Archive for the 'Writing' Category

What works

I haven’t been to Chado at all this week, because I’ve been very ill. But I finished a blog post I started last week about some more of my experience at Chado. Read on…

As I go, I am learning what does and doesn’t work for me in the context of writing, and specifically writing at Chado.

Firstly, something helpful. I had an idea the day I started my residency. I started filling pages of my notebook with words – random words, free-association style. Any words I could think of. The first few pages of course were fairly generic, and then (trying not to repeat words) I started moving further into my vocabulary, trying to pull out as many different words as possible.

I’m trying not to restrict myself with too many rules. I bought a new notebook specifically for my residency at Chado. In the past, I’ve always tried to keep my notebooks really organised and neat-looking. (It never works, of course, but I try.) This time I decided to try a new approach to my notebook, and allow poems to sit next to each other, around each other, in the middle of my random word associations, etc. This has actually worked really well for me. It feels more relaxed, and I spend less time worrying about what my notebook looks like, and more time actually writing.

Now, what doesn’t work for me?  So far, I’ve realised only a couple of things.

One is when there is another person with me the entire time I am there.  I encourage people to come in and say hello and have a chat, but when they’re there for the whole hour, I don’t get any writing done, and I feel guilty!

The other thing is that when I come to Chado, I have to come with the mindset of writing, and nothing else.  If I allow myself to worry & think about everything going on in my life, I get too tense & restless to write.  Luckily, Chado is a very easy place to relax & lose yourself in!

Well, hopefully next week my health will have improved and I’ll be back at Chado writing again. At the moment my prediction is that I’ll be there at 2:30pm on Wednesday & Friday. See you then!


Tea & Poetry

Today I began an exciting new project.  Through the Australian Poetry Centre’s “Cafe Poets” program, I had my first session as poet in residence at Chado: The Way Of Tea.

Chado is a beautiful, serene teahouse stocking teas from all over the world, run by Brian Ritchie (of Violent Femmes fame) and his wife Varuni Kulasekera.  I first saw Brian when he performed alongside the Southern Gospel Choir in Sing Salamanca.  I got to know him when he emailed me not long after, having found my work blogs.  Recently, through his Facebook page, I saw that Chado was looking for a new Cafe Poet.  I investigated the program and decided to apply.

The Cafe Poets program is a collaborative venture between a poet and a venue such as Chado.  The poet has a stimulating, relaxing, welcoming environment to come to a few times a week, to write.  In return they hold events such as readings, workshops, etc, and bring clientele in to the cafe – perhaps the kind of clientele that would not be coming in otherwise.

Chado’s previous poet in residence was Anne Collins.  On Sunday I attended her final reading & celebration of her 6 months in residence there.  Chado has a beautiful gallery upstairs, and for the next two weeks you can come in to see paintings inspired by Anne’s poetry, displayed alongside excerpts of the poems.

I am very excited about this residency.  I will be visiting Chado a few times a week to write, and will have regular readings & other events.  I will be posting on my Twitter to let you know when I am going in, so keep an eye out!  I would love people to come in and say hello while I am writing, questions are welcome, so is sharing thoughts & stories with me for inspiration. Brian, Varuni & I also have some ideas brewing about how we can share & display my poetry at Chado, and I’ll be updating here to let you know what’s happening.  And of course, I will be posting here the poetry which I write at Chado.

Chado is a wonderful place and I hope to see you there soon!


Relevant Links:

The Australian Poetry Centre Website
The Australian Poetry Centre Facebook Page
The Australian Poetry Centre on Twitter

Cafe Poets Program info
Cafe Poets on Facebook

Chado: The Way Of Tea

Follow this link to read the application letter I wrote to Paul Kooperman, director of the Australian Poetry Centre, when applying for the program:

Continue reading ‘Tea & Poetry’


I received a reply email from Liz Winfield today, she gave permission for me to post what she said about my poetry, so here are parts of the email I received from her after sending in my two poems Paper Glass and Dark.

“I’d like to publish both together, I like the resonance they create.”

“You have originality which can’t be taught, and a great feel for language. I hope wherever life leads you that you’ll keep on writing.”

I think one of the greatest compliments a writer can be paid is “originality” – especially for someone such as myself being young and relatively new to the world of poetry.  When beginning an art the general process people seem to go through is first copying others before branching out and creating their own style.  If one can be said to have originality at this point, that is very encouraging.

In her email today she also said of my short poems:

“It’s not easy to write successful short poems, you make them look natural and easy. ”

I also took this as a great compliment.  I love my short poems and the simplicity of haiku and it makes me very happy that someone such as Liz thinks they are good and sound natural.

Liz also sent me a handout called “Submitting your poems to literary journals and magazines” which she made for the adult ed poetry workshops she takes.  I haven’t yet looked at it but I expect it will be very handy, and I’ll update on that later.

News update

On the writing front recently, I was in a bit of a rut but forced myself to write, and after reading some poetry, my own words came flowing again.  Forcing yourself to write doesn’t work for some people, but it seems to do so for me – of course what first comes isn’t very good, but once you get it going again, it starts to flow more naturally.

No word from Famous Reporter yet, nor a reply email from Liz Winfield.  I did, however, finish my new blog today!  I decided that I wanted to put all my writing on the net, in chronological order and easily accessible.  So I did.  A plus of this is that I can upload work almost as soon as I’ve written it for anyone to see.  I still have to finish categorising the posts but all my writing is uploaded, and the most recent posts are indeed my most recent writing.  This post will appear in the middle of them a bit, as I am uploading all my previous poetry & backdating the posts so that they appear in order.  I hope you will enjoy reading my work!



This blog is the collection of my poetry and prose, in chronological order from most recent to oldest.

Constructive critique is actively encouraged!

I am usually singing words as well as writing them, and make lots of other art. You can find me & my other art at any of the below links. x





All content on this blog © Rebecca Tilley, 2003-present