The winner of this year’s €1,000 (£882.86) Caterpillar Poetry Prize is Andrew Weale for his children's poem ‘Wonder-pudderful’.
Judge Brian Moses said he was looking for something “that stays in the mind, something that wriggles into the reader’s head and sets up home there for a while. I was also looking for that 'I wish I’d written this poem' feeling”.
“It only took a few lines for me to realise that this was a poem by a writer who understood what it takes to write a poem for this age group,” he said. “I was hooked from the moment I read 'a hyphen had swept between them/like a bird/and joined them with its wings'. I love the way that the word existed only for a brief moment in time, but it reminded me of something that the French writer Montaigne once said: 'a rose blooms once and then dies, but for anyone who saw the rose, it blooms forever'. This poem has such potential and children will love the idea behind it."
Weale has published picture books including Spooky Spooky House (Corgi) and Dinosaur Doo (Hodder Children’s Books) and his latest project is a collection of poems about punctuation, entitled Functuation! Punctuation!
His winning poem will be published in the summer issue of The Caterpillar, an art & literature magazine for 7–11 year olds published in Ireland by The Moth.
Moses also commended poems by Carole Bromley, Cheryl Moskowitz, Michael O’Connor, Heather F. Reid, William Sharff, Robert Schechter and Susie Weber.