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'Dr. Jordie Albiston is one of Australia’s premiere contemporary poets. She is the recipient of numerous literary prizes, and the author of nine collections of poetry, three of which are documentary in nature.' (Introduction)
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'I was already quite a few years into a creative writing PhD titled ‘Generic Engineering’ and flailing around quite spectacularly in a galaxy of words when an academic friend, perhaps hoping to spare me the indignity of a completed thesis and potential employment, flipped to the middle of the 526-page book he was reading. Wordlessly, pointed to a single sentence. ‘Due to a predilection whose origin I will leave it up to the reader to determine,’ it read, ‘I will choose the symbol ♀ for this inscription.’ The symbol had been summoned to designate what the writer called ‘generic multiple’. The generic, the writer noted, is ‘the adjective retained by mathematicians to designate the indiscernible, the absolutely indeterminate’. Another PhD student who was in the room sniggered, disparagingly, I thought, as if dubious that I could be capable of understanding what had been read aloud. In retrospect it was more likely a beleaguered exhalation, a stockpile for the future, of sympathy and despair.' (Editorial)