Listen to ‘Cinema Ticket’ by Shannon Clinton-Copeland
A poem in support of Living Wage Week ’22

The National Centre for Writing is thrilled to support the national Living Wage Campaign for another year by commissioning a poem from writer and researcher Shannon Clinton-Copeland.

Living Wage Week is Monday 14 – Sunday 20 November and you can read, or take a listen, to Shannon’s poem below.


Cinema Ticket

Need goes in the washing machine

with a spoonful of Vanish and an inquiry.

It has not been clean for years – used

to sop up watered milk, I can still see

the war in it, the final portcullis

of a shopping basket. It is time to refresh.


      A mother will not weep for the cost

      of a cinema ticket. It will not be

      bread, butter / young life for her daughter.


      The mad hunt for stability wanes.

      This place has good light and at night,

      she no longer weighs unreal wages in

      tired hands on Indeed.


Need comes out of the machine. It looks

very real, pretty clean. She switches on the light

to admire the colour, for once

does not worry about its cost relative

to a basket of goods, to a week of food. Work, now, is different.

Like a magic trick, click – from something dark

to something … good.

Shannon Clinton-Copeland is a writer, poet and researcher. Born in London but raised in Ireland and of Jamaican-Irish descent, she sees writing as a method of bridging cultural, historical and personal divides. She studied English Literature with Creative Writing at UEA and is reading for a masters in Medieval and Early Modern Textual Cultures. When she isn’t writing or trying to decipher early modern handwriting, she is a member of Norwich Theatre’s Creative Advisory Group, a creative freelancer and Managing Editor of Leapfrog Press. Her work has been published by Bandit Fiction, Leslie Magazine and The Rialto.

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