Robbie Coburn is a poet based in Melbourne, Australia.

“This poetry comes from tough experiences, yet Coburn creates an inner life that draws in the reader... with a muscular craft that glows with alert intelligence.”

— Robert Adamson

About

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. He began writing poetry at the age of 14, influenced by the work of Edgar Allan Poe.

While still in high school, Coburn’s first published poem appeared in legendary, anarchist poet П. O.’s literary magazine Unusual Work. His work has since appeared in many national and overseas publications such as Poetry, Meanjin, Island and Westerly. His poems have also been represented in notable anthologies including Writing to the Wire (UWA, 2016) and To End All Wars (Puncher & Wattman, 2018).

Coburn’s first poetry collection, The Other Flesh, is forthcoming from UWA Publishing in 2019.

Coburn’s poetry is known for its highly personal, sometimes confronting nature, as well as his use of evocative, visceral imagery and Christian iconography, always executed using a carefully refined poetic craft. His raw, violent and emotionally charged imagery, often focussing on the human body, has drawn comparisons with the work of painter Francis Bacon.His poetry has addressed topics such as childhood, relationships, isolation, death, religion and faith, trauma, mental illness and addiction.

His poems are usually written in free verse using a lyric style. He is also notable for his writing of haiku, with poems appearing in esteemed publications such as Modern Haiku, Frogpond and the Haiku Society of America's anthologies.

His major influences include Robert AdamsonArthur RimbaudSylvia PlathAllen GinsbergWilliam BlakeDante Alighieri, Gerard Manley HopkinsGeoffrey Hill, John Berryman, Matsuo Basho and Les Murray, among others. He is also inspired by the work of American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, and by various artists and painters.

Robert Adamson, one of Australia’s leading poets and editors, has noted that Coburn’s poems “come from tough experiences, yet are created with a muscular craft that glows with alert intelligence” and that they “create an inner life that draws in the reader” which “shimmers with light as much as it burns with ferocity.”

Coburn has performed his work all over Australia, including delivering readings at The Wheeler’s Centre and La Mama Poetica, and has been featured at literary festivals such as the Sydney Writers Festival and Perth Poetry Festival.

Since 2015 Coburn has served as co-poetry editor for literary journal Verity La, and was an editor of the journal’s first retrospective anthology The Hunger.

He lives and works in Melbourne

Books

Publications

PoetryMeanjinTo End All WarsIslandWriting To The WireWesterlyModern HaikuHaiku Society Of AmericaVerity La
  • Books
  • The Other Flesh (UWA Publishing, 2019)
  • Anthologies
  • “Starless sky…”
    Nicholas M. Sola (ed.), Four Hundred and Two Snails: The Haiku Society of America Members' Anthology 2018, Haiku Society of America (2018)
  • “Parkinson’s”
    Dael Allison (ed.), Anna Couani (ed.), Kit Kelen (ed.), Les Wicks (ed.), To End All Wars, Puncher & Wattmann (2018) (ISBN 9781925780277)
  • “An Impulse / Action”
    Nigel Featherstone (ed.), Michele Seminara (ed.), Robbie Coburn (ed.), The Hunger: Verity La Anthology 1, Verity La Press (2018)
  • “Passover”
    Dan Disney (ed.), Kit Kelen (ed.), Writing to the Wire, UWA Publishing (2016), (ISBN 1742588662)
  • Journals
  • “The Nurse”
    Recoil Ten (2019)
  • “A Version of Hell”
    Dan Poets Anthology (2019)
  • “Packing my life…”
    Frogpond (2019)
  • “Sadie”
    Cordite Poetry Review, 90: MONSTER (2019)
  • “First day of Summer…”
    Wales Haiku Journal, Winter 2019 (2019)
  • “Distant acres…”, “What remains of my childhood...”
    Echidna Tracks, Issue 2: Landscapes (2018)
  • “Another Day at Home”
    Island Magazine, Issue 155 (2018)
  • “Convalescence”
    Meanjin Quarterly, Vol. 77 Issue 3 (2018)
  • “Rimbaud”
    The Tundish Review, No 5 (2018)
  • “Again answering…”
    Modern Haiku, Vol. 49 No 2 (2018)
  • “First winter rain…”, “First day of winter…”, “Crimson sky…”
    Creatrix, 41 Haiku (2018)
  • “The cooling dusk…”
    Presence, Issue 60 (2018)
  • “Haiku”
    Blithe Spirit, Vo. 28, No 1 (2018)
  • “Starless sky…”
    Windfall, Issue 6 (2017)
  • “Pulse”
    Otoliths, No.45 (2017)
  • “The Nurse”, “The Colt’s Grave”
    Mascara Literary Review, Issue 21 (2017)
  • “Three Haiku”
    Under the Basho (2017)
  • “Oblivion”
    Audacious, Issue 4 (2017)
  • “Letter”, “Book Burning for Beginners”
    StylusLit, Issue 2 (2017)
  • “How I Feel About Living Here”
    Recoil Eight (2017)
  • “For My Father, At Last”
    Westerly, Vol. 61 No 2 (2016)
  • “Learning the Paddock Scripture”, “Reading the Paddock Scripture”
    Bareknuckle Poet, (2016)
  • “Anorexia in Autumn”, “A Waking Farm”
    Mascara Literary Review, Issue 19 (2016)
  • “Oblivion”
    Uneven Floor (2016)
  • “Shock Lessons, a Paddock Scripture”
    Poetry, May 2016 (2016)
  • “To a Dead Poet”
    Cordite Poetry Review, 46.1: MELBOURNE (2014)
  • “An Impulse / Action”
    Verity La (2014)
  • “Suicide Country”
    The Wonderbook of Poetry (2014)
  • “To a Purged Stomach”, “The Price of Experience”, “Hunger is Power”
    Oz-Burp, No 1 (2014)
  • “Missing”
    Writ Poetry Review, No 2 (2014)
  • “The Savagery of Thought”, “Eye of the Mother”
    Overland (2014)
  • “Ode to Dante”, “Rebirth”
    ETZ, No 9 (2014)
  • “To Madelaine”, “The Invisible Sister”
    Regime Magazine of New Writing, No 4 (2014)
  • “Narcissus”
    Regime Magazine of New Writing, No 3 (2014)
  • “Summertime”, “How I Feel About Living Here”, “Bringing in the Greyhounds”
    foam:e, Issue 11, (2014)
  • “Slice”, “I Used to Know Myself”
    Unusual Work, No 14 (2014)
  • “At the Greyhounds”
    Regime Magazine of New Writing, No 2 (2013)
  • “Crush”, “In the Tunnel of Rats, “At the Core of New Beginnings”
    ETZ, No 6 (2013)
  • “Two Lies in Sequence”
    Going Down Swinging, No 34 (2013)
  • “There Are No Strangers”
    Regime Magazine of New Writing, No 1 (2012)
  • “Two Lies in Sequence”
    Unusual Work, No 12 (2012)
  • Essays and non-fiction
  • “What I’m Reading”
    Meanjin (2018)
  • Interviews
  • Dolce, J. 2017, Dirty Laundry: The Art of Confessional Writing (Meanjin, December 2017)
  • Minter, P. 2014, Emerging Poet Series: Robbie Coburn (Overland, October 2014)

Readings

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Past

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