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Chelsea Lynn LaBate (Ten Cent Poetry ) is an award winning songwriter and poet. She is the First Prize Winner of Eddie’s Attic Shoot Out (other winners Indigo Girls, John Mayer), Asheville’s Brown Bag Songwriter Competition, and a finalist in the Brooklyn Songwriter (top 9 of 600).


She teaches songwriter classes, poetry classes and retreats nationally - at camps, community centers and universities. She is the composer for her own Ten Cent Orchestra, author of Songcrafter™ A Songwriter’s Companion and producer of Songcrafter™ Radio. She has released five albums including Appalachian Eyes produced by Grammy Award Winning producer, Neal Merrick Blackwood. 


After a traumatic brain injury from a car accident, Chelsea had her first psychotic episode at the age of 39 in her home in Asheville, NC. She was found by the city police, naked and jaundiced. For days, she had been fighting a great battle of good and evil. No one knew why she had suddenly gone crazy.


She was taken to the emergency room by a neighbor and committed to a mental ward, the first of five she would stay in, in the following three years. It was there that she discovered she was not allowed a pen, so she had to write her poetry in blue crayon.


She is a big advocate for Nami - the National Alliance of Mental Illness ( and uses her live performance to inform those with mental illness about this free support.




The Porch: Artists Coping with Their Mental Health Through a Year of Turmoil


Ten Cent Poetry Likes Lyrics

Poet Chelsea Lynn LaBate on Mental Health and the Creative Process


PERSPECTIVES: A poet finds inspiration in mental illness

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