JAAM 32: Shorelines was launched simultaneously at the first LitCrawl festival in Wellington and at The Inch Bar in Dunedin on 15 November. JAAM is a popular national literary journal, published annually with the help of funding from Creative NZ/Toi Aotearoa.
For the 2014 issue of JAAM we shifted south, welcoming Dunedin writer Sue Wootton (pictured) as our guest editor. Sue is probably best known as a poet – she has published three collections of poetry, most recently By Birdlight (Steele Roberts, 2011), and has won awards for her poems. But she’s also an experienced prose writer. Her ebook of three short stories, The Happiest Music on Earth, was published in 2012 and her children’s book, Cloudcatcher, came out in 2010. Sue has twice been a runner up in the BNZ Katherine Mansfield short story awards, has been a finalist in the Sunday Star Times and Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize short story competitions, and has won the Aoraki Literary Festival short story prize.
The theme for JAAM 32 was ‘shorelines’, and Sue welcomed submissions that considered the theme from many angles. Sue says:
“I chose the theme of ‘Shorelines’ partly because I see our islands’ physical shorelines as the great connector for us as a people. I hoped the idea of shorelines would resonate for others, and prove a creative catalyst. It sure did – there were a huge number of submissions, and I’m sad to say I couldn’t select every good piece that I read. I decided to arrange this issue around the idea of korerorero, as expressed in Teoti Jardine’s opening poem, a kind of “never-ending ebb and flow” conversation, taking place from one end of the country to the other.”
There was a good representation of South Island writers in this issue, including Vincent O’Sullivan, Diane Brown, Rachel Bush, David Eggleton, Kerrin P. Sharpe, Joanna Preston, Carolyn McCurdie, Frankie McMillan, Emma Neale, Rhian Gallagher and Karen Zelas. Also among the writers whose work features in JAAM 32 are Tracey Slaughter, Morgan Bach and Tim Jones.
JAAM publishes poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, photography and other artwork. It supports new and up and coming writers and gives them a chance to appear beside established local and international authors. Guest editor, Sue Wootton says:
“Opening JAAM is always like lifting the lid on a jack-in-the-box: something energetic jumps out. The buzz is due to the eclectic (electric) mix of voices within the covers, which in turn is a result of JAAM’s commitment to artistic exploration. JAAM has always been not only a forum for New Zealand’s well-known established writers but also a place for new writers to chance their pens.”
For more information about JAAM you can visit: www.jaam.net.nz or contact the editors on firstname.lastname@example.org.