Karl Nova, the poet and hip-hop artist, has won this year’s Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award (CLiPPA) for his book Rhythm and Poetry. It is his first book and it draws on his extensive work holding workshops in schools, encouraging young people to express themselves and explore poetry. The award includes a £1,000 prize, which Nova collected at a ceremony held at the National Theatre on 22 June.
Grace Nichols, Poet and Chair of the CLiPPA 2018 judging panel, said: ‘This book really stood out for me with its refreshing use of the rap genre, its musicality, its immediacy and thoughtful reflections on the creative process. Karl Nova’s poems ring true with a sincere charm that children and young people can relate to and that may inspire their own writing.’
The judges highly commended Rising Stars, a poetry collection featuring work from writers who come from under-represented communities, including Ruth Awolola, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Abigail Cook, Jay Hulme and Amina Jama. It was published by Otter-Barry Books.
The other shortlisted titles for this year’s award were: The Rainmaker Danced by John Agard; Overheard in a Tower Block by Joseph Coelho; Moonrise by Sarah Crossan; and Where Zebras Go by Sue Hardy-Dawson.
CLiPPA is the flagship event of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, which supports teaching literacy. Through their Power of Reading project, the charity works with teachers and poets to make poetry teaching engaging and impactful.
With the support of the Siobhan Dowd Trust, they have ensured 350 free copies of the shortlisted poetry books are being sent to teachers nationally to celebrate poetry with children.