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ISBN: 978-0-9994471-8-5
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Categories Chapbooks, Nomadic, Poetry

Fish Boy

Publication Date: March 2018


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. Fish Boy was originally published by Nomadic.

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.


Skin, regardless of incarnation, must be shed. It’s how we survive. And for all of us who have never quite felt at ease in our own carapace (at least not at first), Fish Boy is a love note to every misfit either still reconciling their form, or only just now settling into it. As Gosslee comes into his own writerly skin, 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.
Genna Rivieccio, The Opiate editor-in-chief

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.
Travis Wayne Denton, Terminus editor-in-chief

About the Author

John Gosslee

John Gosslee’s poetry is published in Oxford American, Poetry Ireland, Yale Review, Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Southampton Review, Gulf Coast, Grain, Arc Poetry Magazine, Rattle, Carousel, Popshot Magazine, and other publications. He published three chapbooks of poetry, a hybrid genre book, and a book of iconoclastic art. His latest chapbook of poetry is Fish Boy (Nomadic Press, 2018) and reissued by Black Lawrence Press, 2023.

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