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Q&A: Lynley Edmeades on Landfall 242

Friday 12 November 2021 11:26am

Lynley Edmeades credit Rory MearnsLandfall 242 will be editor Lynley Edmeades' first edition. Here she discusses how she approached the tricky selection process and what we can expect from Landfall 242 and beyond.

Landfall 242 will be out at the end of the month. More here

How has it been editing your first Landfall?

I was decidedly nervous in taking up this role that I would find the task completely overwhelming. It was such a pleasant surprise to find that I enjoyed it. I went pretty slowly through everything, and was so intrigued as to what I might find in the pile of submissions.

I was really impressed with the overall quality of the submissions —I think I was expecting a lot more bad stuff, to be honest. It was so great to see some well-known names come through and to place these alongside new and emerging writers.

LANDFALL 242 front cover for NTIHow did you approach the tricky selection process?

It was tricky! There was a lot of good work that didn't make it in there, but that I enjoyed reading. But, actually, the selection process was quite simple and at the risk of exposing something about myself, I will say I simply selected pieces I liked. They needed to impress and engage me on first reading, enough to make it into the maybe pile, and then they needed to impress and engage me again on second (and third and fourth reading). That was my litmus test, really.

What are some of the standout pieces for you?

If I'd had more space, I'd have included more work by Vana Manasiadis, and I open the issue with one of her poems because I love the way she pushes language into slightly distorted and dusty places. There's a really great essay in there by Melody Nixon about the pandemic and being in quarantine. There's also some top-shelf fiction, including a standout piece for me by James Pasley.

What is something you would be keen on introducing/supporting/increasing in future issues?

I'd really like to see more experimental and hybrid work in future issues. I found myself looking for things that would surprise me, that I could place alongside a beautiful lyric poem or a really controlled short-story. I'd also really like to see more non-fiction and creative literary criticism. I think outlets for this are lacking a little in Aotearoa, and yet I know there's probably some great pieces of work stashed away out there.

Is there anything else you would like to say about Landfall 242?

The art work! I joined instagram just so I could stalk artists, and have been completely floored by the amount of incredible work being done in Aotearoa. I aim to showcase emerging and established artists in the upcoming issues of Landfall, and both painting and photography. There is such a wealth of great work out there that I feel completely spoilt for choice. The current issue features work by Conor Clarke, Zina Swanson and et al. I'm really chuffed to have all their work in my first issue.

Photo credit: Rory Mearns