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What’s possible? What’s impossible? Where do we draw the line between the two? Welcome to Issue 23, where we venture into the realm of the im/possible. Within the virtual pages of this issue, you will discover works which contemplate the world around us and those which recreate the world anew; works which highlight moments of im/possibility in the everyday, and those which render the everyday itself in terms that might be deemed im/possible.

Sending out a call for submissions is always an intriguing process – intriguing because you can never really predict how authors are going to respond to a given theme. For Issue 23, I was especially interested to see what kind of writing we would receive because, in many respects, it felt as if we had issued a blank cheque; that with a theme like im/possible, anything was … well, possible. As usual, our contributors did not disappoint, submitting writing which pushed the theme in directions that were not anticipated. It has been a genuine pleasure to watch this issue take shape and to have the opportunity to read through so many engaging and dynamic pieces again and again.

Curiously, as is so often the case, the works in this issue regularly show consistency with regards to their approach to the theme. Indeed, for many of our writers the notion of the im/possible inspired highly personal narratives, in which notions of identity were paramount. Leslie Scheuler’s creative nonfiction essay, “Shaman’s Journey,” for instance, describes a transformative experience which ultimately brings about a greater awareness of self. Meanwhile, in Ana Duffy’s “Full name,” the narrator’s ever-changing relationship with her name speaks of a shifting identity that is closely tied to place.

Memory, too, features strongly in the works in this issue. In sydney khoo’s poem, “things i keep,” it is the rainwater that drips through a crack in the ceiling to be collected “like stamps / souvenirs.” In Robin Teese’s “Remnants,” the im/possible becomes a means of managing painful memories, a coping mechanism for dealing with the horrors of the past. And in Ana Duffy’s “A hole for la higuera,” memories are rewritten when a long-buried secret is revealed through im/possible means.

Finally, the theme, im/possible, serves as a platform for a number of experimental pieces. For a highly engaging example, check out Pat Larkin’s “The Deep Web,” which explores the notion of interiority through the mediums of an internet chat log and blog. It’s definitely worth a read – and a re-read – as are all the works in this latest edition of SWAMP.

Without doubt, this issue would not have been possible without the passion, dedication and expertise of our editors. Particular thanks must go to Liz Chandler, who once again excelled in her role as Head of Prose, and to long-term SWAMP editor, Naomi Borwein, who has done a truly fantastic job as our new Head of Poetry. To Emily Yaremchuk (prose) and Kerry Plunkett (poetry), our new recruits, welcome and thank you both for your contribution to the issue. And to departing poetry editor, Pamela McLeod, our thanks and best wishes for the future. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you!

As always, a special note of thanks to Peter Bower, who not only gets each issue up and running on our website, but also provides constant advice and assistance with all things SWAMP related. Likewise, a huge thanks, from everyone here at SWAMP Writing, to all those who read and/or contribute to this publication. We appreciate your ongoing support!

Submissions for issue 24 are now open and the theme is “home.” What does home mean to you? Send us your creative pieces before the close of submissions on Friday 28th June 2019. As always, we look forward to reading your work!

Thanks again and enjoy the issue!

Shannon Todd





Published: 10 April 2019.
Editorial Team: Shannon Todd (Editor-In-Chief), Liz Chandler (Head of Prose), Naomi Borwein (Head of Poetry), Pamela McLeod, Kerry Plunkett, Emily Yaremchuk, Keri Glastonbury (Editorial Advisor).