Roselyn X, by William Russell

Roselyn X, a young Black prostitute, has terminal cancer and a very small child. She is angry at fate, racism, sexism, and her loss of home and culture. Roselyn Y, masquerading as Roselyn X relays her feelings and pleas in a series of 22 cantos in a collection of poetry. 

Roselyn’s story is not all dark, it offers light and hope. Her story should never have happened; nothing has changed for Aboriginal Australians; little has changed for women and issues of sexism — or racism; and Black Deaths in Custody still generations on; let alone drug issues over that 50 year landscape of all of the poetry in this book. Black lives around the world rate a lesser value than the deaths of White people, why? 

Thought provoking, humorous, enlightening, and a pleasure to read.

William Russell was born in Victoria, Australia. He served in the Royal Australian Navy during the 1960s and 1970. An Aboriginal writer, he is also blind and multiply disabled. His poetry and short stories are drawn from his unusual and varied life and travels, and from his heritage. His poetry (and a few short stories) have been a part of education curricula from primary to tertiary level in more than a dozen countries around the world for over the past thirty-odd years.

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