect their highest sales from children who buy their own signed and dedicated copies. So in schools, the chain isn’t broken between poetry and its audience.