Today, 1st October, National Poetry Day, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education(CLPE) 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 published poetry for children. There has been a renewed focus on the value of poetry this year with many more people, including children, accessing verse online possibly as a source of comfort and encouragement. I know I have read more poetry than I usually do. The 2020 shortlist reflects the extraordinary vitality of the UK’s poetry publishing for children.
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.
Steven Camden, poet, winner of the 2019 CLiPPA commented: “I was pretty nervous going into the judging meeting because I felt really strongly about my choices. My favourites on the list really affected me and I was apprehensive about fighting their corner with people I didn’t really know. Within five minutes it was clear that those books that touched me had touched the other judges just as strongly and what followed was a gorgeous celebratory conversation of some truly stunning creations. What a treat and privilege.”
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 festival’s schools’ programme, on Friday 9th October in a Poetry Show introduced by CLiPPA judges, 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. The free Shadowing Scheme to involve schools in CLiPPA 2020 will launch alongside the announcement of the winner. It is wonderful news that registrations for the scheme are set to be twice what they were in 2019 as 350 schools had enquired about the scheme even before it opened. If you are interested you can find out more about the CLiPPA shadowing scheme on the CLPE website.