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Centre for Literacy in Primary Education Poetry Award (CLiPPA) 2022

Valerie Bloom wins 2022 CLiPPA (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award) with collection described as “a passport to the whole world” Established in 2003, the CLiPPA is the UK’s leading award for published poetry for children.   The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) has announced the 2022 shortlist for the CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education Poetry Award).   Find out which books made the shortlist.

Winner: Stars With Flaming Tails

Poet Philip Gross, chair of the CLiPPA judges, said “Stars with Flaming Tails is like a passport to the whole world, and beyond. This is poetry that can go anywhere, from the personal to the planetary, the surreal to the scientific, with its invitation to us all to look, and to laugh, to listen to ...

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Shortlisted Books

The Crossing

Manjeet Mann

Paperback

Temporarily Out Of Stock

£8.09 £8.99

Cloud Soup Poems for Children

Kate Wakeling

Paperback

In Stock

£8.09 £8.99

Poet and former professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Wales Philip Gross, who is chair of the judges, said, “Stars with Flaming Tails is like a passport to the whole world, and beyond. This is poetry that can go anywhere, from the personal to the planetary, the surreal to the scientific, with its invitation to us all to look, and to laugh, to listen to our feelings, and to think. And meanwhile, almost without noticing it, we’re being handed the keys to the craft of writing for ourselves.”

The CLiPPA was awarded to poet Valerie Bloom for her collection Stars with Flaming Tails, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max (Otter-Barry Books).

Stars with Flaming Tails is a beautifully varied collection with poems on family, friends and animals, and Bloom approaches each poem with rare empathy and much lively humour. She also plays with poetic forms, exploring riddles and reverse verse and including a cinquain and rondel in a section entitled Fun with Forms.

Though Valerie Bloom has written and edited several volumes of poetry for children and adults, receiving an MBE for services to poetry in 2008, this is the first time she has won the CLiPPA.

Valerie draws on her Caribbean background in her poetry and believes that poetry helps us make sense of our world. She has described poems as mirrors and windows enabling children both to see themselves reflected and to look into others’ lives.

Philip Gross was joined on the judging panel by fellow poets Nikita Gill and John Lyons, Becky Swain, Director of the Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Charlotte Hacking, Learning and Programme Director at CLPE.

As well as celebrating outstanding poetry, the CLiPPA encourages schools to explore the shortlist with their pupils through its Shadowing Scheme, each year prompting poetry performances by thousands of children in hundreds of classrooms across the UK. This year’s CLiPPA was celebrated at a special event at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, hosted by poet and 2021 CLiPPA winner Michael Rosen. Children from schools across the UK made up the audience with young winners of the Shadowing Scheme performing poems from each of the shortlisted collections from Valerie Bloom, Matt Goodfellow, Laura Mucha and Kate Wakeling also attended and read their poems for the hugely enthusiastic audience.

Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive at CLPE said, “Valerie’s inspiring collection invites children to engage with poetry in so many different ways and speaks beautifully to all realms of human experience. It deserves to be in every book corner and library in the land. After the difficulties of the last two years it has been such a joy to celebrate this amazing shortlist with live audiences and at each event we have seen the enthusiasm and excitement for poetry bubble and fizz. Children’s poetry is such an important but often underrated literary form and we could not be more delighted to be celebrating the very best of poetry for children at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall with such an enthusiastic and engaged audience.”

The winner of the CLiPPA 2022 was announced at a special ceremony at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on Friday 8 July. Valerie Bloom received a trophy and a cheque for £1000. As part of the prize she will also be recorded for the prestigious National Poetry Archive.