Debating success

Sometime haiku poet Sophia Frentz was co-organiser of the recent Australs Debating Tournament at Otago University in Dunedin – and despite stressing to the moon and back, she can consider it a job well done.

The university is also singing the praises of Sophia and her fellow organisers, the team from the Otago University Debating Society and judges from OUDS. Read that here (low-resolution pic, but Sophia is glam in the blue dress in front). See more of Sophia and Australs here.

walking home –
the next bus stop
even brighter

– Sophia Frentz, Ice Diver (NZPS anthology, 2011)

Sophia has recently moved to Melbourne to begin another round of study.

While in Long Beach for last year’s Haiku North America, Sophia was interviewed by the LA Weekly about haiku. Read that story here.


Winter holiday

Raining again, and turning cold too after what has so far been a very mild winter. Still, we had time this morning to rake a mess of leaves off the garden and on to the lawn for Haiku Teenager to mow over and throw into the leaf mould bins. Haiku Husband pruned the hydrangeas down to the ground and I set to and weeded the new garden.

We’re all on holiday this week but decided on a “stay-cation” when we saw the weather forecasts – not nice anywhere in the North Island all week. Today’s treat was High Tea at a local, smart hotel. As we left Haiku Husband suggested I should recommend it only to people I didn’t like! So, as nobody here qualifies for that appellation, I shall instead recommend High Tea at Chateau Tongariro and High Tea at Zealong Tea Estate near Hamilton, the former more traditional, the latter more innovative with its use of tea-flavoured food – and both delicious!

Here are some haiku to whisk us away to sunnier climes and warmer times …

all the umbrellas proceed
at the same pace

– Greg Piko (Australia), Modern Haiku 37:2, 2006


                                                                         afternoon breeze 
                                                                         the pace of paddle boats 
                                                                         in the park

– Ben Moeller-Gaa (US), The Heron’s Nest XV:3, 2013


green and black lizard
curled in a stone nostril:
summer in Rome

– Sandra Simpson, winterSPIN, 1995


reef sharks
the black eye
of the hibiscus

– Sandra Simpson, Simply Haiku 4:4, 2006


And a senryu to end on …

After pushing the lawnmower at noontime, the simple taste of water is satisfying

– Anon, from Gardeners’ Pioneer Story (Southern California Gardeners Federation, 2007)

The book’s editor, Sankyaku (Sunny) Seki, spoke about senryu at last year’s Haiku North America conference in Long Beach, California. The book is about the senryu of the Japanese gardeners who at one time dominated as domestic gardeners in Los Angeles and what the poems reveal about their lives through the 20th century from 1907. It was originally published (in Japanese) in Rafu Shimpo, a Japanese-language newspaper in Los Angeles. No author names are attached to the senryu, and all are presented as single lines.

Here is another article about the Southern California Gardeners’ Federation which had thousands of Japanese members when it started.

LA Weekly

When Sophia and I went at Haiku North America in California, she was interviewed by someone from LA Weekly, an arts and entertainment paper, and had a special photo session. Well, the piece finally appeared – just 2 months after the event! Read it here. 


Sophia Frentz at the regional reading at Haiku North America. Pictured beside her are Margaret Beverland (left) and Sandra Simpson.


Apologies to Margaret Beverland, who is quoted in the piece as Margaret McGee! Not quite sure how that happened except that the reporter had a brain fade.