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Integration / Disintegration

So for Issue 11 of SWAMP we thought we’d get right to point with our theme “Integration/Disintegration”.  When you break it down it’s just another euphemism, another metaphor for life and death, and the cycle thereof.  And let’s face it, we all know a little about that, we all have a little to say on that.  At the essence of all writing, whether it be fiction, poetry, memoir, biography, regardless of genre, style or theme it all comes down to the life and/or death.

The writers included in this issue have taken on the theme of integration/disintegration (life/death) from a diversity of angles and perspectives.  Death, grief, loss, isolation and survival are all common themes in the prose pieces in this issue, whether it is from the position of an observer being drawn in to the dissolution of a friend’s life as in Stephen Childress’s “Death of a Dentist” or the first-person psychological exploration with a twist that is Claire Duffy’s “Onion-skin Paper” or the superbly executed science fiction of Michael Somer’s “Curves in Space”.

These themes are common also in the poetry of this issue, as can be seen in the joy and grief of the pregnant narrator in Erin Session’s “Unnamed” and the mystic/historic narrative of destruction of the man-made and return to a protective natural environment in Rebecca Hurst’s “The Burning City”.  Interesting too is that the very form of poetry itself has become an adjunct of the theme of Issue 11.  Traditional structures are challenged and reinterpreted and poetry becomes poetry again, as seen in Briony Gylgayton’s stunning “A Small Problem That Mushroomed”, the bewitching prose-poetry of Graham Pope’s “Up the Green Hill” and the powerfully controlled narrative of abuse in Lisa Summe’s “Family History (Maternal)”.

Fittingly enough, too, so the wheel is turning again at SWAMP.  This will be my last issue as editor-in-chief.  I’ll be continuing on as a prose editor, but it’s finally time to concentrate on finishing of my own Masters degree.  I’d like to thank all our editors past and present who have worked with me, including Scott Brewer, Nell Robertson, Lachlan Ceeney, Malcolm St Hill and Sarah Barnett.  Your patience, insight and enthusiasm have been essential to the survival of SWAMP.  Special thanks to co-founder Peter Bower for his continued involvement behind the scenes as web guy, late night adviser, editor-to-the-editor and additional conscience which has been absolutely invaluable.  Finally, but most importantly, I would like to thank everyone who has submitted with us. Without you guys, and your continued interest and support, we certainly would not be able to survive!

With Issue 12 we welcome our current poetry editor Malcolm St Hill to the helm. I am confident that SWAMP will continue to grow and prosper with his enthusiastic leadership and I hope that he will find the whole experience as motivating and challenging as I have.

The theme for Issue 12 is “Pollination”, but, as always, we will accept submissions that do not follow the theme.  Submissions are currently open and will close on November 30 with the issue’s planned release to coincide with the beginning of the new school year in 2013.

For further updates on SWAMP, to share general information on writing comps and submission possibilities, or if you just have something you want to say about words of any sort come like us at www.facebook.com/SWAMPWriting!

Samantha Dagg





Published: 21 October, 2012.
Editorial Team: Samantha Dagg, Nell Robertson, Malcolm St Hill, Sarah Jane Barnett (from Massey University, New Zealand), Keri Glastonbury (Editorial Advisor).