Previous winners of The Caterpillar Poetry Prize

2022 | Pry'vit by Carole Bromley

‘In these tragic times of invasion and horror for the people of Ukraine and peace-loving people worldwide, a calm and seemingly simple poem which expresses (with no fanfare) an act of humanity ‒ meeting ‒ acknowledgement. I have thought about it every day since I first read it. Hello. There you are. You need a pencil too. We may not speak the same language or know one another’s history exactly, but I recognize you. As a caterpillar in a garden recognizes a leaf ‒ as a child recognizes the moon ‒ hello. This is what we do together.’ Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi also commended poems by R. W. Kelly, Ciara O'Connor, Robert Schechter and Sarah Ziman

Watch Carole read Pry'vit 

2021 | Herman the Hermit Crab by Christine McBeth

‘It’s a powerful piece of writing, a poem that everyone should read. That good, that important, to us, and to hermit crabs.’ Michael Morpurgo
‘I was astonished and delighted to hear that I had won The Caterpillar Poetry Prize. I hope, with this huge encouragement from Michael Morpurgo, to spend a lot more time writing for children in the future.’ Christine McBeth 

Michael Morpurgo also commended poems by Stephen Comerford, Latorial Faison, Mhairi Helme, Emma Hill, Sophie Lewis, Jonathan Sellars and Sarah Ziman
Watch Christine read 'Herman the Hermit Crab'

2020 | The Zebra with the Leopardskin Pants by Fergal McNally

‘I knew I was in good hands when I set off on the journey with a zebra who felt like an outsider in his community, through no fault of his own. There was a happy conclusion to the poem that will appeal to any young reader who may sometimes feel out-of-step with the world. Should we need it, there is a Zaggeldy Creek waiting somewhere for all of us.’ Roger McGough

Roger McGough also commended poems by Brian Cooke, Jackie Hosking, Joseph Moorwood, Kate O’Brien, Coral Rumble, Robert Schechter and Sarah Ziman. 

Read Fergal's winning poem here

2019 | Wonder-pudderful by Andrew Weale

‘I was hooked from the moment I read “a hyphen had swept between them/like a bird/and joined them with its wings”. I love the way that the word existed only for a brief moment in time, but it reminded me of something that the French writer Montaigne once said: a rose blooms once and then dies, but for anyone who saw the rose, it blooms forever. This poem has such potential and children will love the idea behind it.’ Brian Moses 

Read Andrew's winning poem here

2018 | Dear Mustafa by Coral Rumble 

The Caterpillar is such a unique and inspired magazine. Winning The Caterpillar Poetry Prize is all shades of wonderful! So honoured, and a little dazed.’ Coral Rumble

Read Coral's winning poem here

2017 |
 Auntie Aggie by Janet Turner

‘There were many happinesses in the poetry I read, but "Auntie Aggie" won out in the end. The opening is very strong and in-drawing. The story flies straight and trusted and there are many incidents of delight – and "bum" and "pants" seemed necessary, not merely decorative.’ 
John Hegley 

Read Janet's winning poem 

2016 | Dear Ugly Sisters by Laura Mucha

‘I love writing poetry for children, and believe it’s one of the best ways of getting young people interested in language, reading and performance. I think The Caterpillar Poetry Prize is an important award, particularly as there are so few outlets for children’s poets, and it’s a huge honour to have won it.’ Laura Mucha

Read Laura's winning poem here

2015 | Don't Think of an Elephant by Louise Greig

‘I am quite stunned and absolutely thrilled that my poem has won the inaugural Caterpillar Poetry Prize!’ says Louise. ‘I am a huge fan of The Caterpillar and was delighted and inspired by the competition.’ Louise Greig

Read Louise's winning poem here



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