JAAM 27: Wanderings, edited by Ingrid Horrocks
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
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