The CLPE Poetry Award 2014 has gone to Tony Mitton first or Wayland.
Mitton joins a group of highly regarded previous winners including George Szirtes, Rachel Rooney, Jackie Kay and John Agard.
The CLPE Poetry Award is the only prize for published children’s poetry in the UK.
Awarding the prize, the judges said: ‘Wayland was chosen for the mastery of the form, its epic nature and its beauty as a complete piece of art, poetry and legend. This verse retelling of the legend of a master blacksmith who fashions such ‘wonderful ware’ that he is captured by a king is a tour de force.’
Chair of the judging panel and CLPE Poetry Award 2004 and 2005 winner, Roger McGough, said: ‘The CLPE Poetry Award aims to get good children’s poetry books known to a wider audience and to make them central to literacy teaching. We had a fantastic and diverse range of poetry on the shortlist this year. Tony Mitton’s Wayland shows just how to tell a traditional story in a beautiful and memorable way – through poetry’.
Wayland is illustrated by John Lawrence and published by David Fickling books.
Bookside Down by Joanne Limburg (Salt Publishing) was highly commended.
Now in its 11th year, the CLPE Poetry Award for a book of poetry for children was launched to highlight an important branch of children’s literature. The CLPE Poetry Award 2014 is sponsored by the King’s Cross partnership.
To celebrate the Award, a Poetry Trail using the winning poem, the shortlisted works and the judges poems, has been created at King’s Cross starting at the Visitor Centre. Of the Poetry Trail, Roger McGough, chair of the judges said: ‘We don’t want children to be frightened of poetry, we want them to be given it as an everyday part of their lives and having the poetry trail in such a prominent place and the poems displayed so beautifully gives a high profile to this really important aspect of children’s literature. In King’s Cross we have been lucky enough to be able to display a real range of the best children’s poetry available in an accessible and exciting way, which is exactly the purpose of the CLPE Poetry Award.”
I have been a big fan of Tony Mitton’s poetry since his early collections and am delighted that he has received this recognition. Wayland is beautifully produced and crafted but didn’t appeal to me as much as the poet’s more typical work.