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Hello and welcome to Issue 4, the issue that I fondly refer to as the “Post-Patrick” issue, as the Founding Editor of SWAMP resigned, emerged, and is currently slouching towards graduation.

Appropriately, in this issue (my first as Editor), we explore SWAMP post-beginnings. Our first year was successful; our first Editor stepped aside; we received our first renewal of faith by our School for the project. We would like to thank Associate Professor John Germov, Head of the School of Humanities and Social Science, The University of Newcastle, who took the time to meet with part of the editorial team, discuss the publication, offer us feedback and agree to continue funding us for another year.

SWAMP is expanding ever wider, with submissions from 37 universities to date and a readership from six countries. We’re now receiving submissions from universities we’ve not contacted, and we’re grateful for your positive word-of-mouth.

For this issue, we asked contributors to consider the word “post” and hit us with their best work. And, like Neo in that dreadful sequel to The Matrix, you’ve delivered by ripping the signpost out the ground and beating us to a pulp. We had a great number of submissions of quality work from all around the world, and reading through them was an absolute pleasure. Deciding which pieces to publish was no easy task; nevertheless we present to you a selection of prose and poetry that we trust you’ll enjoy.

The theme of “post” was taken in many directions. Kelsey Blair’s “17 Post-It Notes, Stolen At Random” offers a compelling series of offbeat, emotive and amusing “found” notes, with the occasional vignette to match, while J. K. Shushtari’s “Bijan’s Beatification” is a nigh-absurdist exploration of the central character post-meds. Many of our prose contributors addressed the theme directly, but others took a more subtle approach incorporating the theme; Devin Walsh’s “Confidences” examines the nuances of a neighbourhood dinner party, slowly accumulating to a Christos Tsiolkas-esque “slap!”

In regards to our poetry, Lindsay Pope’s poem, “Outpost”, sounds the depth of the poetry in this issue. A prose poem in the form of a personal diary, “Outpost” sketches a desolate location and a desolated narrative voice. The issue’s final poem, “13 Ways of looking at a Black Swan”, by Nandi Chinna, draws a thinly veiled history of exploitation. The final image is one in which colonial history is never over; there is no post-history, just an unexcavated loss which unsettles our smooth progress.

This issue saw an increase in poetry submissions, a great sign for poetry lovers. To help our Editor (Poetry), Ivy Ireland, we requested that poet Cassandra O’Loughlin join us for this issue. She will be working with Ivy on future issues until Ivy graduates, and hopefully stepping up into the lead Editor (Poetry) position.

Issue 5 submissions will close September 4, 2009, with a compulsory theme of “city/country”. Have a look at the Submission Guidelines page for further details there have been some minor changes.

Finally, we hope you enjoy the issue, and continue to spread the word about these glorious, deep, murky SWAMP lands.

Peter Bower




Published: 25 June, 2009.
Editorial Team: Peter Bower, Ivy Ireland, Scott Brewer, Cassandra O’Loughlin, Keri Glastonbury (Editorial Advisor).