The Invisible Sister

Taken from Before Bone and Viscera

I never met your mother
we swept   light from eyes
each    year  blurred  faces
bridges lengthened  water shallow
we grow aware of each other
your name is all I have of your
mother   and father   together
the revolving game called searching
she hates him more than you could
sister still   pray to meet  today
I love blood from   such distance
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Robbie Coburn was born in June 1994 in Melbourne and grew up on his family’s farm in the semi-rural locality of Woodstock, Victoria.

Since his first professional publication at the age of 17, his work has appeared in many Australian and overseas publications including Poetry, Overland, Cordite and Going Down Swinging, and his poems have been anthologised. His second full-length collection of poems, The Other Flesh, is forthcoming.

He is currently poetry editor of online literary journal Verity La and lives in Melbourne.

  • Books
  • Rain Season (Picaro Press, 2013. Second edition. Ginninderra Press, 2015)
  • The Other Flesh (Hunter Publishers, forthcoming)
  • Chapbooks/Pamphlets/Limited Editions:
  • Human Batteries (Picaro Press, 2012)
  • Before Bone and Viscera (Rochford Street Press, 2013)
  • 5 Poems (Donnithorne Street Press, 2015)
  • Mad Songs (Blank Rune Press, 2015)
  • Publications
  • Bluepepper, Cordite Poetry Review, ETZ, foam:e, Going Down Swinging, Overland, Oz-Burp, Mascara Literary Review, POAM (Melbourne Poets Union Newsletter), Poetry (USA), Regime Magazine of New Writing, Unusual Work, Verity La, Voiceworks, The Wonder Book of Poetry, Writ Poetry Review.
  • Anthologies
  • Writing to the Wire. ed. Dan Disney & Kit Kelen (UWA Publishing, 2016)
  • Bend River Mountain (Regime Books, forthcoming)
  • Works Edited
  • Verity La (Poetry Editor, 2015-present)
  • Writ Poetry Review (Reviews Editor, 2015-present)
  • Exhibitions/Art Projects
  • Sights to Be Seen: Personal Art in Public Places (Commissioned by The City of Whittlesea, curated by Sandy Caldow)
  • Eppicentric: Rereading the Signs (Commissioned by The City of Whittlesea, curated by Sandy Caldow)
  • Non-fiction/Criticism/Interviews
  • Aurealis, foam:e, Give It Mouth, Plumwood Mountain,  Rochford Street Review, Writ Poetry Review.


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  • Mad Songs
  • Release date 2015
  • Publisher Blank Rune Press
  • Design by Robbie Coburn & Valli Poole
  • Format Print
  • Type Chapbook
  • Buy
  • 5 Poems
  • Release date 2015
  • Publisher Donithorne Street Press
  • Design by Pete Spence
  • Format Print
  • Type Pamphlet
  • Buy
  • Before Bone and Viscera
  • Release date 2014
  • Publisher Rochford Street Press
  • Artwork by Kit Kelen
  • Format Print
  • Type Chapbook
  • Buy

“Coburn’s new book disturbs & enriches. There is a grace as it sculpts language & meaning… a flensing poignancy underlines these superb poems. This is not an easy book… its ruthless eviscerated clarity & honesty scar the eye.”

– Les Wicks

“Before Bone and Viscera lifts the voice of Australian poetry into new territory. Robbie Coburn tears away all you think you know to reveal these poems; naked in their lyrical and surreal simplicity they unearth the anatomy and geography of poetic imagination. To read these poems is to get your hands into the blood and guts of life itself.”

– Nathan Hondros

“An intense, at times disturbing, emotional journey employing a surreal, fetishist use of the human body reminiscent of the painter, Francis Bacon.”

– S.K. Kelen

  • Rain Season
  • Release date 2013
  • Publisher Picaro Press
  • Artwork by Sandy Caldow
  • Format Print
  • Type Book
  • Buy

“Stay tuned! Nothing prepares you for the shock of a new voice in poetry, and nothing quenches that thirst better than a good dose of poetry. A poetry of place and sensibility can light up a whole landscape, and the poetry of Robbie Coburn does just that. In these poems we see him now in the very act of etching out the details, so hold on, and read on through.”

- π.o.

  • Human Batteries
  • Release date 2012
  • Publisher Picaro Press
  • Artwork by Sandy Caldow
  • Format Print
  • Type Chapbook
  • Buy

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