I'll be adding to this from time to time, as new accolades come in.
On the books collectively:
You have made a real contribution to justice and empathy and Australian poetry with these 3 books. On Monday my writers' group discussed your books and writing on prison in general and current prison reform. The consensus is that you are a brave woman and your trilogy is an important addition to literature on the topic.
– KS, poet, film maker and historian.
I just finished both the memoir and the chapbook! Reading Breaking into Pentridge Prison in book-form was a whole other experience and even though I knew the broad story, I found myself in tears at the end.
Letters to a Dead Man was even more moving, especially when I saw the date on some of the poems. Time stays still and we just pretend it moves by writing different poems.
– RR, poet and podcaster.
Oh my lord! Letters to a Dead Man! Masterful poetry, marvellous mistress of the way you put the words together.
Could not put Breaking Into Pentridge Prison down either – did not turn out the light until 11.30pm!!! One thing I enjoyed was your clear, straightforward and unencumbered prose. The short chapters carried the narrative along without drag or mystery. 10/10.
– JF, poet and teacher.
I read the poems first and then finished the biography last night and just wanted to say that I was really moved. The poetry itself was powerful and there’s just so much depth, emotion and wisdom throughout them and your story. It really struck me how you’d had an amazing, unique experience that few people would ever encounter and I loved the way that you told your story with such unflinching honesty and compassion.
I felt I’d experienced something important and interesting, and also learned a lot: a reader can’t ask for more! And as well as the sadness and wisdom, your sense of humour came through too – lots of fun and interesting observations about people and life would pop up in your biography. Overall they were a really good read.
– MM, accountant.
Your Pentridge books are so good and so important. I have enjoyed reading your wise, observant and poignant words.
– ML, poet, publisher, convenor.
I found the memoir, and the new poems, so very moving. I hope it's widely read, and the prisoners' reprinted poetry was also very worthwhile revisiting.
It's a brave and honest account of an antiquated system that harmed people. And how just a small amount of humanity can change everything for the powerless. Thank you for writing it.
– LH, poet and musician.
On Breaking into Pentridge Prison:
Your Breaking into Pentridge Prison (brilliant title) is a fascinating and moving memoir.
– CB, author.
I read it in a day. Although it’s profound, it’s an easy read.
– ST, poet and educator.
You capture the soul of prisoners and life ‘inside.’
– MS, poet and psychologist.
It’s an important piece of social history, a story that needed to be told, and a story only Rosemary could tell.
– HS, author.
I found it very readable.
– WT, aerodynamicist.
Up to page 39 of your book which I started last night and absolutely loving it. It's such an engaging and interesting read. Makes me think of all the people I know, and those I don't, who have done time and wonder things about them that I haven't thought about before. I'm getting to know you better too. Well done girl.
– MM, disability pensioner.
On Blood from Stone
One of my favourite works of poetry.
– DN, coder.
The collection is an eye-opener. The quality of the writing stands the test of time.
– KS, poet, film maker and historian.
I agree with [a reviewer's] remark that it should be used in schools to educate young people about crime and its consequences. I also think that the poems in their own right are funny and "coruscating." For enjoyment as well as education.
– DG, retired.
On Letters to a Dead Man
I would place this book beside The Prophet on my bookshelf. Skilful. I am transported into my private place. Glad you made the effort to publish and launch and make the world a little richer.
– KJ, author and artist.
Although love poetry can be cloying [this book] contained love poems that are interesting, well written and enriched with literary devices. There is not sentimentality but authentic emotions that touch the reader.
– BC, poet and psychologist.