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Finding Form

Hello and welcome to Issue #6, the issue centred around “form”.

The first issue of the year is always the most difficult to put together. We, like all of you, struggle to get motivated at the start of the year; the holidays always leave us in a soporific haze that seems to last months. It is no less enjoyable to read your work, of course, but at times we have to resist the pile of submissions and try to slog through our own uni work after avoiding it for so long.

But the SWAMP submission pile is a pleasant way to wake up—always a highly enjoyable experience. Even the pieces we unfortunately have to let go are pleasures.

The theme of “form” was something of a gamble: we didn’t know how people would respond. When we thought of form, we thought of genre forms, of stylistic forms, of human and animal forms, and of the paperwork we have to do to keep our degree alive (and our sanity in doubt).

Our poets submitted a wide range of words. We received villanelles, sestinas, haiku, senyru, odes, sonnets, free-form poetry, and even one shape poem. The range was delightful. Though, one poet, Melanie Graham, shifted us from delight to discomfort as her poems examined violence towards women within the tight constraints of her selected forms. “Bruxism” leaves the reader gnashing their own teeth as a trip to the dentist resonates a brutal rape. The poem “Barren” moves the sonnet from an expression of love to the exploration of marriage, and the abandoned attractiveness and sexuality of a wife to her disgusted husband.

Prose on the other hand explored form in a much different manner. Michael Sala’s “What You Always Wanted” peers into a relationship becoming tense with the stale forms of antagonised politeness. Meanwhile, Emma Hardy’s “A Story About Nothing (If You Can Call It A Story)” plays with form in the literal sense; her play with the natural conventions of the story leads the reader to question what they are reading and what they have read every step of the way. Her submission impressed us so much that I was left scratching my head for days with how to publish it online; I hope I have done it justice.

SWAMP itself is in great form. SWAMP is now reaching more and more universities and traffic to the website still increasing per issue. We could not be happier with how SWAMP continues to grow. It is indeed a pleasure and an honour to help unearth the talent that lies within postgraduate Creative Writing programs around the globe, and we thank you for your continued support.

I would like to make mention of a new member of our Editorial team, Samantha Dagg. Sam joined us as the new Co-Editor (Prose) for Issue #6 keen for a great story, and will continue working with Scott to read all the prose words you send us. You can find out a bit about her over on the Editorial Team page.

And, while on the subject of Editorial team changes, I would like to thank you all for six amazing issues I’ve had the opportunity of working on. This marks my last issue as Editor-In-Chief, as I scurry to get work done by deadlines. I’m handing over to the very capable Scott Brewer. When I began SWAMP with Patrick, we weren’t sure what would happen despite all hopes. But I can happily say it exceeded expectations and handing over SWAMP is something I do, while without hesitation, with sorrow that I have to let it go. Thank you to all whom I have worked with, who have contributed, and who have supported us. My personal thanks to John Germov and the School of Humanities and Social Science for their continued support; the School has graciously agreed to continue funding us, allowing me to pass on SWAMP assured in its continuation for another year.

I look forward to seeing you again soon for Issue #7. To find out the theme for the next issue, and instructions on how to submit your work, jump over to the Submission Guidelines once you’ve finished reading the great work we have for you in this issue.

Many regards,
Peter Bower





Published: 24 April, 2010.
Editorial Team: Peter Bower, Scott Brewer, Cassandra O’Loughlin, Samantha Dagg, Keri Glastonbury (Editorial Advisor).