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An elongated silhouette on a hot summer’s day. A hint of sadness, a trace of pain, in an expression. Tailing someone through congested city streets at night. This issue we asked our contributors to consider the concept of the shadow in all of its suggestive imagery and emotional connotations. Our theme clearly inspired many as we received a massive amount of submissions both nationally and internationally.

The variety of responses from our contributors has always amazed me, with some taking the theme to the centre of their work, clear and literal, while others approach it more abstractly. It is a personal delight to come across a piece which presents the theme of the issue in a way I had never considered. Valentina Maniacco showed the shadows cast by family history in her piece Learning About My Father. Whereas in Anne Turner’s heart-breaking piece Family is Family, we see the distress and confusion of that which is kept secret and shameful. Jamisyn Gleeson used shadows in her work Lust to show us the joy of exploration and discovery. In The Annual Air Show by James Menken, a moment of misunderstanding reminds us of our vulnerability and mortality. Seeing the work of individuals across the world, seeing the span of responses, is an immense privilege. Each piece of writing is a glimpse into the mind of the writer and I would like to commend all of those who submitted their work to this issue for their bravery in sharing part of themselves. For those thinking of contributing to our next issue, please make the leap. Though not every piece is accepted to be published, every piece is appreciated and considered. The existence of SWAMP relies on the efforts and the nerve of our contributors.

So too does SWAMP rely on the efforts of our editorial team. There was a huge shift in this issue’s team of editors. Our amazing leader Shannon Todd, stepped down from her role as editor-in-chief as she finished her PhD thesis. She leaves with our gratitude and congratulations. With much guidance from Shannon, I have taken up the role of editor-in-chief. Shadow was an apt theme as I have worked to fulfil the legacy left by Shannon. Giulia Mastrantoni has taken up the role of head of poetry and led an entirely new team of poetry editors, welcoming Dani Netherclift and Caitlin Burns. The entire poetry team approached their work with enthusiasm and confidence. The ever reliable Caylee Tierney returned as our head of prose, and led the veteran prose team of Shea Evans and myself through yet another issue.
Submissions for issue 30 are now open and the theme is ‘Salt Water.’ Salt Water covers roughly seventy percent of our planet. We are bound to our countries by oceans. We weep salt water. We sweat salt water, so that even in the middle of a desert we encounter salt water every day. In all its forms, salt water is not something we can master; whether it is tears, sweat or the sea it rises unbidden. Yet Isak Dinesan claims “The cure for anything is salt water, sweat, tears, or the sea.” For issue thirty we invite you to dive in and consider the inescapabilty of salt water. Submissions close on the 10th of September 2022. Our editorial team looks forward to reading your work.

Madeline Bignill







Published: 24 August 2022.
Editorial Team: Madeline Bignill (Editor-In-Chief), Giulia Mastrantoni (Head of Poetry), Caylee Tierney (Head of Prose), Shea Evans, Dani Netherclift, Caitlin Burns, Keri Glastonbury (Editorial Advisor).