Monthly Archives: July 2009

JAAM’s contribution to Montana Poetry Day

Montana Poetry Day 2009

logo_mpd_2009JAAM is celebrating Montana Poetry Day 2009 by featuring a poem – ‘come here at once’ by Emma Barnes – from our latest issue (JAAM 26) on our home page.

For other ways to celebrate Montana Poetry Day on the 24th of July 2009, visit the official site or


come here at once

by Emma Barnes
This is what you said about my body
bang bang bang, three words all in
one row. Out of your mouth. I drove
past a greenhouse filled with lights.
I drove past a hill covered in tiny, tiny
light bulbs. At the end of the night
I felt my hips in disgust, my head
tipped back to catch words in my
throat. This is it all over. I am, I am,
I am, I am, I am, I am, I am everything.
The winter is coming and I can feel it
crawling, reaching for my knees. I
experience a sudden and unfortunate
craving, my eyes, they double blink.
Later in the gardens you talk at me
about whether a grain of sand makes
a difference to a beach. Pulling up
carrots my fingers shriek along their
fluffy tops. The grain of aforemention
-ed sand ticks over in my mind. My
mother yells to invite me to a wedding
I won’t want to go to. The baby cries
and I see you lift your head. I see your
breasts spill milk. I gulp back small
gusts of happiness that I am not you. I
gulp and gulp. My throat continuing
with what I started, here in this place.
If one more person tells me I am crazy I
am likely to head that way. You know?
I am not a great well, you yell into.
I am a woman with legs, a woman
with a long torso, a woman with
out the shame that you carry around
in a bag, over your shoulder, in your
shoe, tucked against your arch, no.
This is the week, everyone just cuts
me up. Broken milk bottles. Little
knives. They work harder and harder,
the more quickly I refuse them. That
is the small truth of  it. That is the
secret in a nutshell. That is what
you should know if  you know me at all.


Emma Barnes hasn’t long been back from a couple of years in Japan, but she’s been busy – she launched the first issue of her new literary magazine Enamel in early 2009. As well as in JAAM, her poetry has been published in publications, including Landfall, Catalyst and Best New Zealand Poems 2008.


Sneak peek at JAAM 27 cover

Cover of JAAM 27

Isn’t it beautiful! I’m very excited.

This cover was designed for us by Anna Brown of Anna Brown Design: . The artwork, Falling through time, is by Rachel Walker. You can see more of her work on her website:

JAAM is moving along swiftly – I’ve typeset it and today I’m hoping to finish off all the proofreading changes. So I’ve also had a sneak peek at all the contents.

Guest editor Ingrid Horrocks has selected lots of fabulous work by a mixture of new and well-known writers. The thing I’m most excited about is the creative non-fiction.  It’s been great to have so much submitted, and we’ll definitely welcome more creative non-fiction in the future.

We’re on track for having it out in September. It’s one to look forward to.

Sir Julius Vogel Awards announced

The 2009 Sir Julius Vogel Awards have been announced (actually, this was a wee while ago). Unfortunately JAAM 26 didn’t win the Best Collected Work category, but it was great to have been shortlisted. As Tim Jones puts it, his short story collection Transported and JAAM 26 (which he edited) were pipped at the post by ‘up-and-coming author Elizabeth Knox’ (or rather, NZ literary superstar). Congratulations Elizabeth.

Congratulations also to Helen Lowe, who won both Best Novel – Young Adult for her novel Thornspell, and Best New Talent for  a body of work that included two poems and a short story that were published JAAM 26.