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The Dark Poet

4.81  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Some people are so broken they can only cut us.

With poetic dexterity, Aurealis Award finalist Kathryn Gossow interweaves eight short stories of longing and alienation featuring outcasts and the misunderstood. From a homeless storyteller to a gardening soothsayer, to a copy editor who owns a pair of stubborn chickens, readers will come face to face with the humanity of peo
Paperback, 106 pages
Published May 15th 2019 by Odyssey Books
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Average rating 4.81  · 
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Clemens Schoonderwoert
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
**A Definite 4.5 Stars!**

This short stories book from the Aussie author, Kathryn Gossow, has made a very deep impression on me.
Storytelling is of a superb quality, all the characters involved in this book come all wonderfully to life in these short stories, and these stories will intertwine and combine the highs and lows of everyday life of all these people involved.
It's a truly impressive little book with various short stories linking wonderfully together the lives of the same main people, peop
Mawson Bear
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book’s dedication: For all the girls who loved a boy they shouldn’t have, and all the broken boys that heal'.

A homeless man gets breakfast. A woman plucks limes in her garden. A student and his girlfriend run into an old school acquaintance. Ordinary days and lives. But these eight interlinked stories soon slide us toward brooding hearts, deceit, addiction, and the shadows of domestic violence. These vulnerable people, hungry for connection, veer toward Paul, the Dark Poet.

‘He is a dark plan
Clayton Graham
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Dark Poet
Somewhat Dickensian in nature.
From film star hens to altruistic drop-outs: A collection of down-to-earth tales reflecting some of the more challenging parts of human existence. People in dark and desperate situations with tenuous connections. Hope may be everywhere, but is often hard to find in these tales. Dickensian territory with a modern twist: ably transplanted into Australia. Well-written, with a great eye for detail.
Emma Rald
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was my first experience of the format Kathryn Gossow has used, and I loved being able to fill a few of those precious micro-opportunities to read with a complete story from the book. Finishing this small but lovely book was therefore easier; because each story stands alone but contributes to the bigger picture being developed through their linked elements.

Kathryn has a lovely, poetic writing style, and I deeply appreciated the warmth and vibrance of her character descriptions and storytell
Stuart Aken
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anthology, literary
At first, this anthology of short stories seems an unconnected collection. As the reading progresses, another story emerges, built with the blocks of the individual tales. It is almost, though not quite, a novel.
The encompassing story is that of Paul, the Dark Poet, and tells how he came to be who he is. Written sometimes in first person, from differing points of view, sometimes in third person, sometimes in present and sometimes in past tense, these stories build a slow picture of the influence
Eddy Wu
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loosely interconnected stories that interweaves the life stories for several key persons from multiple first and third person perspectives and time periods. Descriptive words and poetic sentences that bring about a thoughtful atmosphere. Leaves the reader contemplating and yearning for more.

Highly recommended.
Jessica Drake-Thomas
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
In the story, “Next Door,” Cassandra attends a party that her neighbors are throwing. She spends the party, following Paul, whom she finds alluring.

“He is a dark planet and around him circles floundering stars, weaving and missing each other. People caught in his orbit. Lovers as debris caught in his gravitational pull. And yet she is drawn, dragged into the trajectory of his enigma. She can’t see him. She sees him, there in front of her, but she can’t see him. Not yet.”

The stories, like the peo
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
'Bridget Bardot, the broody bitch, hadn't laid an egg for twenty three days...'

This is the line from The Dark Poet that I say to myself, over and over again, like an indulgent nursery rhyme I like to roll around my mouth. Funny, lyrical and brave prose is scattered throughout Gossow's The Dark Poet, an anthology of interconnected short stories, held loosely together by the main character, Paul (the Dark Poet).

What is particularly interesting about Gossow's work is her careful curation. Antholog
Louisa John-Krol
Jun 24, 2022 rated it it was amazing
'The Dark Poet', a collection of interwoven short stories by Queensland author Kathryn Gossow, is an intricately constructed gem of prose. Every tale illuminates every other tale. Each provides a fresh perspective on the protagonists, especially the central character who is the book’s namesake and its raison d’être. It’s like the Sufi metaphor of the Tajalli, a multi-faceted prism on which each face refracts a unique light, not only to manifest itself, but also to illuminate another subject. As ...more
Georgina Ballantine
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm wondering how to adequately express how much I enjoyed this short story collection.
Kathryn writes beautifully. Her characters stay with you, real and raw. On that note, Cassandra makes a welcome reappearance (see my rave Goodreads review of the author's YA novel 'Cassandra').
The stories in this collection weave together, mostly linked by a common character yet distinct in theme. Insightful and disturbing, they'll leave you satisfied but uncomfortable.
If you read no other story, read The Hun
Joshua Donellan
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely adored this collection of dark, beguiling stories populated with expertly crafted characters.

Check out the podcast Six Cold Feet season 2, ep 5 for a full review.

Six Cold Feet
rated it it was amazing
Jul 08, 2019
Glen Hepker
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Jun 14, 2019
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May 12, 2019
CHenry Roi
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Aug 11, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Jun 24, 2019
Nico Genes
marked it as to-read
Jun 16, 2019
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Kathryn Gossow has been writing and publishing short and flash fiction in a variety of genres since 2006.

When Kathryn Gossow started writing she was told to choose a genre and stick to it. In the same way that she ignored her grade 9 science teacher, she ignored this advice. Her first novel Aurelias short-listed Cassandra is mythic fiction retelling, her second book, The Dark Poet is a collection

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