'Ali Cobby Eckermann, poet and writer, was born on Kaurna country, and grew up on Ngadjuri country in South Australia. She has travelled extensively and lived most of her adult life on Arrernte country, Jawoyn country and Larrakia country in the Northern Territory. Eckermann met her birth mother, Audrey, when she was in her thirties and learned that her mob was Yankunytjatjara from north-west South Australia. Eckermann’s first book of poetry Little Bit Long Time was published in 2009 by the Australian Poetry Centre. She has been prolific, publishing several further volumes including the verse novel, Ruby Moonlight, reviewed in this issue by Mridula Chakraborty, which won the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards book of the year in 2013.
'The following conversation took place in May 2015 on the lands of the Gadigal people, whose elders we respectfully acknowledge. On one part of their land, just around the point from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, now sits a series of wharfs that have been converted into luxury apartments, a cultural complex and a hotel. We sat in the hotel’s lobby. Around the table also were Lionel Fogarty and Samia Khatun, though they mostly chatted to each other. The wharf complex was then hosting the Sydney Writers Festival, and Ali had come directly from a public conversation with Ivor Indyk and fellow indigenous poet Samuel Wagon Watson. Indyk runs Giramondo Publishing, which had just released Ali’s latest collection Inside My Mother, also discussed by Chakraborty in her review.' (Introduction)