About the author

Sandra Simpson is a journalist, wife and mother who lives in Tauranga, New Zealand. Her first collection of haiku, breath, was published in 2011.

In 2015 she left print media, after almost 40 years, and began work as publicist for the Tauranga Arts Festival and its sister event, Escape! As well, she continues her long-running role of programming speakers for both festivals.

In 2017 one of her haiku was placed Second in the Martin Lucas Haiku Award (UK) and in 2015 she was placed First in the Free XpresSion Haiku Contest (Australia).

Sandra attended the 2013 Haiku North America gathering on board the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Other notable events that year: Part of the team that wrote the winning renku (linked verse) in the Haiku Society of America Einbond Award; winning the Royal Canal Haiku Contest (Ireland); placed Second in the Haiku Magazine Contest (Romania), the NZ Poetry Society Haiku Contest, the Haiku Presence Award (UK) and named as a runner-up in the Haiku Calendar Contest (UK).

In 2012 she had haiku placed First in the Free XpresSion Haiku Contest (Australia), was named as one of the 12 co-winners in the Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar Contest (UK) and placed Second in the inaugural Janice Bostok Haiku Award, short-listed for a Touchstone Award (US) and participated in the When North meets South exhibition in Dunedin as a contributing poet.

The same year Sandra was co-organiser in Tauranga of a Haiku Festival Aotearoa, a national gathering.

Her 2011 awards include: First and Third in the Kokako Haiku Contest (NZ); Second in the Robert Spiess Memorial Haiku Contest (2011, US) and in the contemporary section of the HaikuNow! Contest (US); and a Touchstone Award from The Haiku Foundation for one of the best haiku published in English in 2010, as judged by a panel of her haiku peers.

Sandra’s work appears in collections including Poetry & Place Anthology (Close-up Books, Melbourne, 2016), Leaving the Red Zone: Poems from the Canterbury Earthquakes (Clerestory Press, NZ, 2016), A Vast Sky: Contemporary World Haiku  (Tancho Press, 2015), Nest Feathers: Selected Haiku from the First 15 Years of The Heron’s Nest (THN, US, 2015), Haiku 2015 (Modern Haiku Press, 2015), Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (Norton & Co, US, 2013), The Little Book of Yotsumonos (Darlington Richards, Ireland & South Africa, 2012), Haiku 21: an anthology of contemporary English-language haiku (Modern Haiku Press, US, 2011); the taste of nashi, the third New Zealand haiku anthology (Windrift, NZ, 2008); A New Resonance 5: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku (Red Moon Press, 2007), and the Second NZ Haiku Anthology (NZPS, 1998). Her haiku also appear regularly in the annual Red Moon Press anthologies.

As well, she is secretary of the Katikati Haiku Pathway committee, editor of the Haiku NewZ website and South Pacific editor for the annual Red Moon anthologies (a collection of the best haiku published in English each year), plus she maintains a regular gardening blog at Sandra’s Garden.

Sandra enjoys gardening and taking long walks, finding that both activities allow her mind to wander, often producing sketches for haiku. Other hobbies include reading, photography, laughing and cake! In 2015 she took up badminton for exercise and fun.

9 thoughts on “About the author

  1. Dear Sandra Simpson
    Congratulations on your poetry, your wonderful blog and on what you have attained in poetry so far. I have recently visited your site, I liked it very much (along with your poems) and since we are of the same interests, I thought I could get in touch with you.

    My name is Vassilis Comporozos. I’ m from Greece. I am an EFL teacher and translator. I have done some translations for some publishing houses. I have published four poetry collections in Greek so far and taken part in four poetry anthologies as well. I have won some poetry prizes in poetry contests, including two first ones. I have published poems of mine in some Greek literary magazines and in some Greek and English websites (www.poetrysoup.com, http://www.poemhunter.com, http://www.allpoetry.com), too. I can speak Italian and love Latin as well. I have also written, and put on stage with my students, some verse (humorous, I believe!) fairy tales. I adore English which I find the ideal vehicle for one of my passions, haikus and tankas.

    Ι am sending you some of my more recent haikus and tankas One the poems of a collection of mine, Yellow Leaves (Κίτρινα Φύλλα in Greek), initially published at http://www.poetrysoup.com, had an international success. It was selected by Oxford University Press to be included in one of its English Language Teaching textbooks, which came out in print in September 2013.

    It would be a great honour to me if you took a look at my short poems. Thank you very much in advance. I would be very happy if I had the honour of seeing some of my works published in such a wonderful site as yours.

    Yours sincerely,

    Vassilis Comporozos

    Lilies on the sand
    clothing sea breeze in their white
    serenity.

    A spider’s web torn
    asunder above the doll
    with the missing legs.

    Uninhabited
    village. Only rocks and ruins
    telling stories.

    Into the light she
    escaped before she died –
    the naughty moth.

    Unexplored path. Old
    houses scattered here and there.
    Me and my real self.

    Turning the lamp off
    to let it free in my room –
    moonlight.

    The only one here
    to give bread to the dovetails –
    blind old beggar.

    Finding their nests
    demolished after the war –
    he and the dovetails.

    Running for cover
    from the downpour – the beggar
    and his homelessness.

    The entire Nature
    a haiku in full bloom –
    My coffee’s bitter.

    In my hotel room.
    watching the black mountain across.
    When will it dawn?

    At the old café

    His sole company
    the book and the distortion
    of his face.

    Water springs’ cool
    has been painted cyan
    by the dragonflies.

    The hospital’s lamp
    is on duty along with
    the acute pain.

    Masks on the Faces.
    The paper flowers on the table
    torn apart by kids.

    Wily nily
    intimate friend of the fire –
    wood in the fireplace.

    Stones thrown by the kids
    do not reach them. The white ducks
    in the tranquil lake.

    Tiny white church deep
    in the wood. Birds tapping
    upon the window.

    Cooking a cake
    for the unexpected guests
    and haikus for me.

    Geranium flowers
    upon the bed table
    next to the dying man.

    Looking and smiling
    at me through the glass of water –
    my little daughter.

    Naked branches
    by the old lamp-post
    in the white square.

    It sneaked through
    the window left open –
    tricky moonlight.

    The kids are sleeping
    along with their restlessness.
    Verses waking up.

    Kid with a landing
    net trying to catch sea. The sun’s
    shining on his wheelchair.

    Wet from morning dew
    and not from flowing pain’s tears –
    spring grass.

    Twilight hidden by
    the clouds. Drop by drop
    prayers and hymns.

    Ceaselessy changing
    verses. My company, night
    and a moth.

    Children filling it
    with their running to and fro-
    the derelict house.

    His shadow spread out
    of the old wooden bench’s shade-
    the old homeless man.

    Dawn. Tents. Bird’s singing
    mingled with the drill sergeant’s yells
    upon the trodden flowers.

    Gossamer clouds
    can’t hide them – constellations
    in the serene heaven.

    No sky, no sun no clouds –
    only curtains and cold in
    this conference room.

    Orange tulips
    against a sun-lit background
    on the computer screen.

    Scorching July sun.
    Her hands wet themselves wiping
    the tears off her eyes.

    A clerk at the crashed
    computer by the window
    overlooking the sea.

    Speeding forth to be
    on time past a small lizard
    basking in the Sun.

    Not even a cloud.
    How empty it is today-
    the sky.

    A seagull alone
    upon the rusted mast. Boat’s name’s
    obliterated.


    That woman’s cry –
    incense scenting of her
    carefree childhood.

    Dreams left to rot
    in the drawers of cowardice.

    She couldn’t stand
    that much light –
    the inexperienced moth.

    Blank sheet of paper
    in my hands under the sun
    by the orange tulips.

    Walking up the steep
    ascent and panting for breath –
    the first smells of spring.

    One with the Sky –
    chimney smoke from the old
    invalid’s house.

    Keeping company
    to me – birds’ songs, haikus
    and this headache.

    Conjuring haikus
    on the way to the classroom
    along with the headache.
    ———————————————
    From the poetry collection:
    Perched on a bouquet of verses – Droplets of short poetry.
    Yellow eaves
    (included in an Oxford University Press
    English Language Teaching textbook)

    Yellow leaves falling
    onto the lake. Its surface
    caressed by the breeze.

    My thoughts hop from leaf to leaf
    cleaving the breeze to the Sun.

    • Hello Vassilis,

      Thanks so much for your kind words about this site and sending your selection of haiku. I started the blog when I published my collection (breath) in 2011 but since then have come to enjoy thinking about haiku “out loud” as it were.

      Best wishes,
      Sandra

  2. I am a friend of Jane Reichhold’s and have been near tears for weeks. I emailed her July 20 before her death, her response was upbeat, mentioning the possibility of cataract surgery in September and her current project of crocheting dragons and “having a ball.” Occasionally I would stop unexpectedly to visit her and her babies. Each time she would hand me one to hold during our visit. On July 20th i sent her an email and received her response. I miss her so very much and regret not seeing her in a while. Every visit was a joy as we commiserated about our rusting joints and painful backs, but each time I left feeling lighter, happier, less pain. I spoke to Werner when I read the ICO that week. I wrote a haiku for the following week’s local paper, but did not put my name to it. The haiku she left for that week was one that will haunt me forever.

    no visitors
    yet life is full
    of dolls

    I am not a poet, this is the one I wrote.

    alone she waited
    surrounded by little ones
    she waited alone

    I will forever think of her with love for this amazing friend. I could sure use one of her babies to hold now.

    Dorise Ford

    • Hello Dorise, Thank you for writing here. I am moved by your words. Although I had the pleasure of meeting her only once, I feel her loss greatly. Best wishes, Sandra
      PS: I have also posted your comment under the piece about Jane’s death as I thought more people would see it there.

  3. I spoke to a friend who asked Jane if she would donate some of her dolls to seniors with dementia who receive meals on wheels. Jane generously donated ten. I wish you had seen her art installations, they were beautiful, thoughtful, humorous, created with a generous heart, loving care and on occasion with tongue in cheek. This is the Jane I knew. Please do not post this but know that she is honored for all that she brought to our lives.

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