Truth Street

Simple, powerful, moving. I don’t think any writing could get closer to the heart of that tragedy

Brian Patten

On 15 April 1989, during the opening minutes of the FA Cup semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool, 96 men, women and children died in what remains the most serious tragedy in UK sporting history the Hillsborough Stadium disaster. Thousands more suffered physical injury and long-term psychological harm.

For almost thirty years the survivors and the families of the dead had to campaign against the police, government and media who blamed the supporters for the tragedy. Eventually, in 2016 a second inquest ruled that the supporters were unlawfully killed due to failures of the police and ambulance services.

Published by SmokeStack Books to mark the 30th anniversary of the disaster, Truth Street combines the eye-witness testimonies of the survivors at the second inquest to create an epic-poem that is part oral history and part documentary theatre. Inspired by the work of Charles Reznikoff and Svetlana Alexietich, Truth Street was first performed live in 2016 at Utter Lutonia and the 2017 Brighton Festival.

In 2019 Truth Street has been shortlisted for the prestigious Forward Prize for Best First Collection. The book also featured in The Guardian at the shortlist announcement.

This piece is worth a million other words. I had tears in my eyes as I read

Helen Mort