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.