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From City To Country

Well, here it is: Issue #5.

The reason for the delay of this issue is our endevours to ensure it was authentic. After sending it out West to the bush, it got lost in the post on the return journey to our humble coastal city of Newcastle.

This issue is somewhat special for me. With grandparents in the country, I spent much of my youth enjoying the country life where, if it were not true it would be a cliché, everyone knew your name. The other part of my life has been in the city of Newcastle, which, while not as expansive as Sydney, has a modest population and an odd blend of city and country ideals. I feel that I’ve had one foot in each place and, because of this, felt I could connect to the environments you presented. Exploring your country towns and city ‘scapes through your work has been an absolute pleasure; sometimes moving, sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing, but always a pleasure.

Our prose has a definite human feel to it. Not getting lost in the wide-open spaces or the heady noises and lights, time and time again we were drawn into the worlds of the characters. There is a young woman going to LA to find if love is real in the modern world of email and instant message in Lauren Rosewarne’s Cordon. Another young woman is returning to the family vineyard in the country while trying to find herself in Petra Fromm’s The Old Block. And there is a young boy trying to find something better in Suzanne Hermanoczki’s Pockets. In these, and indeed all our prose, there is the search for meaning and self.

Our poetry extends the humanistic element, but moves beyond that into an imagistic representation of the world in which we live. The capturing of The No. 8 Tram, by Maureen O’Shaughnessy—which details the passengers on their daily quest—and Emily Brandt’s Lunch-losing—which imprisons the hassles of inner-city beggars—highlight city-life for us. Meanwhile, John Ryan’s seven names for a plant moves away the human element and describes the countryside in a burst of colour and beauty.

The range of cities and countries presented in this issue proves SWAMP’s diversity and the widespread readership. There have been over 18000 views on the site prior to this fifth issue being released, and we have now published work from seven countries (after receiving submissions from over 40 universities).

This issue is also, sadly, the last for Ivy Ireland. Having been our head Poetry Editor since the very start, SWAMP would not have been possible without her support, hard work and expertise. Cassandra O’Loughlin has taken on Ivy’s position and we will announce our new Poetry Co-Editor next year.

We break now for the holiday period and look forward to seeing you in the New Year. Please jump on over to our Submission Guidelines to see the theme for Issue #6 and instructions on how to submit your work.

As always, many thanks for your support. It is because of you that SWAMP has been so successful.

Peter Bower





Published: 20 October, 2009.
Editorial Team: Peter Bower, Scott Brewer, Cassandra O’Loughlin, Ivy Ireland, Keri Glastonbury (Editorial Advisor).