Montana Poetry Day 2009
JAAM is celebrating Montana Poetry Day 2009 by featuring a poem – ‘come here at once’ by Emma Barnes – from our latest issue (JAAM 26) on our home page.
For other ways to celebrate Montana Poetry Day on the 24th of July 2009, visit the official site or NZLive.com.
come here at once
by Emma Barnes
This is what you said about my body
bang bang bang, three words all in
one row. Out of your mouth. I drove
past a greenhouse filled with lights.
I drove past a hill covered in tiny, tiny
light bulbs. At the end of the night
I felt my hips in disgust, my head
tipped back to catch words in my
throat. This is it all over. I am, I am,
I am, I am, I am, I am, I am everything.
The winter is coming and I can feel it
crawling, reaching for my knees. I
experience a sudden and unfortunate
craving, my eyes, they double blink.
Later in the gardens you talk at me
about whether a grain of sand makes
a difference to a beach. Pulling up
carrots my fingers shriek along their
fluffy tops. The grain of aforemention
-ed sand ticks over in my mind. My
mother yells to invite me to a wedding
I won’t want to go to. The baby cries
and I see you lift your head. I see your
breasts spill milk. I gulp back small
gusts of happiness that I am not you. I
gulp and gulp. My throat continuing
with what I started, here in this place.
If one more person tells me I am crazy I
am likely to head that way. You know?
I am not a great well, you yell into.
I am a woman with legs, a woman
with a long torso, a woman with
out the shame that you carry around
in a bag, over your shoulder, in your
shoe, tucked against your arch, no.
This is the week, everyone just cuts
me up. Broken milk bottles. Little
knives. They work harder and harder,
the more quickly I refuse them. That
is the small truth of it. That is the
secret in a nutshell. That is what
you should know if you know me at all.
Emma Barnes hasn’t long been back from a couple of years in Japan, but she’s been busy – she launched the first issue of her new literary magazine Enamel in early 2009. As well as in JAAM, her poetry has been published in publications, including Landfall, Catalyst and Best New Zealand Poems 2008.
The 2009 Sir Julius Vogel Awards have been announced (actually, this was a wee while ago). Unfortunately JAAM 26 didn’t win the Best Collected Work category, but it was great to have been shortlisted. As Tim Jones puts it, his short story collection Transported and JAAM 26 (which he edited) were pipped at the post by ‘up-and-coming author Elizabeth Knox’ (or rather, NZ literary superstar). Congratulations Elizabeth.
Congratulations also to Helen Lowe, who won both Best Novel – Young Adult for her novel Thornspell, and Best New Talent for a body of work that included two poems and a short story that were published JAAM 26.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
JAAM 26 has received a very favourable review by Keith Nunes in the latest issue of the Poetry Society magazine A fine line (March 2009).
A begins by saying ‘New Zealand is bubbling over with great writers and storytellers – just look at JAAM 26.’ And continues, ‘The annual publication by the JAAM (Just Another Art Movement) Collective is a triumph for editor Tim Jones and the team. The 164-page journal is an entertaining mix of poetry and prose that challenges and moves the reader.’
He says that he isn’t a big fan of speculative writing, of which there is some in JAAM 26, but ‘the stories I read in JAAM 26 won me over.’ He particularly mentions Tracie McBride’s story ‘Last Chance to See’.
Among the more traditional prose peices he highlights ‘When an Older Brother Dies’ by LE Scott, ‘Banshee’ by Darian Smith, ‘Voodoo’ by Renee Liang and ‘A Body of Land’ by Michele Powles. And he gives Michael Botur a ‘special mention’ for his ‘imaginative and amusing’ story ‘Historic Breakfasts’.
Of the poets, he praises Laurice Gilbert’s poems ‘Divided World’ and ‘Island Bay’. ‘Both soar and toy with you and leave images lingering.’ He continues:
The highlights come thick and fast with a number of poets impressing, including Janis Freegard with ‘he has your eyes’; Dean Ballinger’s ‘Antananarivo’; Helen Heath with two poems; Barbara Strang’s ‘Fatigues’; Sue Reidy’s ‘Bottomless Love’ and Miriam Barr’s ‘3 Phases in a Journey (Towards Self)’.
He concludes with the very positive: ‘All in all this is a wonderful journal and one which provides the reader with hours of thought provoking and entertaining reading. Well done.’
JAAM 26 is a finalist in the Collected Works section of the Sir Julius Vogel Awards for science fiction and fantasy works.
JAAM 26 was guest edited by Tim Jones, and contained a number of speculative and interstitial stories and poems – hence its eligibility for the award.
All congratulations are to go to Tim himself, who assembled such a fine issue of JAAM, and who knew about the awards in the first place. Tim also deserves congratulations because his own book of short stories, Transported, is up against JAAM in the same category, along with The Invisible Road, by Elizabeth Knox.
JAAM has a couple of other connections to these awards too. Helen Lowe had poems and a story in JAAM 26, and they are part of the body of work for which she has been selected as a finalist in the Best New Talent category. Also published in JAAM was ‘Banshee’ by Darian Smith, which is a finalist in the Best Short Story category.
Members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy and Fantasy Association of New Zealand will vote at Conscription, the 30th New Zealand National Science Fiction Convention, in Auckland on Queen’s Birthday Weekend.
Tim Jones has some more about this on his blog: http://timjonesbooks.blogspot.com/2009/03/sffanz-press-release-finalists-for-2009.html