Hanging out with India Yelich in New York City
You’d think that spending your adolescence watching your sister – in this case, Lorde – become a world-famous pop princess might make you insecure, but 19-year-old India Yelich says no: She swears she won’t let her sister’s fame make her feel invisible.
“It’s a part of my life, and I’m not going to avoid it,” the New Zealander says. “But it only takes up a small section of my book.”
That book is Sticky Notes, a poetry collection that came out in February, parts of which she’s shared with her over 30,000 Instagram followers. Its title comes from that humble office supply, and flipping through the pages of her personal copy reveals a rainbow of jottings on Post-it notes.
She says her and her sister’s love of writing comes from her poet mother, Sonja Yelich, to whom the book is dedicated.
“She instilled words within me when I was 5,” she says of her mother. “She definitely made me love writing, and so did Ella.”
Her book is a snapshot of early adulthood, from failed first loves to unbridled self-discovery. In her poem “A Bridge Into the City,” she writes: “try be like jack gilbert or frank o’hara/with a touch of rupi kaur for relatability/but make it specific to you/this is what they tell me.”
For now, she’s scraping by, like any other young New Yorker. A self-taught cook and self-proclaimed stir-fry specialist, she’s known to whip up meals for family friends in the city. She’s also taking creative-writing workshops, hanging with friends and dating “just casually.”
Mostly, she’s enjoying the bohemian life she’d read about growing up on the other side of the world. She believes Washington Square Park, where she often sits and writes, is the “heart” of New York City.
“James Taylor sat and wrote poems there, wrote songs there,” she says. “I always think of who was here before me.”
Original article by Hannah Sparks, New York Post, March 29, 2018.
Photo by Tamara Beckwith.