A begins by saying ‘New Zealand is bubbling over with great writers and storytellers – just look at JAAM 26.’ And continues, ‘The annual publication by the JAAM (Just Another Art Movement) Collective is a triumph for editor Tim Jones and the team. The 164-page journal is an entertaining mix of poetry and prose that challenges and moves the reader.’
He says that he isn’t a big fan of speculative writing, of which there is some in JAAM 26, but ‘the stories I read in JAAM 26 won me over.’ He particularly mentions Tracie McBride’s story ‘Last Chance to See’.
Among the more traditional prose peices he highlights ‘When an Older Brother Dies’ by LE Scott, ‘Banshee’ by Darian Smith, ‘Voodoo’ by Renee Liang and ‘A Body of Land’ by Michele Powles. And he gives Michael Botur a ‘special mention’ for his ‘imaginative and amusing’ story ‘Historic Breakfasts’.
Of the poets, he praises Laurice Gilbert’s poems ‘Divided World’ and ‘Island Bay’. ‘Both soar and toy with you and leave images lingering.’ He continues:
The highlights come thick and fast with a number of poets impressing, including Janis Freegard with ‘he has your eyes’; Dean Ballinger’s ‘Antananarivo’; Helen Heath with two poems; Barbara Strang’s ‘Fatigues’; Sue Reidy’s ‘Bottomless Love’ and Miriam Barr’s ‘3 Phases in a Journey (Towards Self)’.
He concludes with the very positive: ‘All in all this is a wonderful journal and one which provides the reader with hours of thought provoking and entertaining reading. Well done.’