Diverse, accessible, essential: shortlist announced for 2022 CLiPPA

Established in 2003, the CLiPPA is the UK’s leading award for published poetry for children and is delivered in partnership with ALCS.

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) has announced the 2022 shortlist for the CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education Poetry Award). We’re proud to sponsor such an esteemed poetry award with incredible past winners like Carol Ann Duffy, John Agard and Jackie Kay; Michael Rosen won in 2021 with his collection On the Move: Poems about Migration.

The shortlist is:

  • Stars with Flaming Tails by Valerie Bloom, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max (Otter-Barry Books)

The judges called this a lively demonstration of how children’s poetry can move from the personal to the planetary, the surreal to the scientific, laugh-out-loud to stop-and-think, in a breath.

  • Being Me: Poems about Thoughts, Worries and Feelings by Liz Brownlee, Matt Goodfellow and Laura Mucha, illustrated by Victoria Jane Wheeler (Otter-Barry Books)

The judges said: “Being Me weaves three distinctive writing voices with a deft and witty illustrator’s eye to give young readers words and images to help them map all angles of their inner lives.”

  • Caterpillar Cake by Matt Goodfellow, illustrated by Krina Patel-Sage (Otter-Barry Books)

The judges said: “Caterpillar Cake shows that we can bring subtlety and scope to the youngest reading ages by the power of reading aloud, not just hearing but feeling the words on your tongue.”

  • The Crossing, Manjeet Mann (Penguin)

The judges said: “The Crossing combines the narrative reach of a novel and the line by-line impact of poetry to tell the most urgently contemporary of stories in personal voices we cannot ignore.”

  • Cloud Soup by Kate Wakeling, illustrated by Elina Brasliņa (The Emma Press)

The judges said: “Cloud Soup whirls its readers deep into the play of the imagination so effortlessly that we barely notice how much we are learning about the craft, the thrilling possibilities, of poetry.”

Poet and former professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Wales Philip Gross, who is chair of the judges, said, “This year’s crop of books shows the diverse energies of children’s poetry exploding in all directions, a glorious quandary for the judges to have: how to reduce this abundance to a shortlist, let alone a single winner. There seems to be a new confidence in the air, among publishers as well as writers – building on poetry’s full resources, searching out new growing points.”

The winner of the CLiPPA 2022 will be announced at a special ceremony in central London on Friday 8 July at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Young winners of the 2022 Shadowing Scheme competition will perform live onstage as will all the shortlisted poets. The event will be streamed live into schools across the UK and beyond.

Read more about the CLiPPA