As well as being an Australian Poetry Slam coordinator, Yvonne Gluyas is an active member of the Tasmanian Poetry Festival, Toastmasters International and the Society of Women Writers Tasmania. After gaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of Technology, Sydney, Yvonne worked in China as a teacher and journalist. She has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Tasmania, and in her spare time writes poetry and stories, researches family history, drinks tea, enjoys cuddles from her one-year old identical twin grandsons, and lives in Launceston with a three-legged cat, bee hives and free range chooks.

1. What are you working on?

I am currently working on a few different projects: A re-edit of my work-in-progress novel, which is a historical fiction set in the time of Australian protests against the American war in Vietnam; putting together an illustrated collection of my poetry for publication; working on Family History stories; and organising a new online Toastmasters Club — “Write Online” — that features writers of all genres who meet up via Zoom twice a month for an hour (contact me for more details)! I am also involved in coordinating the Tasmanian heats and final of the Australian Poetry Slam during August 2021.

2. How does the Tamar Valley influence your writing?

The Valley is my home. I escaped from Sydney over thirty years ago to live in this paradise on earth. The impact of this area and its people, are a huge influence on my life and my writing. I am grateful to be here, and totally appreciate the influence local writers have on my work, and the opportunity to be involved in community based events such as the Tasmanian Poetry Festival.

3. What themes are you exploring?

The environment, social issues, protection of our precious natural recourses, people from all walks of life, family relationships and kids are the main themes I include in my writings.

4. Describe for us where you write.

I write best when the household is silent, sitting at my recently upgraded desktop computer in my untidy study, with the occasional cat wandering in, hoping I will believe it is starving and feed it. At poetry workshops I use ‘pen and paper’, and I use my laptop when on the move.

5. Finish this sentence, "The thing I love the most about being a storyteller is..."

... Being able to take listeners with me on a journey.

6. What's your favourite read so far this year?

Fragile Friday, which is the recently published book of beautiful and insightful poetry by Launceston poet Joy Elizabeth.