Julie-Ann Rowell is a poet, teacher and editor who divides her time between Orkney and Devon. Her poetry has won and been shortlisted for many awards. Turas Press has published two of her collections, most recently the highly-praised Inside Out.
The poems in this remarkable collection describe the experience of an individual grappling with the physical, emotional and social challenges of living with chronic illness. FND – Functional Neurological Disorder – is a disorder of the functioning of the nervous system whose symptoms include a variety to physical, sensory and cognitive elements. The poet documents her journey from diagnosis through hospitalisation, discharge and eventual recovery. Inside Out is a moving and uplifting testament to the resilience of the human body and spirit.
“There is no special pleading here and no calling out for sympathy. The poet speaks in her own name but also speaks compellingly on behalf of other sufferers who would not have her stylistic and dextrous way with words. Incredibly, her riveting epic sweep through her troubles is leavened with humour.” Eamonn Lynskey
Inside Out follows Exposure, which was published by Turas Press in 2019. Exposure is inspired by the landscape, history and folklore of Orkney, where Julie-Ann spends much of her time. These haunting poems evoke themes of self-discovery and belonging, distilled through the poet’s perceptions of this magical archipelago.
“In these poems Rowell sets herself up as observer and narrator and it is this distance that allows for an unusual, unsentimental telling of the islands’ history and people. Exposure is a very fine book, a dark hymn to the wonder and mystery of this most remote and fascinating of archipelagos.” Greta Stoddart.
One of the poems from Exposure, ‘Fata Morgana’, was Highly Commended in the Best Single Poem category of the prestigious Forward Prize Awards 2020.
Other Publications and Awards
Julie-Ann Rowell’s chapbook Hame was shortlisted for the Munster Literature Centre’s Fool For Poetry International Chapbook Competition 2022. Her first pamphlet collection, Convergence, published by Brodie Press, won a Poetry Book Society Award. Her first full collection, Letters North, also from Brodie Press, was nominated for the Inaugural Michael Murphy Poetry Prize for Best First Collection in 2011. Her many awards include:
-First prize in the Frogmore Poetry Competition
-First prize in The New Writer’s short collection competition
-Commended in the BT Section of the National Poetry Competition 2000
-Commendeed in the Bridport Prize
-Shortlisted in the Open Poetry International Sonnet Competition
– Shortlisted prizewinner for the Strokestown Poetry Competition 2018
-Shortlisted in the Wells Festival Poetry Competition, Writer’s Inc, Ware Poets and Mslexia Poetry Competitions (three times).
Julie-Ann Rowell’s work has been published in many magazines and journals. She has poems in several anthologies, including Furies (For Books’ Sake), edited by Eve Lacey, which was runner-up in the Saboteur Awards 2015. Her work has been published in Poetry Ireland Review and Cyphers and in an anthology from Frogmore Press, Pale Fire, new writing on the Moon.
Rebecca Gethin reviews Julie-Ann’s collection “Voices in the Garden” (Lapwing, 2018) here.
Creative Writing Teacher and Editor
Julie-Ann Rowell holds an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, where she was also editorial assistant and assistant editor at the academic journal Irish Studies Review, for three years.
Poetry Readings and Events
Julie-ann is much in demand for readings and performance events. She has participated in readings and festivals in Orkney, St Andrews (at the renowned StAnza festival, Dartington and many others.
To learn more about Julie-Ann and her work, vist her website.