Black Mascara (Waterproof)


Winner of the 2020 International Book & Pamphlet Competition judged by Imtiaz Dharker & Ian McMillan

Black Mascara (Waterproof) is a glamorous and lively debut exploring relationships, popular culture, and the enduring power of teenage memories.

Read a sample.

Published 1st February 2021

What Writers and Critics Think

  • Black Mascara (Waterproof) is full of wicked invention, retelling the story of a road crash love affair through the muscular language of the racing bike and the Campagnolo Super Record groupset. Catching sight of a former lover ‘makes my iPhone flicker / with the ghost of a Nokia brick’. All kinds of inanimate things come alive enthusiastically in these poems: the stiletto heel, the music stand, the microphone, a wand with no spells, making every poem a delightful surprise.

    Imtiaz Dharker
  • I really enjoyed the ambition and the craft in this pamphlet; the poet is confident and skilful enough to write in long lines with or without stanza or couplet breaks or in tight pieces of prose that ripple over the mind long after you’ve read them. Love and the possibilities of love and intimacy are examined and celebrated and quotidian adventures like bra fittings and running mascara are given the power of myth.

    Ian McMillan
  • In Black Mascara (Waterproof), Rosalind Easton depicts the female experience through an intoxicating cocktail of Hollywood glamour, the literary canon and the surreal. A potential lover is evoked by a ‘peacock suede stiletto’, the poet’s grandmother is reincarnated as a novel, and Elizabeth Taylor takes over a school curriculum. Easton wears her cultural references on her sleeve – and her bra strap – inviting us into a world where David Gilmour, Coleridge and Shania Twain can all meet during a Mayfair lingerie fitting. These are witty, sexy poems that strut across the page

    Natalie Whittaker


Every page reveals elegant instruments of wordplay … It’s nigh on impossible to single out a poem that does not feel fully achieved. Here is dancer’s poetry, fleet of foot, lithe and immersed in the fine detail of the body … This is poetry possessed of lyrical freshness and originality. It’s lightheartedness is also laugh-out-loud funny at times … A highly accomplished first short collection that I read in a single sitting. – Vanessa Lampert, The Alchemy Spoon, issue 4 (Aug 2021)

Black Mascara (Waterproof) is lively, engaging and fun to read. Each poem creates a story and hints at depths below the surface – discrimination, fear, the isolation that keeping secrets brings – so re-reading is rewarded. It’s like a fun night being entertained by friends sharing a bottle (or more) of wine and waking up, not with a hangover, but a sober recognition that underneath the jokes some serious confessions were being made.Emma Lee, London Grip (read full review here)

Rosalind Easton is a relatively new voice, but she is off the blocks like the proverbial rocket. A rocket with the booster of winning a Poetry Business competition, and deservedly so […]. This pamphlet is a tour de force — full of surprises, wonderful subject matter and stunning language. Mat Riches, Sphinx (read full review here)


Rosalind Easton grew up in Salisbury and now lives in South East London, where she works as an English teacher. After a first degree at Exeter University, she trained as a dance teacher and spent several years teaching tap, modern and ballet before completing her PGCE at Bristol and MA at Goldsmiths. She has recently completed her PhD thesis on Sarah Waters. Black Mascara (Waterproof) is her first collection.

Additional information

Weight 0.087 kg
Dimensions 21 × 0.5 × 14.8 cm
Publication Year

February 2021


978-1-912196-41-8, 978-1-912196-51-7




eBook (ePub), Pamphlet