Highly commended

Making Poetry HappenTransforming the Poetry Classroom edited by Sue Dymoke, Myra Barrs, Andrew Lambirth and Anthony Wilson (Bloomsbury). We are delighted that our publication Making Poetry Happen has been awarded Highly Commended in the UKLA Academic Book Award (after being shortlisted back in January 2016).

The awards ceremony takes place this weekend (9th July) at UKLA conference in Bristol. I would like to thank all of our many contributors to Making Poetry Happen for their wonderful chapters and evident commitment to making poetry happen in so many varied contexts. I’d also like to thank my fellow editors (Myra Barrs, Andrew Lambirth and Anthony Wilson) for their inspiring work and Bloomsbury, our publishers, for such a delicious looking book. Let’s hope that the Highly Commended citation enables Making Poetry Happen to reach an even wider audience and to ensure that poetry becomes a vital and enriching presence in the lives of those students, teachers and researchers who draw on the book’s ideas.

The judging panel’s comments on our book are a pleasure to read. Panel chair, Morag Styles, commented: First of all we were delighted to find a lively volume devoted to the often neglected area of learning and teaching poetry with relevance for young people aged 6 -18. The passion for the subject by the contributors was palpable and this was a book full of practical ideas, likely to be useful as well as inspiring for teachers. The title of the book was apt and embodied by the content, and the homage to Seamus Heaney was a worthy recognition of his influence on most aspects of poetry. With its focus on making poetry happen in the classroom, while keeping a thoughtful eye on what is distinctive and important about a poetry education, it made an excellent sister volume to the more scholarly Poetry Matters.

I am sad that I am unable to be at UKLA conference in person this weekend and do hope that two of my fellow editors Myra Barrs and Andrew Lambirth will be able to celebrate the book’s success in style. Congratulations are of course also due to the prize winners (editors Teresa Cremin, Marilyn Mottram, Fiona Collins, Sacha Powell and Rose Drury) for their book Researching Literacy Lives: Building communities between home and school) and to all the shortlisted writers.

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