Ketut Yuliarsa, born in Denpasar many years ago, is one of Bali’s leading poets. Married to an Australian, he and his wife Anita Scheeres and son Jarrah have lived between Bali and Sydney for decades.

Ketut and Anita set up the much loved Ganesha bookshop in Ubud many years ago, and it’s still going strong. Ketut had a side “career” as a bus driver in Sydney for years, much liked by the regular commuters, of whom probably not one realized that he was a respected poet.

Are you first and foremost: a. Balinese  b. Indonesian  c. citizen of the world?

citizen of the world

Are you a poet or a musician? Both? Or should we add another item to the list?

A music playing poet.

Three poets that you love most

Rumi, TS Elliot,Tagore.

Three musicians you love most

Ottmar Liebert. Miles Davis, Vilayat Khan.

What are you reading at the moment?

CS Lewis- the great divorce.

What’s the most important book you ever read?

Mulamadhyamakakarika by Nagarjuna.

What’s your favorite food?

Fruit and vegetables

Best memory?

School camping and mountain climbing.

What person had the biggest influence on your life?

My parents

What person would have an even bigger influence on you if you could meet them (time and space notwithstanding)?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The dream you’d love to come true?

None. Dreams already achieved.

Are you a better father or husband?

Better husband.

Do you think the term spirituality has been co-opted?


Is Ubud really the center of the universe?

Not for me, but yes for many native Ubudians.

In one sentence, what’s the principle you live by?

Fairness and self reliance.

What are the three top items on your “bucket list”?

Traveling on land through Southeast Asia, island hopping through eastern Indonesia, living on the mountain.

If you could do it all again what would you change?

More effort and discipline on academic study.

Do you suffer from nostalgia? If so, what are you most nostalgic for?

I do not suffer from nostalgia.

What would your like your epiteth to say (one sentence)?

I have been there and done that.


Kt Yuliarsa