Margaret Louise (ML) Grace grew up on a small farm at the foot of Te Mata Hills, near New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay area. She now lives with her husband at Bilgola on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Margaret is a frequent traveller, a passionate foodie and an avid gardener with a particular love of asian style gardens and ponds. Her passions are clearly woven through her writing which includes Haiku, Tanka, short stories and children’s fiction.
From the Depths, her first book, was published in 2012 and illustrates her childhood experiences in rural New Zealand as well as her life-long love of sailing, the sea and nature through a form of Japanese poetry known as Tanka. Beverley George, Editor of Eucalypt, Australia’s tanka journal says about the book: “Margaret writes with vivid imagery and engaging candour. Her tanka evoke foreign places and local ambiance with equal skill… From the Depths rewards the reader with diverse themes and lively observations”.
As a poetry form, Tanka is well over twelve hundred years old (haiku is about three hundred years old), and has always been a poem of feelings, often involving metaphor and other figurative language (not generally used in haiku). Most tanka deal with human relationships or the author’s situation (1). In Japan today, newspapers carry weekly tanka (and haiku) columns edited by well-known poets. Most writers – amateur, professional, and in-between – belong to an association of tankaists which holds regular study meetings, and publishes magazines featuring members’ compositions; such magazines number in the hundreds. (2)