Ernest J. Berry was born in Christchurch in 1929. After a decade of shepherding in Poverty Bay and the Canterbury high country, he spent several years in business in Auckland before retiring to a wilderness beach in Mexico where he rediscovered his childhood love of poetry. He un-retired in 1993 and settled in Picton where he adopted haiku as a retirement project. He has been deeply involved with the haiku movement world-wide ever since. Two of his many haiku books have been honoured with Merit Book Awards from the Haiku Society of America. After founding Picton Poets in 1994 , Ernie has taught haiku in workshop, secondary schools, poetry meetings and special-interest groups. He has resided in Blenheim since 2013.