JAAM 27: Wanderings

JAAM 27: Wanderings, edited by Ingrid Horrocks


Cover of JAAM 27

Cover of JAAM 27

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.


Editorial                        Ingrid Horrocks


Sue Fitchett                        Wing Walking

Keith Westwater               The Sinews of Ohau Bay

Anne Harré                         Pukerua Bay

Lora Mountjoy                  Strathmore View

Tim Nees                              Three poems

Jennifer Sullivan               Froth of Ash

Jessica Le Bas                     What fractures Friday night

Johanna Aitchison           Three poems

Helen Lowe                          The Curve of the World

Mark O’Flynn                       Annelids

Rebekah Tysoe                   Enucleation

Diana Bridge                        Two poems

Majella Cullinane               Exiles

Siobhan Harvey                 Birds

Sue Wootton                        Photograph of your daughters at Giza

Vivienne Plumb                 Two poems

Naomi O’Connor                Pohutukawa goes off

Sarah Broom                       Three poems

Tim Jones                             Two poems

Lynn Jenner                        Two poems

Joan Fleming                       Three poems

Robert McClean                  Three poems


Mike Ting                               Four images

Creative non-fiction

Martin Edmond                    from The Thousand Ruby Galaxy

Helen Lehndorf                     A Stumbling into Motherhood

Pauline Dawson                     Up the River

Pat White                                 This Place

John Summers                      Reading Rawicz

Ian Richards                          Cycling for Safety: A Memoir

Mary McCallum                    More Things in Heaven and Earth Margaret


Kirsty Gunn                            Memorial

Kelly Joseph                          Mt Taranaki

Michele Powles                     Fault Lines

Amy Jackson                         After the Snow

Wes Lee                                    Cowboy Genes

Susanna Gendall                   In Limbo

Nina Seja                                 Ma’s Family Tree

Philip Armstrong                Memorial

Tina Shaw                               Missing

Vana Manasiadis                 Wedding Address

Tina Makereti                       in the end

Contributor notes


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