Jeanette Stace

staceJeanette Stace (1917-2006) was an active member of Wellington’s Windrift haiku group and the e-mail A to Zazen group, which published a self-titled collection in 2005.

She began to write haiku in the 1980s, and her work was published in New Zealand and overseas. She was placed second in the 2006 NZPS international haiku competition, the same year she won the Japanese Ioten tea company haiku competition. Jeanette co-edited the annual NZPS competition anthologies in the early 1990s, and was a committee member for several years.

Two books of her poems were published, Across the Harbour in 1993 and Green Tea, posthumously in 2007. Jeanette was one of the co-organiser’s of New Zealand’s first haiku conference, held in Wellington in 2005.

Among her academic achievements were an MA in psychology and philosophy, a diploma in journalism and, after raising her five children, a BA (Hons) in sociology. Her estate has established two prizes in her name to be awarded to the winners of the senior and junior haiku sections of the NZPS competition.

Green Tea, Haiku & Other Poetry, which was printed as a limited edition, also contained Jeanette’s final farewell and thoughts on life, which she intended to be read at her funeral. Read tributes made at the time of her death and a eulogy by Nola Borrell delivered at Jeanette’s funeral.


low tide –
I walk to you
across the sky


all this way
in your letter
that cigarette smell


checking the map
the road disappears
into a fold


weather forecast
searching the sky
for an isobar


autumn morning
clearing the misty window
to see the mist


lemon blossom
accidentally picked
perfumes the whole room


grandson’s visit
we compare notes
on his parents


fish and chips night
first home
the smell


emptying the mousetrap
the tiny drop
of blood


underneath the weeds
we will not forget


Publication notes:

low tide – : NZ Haiku Anthology (NZ Poetry Society) 1993.

all this way: Second NZ Haiku Anthology (NZPS) 1998.

checking the map: A to Zazen (Zazen Haiku Group) 2004.

weather forecast: ibid.

autumn morning: learning a language (NZPS anthology) 2005.

lemon blossom: paper wasp (Aus) 1999.

grandson’s visit: the enormous picture (NZPS anthology) 2004.

fish and chips night: winterSPIN, 2001.

emptying the mousetrap: tiny gaps (NZPS anthology) 2006.

gravestone: Green Tea (Bearfax) 2007.