If you go down to King’s Cross today, you’re sure of a big surprise….Dotted around the neighbourhood, hidden in the gardens and squares and by the canal are snippets of poetry from poets such as Julia Donaldson, Roger McGough and Grace Nichols.
They are part of a new poetry trail to celebrate the annually-awarded CLPE Children’s Poetry Prize. The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education is a charity which helps teachers find ways to share a love of literature with children.
Starting at the King’s Cross Visitor Centre, the treasure hunt has 11 clues to follow and 12 poems to find. The poems are all from the five works shortlisted for the Poetry Award as well as a couple from the judging panel.
Louise Johns- Shepherd, CEO of CLPE, says, “The aim of the award is to make good children’s poetry books known to a wider audience and to make poetry central to literacy teaching. The Kings Cross Partnership have helped us to show the shortlisted poetry in an engaging, exciting and really high profile way. We are delighted with the experience the trail provides for children, parents and teachers. It makes poetry relevant and fun.”
Robert Evans, Argent (King’s Cross), says, “King’s Cross is enjoyed by lots of children already, including the ones living in the new homes here; from September next year a new Academy will open, bringing primary school kids together with the relocated Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children. We hope they will enjoy the poetry trail as part of the gardens and public spaces here at King’s Cross.”
Roger McGough, Chair of the Judges for the Poetry Award 2014 says, “We don’t want children to be frightened of poetry, we want them to be given it as an everyday part of their lives and having the poetry trail in such a prominent place and the poems displayed so beautifully gives a high profile to this really important aspect of children’s literature. In Kings Cross we have been lucky enough to be able to display a real range of the best children’s poetry available in an accessible and exciting way, which is exactly the purpose of the CLPE Poetry Award”.