imo 18 January 1981
Jay Bernard’s ‘Surge’ was shortlisted for the 2019’s prestigious TS Eliot Prize for Poetry. The book tells the story of the New Cross fire where 14 black kids attending a 16th birthday party were burned to death. Another 27 people were injured. It’s historical significance deepens because of the care-less response of police, press and other authorities to evidence suggesting that racist arsonists were involved. This is ‘Songbook.’
This is the Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Cross_house_fire
The deaths in the fire were commemorated or mentioned in a number of reggae songs and poems at the time, including Johnny Osbourne‘s “13 Dead and Nothing Said”, Benjamin Zephaniah‘s “13 Dead”, Linton Kwesi Johnson‘s “New Crass Massakah” and UB40‘s “Don’t Let It Pass You By”.