Holly Day–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I work at home mostly—I have a very tiny cramped office I write in during the winter (because it has a heater in it) and I recently turned my son’s former bedroom into another office, which has a window looking out into the back yard that’s turning out to be more distracting than I’d hoped.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I sometimes write by hand, but I mostly just write on my computer.

What is your routine for writing?

Wake up, do an hour or so of market research and submitting material, get my daughter ready for school, then write for the next 4-5 hours (until my daughter comes home from school).

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

Unofficially, I’ve been writing poetry and fiction since I was 4. Officially, I’ve been writing for publication since I was 15 (going on 32 years now).

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

Initially, I always write for myself, and then the question of audience comes later.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

I’ve been writing for so long now that just the act of sitting at my desk inspires me to write. I worked as a journalist and a technical writer for a long time, so I didn’t have the luxury of being blocked—I always had intense deadlines to meet, so every moment I wasn’t writing was a moment dragging me closer to poverty. I maintain those same sort of deadlines for myself with fiction and poetry now, so I don’t really think about writer’s block.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I do a lot of handicrafts, like needlepoint and beadwork. When it’s nice out, I love to play in my garden. My husband and I write hiking and history books together, and a lot of our research involves big, long, wonderful walks through parks and the city, which I also love.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

I love all of it. I love stumbling into a story or poem and feeling it grow into something separate from me. I love the moment after finishing something when I wonder, “How did this come about?” I love watching pages and pages fill up while I’m working on a book or a longer piece. It’s all wonderful.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

Be persistent. Approach writing with joy.


Check out Holly’s work in Volume 3, Issue 1, and Volume 4, Issue 2. Two of her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart, “Fred, Half Dead, Beethoven In His Head” in Volume 3, Issue 1, and “The Patch of Tulips I Never Planted” in Volume 4, Issue 2.


2018 Pushcart Nominations

The Magnolia Review Pushcart Nominations for 2018:

Winner of The Magnolia Review Ink Award for Volume 4, Issue 2

I would like to thank Suzanna for giving me this opportunity. She should be proud of this issue and all the strong voices that it captures. Some of my favorite pieces are “Turtle Bay” by Henry Hintz, “Punk 4 a Day” by Diane Hoffman, the poems of Holly Day, Chuck Thompson, GTimothy Gordon, and Sarah A. Etlinger. If it were not for my first choice, “Two Fools” by Sarah A. Etlinger would be my winner because to its tightness, sharpness, and grace of language.


However, I find the excerpt of Theresa WilliamsFrom The Diary of Lea Knight to be the undeniable centerpiece of this issue. In this excerpt, Williams balances a combined feeling of prose and poetry in her writing. Her line work is crisp when called for and chaotic when necessary. In the best way possible, the notebook presentation of Williams’ project brings to mind Lynda Barry’s Syllabus, while the dark, real philosophizing evokes Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Are You My Mother? The work also takes me to old folktales, like Cinderella, that showcase familial catastrophes by an unhinged parent onto an innocent child, and the ensuing existential crises people feel under the force of an oppressive thumb. I think this slice of From The Diary of Lea Knight is a fascinating piece of sequential art, and I cannot wait to see more of it once it is inevitably published.




Dom Fonce is an undergrad English major at Youngstown State University. He’s been published in fiction, poetry, comics, and journalism. Some of his work can be found at Calliope of the University of Mount Union, Penguin Review, the Jambar, and the forthcoming summer 2017 issue of 3Elements Review. Collaborated with Vincent Butka (penciller), Jared Burton (inker and colorist), and Kaleena Spackman (letterer).

Volume 4, Issue 2 is Here!

The issue is available as a PDF: TMR Volume 4 Issue 2.

The optional theme is comics, be it drawn in sequential images or just plain funny.

Contributors: Gershon Ben-Avraham, Susan P. Blevins, Mela Blust, Charles W. Brice, Aria Callaham, Joan Colby, Holly Day, Darren C. Demaree, Adam Durso, Kelcey Parker Ervick, Sarah A. Etlinger, GTimothy Gordon, John Grey, Jack D. Harvey, Aloura Hattendorf, Henry Hitz, Diane Hoffman, A.J. Huffman, Phil Huffy, James Croal Jackson, Lonnie James, Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer, Matthew J. Kreglow, Claire Martin, Megan Miazgowicz, Jennifer Davis Michael, Paul Mills, TJ Neathery, Simon Perchik, Steven B. Rosenfeld, David Anthony Sam, William L. Spencer, David Spicer, Chuck Thompson, Dennis Trujillo, Bess Vanrenen, Maryfrances Wagner, Michael Whelan, Theresa Williams, and Kelsey Zimmerman.

Reviews: Hold Me Gorilla Monsoon by Colette Arrand, Auri by Auri, Internet Yearnings by Gary Beck, Mnemosyne’s Hand: Poems by Charles W. Brice, Her Secret Husband by Abbey Faith, The Future by From Ashes to NewBurn Site In Bloom by Jamie HoughtonRookland by Jesse Minkert, Beach Dweller Manifesto by Leah MuellerGhost Matter by Jade RamseyHeavenly Whispers by Roger SipplPermanent Change of Station by Lisa Stice, and i’m fine: A Haiku Collection About Mental Illness by Jamie Winters.

Winner of The Magnolia Review Ink Award: Theresa Williams, for “From The Diary of Lea Knight,” chosen by Dom Fonce.

2017 Pushcart Nominations

I am so proud of our 2017 issues, and it was very difficult to choose only six pieces for the Pushcart Nominations. Congratulations!

The Old Familiar (Equivalencies 7=7) by Devon Balwit (Volume 3, Issue 1)

Fred, Half Dead, Beethoven In His Head by Holly Day (Volume 3, Issue 1)

In A Dark Time by Kirie Pedersen (Volume 3, Issue 1)

First Day by Bill Trippe (Volume 3, Issue 2)

Hypnophobia #1357 by Ellie White (Volume 3, Issue 2)

Breakthismf.com by Buffy Shutt (Volume 3, Issue 2)


Holly Day

Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in The Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle. Her nonfiction publications include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano and Keyboard All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, and Stillwater, Minnesota: A History.  Her newest poetry collections, A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press), I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.), and Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing) will be out mid-2018, with The Yellow Dot of a Daisy already out on Alien Buddha Press.

Splintered, Spring Frost, Fred, Half Dead, Beethoven In His Head, Volume 3, Issue 1
Fred, Half Dead, Beethoven In His Head, Volume 3, Issue 1 (Pushcart Nomination)
The First Attempt, Fragments, Prometheus, The Moth, The Patch of Tulips I Never Planted, and The Call, Volume 4, Issue 2
The Patch of Tulips I Never Planted, Volume 4, Issue 2 (Pushcart Nomination)