CLiPPA 2021 winner announced

Acclaimed children’s poet Michael Rosen wins the ALCS-sponsored Award with a powerful collection that declares 'home is where you find it'

Michael Rosen is the winner of CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education Poetry Award) 2021,  the UK’s leading award for published poetry for children. He receives the award for his collection On the Move, Poems About Migration, illustrated by Quentin Blake and published by Walker Books.

On the Move explores Michael Rosen’s own past as the son of a Polish-Jewish family growing up in London, and includes poems about his relatives, who lost their lives in the Holocaust. After these very personal poems, the book’s last section connects his experiences with migration around the world to explain that we are all, always, on the move.

The poet’s win was revealed on Monday 11 October in a live Poetry Show, as part of The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival and introduced by Chair Judge Allie Esiri and poet Zaro Weil, winner of the 2020 CLiPPA. Rosen received a trophy and a cheque for £1,000. As part of the prize he will also be recorded for the prestigious National Poetry Archive.

Michael Rosen has won the CLiPPA once before in 2016 for A Great Big Cuddle, also published by Walker Books and illustrated by Chris Riddell, when the award was shared with Sarah Crossan for One (Bloomsbury). This year’s win comes after a life-changing 18 months for Rosen, who fell ill with COVID-19 in March 2020, spending two months in a medically induced coma. He was just beginning his recovery when On the Move was published last October. His experiences are described for children in a forthcoming picture book, Sticky McStickstick (Walker Books) which describes having to learn to walk again.

A rich and varied shortlist for this year’s CLiPPA also featured poetry sensation Nikita Gill, whose anthology SLAM! You’re Gonna Wanna Hear This is a joyful celebration of the young poets making their voices heard in the spoken word scene; Matt Goodfellow with Bright Bursts of Colour, a collection of vivid, often touching poems that connect directly with their young audience; Manjeet Mann for her powerful verse novel Run, Rebel; and Jane Newberry whose collection of new nursery rhymes, Big Green Crocodile Rhymes to Say and Play, will start a lifelong love of poetry.

The Poetry Show featured performances by all five shortlisted poets and they were accompanied by another former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, who illustrated their poems live on stage.

Schools are now invited to explore the poems in On the Move and the other shortlisted collections through CLPE’s Shadowing Scheme, launched alongside the announcement of the winner.

ALCS is delighted to be a sponsor of CLiPPA again this year. Through our sponsorship we have shared important copyright education resources with schools participating in the CLiPPA shadowing scheme across the country, and we are thrilled to be able to support an award that is dedicated to encouraging children to embrace reading and writing. The CLiPPA is also supported by Arts Council England.

Read more about the CLiPPA 2021 here.


About Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE)

CLPE is an independent UK charity working to raise the literacy achievement of children by putting quality children’s literature at the heart of all learning. CLiPPA, the CLPE Children’s Poetry Award, was developed to ensure that children’s poetry has a recognised place within children’s literature. For free poetry resources including films of poets performing visit For further information about CLPE please visit