On Monday the poets shortlisted for the CLiPPA 2022 poetry prize performed at The Globe, London. What a privilege!
The poets are Manjeet Mann on the left, shortlisted for her verse novel The Crossing, and next to her is Laura Mucha, who wrote Being Me with me and Matt Goodfellow – the tall one in the picture! Next along is Kate Wakeling, shortlisted for her poetry book Cloud Soup. Then it is poet Nikita Gill who was our wonderful compere for the day. Next is Matt, who is holding his SECOND book shortlisted for the prize, Caterpillar Cake, and on the end by me is Val Bloom, shortlisted for her poetry book, Stars with Flaming Tails.
The youngsters in the front row brilliantly performed a poem by Matt Goodfellow from last year’s shortlist, and a poem by Michael Rosen, who was the CLiPPA winner last year.
We are all now eagerly awaiting the award ceremony at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Southbank.
A few weeks ago I went up to the Centre for Learning in Primary Education library, a very wonderful and special place, to be filmed reading some of the poems from Being Me, and to answer some questions. Here is one of those questions – how I go about writing my poetry.
Being Me, Poems About Thoughts, Feelings and Worries, by me, Matt Goodfellow and Laura Mucha, Otter-Barry Books, has been shortlisted for CLiPPA 2022 (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education Poetry Award). This is a huge honour and we are thrilled.
Being Me was written in consultation with leading developmental psychologist Karen Goodall, and is illustrated by Victoria Jane Wheeler. This is what CLPE has to say about it:
“A collaborative anthology between three poets and an artist, singing together in harmony. Concern for the child and quality of the word is absolutely at the forefront here: these well-crafted poems articulate with skill and care a wide breadth of complex emotions and situations that may well be familiar to children, but they may not yet have the language to describe.
This timely collection strikes balance between difficult issues and hope, without the latter ever feeling forced or patronising. It is now more important than ever for children to be in touch with their emotions and to share with them the tools to help express and navigate them, which this collection performs brilliantly. Articulate, empathetic, and invites profound connection between poet and reader.”
Also shortlisted was the wonderful Val Bloom, with Stars With Flaming Tails, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max, also published by Otter-Barry Books, in a hat trick for Otter-Barry Books, Matt Goodfellow was shortlisted again with his lovely poetry book for younger readers, Caterpillar Cake, illustrated by Krin Patel-Sage, Kate Wakeling for Cloud Soup, illustrated by Elina Braslina, published by The Emma Press, and Manjeet Mann with her verse novel The Crossing, published by Penguin, beautifully and poetically interweaving the lives of two teenagers, one a boy refugee from Eritrea, and the other a girl in Britain struggling to come to terms with the loss of her mother.
Good luck to everyone at the award ceremony, which will be on July 8th at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall!
Zaro Weil lives in an old farm on a little hill in southern France, and her poetry for children has appeared in many anthologies. She has written several books including a book of children’s poetry, Mud, Moon and Me, published by Orchard Books, UK and Houghton Mifflin, USA, which can be bought here. Her book Firecrackers, Troika,illustrated by Jo Riddell, can be bought here, and her lovely book, Cherry Moon, is the 2020 CLiPPA Award Winner, and deservedly so, and available here! Zaro’s website is here.
Zaro kindly sent me this wonderful poem from the book a while ago for a poetry feast:
Here is the review I did of the 2019 CLiPPA award-winner, Steven Camden’s book, Everything All at Once, in June last year! WELL DONE Steven, aka @homeofpolar on Twitter!
How FABULOUS to be able to review a young people’s poetry book written for above primary age.
These poems speak directly in an authentic teenage voice, with humour and insight, giving voice to the complex, anxious, insecure and serious feelings that face all teenagers. And the exciting ones, too! Steven Camden, AKA Polarbear is by reputation (I regret that I have not seen him!) an excellent spoken-word poet, but these poems live on the page as well as they would in the mouth.
Some of the poems are almost unbearably poignant. As I read it I could feel myself going hot and cold with remembered angst; but also sadness at many of the new challenges our young people face nowadays.
It also made me laugh out loud. This book and these poems are well overdue, there is so little that is pertinent and specifically for this age-group. Very much recommended, teachers.
Schools are invited to send videos of children performing from the shortlist to email@example.com by 9am on 7 June. Winning groups will be picked to perform at the Award Ceremony at the National Theatre on 22 June 2018.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? This is a marvellous opportunity – I’ve attended several CLiPPA performances at the award ceremony and they are fabulous!