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Carole Bromley wins The Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2022

Naomi Shihab Nye has chosen Carole Bromley's poem 'Pry'vit' as her winner in this year's prize.

‘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

Carole Bromley is a York-based poet who writes for both adults and children. For many years she taught English at All Saints RC School in York and at York College. She also taught Creative Writing at York University. She now runs poetry surgeries for The Poetry Society. Winner of a number of adult prizes, Carole’s children’s poems have been published in The Caterpillar, Tyger, Tyger and The Dirigible Balloon, in anthologies from Macmillan, The Emma Press and Nosy Crow and in her first children’s collection, Blast Off! (Smith/Doorstop 2017). Carole will soon be looking for a publisher for her second children’s collection. 

‘I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to have won The Caterpillar Poetry Prize. I actually cried with joy when I got the email. How amazing to have my poem chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye whose work I admire so much. I love The Caterpillar and am always honoured to have a poem published in its pages so this is the icing on the cake. I have won a number of international poetry competitions with my poems for adults, but I can honestly say this tops them all. Thank you, Rebecca and Will, for all that you do for children’s poetry and thanks too to Rachel Piercey as my winning sonnet was written on one of her wonderful courses. It came out of a conversation with my 8-year-old granddaughter who was struggling to understand about the war in Ukraine.’ Carole Bromley
Naomi Shihab Nye also commended poems by the following:

R. W. Kelly
R. W. has published poems in UK and US journals, and fables in Cricket Media Inc.’s American children’s magazines and e-/audio books. He wandered off into the weeds for a while in pursuit of a novel, but has finally found his way back into the lush garden of children’s poetry, where he is busy collecting more poems and picture book manuscripts. He was born in Yorkshire but has moved about a bit, working various jobs that allowed most time for writing. He lives in England with his wife and daughter.
Ciara O’Connor
Ciara writes middle-grade fiction in her spare time. She has been attending workshops in the Big Smoke Writing Factory for a number of years. There, she gets to share ideas with some great people and to eat fancy doughnuts with them too. In 2019, her story was highly commended in The Caterpillar Short Story Prize. She lives by the sea with her husband, her two teenage sons and a dog that occasionally gets mistaken for a squirrel. She is currently completing an upper-middle-grade manuscript.
Robert Schechter
Robert lives in New York with his wife and son. His children's poems have appeared in The Caterpillar, Highlights for Children, Cricket, Spider, LadybugOrbit, Blast Off, Touchdown and many anthologies. His first collection of children's poem, The Red Ear Blows Its Nose, will be published by Word Galaxy/Able Muse in 2023. Robert also writes adult light verse and translations. He is the winner of the most recent Willis Barnstone Translation Prize and the X. J. Kennedy Parody Award.
Sarah Ziman
Sarah was born and brought up in South Wales and currently lives in Hertfordshire with her husband, two sons and daft cat. She enjoys boring her children in antique shops, laughing at her own jokes, playing loud music, nature and visiting new places. She worked in book publishing for a while (for the free books), and also liked her job in a sandwich shop (for the free sandwiches). Writing poems pays considerably worse than both, which is really saying something. She has now been highly commended in The Caterpillar Poetry Prize for three years in a row, but did manage to win the YorkMix Poems for Children last year. You can find her poems in anthologies, online and in magazines for children around the world, including of course – The Caterpillar.

The winning and commended poems are published in the summer issue of The Caterpillar

The Caterpillar Poetry Prize is an annual prize for an unpublished poem written by an adult for children aged 7–11. 
‘Please remember that the competition is simply to spur you on to write, to find your own voice as a writer. Keep writing, keep reading, and you will discover the power of your own voice. And that’s important.’ Michael Morpurgo
The prize is €1,000 plus publication in the summer issue of The Caterpillar.
Naomi Shihab Nye is the author of numerous books of poems for adults and children. Her honours include awards from the International Poetry Forum, the National Book Critics Circle Lifetime Achievement Award and four Pushcart Prizes. In 1988, she received the Academy of American Poets' Lavan Award, judged by W. S. Merwin. She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2010 to 2015, and is currently the Poetry Foundation's Young People's Poet Laureate.