Category Archives: JAAM 27

JAAM 27 reviewed

Cover of JAAM 27

It’s just the way of things, but it seems strange that while we’re in the thick of preparing JAAM 28 (the DanceDanceDance issue) the reviews of JAAM 27 should appear.

Literary magazines are pretty lucky to get reviews, so I’m happy we’ve had two (at least that I’ve seen – let us know if you’ve seen any others), and both are online.

The first was by young poet Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle in the New Zealand Poetry Society magazine, A Fine Line.

About the poetry, she says:

Many of the poems have excellent cadence and fluidity, using long lines and enjambment. The idea of flight weaves throughout this section. Two poems which stand out are Sue Fitchett’s ‘Wing walking’, a tribute to aerial stuntwoman Jessie Woods, and Siobhan Harvey’s ‘Birds’, which talks about leaving one’s home country. Majella Cullinane’s ‘Exile’ conveyed similar sentiments to Harvey’s, and was also a good read. I enjoyed Robert McLean’s poems, especially ‘Poem’, emulating the talky style of Frank O’ Hara – the poem being a homage to him.

Of creative non-fiction she says,  ‘Martin Edmond’s interesting excerpt from ‘The Thousand Ruby Galaxy’, a piece to re-read and ponder’, and ‘Helen Lehndorf skilfully wanders between the past and present in her piece about motherhood. Even her title employs a wandering quality – a sprawling 42 words – which made me smile.’

She notices the recurrence of snow in the fiction, and says ‘Kirsty Gunn, Kelly Joseph, Michele Powles and Susan Gendall also use memory to tell a story, creating absorbing narratives.’

Artistic images by Mike Ting are included in JAAM 27 as well – strange, unsettling, interesting – I kept coming back to them and studying them, noticing tiny details which I hadn’t previously. The image on the cover by Rachel Walker, ‘Falling through time’, is fantastic too, one of the best JAAM covers I’ve seen for a while.

You can read the whole review here:

The second review is by Julia Cooper in The Lumière Reader. Julia says that, with the wandering theme, she:

half expected to be thrown into literary disarray—poetry cavorting with non-fiction, promiscuous prose showing up wherever it pleased—foolhardily thinking that wandering was synonymous with all over the place.

I stand corrected. Contrary to my expectation for the collection’s structure to twist and swerve, for form to follow content’s ambulation, I found instead, order. Mike Ting’s images Naturalize and Overnight Sublime, which appear at the end of JAAM 27’s first section, serve not as a transition from poetry to prose, so much as a means of separating the two—a spatial authority.

She notes, however, that the prose poems and poetic prose (especially Vana Manasiadis’s ‘Wedding Address’) do blur the distinctions between the forms.

There is a subtlety and nuance in wandering that sets it apart from mere straying or disorientation, a control that is manifest and mastered in this exciting collection.

While saying ‘There are too many contributions to praise and decipher here, too many conversions, conversations, journeys, and correlations to extrapolate and to do them all justice’, she does mention some writers in particular, including Martin Edmond (‘lyrical and surreal on technology and poetry’); Pat White (‘philosophical questions of exile, migration, and post-colonial societies, and compellingly explores the opposite of wandering: dwelling’; Helen Lehndorf (‘which is true in plot and in humour to its title, but which is also a sad, serious, and witty contemplation of modern-day motherhood’); Kelly Joseph (‘the widening gap between siblings’) and Susanna Gendall ‘the myriad ignorance and the simultaneous astuteness of childhood’.

She concludes:

Far from literary disarray however, this is an intricately threaded, yet capacious, collection of poetry and prose, whose permeable boundaries have allowed the authors and texts to digress and wander in indulgent, thoughtful, and surprising ways.

You can read the whole review here:


Two poems from JAAM 27 in Best NZ Poems 2009

Best New Zealand Poems 2009 was published online last week, and I was delighted to find that two poems from JAAM 27 (edited by Ingrid Horrocks) were selected:

Congratulations to those poets, and also all the other poets included.

The editor for 2009 was Robyn Marsack, who is director of the Scottish Poetry Library, and also co-editor of the 2009 anthology Twenty Contemporary New Zealand Poets (Carcanet).

In her introduction she also mentions JAAM: ‘Poets shouldn’t take for granted the handsome New Zealand periodicals – such publications are few and far between here in the north. Landfall, Sport and JAAM suggest a very confident literary culture, and they’re the tip of it – Takahe, Bravado, the online issues such as 4th Floor and Turbine, all create a sense that poets have plenty of ways of getting poems out to readers.’

Woohoo! We’re included in the tip of NZ literary periodicals. How about that.

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:

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.

JAAM 27 update

JAAM 27 is progressing along nicely, so it seems like a good time for an update.

Thanks very much to everyone who submitted. You should have heard back from us by now – if you haven’t, your reply will be on its way soon.

We had a record number of submissions this time – guest editor Ingrid Horrocks read her way through at least 400 submissions. This gave her a wealth of things to choose from, but made it hard for her to pare it down to what we can actually print.

As you probably know, the theme for this issue is ‘wandering’. Ingrid’s call for submissions asked for fiction, poetry and non-fiction pieces that dealt with the idea of wandering. ‘As well as work that features literal wanderers and travellers (a mainstay of New Zealand literature) we’re also interested work that wanders – works that digress in creative ways from narrative, argument, or genre.’

This left a wide door open for all kinds of work, approaching the theme from all angles. Some writers were inspired by the theme to write new work, while others submitted pieces they’d already written that fitted the theme. General submissions were also considered.

A wide range of writers will be represented, new and established, young and older, New Zealanders and a few from overseas. I’m particularly excited to hear that there’s going to be more creative non-fiction than we’ve ever had in JAAM before.

We’re aiming to publish in September, but we’ll post more news before then.

Submissions for JAAM 27 have closed

Submissions for JAAM 27 (2009) have now closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted – there were lots and lots of you! We’ll be replying to you all soon.

JAAM 27, edited by Ingrid Horrocks, will be published in the second half of this year. There’ll be more news on that later.

Keep an eye out for news about JAAM 28, (to be published in 2010), which is already being planned.

In the meantime, you can still buy copies of JAAM 26 – $15 including postage, or for an even better deal, subscribe to JAAM. Email