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 continued her long-running role of programming speakers for both festivals, ending her employment with the festival in 2021.

chidorigafuchi7 - Copy

Sandra’s haiku, senryu and linked verse have appeared in numerous collections around the world and are published regularly in journals in New Zealand, Australia, England and the United States. She has been invited to judge contests including the British Haiku Society Awards (2020), the Martin Lucas Haiku Award (2018), the Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Award (2017), and the NZPS Haiku Contest (2017).

Her most recent awards include: Haiku chosen for a signboard in the Golden Triangle Haiku Contest (US, 2022); Honourable Mentions Autumn Moon Contest (US, 2021) and Morioka International Haiku Contest (Japan, 2021), Highly Commended NZPS Haiku Contest (2021), haiku chosen for signboard in the Chicago Botanic Gardens (US, 2021); Fifth NZPS Haiku Contest (2020) and chosen for a signboard in the Golden Triangle Haiku Contest (US, 2020); First NZPS Haiku Contest (2018); Second Martin Lucas Haiku Award (UK, 2017) and HMs in the Robert Spiess Memorial Haiku Contest (US, 2017),  AHA Haiku Contest (US, 2017) and Vancouver Cherry Blossom Haiku Invitational (Canada, 2017); HMs in the Jane Reichhold International Prize (US, 2016) and Autumn Moon Contest (US, 2016); First in the Free XpresSion Haiku Contest (Australia, 2015).

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). She received 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.

In 2012 Sandra was co-organiser with Margaret Beverland of a Haiku Festival Aotearoa, a national gathering, in Tauranga. They teamed up again in 2019 to co-edit the fourth New Zealand haiku anthology, number eight wire.

Sandra is secretary of the Katikati Haiku Pathway committee, editor of the Haiku NewZ website and South Pacific nominating editor for the annual Red Moon anthologies (a collection of the best haiku published in English each year), and 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 and in 2022 completed a short series of pottery classes.


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

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

    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 –

    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

    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,

  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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s