Conversation 111 THE DAILY HAIKU Interviews: Elsje Winnubst



Hello. Elsje Winnubst here . I live in Auckland, New Zealand.

I have always loved the form of haiku but have only seriously written haiku in the last year since I joined The Daily Haiku. I joined TDH to hone my skills in haiku and learn as much as I can from other haiku poets. I enjoy haiku in all its forms and appreciate the TDH for their tolerant and inclusive ethos. I like that the group is so fluid, even though I prefer to set myself the challenge of staying with the classic format.

I feel that my alter ego is haiku. It is the reined in part of me, that has no analogy, or simile nor does it want to identify or qualify itself. Haiku is the side that lives in the moment in 3 lines.

The other side is the poet who also writes a lot of non-haiku poems that tells stories and remembers history. Writing haiku has become so compelling it has taken up a lot of space in my head.  I feel that the daily haiku has become an essential ritual for me and has contributed hugely to my well being in general and during lockdowns in the pandemic. I feel a strong sense of connection to all the sympatico members in the TDH.
I would describe myself as a wee bit of a slacker poet. a bit of an outlier, who takes an idiosyncratic approach to life and in my writing. My first love is literature.I did my double major in English and Ethics/ philosophy.
I belong to a poetry group that has been running for over forty years and was quite proud recently to have a poem of mine published along with 77 others, in the forty year Anniversary Anthology, titled ‘This Twilight Menagerie’.
In between lockdowns I write and give presentations to my Philosophy group which meets once a month. I regularly write essays on topics that are current or interest me.
I did a double major in philosophy /ethics and english
I trained as an adult literacy tutor. One reason was that coming from a Dutch background I know first hand language can be a barrier and meaning can be and often is, lost in translation.
ferry crossing
hungry caterpillar
eats the clouds

the cat watches and
keeps her beady eye –
on the prize


spring may be visited
with a maximum
of 10 people


the cat lies in wait
on a bed of cherry
blossom petals


even the clouds
and mountains
are different now

5 Comments on “Conversation 111 THE DAILY HAIKU Interviews: Elsje Winnubst”

  1. Greetings Elsje and thank you so much for your lovely interview. TDH has become such a welcoming and invitational space for so many people across the world which is bringing us all closer and feeding our daily creativity. I love your haiku ‘even the clouds..’ it taps into a relatable and poignant feeling brought about by changes experienced from a global pandemic. It also neatly illustrates the power of such a small form with haiku to embrace the bigger picture as well as those small details that crystallise meaning. It is wonderful that you have been a member of a poetry group for so long and I congratulate you on the publication of your poem in the anthology, a joyous thing indeed to celebrate. Writing and reading together, sharing our creative and personal thoughts really helps connect us in very deep and important ways. I hope TDH will be here, like your poetry group, for over forty years and will continue to thrive, grow and nurture its members. Thank you for sharing Elsje, waving to you across the oceans and with this interview feel you are that much closer.

  2. It’s people like you, Elsje, who make TDH such a warm and inviting place to be. Your haiku always elevate. Thanks for sharing yourself here. I do feel I know you even better now. Glad to be on this journey with you! Haiku on, my friend!

  3. Thanks for your interview Elsje, so interesting! I too like the constraints of haiku, and feel that without some boundaries set by form I just ramble…. But I also love that your interests are quite wide-ranging.
    see you on the page! 🙏😊

  4. Great to learn a little more about you and your haiku background, Elsje. Love all the pieces you have offered above! Hope to meet you one day in Auckland. 🙂

  5. Hi Elsje, I loved reading your interview especially that haiku ‘is the reined in part of me, that has no analogy, or simile nor does it want to identify or qualify itself’ this really resonated with me, so beautifully expressed. So good to get to know you a little even across the miles. x H

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