Robbie Coburn – Gothic Western Poet

Robbie Coburn - Gothic Western Poet

Robbie Coburn is a Gothic Western poet based in Melbourne. Robert Adamson wrote that Robbie Coburn’s poems “come from tough experiences, yet are created with a muscular craft that glows with alert intelligence”.

Robbie Coburn - Gothic Western PoetLargely set within stark farmland and surreal, nightmarish dreams, Coburn’s new collection of poems, Ghost Poetry, is haunted by depression, trauma, addiction, memory, regret, and the spectre of mutilation and violence inflicted on the human body, accompanied by the desire to leave.

But through this, there is always the process of the poet writing; an act that both dissects and preserves experience and suffering, but ultimately creates an engine of survival (to quote Leonard Cohen).

Always vulnerable, and often confronting and harrowing, Ghost Poetry is a beautifully crafted and important work that will scar the reader.

Robbie Coburn’s books include Ghost Poetry (Upswell Publishing, 2024), And I Could Not Have Hurt You (Kiddiepunk, 2023), and The Other Flesh (UWA Publishing, 2019). He has also published a number of chapbooks.

His poems have been published in Poetry, Meanjin, Island, Westerly, and elsewhere, and anthologised in books including Writing to the Wire (UWA Publishing, 2016) and To End All Wars (Puncher & Wattmann, 2018).

He released the album Womb (Pale Ghoul Recordings), a collaboration with noise artist TVISB, in 2023.

Robbie Coburn - Gothic Western Poet

These poems of honesty and intimacy are like branding irons that take possession of loss, absence, heart ache and grief. They are fire-heated with urgency and with the need to own and to proclaim what trauma does to the heart and the body. These are unflinchingly visceral poems, yet they also speak in spectral tones of how the past can haunt the present, the mind the body. Coburn speaks of both truancy and attendance and makes remarkable poetry out of the spaces between them. The poems are uncompromisingly written in their own terms. Their hard-won frankness, their grace are retrievals for hope.
Judith Beveridge

New Spaghetti Western Music