Canadian poet Natasha Head is a refreshingly unpretentious voice in the literary world. She writes from the heart, capturing moments and emotions common to us all, and those specific to her personal journey as a person first and an artist second. I was lucky to have the opportunity to talk with Natasha recently and have enjoyed getting to know this enthusiastic supporter of poetry and art.
Follow her at www.tashtoo.com
Give us the Natasha Head story: the abridged version; what should we know about you?
I often wonder if there is anything worth knowing. I tend to get caught up in my head and forget the real world. A lot. It’s my go to survival mechanism. It always has been. If anything, I’m on a journey to find out who I am. The cliff notes version is easy, breezy. I’m the by product of high school sweethearts who started their own business when they were young and filled with enthusiasm. I grew up in the business which sucked the youth and enthusiasm out of me. Along the way I found a really amazing and patient man who considered me worth the ring, and the byproduct of that is a brilliant daughter who doesn’t think anyone needs a ring. I have notebooks filled with all the details. We all know the byproduct of living is poetry.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer. Always. A rock star, second…and a lawyer, you know, for when those authority figures come at you expecting you to have a life plan at 15. As it stood, I obtained my real estate license when I was 19 and spent the next 20 years cursing the family business in my notebooks.
Give me three good reasons: Why poetry?
Because it has always been and will always be. Blake’s “The Tyger” in my grandmother’s voice will always be a favorite memory for me. Because it allows me to pour out my secrets but still make you wonder. Because even though it was written long before my journey began, I can almost always find a piece of me in any poem. It is an anchor and a beacon. Two very important pieces of equipment if you intend to make this journey safely.
How would you describe your own poetry, and what do you hope readers take away from it?
My poetry is ever evolving. It’s a reflection of space and time. Where and who I am for a moment before metamorphosis. I spent the first quarter of my life trying to fit. The second, fighting the tight spaces. As I move through the third, I’m trying to simply be me with the goal of figuring out who she really is. No more excuses. It would be awesome if in those final moments there could be peace with the journey.
I think, if anything, most of us want the same, and if I can offer the readers something, it’s a companion for their own journey. No judgement. No small talk. Just a searching soul who in spite of her desperate pleas for solitude, still needs someone to wander with.
Tell us about your writing space.
How about I speak to my lack of writing space? I tore apart my blue room four years ago when we up and headed west. I’ve been lugging an extensive book collection, years of journals, boxes of pens, and bundles of paper across this great country ever since. This has made me realize, I am my writing space. Now that we have made it back home, I’m working on the Blue Room rebuild, but truth be told…give me my notebook, my pen, and the corner of the sofa at 7:30 am when the sun slices my living room in half and the coffee has just finished brewing.
After we barely escaped the picket fences alive, I moved back to my childhood home for a short while. The front parlour was blue, with stained glass windows overlooking the street and a wall of bookshelves. I had a big antique table, scratched and marred, where I could sit and plot my global takeover. I was content, I was comfortable, to the point of atrophy. The final stage of this metamorphosis was letting go of my blue room.
What is the story behind “Tashtoo”?
I blame twitter. Friends and family call me “Tash”. Alas….the twitter handle was taken. Considering I too, am Tash…it was a simple fix. Doesn’t hurt that I have a mild addiction to tattoos that has been burdening me since I was young.
How many tattoos defines a “mild addiction”?
I was supposed to be sitting for lucky #13 today but Mother Nature had a different plan and sent me a snow storm instead. I came home with my first at 16. They were by no means as popular as they are today. I had no idea my father had such a firm and colourful grasp on the english language.
You are exposed to toxic waste. What superpower do you hope it gives you?
I feel like a beauty pageant contestant wishing for world peace…but I gotta go with invisibility. Can you imagine the stories? I’ve been pondering this one for days in hopes of coming up with some grand and original concept…but as one who could happily exist as a fly on the wall of someone else’s story, I’d be a damn fool not to go with it. I could totally avoid small talk and phony smiles. It would be so easy to hide it…I wouldn’t want anyone to know I had a superpower…right?
What else have you got your creative hands in?
Finger paint! Actually, along with the creative force that is @ChasingTao aka Roger Allen Baut, I host a blogtalk radio program “The Creative Nexus Cafe”. It’s taken somewhat of a backseat with all my moves the past few years, but now we’re back and working towards a community of artists that understands the importance of supporting each other and using our chosen mediums to effect positive change in the world. The programs are archived, and I’ve had the opportunity to talk with some pretty incredible people.
RadioRKC (@RKC) has also produced a program around my writing. WanderLust airs every Sunday at 5pmEST. They’ve done an amazing job creating a soundspace that includes poetry and music, including featuring some amazing tracks from independent artists the world over.
Like most of us poet’s flitting around, I’m finishing up a collection chronicling my recent travels and experiences, but remain unsure if this will actually see the light of day.
I’ve seen a Tim Horton’s as far south as Northern Pennsylvania. Is that phase one of the Canadian Invasion?
The takeover will be polite with a focus on kindness. Tim Hortons is our way of saying “Sorry it had to come to this…let me get you a coffee.” Tim’s kicks off my 9-5 every morning. I’m happy to share a favorite coping mechanism with my friends to the south.
Post-it Note or write it on your hand? Hand
Does Bigfoot exist? Definitely
Favorite Halloween costume from when you were a kid? Sid Vicious
More exciting sport: Curling or Canadian Football? Hockey
Socks: matching or who has time for that shit? Matching