Performance poet Joseph Coelho has won the £1,000 Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s Poetry Award (CLiPPA) for his first collection of poems Werewolf Club Rules!, illustrated by John O’Leary and published by Frances Lincoln.
Roger McGough, poet and chair of the judges, said Coelho is a “fresh new voice” in children’s poetry. “The book is a wonderful mixture of lyrical verse, personal experience, humour and insight. His delight in language, ability to tell everyday stories and use of comedy and pathos are what made this book our winner.”
Coelho received the award at a ceremony in London yesterday (16th July), along with a specially bound copy of Werewolf Club Rules!, designed and hand bound by bookbinder Mark Cockram.
CLiPPA was set up in 2003 and is the only award for published poetry for children. This year more than 1,000 children from 40 schools took part in a shadowing scheme, submitting films of themselves performing their favourite poems from the shortlist.
Louise Johns-Shepherd, chief executive of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), said: “Poetry provides the gateway for so many young readers and writers in their journey towards becoming literate - delighting, supporting and engaging children as they build a love of literature.
“We want to make sure as many schools as possible have the opportunity and the resources to teach poetry, to show them how to embed poetry as an essential route into reading and writing.”
The shortlist included Mandy Coe (editor) for Let in the Stars, illustrated by The Manchester School of Art (Manchester Metropolitan University), Georgie Horrell, Aisha Spencer and Morag Styles (editors) for Give the Ball to the Poe, A New Anthology of Caribbean Poetry, illustrated by Jane Ray (Commonwealth Education Trust), Hilda Offen for Blue Balloons and Rabbit Ears (Troika Books) and Rachel Rooney for My Life as a Goldfish and other poems, illustrated by Ellie Jenkins, (Frances Lincoln).