JAAM 28 reviewed

Some reviews of JAAM 28 have recently appeared.

First up, Bryan James reviewed it briefly in the Otago Daily Times, along with the latest issue of Landfall. He said: ‘JAAM provides a useful counterweight to Landfall, with a more expansive brief and an acceptance of more experimental work. ‘ He went on to say that meant more risk, and obviously not all the work included was his cup of tea. He concluded: ‘There are some gems, however, in some of the other pieces: Mikaela Nyman’s moving reflections of her Finnish dance teacher; Kate Baggot’s encounter with a busker; and Julie Hill’s brilliant slow waltz with Tricky. ‘

Next up was a brief review in issue 42 of Poetry New Zealand. The reviewer says ‘JAAM continues to provide a wide and various outlet for writers from every segment of New Zealand’s literary community’ and goes on to describe the issue.

The third, and most thorough, review is by Gillian Cameron in A Fine Line, the NZ Poetry Society’s magazine.

The idea behind Dance Dance Dance is, as editor Clare Needham explains, to get “writers thinking about dance and dancers thinking about writing” and “to gather them together and ask them to perform as an ensemble”. Dance Dance Dance achieves this – not just for the contributors but for the reader as well. There is a wonderful mix of short stories, interviews, poetry, photos and artwork. While some of the pieces seemed (to this reader at any rate) to have only a slight connection to dance, most explore the connection of dance and writing in thought-provoking ways.

Cameron goes on to say that she particularly liked the interview with dancer, choreographer, writer and reviewer Lyne Pringle, and found the other interviews engaging. She calls Mikaela Nyman’s story, ‘The Obituary’, ‘entrancing with its depiction of Arja dancing the seasons, the land, the birds, even a harsh judgment of death in the boggy marshland around Lake Inarijarvi’ and ‘stories from writers that I had not previously encountered – Kate Baggott, Simon Minto, Nina Seja and Julie Hill – glide across the dance floor and leave me wanting more.’

On to the poetry:

Jo Thorpe’s ‘Hunt the slipper’ weaves a breathless spell of seduction around legendary prima ballerina Marie Taglioni. In ‘Dancing on lego’ Anna Jackson skillfully skitters and slides … Extracts from Janis Freegard’s ‘The continuing Adventures of Alice Spider’ have whetted my appetite for more about “Alice Webster”. Nicole Taylor’s ‘Jerry’s Dance’ underlines dance as an integral part of the human experience.

She concludes: ‘Last but not least, Kesha Robert’s photos provide a sizzling display of Latin American dance festivities. My copy of Dance Dance Dance is now looking very well thumbed!Last but not least, Kesha Robert’s photos provide a sizzling display of Latin American dance festivities. My copy of Dance Dance Dance is now looking very well thumbed!

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