One of the things I like most about the haiku community is the sense of fellowship among writers – we’re all pursuing perfection in an artform that to outsiders looks ‘easy’ – so getting together with fellow haikuists (who understand the pain of creating a poem in only a few words) is always a pleasure.
I’m rather tardy in posting this, but poets from either side of the Kaimai Range met for a misty, but enjoyable, walk round a park in Matamata in May, followed by lunch and then a round robin reading/discussion session in a nearby cafe.
From left: Shirley May (Tauranga), Mac Miller (Hamilton), Sandra Simpson, Harry Frentz (both Tauranga) and Barry Smith (Hamilton). Still to come were Jenny Fraser (Mt Maunganui) and Deryn Pittar (Papamoa). Photo: Keith Frentz
We hope it will be the first of many such get-togethers – an idea sparked during the launch of number eight wire in Tauranga in March – to deepen the connection between two clusters of poets who as the crow flies don’t live very far apart (drat that mountain pass) but who number among them many excellent writers.
The cafe wall motto seemed appropriate, clockwise from left, Barry Smith, Sandra Simpson, Keith Frentz, Harry Frentz, Shirley May, Mac Miller and Deryn Pittar. Photo: Jenny Fraser
It was a pleasure to re-establish my acquaintance with Barry Smith – I used to run into him at poetry weekend get-togethers in the 1990s – and to meet Mac Miller, someone I’d only known by email until then but whose work I like.
See you all again (and many others from our respective areas, it’s to be hoped) soon!
Congratulations to Harry Frentz, who is New Zealand’s only recipient of a Touchstone Award from the short-list (which included three others from NZ).
Harry Frentz. Photo: Sandra Simpson
Also to Ron Moss who was born in Dunedin but is a long-time resident of Australia. Ron had two haiku on the short-list so it would have been hard lines if he’d missed out!
May 7: Ron has just updated me on the ins and outs of his mixed NZ-Oz allegiances, to wit: He was born in Australia to a mother who was Australian and a father who was a Kiwi. The family moved to his dad’s hometown of Dunedin when Ron was seven and he remained in the city until the age of 25 when he headed back across the ditch (Tasman Sea). “My father, brother and sister are all Kiwis, my mother and I were born in Oz but my mother has lived in Dunedin most of her life now.” He says he likes being claimed as a “cuzzie” (cousin) by Kiwis. We’re glad to have you, kia ora.
The Haiku Foundation sends out as prizes great lumps of stone by airmail around the world, the block engraved with the author’s poem. A real treasure, although less of a paper weight and more of a garden ornament!
sand dune the width of the wind
– Harry Frentz (aged 17 when he wrote it)
prenuptial contract fish bones neatly spaced on white china