Today, Monday 19 July 2021, as part of Poetry By Heart’s vibrant award ceremony at The Globe, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) announced the 2021 shortlist for the CLiPPA(CLPE Children’s Poetry Award).
Established in 2003, the CLiPPA is the UK’s only award for published poetry for children. This year’s shortlist, chosen from books published in 2020, demonstrates the vital resilience of poets and publishers. It celebrates exceptional poetry for children by brand new voices and the UK’s best-known and best-loved children’s poet.
The five books on the shortlist are:
Slam! You’re Gonna Wanna Hear This, chosen by Nikita Gill, Macmillan
Nikita Gill brings together exciting new poets, all well known to poetry audiences but many making their first appearance in print; the judges hail this as a book to excite young people about all the potential of poetry, curated with skill and passion.
Bright Bursts of Colour, Matt Goodfellow, illustrated by Aleksei Bitskoff, Bloomsbury Education
The poems in Matt Goodfellow’s collection range from the silly to the sensitive, and all will resonate with children aged 7 – 11. The judges admired the child’s eye view, the dynamic representations of real-life experiences, and the book’s understanding of a child’s sensibilities.
Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann, Penguin
Compelling, powerful, and authentic, Mann’s verse novel speaks directly to its YA audience. The judges loved the fresh voice and how a form that could feel archaic is made new.
Big Green Crocodile Rhymes to Say and Play, by Jane Newberry, illustrated by Carolina Rabei, Otter-Barry Books
A collection of new nursery rhymes, this is a book for parents and adults to share with the very youngest to spark a lifelong love of poetry. The judges call it a perfect post-lockdown book, allowing adults and small children to connect and share poems. It’s beautifully presented and perfectly illustrated.
On the Move, Michael Rosen, illustrated by Quentin Blake, Walker Books
On the Move is both personal and universal, with messages of home, identity and family. The judges found it full of emotion, delivered with a perfect sense of understatement; they praised the way words and illustrations provide pauses, allowing readers space to think.
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.’
This year the judges are poets Zaro Weil, who won the 2020 CLiPPA with her collection Cherry Moonand 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 11th October, in a Poetry Show introduced by CLiPPAjudges, 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.
There is a free Shadowing Scheme to involve schools in CLiPPA 2021 and you can register your interest here.
The CLiPPA is delivered in partnership with the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) and supported by Arts Council England.
For further information please visit www.clpe.org.uk/poetry/CLiPPA