Monthly Archives: September 2009

Go wandering with JAAM 27

This is our media release for JAAM 27.

Go wandering with JAAM 27

Cover of JAAM 27

Cover of JAAM 27

The latest issue of JAAM literary magazine, JAAM 27: Wanderings, has just been released.

When guest editor Ingrid Horrocks called for submissions she asked particularly for ‘wandering fiction, poetry and, especially, creative non-fiction’ that featured literal wanderers and travellers, or ‘works that digress in creative ways from narrative, argument, or genre’.

Ingrid, a lecturer in creative writing at Massey University in Wellington, has long had an interest in wandering and journeys; both in her own life and as a subject of study. She lived and worked in Japan, and completed post-graduate study in York and Princeton. Her PhD thesis was on wanderings in eighteenth-century literature and she has since received a grant from the Marsden Fund for her study Reluctant wanderers: women re-imagine the margins, 1775–1800.

Ingrid has also utilised the literary possibilities of wandering in her own creative writing – Natsukashii (Pemmican, 1998) is a chapbook of poems inspired by her time in Japan, while Travelling with Augusta, 1883 & 1999 (VUP, 2003) is an unconventional travel memoir.

In JAAM 27 she has gathered together much fine writing that wanders in expected and unexpected ways. It wanders across the globe, through memory, the past and the imagination, with a good deal of genre bending.

This issue features more creative non-fiction than ever before – Ingrid’s specific invitation to writers of that genre seems to have tapped a seam of creativity. A highlight is Martin Edmond’s ‘from The Thousand Ruby Galaxy’, which wanders blithely across the boundary between fact and fiction. Helen Lendorf weaves past diary entries and present reflections on her experiences of ‘stumbling into motherhood’ into a compelling non-fiction narrative.

As Ingrid says, ‘The poetry section of the issue leaps into flight with Sue Fitchett’s ‘Wing Walking’ and ends with Robert McClean’s free-wheeling homage to that most perambulatory of poets, Frank O’Hara’. Other wandering poets include Diana Bridge, Jessica Le Bas, Johanna Aitchison, Tim Jones and Vivienne Plumb.

The fiction section has a combination of new and well-known voices, including Kirsty Gunn, Michele Powles and Tina Shaw. Many of the characters in these stories wander imaginatively while journeying physically, and several feature a surprising recurring motif – snow.

JAAM 27 looks particularly resplendent in its attractive cover designed by Anna Brown, featuring artwork by Rachel Walker. And, in a first for JAAM, this issue features a four-page colour spread of playful but disquieting photographs by Wellington student Mike Ting.

JAAM is published by the independent JAAM Collective based in Wellington, and is run by co-managing editors Clare Needham and Helen Rickerby. JAAM is supported by funding from Creative New Zealand.

JAAM is available from good bookshops or by subscription. For subscription information, visit or email

For more information, or to interview Ingrid, contact:
Helen Rickerby
027 7385 977


JAAM 27 is released into the wild

Cover of JAAM 27

Cover of JAAM 27

I think it’s our most beautiful issue yet.

As well as having the most well-designed cover so far (thanks to designer Anna Brown and artist Rachel Walker), it also is the first to feature colour images inside the journal (four pages of photographs by Mike Ting),

Contributor’s will (mostly) have their copies by now, and subscribers and bookshops will get theirs next week.

I’ll post our media release here soon, with more info. You can also read what one contributor, Mary McCallum, thinks about it (she likes it) on her blog: