The death of Sophie Lancaster: elegy by Simon Armitage shortlisted for award
A drama-documentary by Simon Armitage - Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster, an elegy to a student who died after being attacked in Stubbeylee Park, Bacup, Lancashire - has been shortlisted for the Ted Hughes award for new work. Aged 20, Sophie suffered fatal injuries while cradling her boyfriend Rob's head in an attempt to protect him from a ferocious attack by a group of youths. Rob survived but Sophie went into a coma and never recovered. Sophie and Rob expressed their individuality as creative artistic people through goth-style clothes, piercings and make-up, which provoked the fatal attack.
Armitage’s work was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in August last year. It told the story through a series of poems alongside her mother, Sylvia Lancaster, remembering her daughter's life.
Photograph: Jonty Wilde