The death of Sophie Lancaster: elegy by Simon Armitage shortlisted for award

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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.

Full details of the shortlist

Photograph: Jonty Wilde

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Graham Sherwood

Mon 5th Mar 2012 21:50

Me too, A stop you in your tracks moment. I think the programme transcended both poetry or drama. It WILL become a classic for all the wrong reasons. A totally stunning piece of work.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sun 4th Mar 2012 13:55

I heard it, too, by sheer chance. It would be awkward to say 'good luck', because it didn't make me feel 'lucky'. I felt 'abused' emotionally. It was an amazing presentation, powerfully interpreted, strikingly articulated, the sort of 'literary experience' that should be compulsory from ages 11 upwards, in schools and clubs everywhere. Perhaps the sheer force expressed in only words would check the need for physical violence. That's a very 'ancient, classical' idea, isn't it, one of the approaches defining 'catharsis'? Just asking.

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Adam Warwicker

Sun 4th Mar 2012 10:48

I heard this on the radio. It was very moving, especially with Sophie's mum talking about her.

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Sat 3rd Mar 2012 18:10

Good to hear that this has been shortlisted.I was working in a local convenience store in Bacup at the time ,and the shop was inundated with people constantly buying flowers to pay tribute to Sophie.
I didn't know her personally,but anything that highlights the stupidity of hatred and intolerance gets my vote.

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