Michael Rosen and Sarah Crossan were yesterday (13th July) announced as the joint winners of the CLPE Children’s Poetry Award (CLiPPA).
Rosen was chosen as the winner for his poetry collection A Great Big Cuddle, illustrated by children's laureate Chris Riddell (Walker Books), whilst Crossan shared the award for One (Bloomsbury Children's Books), a YA novel told in verse that also won this year’s CILIP Carnegie Medal and The Bookseller’s YA Book Prize.
They beat off competition from John Lyons, Roger McGough, Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright and were presented with the prize by Riddell at the National Theatre in London.
John Hegley, poet and chair of the judges, said: “The five shortlisted titles are an exemplary spread of what poetry can be. The winning poets both have their very different inspirations so meticulously architected on the page.”
The award, run by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), is the only one in the UK for poetry for children.
“At CLPE we are committed to ensuring that poetry is central to children’s learning. Reading, writing, creating and performing poetry is integral to all aspects of developing literacy,” said CLPE chief executive Louise Johns-Shepherd. “The judges have chosen two winners who demonstrate the variety of the poetic form and its wide appeal to all ages. The winning works, and all the shortlisted books, show how important and diverse this art form is and together show just what an accessible and significant contribution poetry can make as children build a love of literature. ”
More than 1,000 children from 80 schools shadowed the prize this year, submitting 130 films of themselves performing their favourite poems on the shortlist. Some of them then performed at the ceremony before the winner announcement.
The organisers also announced the theme of National Poetry Day, which this year will be ‘messages’, at the prize-giving ceremony. Rosen, Riddell and Crossan, as well as the shortlisted poets and children in attendance, encouraged everyone to ‘say it with a poem’ in the run-up to National Poetry Day, which will take place 6th October.