Independent publishers dominate shortlist for CLPE Poetry Award

Independent publishers dominate the shortlist for this year’s Centre for Literacy in Primary Education Poetry Award (CLiPPA), showcasing the best contemporary poetry for children, per

Organised by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) in partnership with the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) and with support from Arts Council England, the prize recognizes outstanding works in children’s poetry.

Otter-Barry Books leads the pack with two nominations this year. Kate Wakeling’s A Dinosaur at the Bus Stop, illustrated by Eilidh Muldoon, and Matt Goodfellow’s The Final Year, illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton, both from Otter-Barry Books, grace the shortlist. The Emma Press and Troika Books also secured spots with Julio Serrano Echeverria’s Balam and Lluvia’s House, illustrated by Yolanda Mosquera and translated by Lawrence Schimel (The Emma Press), and Stephen Lightbown’s And I Climbed, And I Climbed, illustrated by Shih-Yu Lin (Troika Books). 

Kate Wakeling © Sophie Davidson

Poet Liz Berry, chair of the 2024 judging panel, expressed excitement about the diversity and quality of this year’s selections, stating, “Each book on the shortlist is unique and offers something special: there are poems full of feeling, poems to make us laugh and dance, poems to help us see into the hearts and lives of others and feel changed.”

The shortlist was unveiled during an online event broadcast live in schools, featuring readings by Goodfellow, Lightbown and Wakeling. Now, children will select their favorite poems from the collections to create their own poetry performances as part of the Shadowing Scheme. The winners will be announced at the CLiPPA award ceremony at the National Theatre on Friday, July 12th, with former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell presiding over the event.

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