My name is Rosemarie Wilson. I’m an author, a poet, a singer, spoken word artist, actress, playwright, and filmmaker. My pen name, when I’m nice, is One Single Rose. When I’m naughty, it’s Pearl. When I write house music, it’s Queen Rose. I was born and raised on the East side of Detroit. I perform nationally and internationally, wherever my words are welcomed.
Poetry opened up the doors and once a door opens, I’m like okay, I’ve never been here before, but let me walk through and see what happens. And it just keeps opening doors that I never thought that I’d enter. And I’m just following as I’m led.
I started writing poetry in 2005 as a woman scorned. I have written a ton of I-hate-the-world-die-die-die pieces. And then I started to write more inspirational-type pieces. In 2009, I dropped my first collection of poetry which was basically lyrical rhyme poems. A few years later, I wrote a spoken word book. As a poet, when I would try and sell my books, people would ask to hear a poem. And I’d respond no, here’s the book. Read it. That pushed me into doing spoken word, which then pushed me into becoming an actress, which took me into writing plays during a 24-hour insane theater performance in Pittsburg, which took me to doing everything behind the scenes from the back of the house to the front of the house as a stage manager and producer.
Now I’m actually working on getting behind the camera and filming my own films. I’ve done a few other films of my poetry and other film work, but now I’m actually going to get behind the camera and do everything from production, editing, directing. I’ve written the script. I’ve actually written a web series since we’ve been sitting down in quarantine. I started filming in July, and I’m really excited.
Real life – just life, love and laughter, things that I see in the news, that’s what inspires my art. I’m very adamant about writing and painting for my sisters. Domestic violence prevention, breast cancer awareness, motivational speaking for our young girls and our young boys. Basically, I’d like to think that although my words are mine, they weren’t given to me. For me, they’re for someone else. When I’m blessed with a piece, I’ll wait until the words are actually given to me and then I’ll put it out there.
From my art, I hope people realize that they can do whatever it is that you put your mind to. You’re unstoppable. We are super men and women. We are kings and queens and we just have to live and act as such because we can be and do whatever it is that we choose. I hope people never let anyone define who they are, that people know who they are, and that they stay strong in their beliefs and capitalize on that.
People should be supportive about supporting local Black artists because that’s one thing that we don’t do. We don’t support each other, and we really need to because our voices need to be heard. We have compelling stories that need to be heard. Our artists who are actually the people that are bringing these words out there, we are the voice of the voiceless. I ask my readers to give me an example of what they like to hear in five words or less. Once they give me that, I pen a piece surrounding those five words. The poets, the artists, we’re basically just telling the story, telling the visual story. You have your singers who are bringing these words to light through song. We really just need to support each other, and it doesn’t cost anything to share a post. So many things go viral, I mean it’s nonsense. And we need to actually start picking up on sharing us.
Funding is a really one barrier I face on a consistent basis as a (Black) artist. I do have a few people that sponsor me, a few organizations that provide micro grants. I also put everything that I am into myself. So, if I have $50, $25 goes into my art. If I’m supporting myself, then that way I can basically support others. Another thing that kind of gets under my skin is I have to prove myself as an artist to be in a certain role where if I walk into a room and someone introduces me as Rosemarie Wilson, people will just say hi. But then I walk in the same room and I’m introduced again as Rosemarie Wilson, One Single Rose, a world-traveled, award-winning poet, then there’s a total difference. Like, everyone is at my feet. Can I get you anything? Is there anything I can do for you? Where can I see your work? But when I’m introduced as Rosemarie Wilson, I don’t get that same response. People could care less. But it’s not until people believe that I am worthy of being in the room that I’m actually let in. It’s a different story. Like, you have to prove yourself. That’s just how the world is though.
You’re not for everyone, but if you pay attention to your audience and who your audience is and you capitalize on that, then that’s your people. That’s your core group. So, you do what it is for yourself, but you also produce works of art for them so that they can tell a friend and they’ll tell a friend and so on, and you’ll gain that support. Black artists overcome obstacles every day. We are faced with a different obstacle every day. And some of us don’t talk about it. But, we’re overcomers. We’re strong. No matter how many times you force us down, we go and jump back up. We will rise from the concrete. We’re going to grow from and rise from the ashes. We’re the phoenixes. And that’s what we do. We just have to keep rising. We can never stop. We can never give up.
Poetry has taken me on some amazing journeys and places I never knew I would be. And I’m just basically following. And as soon as I opened up my life to following the words, it’s like the world just opened. I’ve been following ever since, and since I did that, it’s just been any great adjective you can think of. That’s how my life has been since I opened up my world to poetry. I’m going to continue following it wherever it leads me because I trust it, and it hasn’t let me down yet.
Rosemarie Wilson, Poet
The Black Artists Series highlights local Black artists and their journeys. Due to COVID-19, we’ve turned our original video series into a blog-style series. The blog is fully in the artist’s own words.