Spoken word artist Steven Camden has won this year’s £1,000 CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award) with his poetry collection Everything All At Once (Macmillan Children’s Books).
The poems in Everything All At Once are set during one week in a secondary school and are about facing it, fitting in, finding friends and falling out.
The judges unanimously chose Camden’s book as the winner and chair A F Harrold said: “Steven’s collection has so many things to recommend it, not only the mastery of our living written/spoken language but also an intense insight into the heart of a secondary school – the nuances and faceslaps of being that age, of tiptoeing or prat-falling through that environment. The heartaches and the anxieties, the laughs, the embarrassments and the low slants of daylight. It’s as much a guidebook to navigating those tricky waters as it is a record of what he’s seen. A copy of this should be given to every kid about to go up to secondary school.”
Camden received his trophy and a cheque for £1000 on The Lyttleton Stage at the National Theatre, in front of a 900-strong audience of school children today (Wednesday 3rd July).
He beat off competition from four other titles: Dark Sky Park by Philip Gross (Otter-Barry Books); Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me by Eloise Greenfield (Tiny Owl Publishing); A Kid in My Class by Rachel Rooney (Otter-Barry Books); and Rebound by Kwame Alexander (Andersen Press). Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me by beloved US poet Eloise Greenfield (Tiny Owl Publishing) was highly commended by the judges.
The award is supported by the Siobhan Dowd Trust and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society.