Conversation 78: THE DAILY HAIKU Interviews: Alison Head


I am actually a painting restorer and am not a writer as such. My working life has been bookended by conservation but in the middle I taught English. I don’t have much actual creative writing experience at all but have often done a little. I do enjoy reading and discussing writing.


I approach the haiku writing as a brain storming session either around something I am interested in or a photo of something I’ve liked.  I create phrases from feelings or what I see and work on those. I also try and condense as much meaning as I can into as few words as possible – that’s my aim. It doesn’t necessarily work! I actually have pages and pages of drafts – many of which don’t see the light of day. I have started revisiting the drafts. I don’t manage to write everyday as many of you do. I have along the way experimented and posted poetry in different forms a tiny bit within the group – and I think this is an aspect I would like to develop.


I joined the haiku group last April – 2020 – and invited many members of my family and friends to join – which has been a rather lovely point of contact especially during the various lock downs. Although occasionally I have felt inhibited by this – which is an interesting point of discussion in itself. My mother couldn’t keep up with the number of notifications so left the group! My daughter thinks there is often a bleak undertone and in my family they think I am like the artist Johnny in the Fast Show who always has a slightly ‘black’ view of the world. In terms of well being the social contact through the group, with family, friends and new online friends has been fun and I hope one day to meet some of you in the physical world for a cup of coffee or a gin!


What I have really loved is that TDH group is an easy going platform from which to write. You don’t have to enter a room of serious poets – but they are here along with people like me who enjoy dabbling – and this makes it very accessible. It has given me a reason to write and an audience- and for me, having an audience seems to be really important. I have thought about this quite a lot, as there have been various discussions about the importance of the group, so not only are we sharing thoughts, observations and feelings but we are a ready made audience of supporters. I find that motivational. It has made me think about joining other groups and doing more writing but also it has made me think about doing my own art again. Although this hasn’t happened yet! Needless to say.


I thought I would include a haiku from just under a year ago as an example as here we are again with the bluebells coming out.

Bales of blue shot silk
Shaken down rippling curling
Fraying in the light









And below not a black one, but one about my daughter which I wrote last winter and celebrates the weekly theme of winter colours!

Pre-Raphaelite red
enfolds my daughter, leaves, hair
meld in nature’s hug






and one of my more experimental ones!

To support
Themes reflections. International Women’s Day, Thoughts on a cold day etc
In a country where there are more over 65s than under 5s; where women bear the brunt of homeschooling, job losses etc due to Covid; where workers rights and women’s rights are going backwards and not least violence against women.

7 Comments on “Conversation 78: THE DAILY HAIKU Interviews: Alison Head”

  1. I am really glad that you find TDH an easy going platform from which to experiment and explore your writing. This was an aspiration I had when I set it up so it warms my heart to know that we have become that kind of invitation and engaging community. Love the diversity of your haiku here with photos too which exemplify the flexibility of the haiku form and our daily format. As the bluebells emerge again bales of blue is such a beautiful image and one that brings such hope and promise of summer round the corner. Your last haiku shows how we can engage with activism in our haiku and something other members have done too highlighting issues that matter to us across the world. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the writing process and the way that writing/creative groups can support individual creativity. The more the merrier. One thing I have found very supportive is the instant access to a world of members with such diverse experiences but deeply relatable ones that bind us all together at times when the world seems focused on division.

  2. I really like this Alison, your thoughts so considered and your haiku with its strong imagery, especially ‘shot silk, shaken down , rippling’ it speaks so well with ‘bales of blue.’ And your pictures alongside it. Love your daughter one too. ‘Leaves hair meld in nature’s hug’ I can feel it. Beautiful imagery.
    I love nature and trying to find the spirit of the piece.
    Thank you.

  3. Hi Alison,
    I enjoy reading your haiku and it’s interesting to learn more about you. I guess you are musical as well – a cellist ?

    1. Yes I play the cello. – I’ve just seen how to reply to the comments. I have posted a few haiku about that over the year and a bit! Probably too many.

  4. It’s so cool to read a bit about your process. I think we all approach it a bit differently and it’s this process that really piques my interest.

    It’s nice to have gotten to know you a bit better. I’ll be on the lookout for your work.

  5. Great interview Alison. I enjoy reading about why people join the group but especially their writing processes. I find that fascinating. I love your haiku and will lookout for more.

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