Winners announced for CLiPPA 2023

The CLiPPA (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award), sponsored by ALCS, is the UK’s only dedicated award for poetry for children.

US poets Ted Kooser and Connie Wanek were awarded the CLiPPA for their collection of poems inspired by nature, Marshmallow Clouds, illustrated by Richard Jones.

Celebrating its twentieth anniversary, the award was presented by former Children’s Laureate illustrator Chris Riddell OBE and presented by ALCS’s Mark Bispham and last year’s CLiPPA winner poet Valerie Bloom, at a live ceremony at the National Theatre.

The shortlisted poets read their poems onstage to an in-person audience of 800 and many more watching in schools across the UK via livestream. The event also featured live poetry performances from primary school children, winners of the CLiPPA Shadowing Scheme.

Chris Riddell OBE said: “Marshmallow Clouds impressed all the judges with the sheer quality of the poetry. The illustrations are in sympathy with the poems and the quality of the design and production is outstanding. It is a thing of beauty.”

Nicola Davies was Highly Commended for her moving sequence of poems about the refugee experience, Choose Love, illustrated by Petr Horáček.

Chris Riddell OBE said: “Choose Love is an immensely moving and passionate response to the refugee crisis that shows how relevant poetry for young people can be in addressing contemporary issues. The judges’ decision on both books was unanimous and we are immensely proud to highlight both these collections.”

Ted Kooser and Connie Wanek receive a trophy and share a cheque for £1000. They, along with Nicola Davis, will also be recorded for the prestigious National Poetry Archive.

Children in schools across the UK explored the shortlisted collections through the CLiPPA Shadowing Scheme, which each year prompts poetry performances in hundreds of classrooms. Record numbers of schools took part in the Shadowing this year and the young creators of the best poem performances took part in the ceremony, performing poems from each of the shortlisted collections live onstage alongside the poets.

You can learn more about the CLiPPA award here.