Today, BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, has presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to the playwright, poet, and children’s writer John Agard. John is the first poet to receive the prestigious award for his outstanding contribution to children’s literature.
John Agard is not just one of our greatest poets and writers for children, but one of our greatest writers period. With every word, every line, he reinvents the form and challenges readers to see the world afresh, whilst always inviting them in at the same time.
For over 40 years, he has championed poetry in schools – sometimes a lonely path – and made us sing and dance with joy along the way. He is a master of his art, a superb communicator and a born storyteller – his contribution to children’s love of literature in this country is immeasurable and this recognition is long overdue.
It was an honour to be one of the judges for the 2021 BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award alongside journalist Nicolette Jones (chairing), CEO of BookTrust Diana Gerald, screenwriter and novelist Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Teaching Fellow at UCL Institute of Education Darren Chetty and Candy Gourlay, award winning author of Tall Story and Shine.