Copyright 2024 Simon Armitage.

Black Roses

black-rosesAuthor: Simon Armitage

Publisher: Pomona
Pub Date: May 2012
ISBN: 978-0-571-24990-9

Twenty-year-old Sophie was attacked in a Lancashire park in 2007 and died several days later. The ferocity of the assault caused distress and outrage when reported by the international media and led to the creation of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, a charity opposed to all forms of hate crime and victimisation.

Black Roses is a poetic sequence written for a BBC Radio 4 docu-drama in the voice of Sophie Lancaster with the full cooperation of Sophie Lancaster's mother and the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. One-third of all profits from the sale of this book are donated to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

The broadcast of Black Roses created unprecedented feedback and listener-response. It was repeated soon after its original transmission and became the most re-requested of any programme on BBC Radio 4 in 2010. It went on to win BBC Radio Best Speech Programme of 2011 and was short-listed for the 2011 Ted Hughes Award.

In 2012, Black Roses opened as a stage play at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre and has since been produced as a BBC film, directed by Sue Roberts. The poetic script of Black Roses was published in full by Pomona in 2012. Black Roses contributed significantly to a change of UK legislation in the reporting of hate crime against sub-cultures. 

BBC Teach have published a clip of the BBC film Black Roses which is relevant for teaching Modern Studies, PSHE and Citizenship at KS4 and GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/5 or Higher in Scotland.


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