the cherita
your storybook journal


now I listen – the tentth edition of the cherita  has launched on 1 March 2018, and is available in print and Kindle on Amazon. Only the Kindle version will have images to accompany each cherita.

I have decided to migrate the cherita from flipbook to print and Kindle on Amazon, and will retire our archival flipbooks as and when we migrate them. Your feedback has prompted me to arrive at this exciting decision for the journal’s future, and I would like to thank you all for taking the time to let me know.

Please watch this space for developments.




celebrating the 20th anniversary of ai li’s
creation of the cherita 22 june 1997 – 22 june 2017

In June 1997, ai li, the founding editor and publisher of still, moving into breath, dew-on-line, and now the co-editor of the cherita, created a new short form called cherita. You can find more information about the cherita and ai li on our origins, biographies, articles and bibliography pages.




The Original Guidelines

CHERITA [1 — 2 — 3]
[pronounced CHAIR-rita]

Cherita is the Malay word for story or tale. A cherita consists of a single stanza of a one-line verse, followed by a two-line verse, and then finishing with a three-line verse. It can be written solo or with up to three partners.

The cherita tells a story. It was created by ai li on the 22 June 1997 in memory of her grandparents who were raconteurs extraordinaire. It was also inspired by Larry Kimmel’s sensitive recognition of a shorter form contained within the opening three-verse stanza of ai li’s LUNENGA, which had been created on the 27 May 1997.




CHERITA  TERBALIK – inverted cherita
[3–2–1], [2–1–3], [1–3–2], [2–3–1] and [3–1–2]
[pronounced CHAIR-rita tur-bar-lake]

The Cherita Terbalik can be written in the above stanza formats. Examples of formats [3–2–1] and [2–1–3] will be featured in forthcoming editions of the cherita. Terbalik is the Malay word for reversal or upside down.

Cherita Terbalik also tells a story and can be written with up to three partners.




The Editor of the cherita

​ai li – creator of cherita




Godfather of the cherita

Larry Kimmel – godfather of the cherita and former co-editor


You can find more information about our editor and Larry Kimmel on our origins, biographies and bibliography pages.


copyright © 2018 the cherita : your storybook journal