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When I decided on ‘space’ as the theme for Issue 20 of SWAMP Magazine, I have to admit that I was thinking specifically of outer space: stars and galaxies, planets and moons. I wondered what other ideas of space that single word would generate, and hoped that it would inspire similar thoughts of beauty and a sense of awe that the space of galaxies and planets and stars does for me. As the submissions of poetry and prose became rolling in for this issue of SWAMP, I was pleased that my choice of theme had clearly had a powerful effect on our contributors – the various interpretations of ‘space’ went from the physical to the metaphysical, from the literal to the metaphorical, in awe-inspiring and breathtaking ways.

Space, for all of us, obviously means something very different, and engenders very different ideas and images. The authors of the creative pieces published here, as always, take us on an emotional and physical journey, and thus SWAMP Magazine becomes its own special space. A safe space, created specifically to bring together like-minded, creative people to share their thoughts and feelings, and to hopefully make a reader, sitting perhaps thousands of kilometres away, feel something. Loved, maybe. Accepted. Heard. This is one of the greatest powers of literature; that people all over the world, occupying very different spaces to each other, can come together and share something that makes them feel connected to another being, despite the distances of time and space.

As always, a huge thanks to my wonderful editorial team: Shannon Todd and Naomi Borwein, who looked after our fantastic poetry submissions, and Camille Roulière and Liz Chandler, who likewise looked after the prose. And, of course, to Peter, who always manages to make this publication a reality. We wouldn’t be able to do it without you!

In this, SWAMP Magazine’s 20th issue, I hope you can find a space where you feel welcomed, inspired, reflective – maybe even a little sad. I hope, wherever you may be reading this, you are in a safe space, or have a safe space to which you can retreat when the world gets too big, and too much. For me, that’s always been reading, and so I hope you will join us for SWAMP Issue 21 to offer us some more fantastic creative works to read and to share.

The theme for Issue 21 of SWAMP Magazine is “Nature vs. Nurture”. What is it that makes us who we are? Are we just our genetics, or do we shape our own destinies through the choices we make, the spaces we inhabit? Let me know what you think! Submissions will close August 31, 2017!

Nicole Shipley





Published: 19 June 2017.
Editorial Team: Nicole Shipley, Liz Chandler, Camille Roulière, Shannon Todd, Naomi Borwein, Keri Glastonbury (Editorial Advisor).