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An absence. A void. A space in between. This issue we invited authors to step into the breach and fill the silence with their words. As always, the submissions we received were of an outstanding quality and it was a privilege to read through so many wonderful pieces by postgraduate students from around the world.

Interestingly, while the theme for this issue was decided prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems to have been one that resonated with many writers during these uncertain times. Not only did we receive the highest number of submissions I have seen during my years here at SWAMP, but many authors submitted works which were directly influenced by the pandemic – for two excellent examples, check out Al Campbell’s “The Silence of the Kippers” and Lauren Somerville’s “Bread,” both of which contemplate the lighter side of life during lockdown.

As I read through the pieces in this issue, I was struck by how many different types of silence are represented. There is the silence that does not need to be filled, as explored in Dani Netherclift’s touching poem, “Vessels.” There is the silence of waiting for a truth to be revealed, which we see in Benjamin Lee’s “Fire Ants” and Philippa Dickson’s “What Goes Up, Must Come Down.” And finally – and most prevalently – there is the silence that follows loss, as in Edward Appleton’s “Whispers,” Gillian Hagenus’ “Shards,” Sharmila Jay’s “Between Home and Homeland,” Robin Teese’s “Lost for words” and Swarna Pinto’s “Baby Blue.” Silence, it would seem, can mean so many things. It can say so many things, too.

The process of preparing each issue for publication is very much reliant on our talented team of editors. As such, thanks are due to our wonderful prose team – Liz Chandler (Head of Prose), Caylee Tierney and Madeline Bignill – and to our equally wonderful poetry team – Naomi Borwein (Head of Poetry), Kerry Plunkett and Danielle Nohra. A special mention, as always, must go to Peter Bower, for his advice and assistance on all things SWAMP related, and without whom none of this would be possible. And lastly, to all of our readers, subscribers and submitters, thank you for your ongoing support.

Submissions for issue 27 are now open and the theme is “Reflection.” There are so many ways to interpret this one so we’ll leave it up to you. Mirrors. The past. Moments of quiet introspection. Whatever your take on the theme, we want to read it! Submissions close Friday 29th January 2021. We look forward to receiving your work!

Thanks again and enjoy the issue!

Shannon Todd







Published: 30 December 2020.
Editorial Team: Shannon Todd (Editor-In-Chief), Liz Chandler (Head of Prose), Naomi Borwein (Head of Poetry), Kerry Plunkett, Danielle Nohra, Madeline Bignill, Caylee Tierney, Keri Glastonbury (Editorial Advisor).