‘I’m not a person to just stick to one thing in life’ | Interview With Danielle Holian

Danielle Holian is a poet, journalist, and photographer, born in the West of Ireland. She studied digital media of journalism and marketing in college and has since gained substantial experience in the media field branching off into poetry and photography. She flourishes her creative love through words and art. She continues her passion for words through her media work as a music critic of reviews and interviews. She documents her interests, sparks, and amusements as she captures moments she relives through her art.

Who/what are your biggest poetic influences?

I express myself mostly through my writing. Along with poetry, I write lyrics, stories, and journalism. It’s what I know best and I find it therapeutic to voice my feelings and emotions out loud through writing. Life, people, and everyday experiences influence me. The likes of Nikita Gill, Olivia Gatwood, and Rupi Kaur inspire my journey as a poet. 

Would you be able to tell me how your debut collection came about? Would you be able to talk through the process of devising the collection?

My debut collection, ‘Beautifully Chaotic’, came about in the most interesting way. I originally had two collections ready to publish, but they didn’t feel right as an introduction. Whereas this body of work felt right. I devised it through 2018 while gathering some of my early work and just worked on it through last year. I knew I had a certain story to tell with this collection and as it covers many topics, I felt it needed to be told in a delicate, elegant and trusting way. It’s my story but if someone can relate to something I feel my job is complete.

Your recent collection entitled ‘Beautifully Chaotic’ has a unique structure to it separated into four parts, Destruction, Purpose, Mourning, and Healing. What was the origins of this structure for your collection?

There’s a hidden meaning in the book in each chapter. The initials stand for something more than Destruction, Purpose, Mourning, and Healing. It’s a part of me and it connects deeper than the actual creation.

The structure however just worked. I wanted to show a progression from isolation to survival, a moment in time where I needed something to put my entire focus on. In order to conceive this idea I thought long and hard about what life in general means to me, my experiences, and how I wanted to use the past to embrace change in my present and future.

I kick started the book with the lowest mood being Destruction, I felt it would be a somewhat good introduction as life is bad before it gets better. Then I thought about pulling myself out of certain situations and building my life back up to finding Purpose. I had to allow myself to grief the lost moments, what if’s and everything in-between in Mourning. And then finally, I closed the book with Healing, a chapter summing up that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ve noticed in your most recent collection that your poems take various forms. How important is form to you in the writing of a poem? What kind of considerations on form were you making in the writing of the collection? 

I discuss topics I am aware off and am passionate about in hopes it will open a conversation. I usually just write from the heart trying to align the emotions with my mind during times of defeat to surrender to find strength. I talk about sexual assault, heartbreak, feminism, and everything in-between that now when I look back I am proud I was able to find a silver-lining. Each poem was crafted with an expression of empowerment, love, and truth as I didn’t want to hold anything back. When I create something everything within that thing has to connect. . .the story was in me and needed to be told. It was an effortless experience overall. . .it just came naturally to me.

What are you reading at the moment?

I tend to have a range of books on my nightstand. So whatever usually tickles my fancy. I don’t normally stick to just reading novels, poetry collections or anything in-between. I post on my Instagram what I’m currently reading, so if you have any suggestions DM me!

What next for your work?

I’m not a person to just stick to one thing in life. . .I like to explore each lane that catches my eye. Currently I am finishing up a media course. Having just released ‘Beautifully Chaotic’ life has opened up more doors for me which I am intrigued to pursue my creative passions even further. I am hoping to dabble more into songwriting, travelling, and hopefully releasing another project when the time is right.

Where can readers find your work/social media?

I’m on all social media platforms once you type in my name, Danielle Holian. I mostly post my work on Instagram (@danielleholian_). My book is currently available through Amazon here

Submissions are now closed for all HeadStuff poetry categories, including Poem of The Week, Unbound, and New Voices. We are still open for submissions of reviews, essays and interviews, please email pitches to [email protected] Please keep checking our submissions page below for news at the end of January about upcoming submission calls and competitions.

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