CLiPPA 2023 – Shortlist Announced!

3 May, 2023

The shortlist for this year’s CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award) was announced today, Wednesday 3rd May. Now in its 20th year, the  CLiPPA is the UK’s leading award for published poetry for children and was set up to ensure that children’s poetry has a recognised place within children’s literature. Previous winners include Carol Ann Duffy, John Agard, Jackie Kay, Michael Rosen and Valerie Bloom, who won the CLiPPA 2022 for her collection Stars with Flaming Tails.

The shortlist announcement was made at a live, online event featuring performances by all the shortlisted poets and watched by thousands of school children from across the UK.

Commenting on this year’s shortlist, Chris Riddell – illustrator, former Waterstones Children’s Laureate, poetry anthologist and chair of this year’s judging panel – said, ‘Judging the CLIPPA this year was both fascinating and uplifting. The submissions reflected the wealth of talent in the field of children’s poetry and an increasing quality in design and production. The shortlist we have chosen is as broad as possible ranging from preschool to YA and beyond into beautiful books to gift to all ages.’

Alongside the award, CLPE runs a Shadowing Scheme, providing free teaching resources to help schools explore the shortlisted collections.  All participating schools can also enter videos of their pupils performing a chosen poem to the Shadowing Scheme competition. This year, the Shadowing Scheme will begin on 15th May. Find out how your school can get involved here.


Cover images of the five poetry collections shortlisted for the CLiPPA 2023

The 2023 CLiPPA shortlist:

Blow a Kiss Catch a Kiss by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Nicola Killen (Andersen Press).  Judges’ comment: ‘A well-written, carefully considered first collection for the very young, full of poems which catch and reflect their emotions’.

Choose Love by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horáček (Graffeg). Judges’ comment: ‘Angry, compassionate, campaigning and written from the heart’.

These are the Words by Nikita Gill (Macmillan Children’s Books). Judges’ comment: ‘a book that readers will hold to their hearts’.

Let’s Chase Stars Together by Matt Goodfellow (Bloomsbury Education). Judges’ comment: ‘a book that fully considers its intended audience… Matt Goodfellow explores the power of poetry to make sense of their experiences in poems that are heartfelt and moving, alongside others that are simply very funny.’

Marshmallow Clouds by Ted Kooser and Connie Wanek, illustrated by Richard Jones (Walker Books). Judges’ comment: ‘Marshmallow Clouds is a beautiful book and we loved the feel of it as much as the poetry. With its beautifully crafted verse, it’s a book that demonstrates that good poetry for children transcends age barriers.’

The winner of the CLiPPA 2023 will be revealed at a special award ceremony at the Olivier Theatre on 10th July where the young  winners of the Shadowing Scheme competition will have the opportunity to perform alongside all the shortlisted poets.

For more children’s book awards, click here.