Haikuists Interviews: Michelle Nieweg

Haikuists Interviews: Michelle Nieweg

Apr 26, 2024

Michelle is more than a haikuist for us in Los Angeles, California. She’s a tarot reader, yogi, and artist too. Bianca Glinskas dialogued with Michelle in the summer of 2023. Dive into their conversation below as they discuss topics ranging from impromptu Stevie Nicks concerts to current reads.

Bianca: Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions, Michelle. To start, why haiku?

Michelle: Haiku is the embodiment of simplicity. It’s a fun challenge to condense the complexity of human thought and emotion into a few short syllables.

Bianca: Well said. Can you tell us about your favorite Haiku encounter? What makes it stand out in your memory?

Michelle: Working with Haikuists has taken me to some pretty amazing events. At a celebrity birthday party, they surprised the birthday girl with a live Stevie Nicks concert right then and there. It was amazing and very LA, though extremely loud and hard to write poems. *laughs*

Bianca: I bet! Can you give us a peek at your creative thought process during a haiku-writing event? What’s going through your mind, from conversation to composition?

Michelle: The fun part about what we do is the depth of interactions we get to have with folks that want poems. Two people at the same event may come up with the same topic, let’s say, “expansion”. Upon further prompting and questioning, it becomes clear that “expansion” means something vastly different to each person. We get to hear about people’s stories and get a snapshot of who they are at that moment. My job then becomes encapsulating that into a haiku.

Bianca: That’s a very interesting way of looking at it. Besides Haiku, what else fascinates, compels, or engages you?

Michelle: My attention is driven toward things that improve and enrich my life and the lives of those around me. I read tarot cards, teach yoga, make art, and read as often as I can. Anyone who’s close to me knows me as their unofficial therapist. 

Bianca: What causes are important to you personally? What issues do you rally behind? 

Michelle: The world can be interpreted as a scary and chaotic place, but I prefer to see the goodness of people. In times of pressure and stress, our ingenuity shines. I am a supporter of humans first and foremost. I believe in leaving the world better than we found it. I eat vegan, try to live by zero-waste principles, and assert that all people are worthy of unconditional love. These things might be a drop in the bucket, but it makes a difference in my own relationship with the world. It gives me purpose. 

Bianca: Thanks for sharing. What artists, philosophers, thinkers, innovators, inventors, or activists inspire you?

Michelle: Right now I’m reading Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman. He’s a believer in our goodness, too. I also love Marianne Williamson and Tara Brach. I’ve learned how to open my heart from them. Yoga with Adrienne is my favorite Youtube channel because she’s made this astounding career based off of being her authentic self and helping others.

Bianca: Those are some great recommendations. To end, what’s a quote you love, or the closest thing you have to a personal motto?

Michelle: “How can I use what’s happening right now as a mirror to look into?”

Have your own question for Michelle? Connect with Michelle on her websiteInterested in booking Michelle for an event? Contact us.

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