2018 - Shortlisted
The 100 poems in Jordie Albiston’s Euclid’s dog are a marvel of original, inventive verse written at the intersection of mathematics and poetry. Form melds seamlessly into content in writing that is strong, supple and intriguing, each poem preceded by a mathematical symbol corresponding to one of Albiston’s eight invented forms. The conceit of mathematical patterns provides the poet with constraints that hold the poems, while freeing them to move in complex, unpredictable directions.
Chronologically presented, the poems traverse a narrative arc that is at once playful and full of the gravity of existence, the mathematics of poetry a foil to human frailty and mortality. Each poem hums as its own essential element, but Albiston weaves them through a greater mystery, all the while acknowledging that ‘there will always be something you / don’t quite get’, exhorting us to ‘listen close give in hear it calling your / name’.