Posts Tagged ‘Holly Day’

Niteblade Contributor Interview with Holly Day

Holly has been writing for publication for 22 years with poetry, fiction, and nonfiction published in over 3,000 magazines and ezines internationally, including The Oxford American, Palace Corbie, XLR8R, Guitar One, Boiled Angel, Rollerderby, and, of course, Niteblade. Her published books are Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Shakira, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities, and numerous photocopied poetry chapbooks.

When did you first recognize yourself as a poet?

Oh, gosh—I’m not sure I recognize myself as a poet now! Even after having around 3,000 poems published in small and mainstream magazines over the past 25 years, I still don’t feel worthy of that title. I do remember the first “critically-acclaimed” poem I wrote, though. It was in second grade, and we had to write a poem for Groundhog’s Day. The groundhog in my poem died a terrible, frozen death, and the poem was so over-the-top graphic all the cute boys in class kept going back to the wall it was hanging from to read it. I guess maybe, in the back of my head, I still write poetry for all the cute boys out there.


What draws you to speculative poetry?

I don’t like reality much. I mean, I like parts of it, like my kids and my husband and all the nature bits, and oh, all the quiet, old, crumbling abandoned buildings, but most of my adult life has been about finding a way to stay as isolated from the “real world” as possible—hence, my career as a freelance art critic/music journalist. When I write, I try to pull together all the extraordinary possibilities out of the events I’m writing about as much as possible. Somehow it translates into speculative poetry. So far as why I like reading it, it’s because I’m secretly still a thirteen-year-old dork who wants to be romanced by a tall, dark alien in a flying saucer.


Is there a piece of writing advice you’ve never followed?

I had a lot of professors in college tell me to skip sending my writing to the small press and save my best work for large publications. While I’ve been in plenty of mainstream glossies, I still love to see my work in small press publications. I started writing for publication when I was 15 (and I’m turning 40 in June!), and I’ve literally grown up thinking of many of the small press writers and editors out there as my friends and family. If I hadn’t started out in the small press, and felt that particular brand of love and support throughout my writing career, I’m not sure I would have made it to adulthood.


In the September 2009 issue of Niteblade, Rhonda chose to publish your poem, “Free Fall”. Is there a story behind how the poem came about?

Short answer: reading post-9/11 headlines. Another short answer, weird but true: I dream of falling and exploding at least once a month.


What have you been working on lately?

Finishing up the second edition of my book, Music Theory for Dummies, and a nonfiction book about being a small press poet in the 80’s and 90’s.


Is there anything else you’d like to share with Niteblade’s readers?

My husband is an awful gardener! He was outside in the yard this morning, allegedly helping me with the garden, and he managed to bend and completely destroy about half a dozen of my specialty irises! This might not mean anything to people outside of Minnesota, but in this state, spring gardens are sacrosanct. I waited two whole years to see those things bloom, and now I have to wait another 12 months.

Other than that, I got a blog about small press poetry up at