[Six-Count Jive] is a superbly crafted piece of work whose language is at times sublime. … In its deliberate brevity it invites us to mine for layers of meaning and rewards constant re-reading. Its back story and message of survival are life affirming but significantly, this is not an exercise in therapy, instead, Six-Count Jive is a superb piece of art. Fiona Sinclair in The Lake magazine
Rosie’s poems have appeared or featured in Snakeskin, The Phare, the ‘Poems and Pictures’ blog of the Mary Evans Picture Library website, Hedgerow magazine, London Grip, Culture NI, A New Ulster, FourxFour, The Honest Ulsterman and Words for the Wild. Recent anthologies include Places of Poetry: Mapping the Nation in Verse (OneWorld, 2020), Her Other Language (Arlen House, 2020), Live Canon’s anthologies 154: In Response to Shakespeare’s Sonnets (2016) and More New Poems for Christmas (2018), American Writers Review 2021 – Turmoil and Recovery (San Fedele Press) and Fevers of the Mind V (2021) – Overcome (David L O’Nan).
Since 2010, Lapwing Publications has published four books of Rosie’s poetry, with a fifth Off the Map scheduled for 2023.
Rosie has read her poetry widely, including the Faversham Literary Festival (2020 & 2022), Gloucester Poetry Festival, Canterbury Festival, Hungerford Literary Festival, Watford’s Big Word festival, Vigo and Glasgow Universities, In-Words in Greenwich, Winchester’s Loose Muse, the Linen Hall Library and Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden, the Troubadour, Torriano, the Norwich Bicycle Shop, the Pie Factory in Margate and Whitstable’s Harbour Books. She welcomes invitations to read wherever you are.
In September 2018 Rosie completed a four-year term as Chair of the Association Committee at Churchill College, Cambridge where in 2011 she set up and continues to lead the Churchill Writers group. Over the years, she has facilitated writing groups in Canterbury, Bermondsey and Greenwich too.
Rosie learned to run sentences together in Northern Ireland where she was born. After a law degree at Cambridge, she worked as a solicitor until her three children were born. She combined being a mum at home with freelance journalism for the Evening Standard, Independent on Sunday, Sunday Tribune and various magazines. For the first five years of Golf Quarterly, she wrote its ‘Muriel’ golf widow columns and since 2014, has been reviewing poetry for London Grip, an international online culture magazine, a fascinating browse.
Journalism taught Rosie to make words clear, short and to the point. She spent years studying writing wherever she could and one day a contract for her first novel arrived. It was so unexpected, she was sure it was meant for somebody else but it was hers. Rosie has since been published in Dublin, London, Belfast and the United States.
Read reviews of Rosie’s books here.
WHICH ROSIE JOHNSTON?
You will find several Rosie Johnstons on Google, busy all over the world. There’s an Australian celebrity make-up artist (Rosie Jane Johnston), a fine artist also in Australia (Rosie Wingrove Johnston), a Rosie Johnston who produces and directs opera (for Opera Unlimited) and another who works for Radio Prague.
There’s even an English one who did time in jail for murder and wrote a memoir about it. If you’ve read The Most Intimate Place, you could be forgiven for deducing from its prison detail that the Rosie of this website and she are the same person but they are not. The research for The Most Intimate Place came from ten years as a prison visitor. This Rosie wishes all other Rosie Johnstons every success and happiness.