indigo eli

Cafe Poet residency – The Croydon Store

Australian Poetry cafe residency
The Croydon Store, Croydon SA

For approximately 6 months in 2013 I had licence to poem up a cafe in the funky retro strip tucked in the western suburbs of SA.

Here’s what I got up to…

window displays

each week or so a new quote dressed the window…

rumi window quote indigo eli cafe poet croydon store

image description: words are written in chalk on a cafe window. It reads ‘the moon won’t use the door, only the window – Rumi’

As well as the classics, window quotes included original work:


image description: chalk words on a cafe window read: ‘I will find you when the wait is too much – indigo eli’. Window reflections show sculptural light shades and a male customer in a beanie and sunglasses.


image description: Chalk words on the cafe window read ‘it’s the small things that give love breath – indigo eli’. An elderly lady with white hair is enjoying coffee and a meal at an outside table.

poetic fortunes

Imagine a fortune cookie made sweet poetic love to a cup of coffee.

poetic fortune indigo eli cafe poet croydon store

Image description: A piece of paper is being pulled from under a coffee cup. Red words from a type-writer start to reveal a line of poetry: ‘here, where rubies …’

Customers could unfold a surprise fortune from under their coffee mug, and/or pick one at random from the stash at the counter upon ordering.

These lovely little snippets were in constant throughout the residency.

IMGP5064When I had to leave my post unattended, I invited cafe poets around the country to contribute their words and was warmed by the response.

poets Laurie May, Robin Archibald, Zalehah Tsp?? all offered their words to hidden under cups and unfolded by unsuspecting strangers.

poetry line on pepper shaker. Page 27 cafe in Alice Springs june 2013 Laurie May cafe poet

image description: salt and pepper shakers have been labelled with poetry. Lines of poetry are attributed to Indigo Eli. photo: Laurie May, cafe poet Page 27, Alice Springs

Similar word-exchanges were happening in other cafes.

Salt and pepper shakers seasoned with a few words of my own appeared at Page 27, Alice Springs thanks to cafe poet Laurie May.


mother’s day

IMGP4892image description: a bunch of flowers with pink petals and yellow middles  is on a table with a glass full of sugar packets and poems printed on white paper

Mother’s Day Poetry.
If you wander into The Croydon Store today you’ll be treated to poems and poetic fortunes from a beautiful bunch of contemporary Australian writers.

poetry joined the flowers in adorning every table in the place

What better to do when waiting for your order to arrive than to read a poem to your ma?

I wanted to offer and showcase a mix of writing so again invited others, this time an open call to contemporary Australian wordsmiths. Ian Gibbins, Julia Wakefield, Vorn Doolette, Deb Stewart, Robin Archibold, Avalanche, Diana Marie and Tracey Korsten all got involved.

Poetry with a Side of Slam

Why not ask a sun-centric suburban strip to embrace the idea of a night life?
Well, at least for one night. Would they say yes? They said yes! …

Poetry with a Side of Slam
co-presented by the nameless project

a special dinner and dessert menu was paired with an aural one…

main: readings by Indigo Eli, Jelena Dinic and Kate Alder
dessert: short and sweet open mic
coffee:  poetry slam with a side of headless pineapple

event photos: the nameless project

lacole headless pineapple challenge poetry with a side of slamWe had more audience than poets, which was refreshing for the local poetry scene. LaCole Foots from the US won the slam, and with it the headless pineapple and associated challenge. The instruction was to give that pineapple a gosh darn adventure and give us the photographic evidence. She decided to take that pineapple for a scenic drive…

Thanks to Australian Poetry for the Cafe Poets program and to The Croydon Store for having me.

This entry was published on October 1, 2014 at 3:27 am. It’s filed under projects, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.