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One Single Rose: Bringing Out the Soul in Detroit Spoken Word

Posted on: 04-28-2016

1(onesinglerose)Soul-infused words bouncing off of the walls of Hitsville U.S.A is what Motown Mic encompasses. It’s no surprise that the first-ever winner of the series, Rosemarie “One Single Rose” Wilson, is an artist who personifies soul through her artistry, presence but most of all her words.

One Single Rose’s spoken word career was launched after what most would consider to be perfect timing. After writing her first collection of poems in 2009, customers of her book longed for her to perform her poetry in person. She knew then that it was time for her to bring her words to new life.

“It took great courage to go from a literary poet to a spoken word artist,” said One Single Rose. “I always thought spoken word was an incredible art form but didn’t believe I could do something like that. Now, I am amazed at how far spoken word has taken me as a poet and a writer.”

Bold Detroit Influence
Despite her humble disposition, One Single Rose’s presence would make anyone believe she was always confident about performing spoken word. The boldness of her wordplay and the strength of her voice reaching the audience is what sets her apart from others. Most evidently, her love for Detroit permeates through her poetry as the audience listens unable to contain themselves from snapping, clapping, and even gasping.

“I use my poetry to uplift the city of Detroit. When I travel, I always find someone who has heard something negative about Detroit. My spoken word poetically dispels the myths and rumors about this city that I love so much.”

111One Single Rose’s Detroit-inspired poetry can also be credited to her deep connection to the city’s music. For much of her lifetime, she was exposed to Detroit’s rich musical legacy which included the Motown Sound. She channels much of that musical inspiration through her spoken word by incorporating singing, musical references, and occasionally lyrics.

“Motown has had a great influence on me as an artist. I am a product of Motown. It’s like Motown was born in me. I grew up listening to a lot of the Motown cuts. One of my favorite artists of all time is Stevie Wonder. His voice is just so pure and as a person he makes sure everyone around him shines. He taught me that if I don’t take care of my brother, who will? That’s how I feel about the fellow poets in the area.”

Motown’s Spoken Word Legacy
The legacy of Motown having an impact on One Single Rose’s spoken word career was intensified when she entered the first Motown Mic competition in 2014.

“I had no idea Motown had a spoken word label called Black Forum. I went to the Motown Mic event to support my fellow poets and was amazed by this deep part of Motown history I knew nothing about. Motown Mic is important to the poetry community because Detroit artists need to learn about this rich part of their history. That is what moved me to participate in the competition in the first place.”


One Single Rose’s participation in Motown Mic led her to be the first-ever winner. Her rhythmic Motown-inspired piece that weaved together Motown lyrics and relatable themes won her the title. Due to her win, she was the first poet to be published in the prestigious Broadside Lotus Press and received a $1000 cash prize. Most of all, she made history by being the first champion of one of the Museum’s most anticipated programs.

“I am grateful to this day for the opportunities Motown Mic has granted me. During this year’s competition, I hope to see more creativity and artists who are bringing their A-game. I am proud of the growth of the series since my win in 2014, and I expect the Series to have an even greater impact on the poetry community in years to come.”


To learn more about One Single Rose visit her website