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Karl Nova’s debut Rhythm and Poetry wins the CLiPPA 2018

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that our very own Karl Nova has won the very prestigious CLiPPA award for his debut poetry collection ‘Rhythm and Poetry’ published by us here at Caboodle Books.

To win such a fantastic award with a debut is a testament to Karl’s talent and how young people respond to his words. We are delighted that the judges and audience loved him as much as we do.

The official press release is below.


Announcement of the Winner – CLiPPA 2018 (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award)


  • Hip Hop artist and debut poet Karl Nova announced as the winner of CLiPPA 2018
  • Rising Stars poetry collection, by poets and performers from under-represented communities, is highly commended


Grace Nichols, Poet and Chair of the CLiPPA 2018 judges praised the winning book: “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.”


Rising Stars by Ruth Awolola, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Abigail Cook, Jay Hulme and Amina Jama, published by Otter-Barry Books, was highly commended.


Rhythm and Poetry is Karl’s first published book, with his poems being drawn from his extensive work as a poetry educator and the many workshops he holds in schools. It has a refreshing directness, honesty and authenticity which encourages children to see poetry in the everyday, explores the musicality of poetry and demonstrates the currency and significance of rap as an art form, especially for young people.

Karl’s win comes at a time when poetry is being embraced into the mainstream; a popularity echoed in children’s poetry, and the raised profile of CLiPPA. The award is the flagship event in CLPE’s year round championing of poetry.

Through their Power of Reading project, CLPE work with teachers and with poets to really understand how to make poetry teaching engaging and impactful in classrooms. This year, with the support of the Siobhan Dowd Trust, they

have ensured 350 free copies of the shortlisted poetry books will be sent to teachers nationally to celebrate poetry with children.

As the award grows year on year the trickle-down effect on children’s poetry publishing is self-evident with an increase in CLiPPA submissions of almost 70% for 2018.


Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, CLPE said: “At CLPE, we are determined to celebrate the very best children’s poetry by involving more schools, producing more resources and getting more poetry books into schools. We promote it, we research it, we help teachers to use it in schools – we are poetry because poetry is the gateway to literacy.”

Karl Nova received the award and a cheque for £1,000 in front of a packed audience of poets, educators, publishers, shadowing school children and media at The National Theatre.  The shortlisted poets all performed on stage alongside children from the CLiPPA Shadowing Scheme, whose winning performances were selected from hundreds of competition entries. Everyone who attended received an advance copy of the new anthology from National Poetry Day, Poetry for a Change.

CLiPPA is made possible by the generous support of ALCS, Siobhan Dowd Trust and St Olave’s Fund.

Films of the shortlisted poets performing and teaching resources are available at                                      @CLPE1             #CLiPPA2018


Notes for Editors

The judging panel was chaired by the poet and one of the first ever CLiPPA winners, Grace Nichols along with Kate Wakeling, poet and CLiPPA 2017 winner for Moon Juice, Imogen Lycett Green, Director of the Betjeman Prize for Young Poets, Charlotte Hacking, CLPE Learning Programme Leader and Anthony Anaxagorou, poet, poetry educator and founder of Out-Spoken Press.


The CLiPPA 2018 Shortlist in full:

  • John Agard:The Rainmaker Danced, illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura, Hodder
  • Ruth Awolola, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Abigail Cook, Jay Hulme, Amina Jama:Rising Stars, illustrated by Riya Chowdhury, Elanor Chuah and Joe Manners, Otter-Barry Books
  • Joseph Coelho:Overheard in a Tower Block, illustrated by Kate Milner, Otter-Barry Books
  • Sarah Crossan:Moonrise, Bloomsbury
  • Sue Hardy-Dawson:Where Zebras Go, illustrated by the poet, Otter-Barry Books
  • Karl Nova:Rhythm and Poetry, illustrated by Joseph Witchall, Caboodle Books

Performance films and teaching materials for all the shortlisted works are available for free on


Karl on stage at the ceremony.


Karl with his award and Author’s Abroad Head of UK author visits Yvonne holding the sketch Chris Riddell did of Karl during his performance.


To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Karl Nova, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at

Karl Nova