Rosamund Browne
'Give me a topic'

New Book now available
A donation from the sale of the book will go to the ORPHEUS CENTRE
a residential arts centre for young disabled people
(founded by Richard Stilgoe)

Copies of 'Give me a Topic', (price £6 each, cheques payable to the author) can be obtained from Rosamund Browne Flat 11, Barfields Court, Emsworth Road, Lymington, Hants. SO41 9GN

Tel: 01590 674237

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Time for Rhyme

"Give Me A Topic" Begs Local Poet!

Richard Stilgoe, the renowned composer, lyricist and master of radio and TV musical comedy, has written the Foreword to a new book just published by Pennington poet Rosamund Browne. Entitled 'Give Me A Topic' the book comprises a diverse mix of poems, rhymes and ditties in her inimitable style - and the very phrase 'Give me a topic' provides the clue to Ros's link with Richard.

For, with his own brand of drollery, he commences his Foreword.... "Rosamund Browne and I have corresponded haphazardly for many years. We have one odd thing in common, in that we both enjoy people shouting at us. Indeed, we often ask them to. Whatever the shouter shouts, we then try and turn into rhyme. This solves one of the questions people ask poets (when they're not shouting at them). This is "Where do you get your inspiration?" The answer is always "From other people", but it's usually done more subtly, by observing, befriending or generally infiltrating. Rosamund's and my method is to ask for ideas directly, double forté, and it speeds things up no end."

Lymington's recently opened bookshop Ottakars will be selling the book, and the new managers have generously offered to arrange a book-launch in the shop on Saturday 21st July; Ros will be there to sign copies from 10 am. For each copy sold, she will be sending a donation to The Orpheus Centre, a residential arts centre for young disabled people, at North Park Lane, Godstone, Surrey.

And this is another link with Richard Stilgoe, for not only is he the founder of The Orpheus Centre, but it is based at his own home in Godstone and he is now its full time Director. Richard converted his barn into a theatre where all the variously disabled students taking drama courses - some are in fact residents - are encouraged also to learn stagecraft in addition to composing and writing.

Those who are acquainted with Ros will know the astonishing degree to which her rare style of humour and astute observation of the quirkiness and frailties of the human condition are so accurately reflected in her poems. And all this, it should be noted, despite or perhaps because of, herself being a cerebral palsy sufferer - she prefers the more descriptive phrase Spastic Paraplegic.

To read such poems as Fly on a Surgery Wall, Potty Training Triplets, The Crossing of the Bed, Seat Belt Embarrassment and All Things Bright & Beautiful, to name but a few from the wealth of material in this book, is to discover a whole new meaning to the word 'inspired'.

Rosamund Browne has lived for many years at Pennington with her husband Allan, a former BBC Studio Manager, and their daughters Holly and Hannah. She divides her time between running the home, writing articles and, specifically, composing poems to order under the title Time for Rhyme. And thanks to her recently set up website, orders arrive from far afield by email and telephone. "These are requests for poems for all occasions," says Ros - "poems that may be funny or serious, witty or sombre, congratulations, celebrations, commiserations, poems for anniversaries and even In Memoriam, the range of subjects I am asked to write about seems to be endless."

Those familiar with Ros's work will be aware of her previous book of poems and sonnets, and of her radio work - in recent years she has been featured on BBC's 'Women's Hour', on the 'Does He Take Sugar' programme on BBC Radio 4, on the Anne Diamond Capital Radio Show, on Radio Solent and Two Counties Radio - and just recently some of her work was read on BBC Radio 4's Sunday morning programme 'Something Understood'. At Christmas 1997 and again in 1998, Ros appeared at the annual Christmas show organised by the Stars Organisation for SCOPE (formerly known as the Spastics Society) at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank, London.


Rosamund Browne
email: rosbrowne@talktalk.net Tel 01590 674237 outside UK +44 1590 674237