CLiPPA 2023 – Winner Announced!

10 July, 2023

web-Marshmallow-CloudsMarshmallow Clouds, a collection of poems inspired by nature, written by Ted Kooser and Connie Wanek and illustrated by Richard Jones (Walker Books) has been crowned the winner of this year’s CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award). 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.

Marshmallow Clouds impressed all the judges with the sheer quality of the poetry,” said Chris Riddell, chair of this year’s judging panel. “The illustrations are in sympathy with the poems and the quality of the design and production is outstanding. It is a thing of beauty.”

Commenting on this year’s award, Charlotte Hacking, Learning Programme Director at CLPE and fellow judge said: “The strength of this year’s shortlist made this a really difficult decision. Every one of these books is exceptional. Marshmallow Clouds is an outstanding poetry book with beautifully crafted poems full of evocative imagery and wonderfully resonant illustrations. It’s an exceptional example of poetry published for children, speaking to children of all ages about the world around them and their place within it.”

Cover image of Choose Love

Marshmallow Clouds was chosen from a shortlist of five titles. In a year of outstanding poetry publishing for children, Nicola Davies was also Highly Commended for Choose Love, illustrated by Petr Horáček (Graffeg). Choose Love was described by Chris Riddell as “an immensely moving and passionate response to the refugee crisis that shows how relevant poetry for young people can be in addressing contemporary issues.”

The announcement was made at a lively CLiPPA Poetry Show at the Lyttleton Theatre in London attended by hundreds of school children who had explored the collections on the shortlist through the CLiPPA Shadowing Scheme. Record numbers of schools took part in the Shadowing this year and the young creators of the best poem performances took part in the ceremony, performing poems from each of the shortlisted collections alongside the poets. You can watch all the performances with live drawing from Chris Riddell on the livestream recording here.

Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive at CLPE says, “Poetry is a wonderful medium for engaging children in reading and writing, but it is often overlooked. The CLiPPA has been shining a spotlight on children’s poetry for twenty years and the excitement generated amongst children grows ever bigger. On the 20thanniversary of the CLiPPA, we are delighted to have such a strong shortlist and to celebrate it with so much joy and excitement. Our young audience today lifted the roof off the National Theatre and regard Ted, Connie, Joseph, Nicola, Nikita and Matt as superstars. We hope everyone will follow their lead and read these wonderful poetry books.”

See the full shortlist for the CLiPPA 2023 here.

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