News: The CLiPPA (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award) 2020

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations

Poet Zaro Weil has won this year's CLiPPA Poetry Award with her collection of nature poetry, Cherry Moon. The judges were particularly impressed by the thoughtfulness and variety of Weil’s poetry, the opportunities Cherry Moon offers for sharing poems aloud, and because, after months of lockdown, her book answers children’s growing need for poetry and the outdoors.

Judge Steven Camden, spoken word artist and 2019 CLiPPA winner, said “Cherry Moon feels like exactly what we need right now. A magical journey, grounded in natural beauty and a sense of communal wonder and hope.”

Read Zaro Weil's guest blog piece about the collection here.

The CliPPA Poetry Award was established in 2003 by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) and is the UK’s only award for published poetry for children. As well as celebrating outstanding children's poetry, the CLiPPA encourages schools to explore the shortlist with their pupils through its Shadowing Scheme.

This year, the shortlist was announced on National Poetry Day (1st Oct 2020). The 2020 judges are poets Valerie Bloom and Steven Camden (winner of the CLiPPA 2019), alongside Tracey Guiry (director of the Poetry Archive) and Charlotte Hacking (Central Learning Programmes Leader at CLPE).

Steven Camden, poet, judge and winner of the 2019 CLiPPA, commented: “I was pretty nervous going into the judging meeting because I felt really strongly about my choices. My favourites on the list really affected me and I was apprehensive about fighting their corner with people I didn’t really know. Within five minutes it was clear that those books that touched me had touched the other judges just as strongly and what followed was a gorgeous celebratory conversation of some truly stunning creations. What a treat and privilege.”

The shortlist for this year's award was as follows:

Midnight Feasts. Tasty Poems chosen by A.F. Harrold, illustrated by Katy Riddell, Bloomsbury. The judges said: a delicious and quirky collection of poems old and new, skilfully curated and perfectly paced.

Available here

Poems the Wind Blew In, Karmelo C. Iribarren, illustrated by Riya Chowdhury, translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel, The Emma Press.

The judges said: a book to carry around with you, proof that poetry is ideas, thoughts and emotions captured in words.

Available here

The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems, compiled by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Richard Jones, Walker Books.

The judges said: a wonderfully varied collection of poems that will speak directly to young children, full of beautiful examples of the craft of poetry.

Available here

Wain. LGBT Reimaginings of Scottish Folklore, Rachel Plummer, illustrated by Helene Boppert, The Emma Press. The judges said: a fresh voice and take on something that could have felt archaic but is made to feel new.

Available here

Cherry Moon, Zaro Weil, illustrated by Junli Song, ZaZaKids Books/ Troika Books.

The judges said: meditative and nicely paced; Weil presents beautiful snapshots of the natural world and has thought carefully about the form for each.

Available here

The 2020 winner was announced at a live Poetry Show on 9th October, hosted by The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. Schools across the UK and beyond were able to watch the show for free on the festival's platform and access poetry CPD sessions created by CLPE. For more information about the award, visit

You can order all of the CLiPPA shortlisted titles here online.

Where next?

> Visit our own primary poetry booklist > Visit our Reading for Pleasure Hub

> Browse our Topic Booklists

> View our printable year group booklists.

> See our Books of the Month.


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