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Fish Boy (Nomadic Press)

A father's compassion, a son's attempted suicide, and an effort to reconcile the mystery of being through spirituality and the body intersect in Fish Boy.

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...we get the sense that he has been building up to this moment for decades, 'the dark priest' of poetry definitively declaring himself with these, some last rites for his father.

In Fish Boy, John Gosslee writes about a son’s loss of his father with a beautifully wrought intensity. He unpacks their relationship (even the parts many would shy away from), holds each piece up to the light, and examines it like a prism. Gosslee writes 'Father, I’m not running anymore.' And that’s true—here, he turns to face the raw nerve of grief with guts and grit—a rare talent.


Gosslee's poems are marked with a spirit of a person whom has deeply contemplated time and its realities.

And coating every image is an implicit parallel between father and son, one that is equal parts melancholy and gratitude. 

Expanding on themes of paternal inheritance, mental health, and morality, this collection strips the self raw with honesty and forgiveness.

However, it is through this self-reflection that the son moves forward. Through self-reflection, the sons faces himself and wins.

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