Romania, Téa Nicolae

Interview with Téa Nicolae

Téa is a Romanian poetess and scholar living in England. She writes devotional, Occult, and confessional poetry.

A few details about yourself.

My name is Téa Nicolae. I am a Romanian poetess and a scholar, and I have been living in the UK for four years. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Creative Writing from Lancaster University, where I am currently completing my Master’s of Arts. I am highly interested in non-dual philosophy and in Goddess-worshipping spiritual traditions, which I explore in my writings. My work has been published in various magazines and online platforms, such as The Writing Disorder, Skye Magazine and Cake Magazine. I was shortlisted for the Lancashire Literary Award in 2018.

What does being an exophonic writer mean to you?

To me, being an exophonic writer means that this grand, beautifully interwoven and formidable world is my home. I am not bound to any place and I can make my home in those around me. Moreover, writing in English gifted me the courage to shed olden ideas about who I thought I was, and it gifted me the space to meet unknown parts of myself in wondrous ways.

What do you write? What is your writing process like?

At present, I write devotional and Occult poetry. My writing process is quite simple: I keep an open heart and I allow myself to be inspired by how life unfolds around me. I write down ideas in my Notes app on my phone and early in the mornings I bind them together. Then, the endless process of revisiting and editing occurs! In the past, I worked on an intimate lyrical collection which chronicled my depression, and my process resumed to pouring my grief into words until I felt soothed. And, of course, incessant editing!

What’s the last book that made you cry?

The last book that made me cry was ‘Ecstatic Poems’, a collection of poetry written by Mīrābāī, an enchanting poetess and Hindu mystic who lived a few centuries ago. I am in love with her! She was a devotee of Krishna and she spent her life in unbridled devotion, writing poetry to him and dancing for him in temples. This was scandalous for her time, and people tried to have her killed repeatedly – with no result! Her poetry is intimate, raw and filled with longing.

“As a lotus lives in its water, I am rooted in you.

Like the bird that gazes all night at the passing moon,

I have blinded myself in giving my eyes to your beauty.”

So blissful!

What advice would you give to other exophonic writers?

Be brave, keep your heart soft and your mind open, and read, read, read! And write, write, write!

Read Tea’s poem for Litehouse here