Citizen





World Literature Today

"These agile prose poems by Aaron Shurin wander and leap sensually from bed, to lover, to home, to natural wonders, both personal and universal. The individual words of each poem collide and mingle, sometimes harmoniously and sometimes with a purposeful dissonance. Citizen is a lyrical and affirming look into the vibrant life of San Francisco and into the mind of one of its most accomplished poets." World Literature Today 


"Aaron Shurin's He Stood is poem of the day on poet.org"
Jul 2, 2013

"He Stood," a poem from the collection Citizen, was selected as a "poem of the day" by the Academy of American Poets. 

- Academy of American Poets, poets.org

Citizen is a finalist for the 82nd California Book Award in Poetry
Apr 17, 2013

Aaron Shurin's Citizen has been selected as a finalist in the poetry category for the the 82nd annual California Book Award Winners. 

- The Common Wealth Club of California

Citizen is a finalist for the 32nd Northern California Book Award in Poetry
Apr 17, 2013

Aaron Shurin's Citizen has been nominated as a finalist in the category of poetry at the 32nd Northern California Book Awards. 

- Poetry Flash

Aaron Shurin interviewed by "Words with Writers"
Mar 31, 2013

Interview with Aaron Shurin, author of Citizen, featured on WordswithWriters.com 

- Words with Writers

"This Be the Verse 2012"
Dec 30, 2012

Aaron Shurin's "Citizen" is included in the best poetry books of 2012 list on Hyperallergic.

- Weekend Editors, Hyperallergic

The Rumpus

"Aaron Shurin writes piercingly lovely poetry that's multidimensional and insists on being read aloud, though its eloquence is equally powerful on the page without sound, with that enclosed, attentive ear that can turn poetry into meditation... Shurin's name has been linked with masters like Jorie Graham and Michael Palmer. But his songs have a grace that's his alone."

—Barbara Berman, The Rumpus


"The Best LGBT Books of 2012"
Nov 29, 2012

Citizen is noted on this list of best LGBT books with this quote from K.M. Soehnlein (author of Robin and Ruby):
"...Aaron Shurin, in Citizen, deliriously revels in sensual images, sly wisdom and rumbling pauses. Shurin's brilliant book—his eleventh—suggests how a lengthy career allows a poet the room to roam, stretching the limits of what his poems can be."

- K.M. Soehnlein, Band of Thebes

The Huffington Post

"Citizen's lyrics are a fine mixture of the crisp and the luxurious if such a combination is possible. With only two or three exceptions, no poem is more than a page long. Things go quickly. The poet gets in, does his work, and gets out. However within that space is a carnival of language, and the reader loves the short wild ride, in part because Shurin revels in the glory of words. He knows they can take us places and entertain, and he allows them to (read: makes them) do both... the whole book, is an embrace of the fantastic."

—Dean Rader, The Huffington Post


"12 or 20 (second series) questions with Aaron Shurin"
Aug 21, 2012

Rob McLennan interviews Aaron Shurin.

- Rob McLennan, Rob McLennan's Blog

Eleven Eleven Literary Journal

"In Citizen, Shurin seamlessly tackles many aspects of life. Often in a single poem he weaves themes of love, class, time, poetry, and even good cheese while he simultaneously unravels them with concocted flashes of specificity... Shurin conjures a Steinian grammar and Shakespearean delicacy, but applies his unique spontaneity and logic to create a voice that is solely his."

—Maggie Heaps


"I Make You Make Me Sing"

Post-LSD romantic Aaron Shurin discusses the pleasure of embodied poetics with Christopher Hennessy.

- Poetry Foundation

The Bay Area Reporter

"Lyrical and sketched with lush strokes of purpose and panache, these densely evocative paragraphs demonstrate a wide range of moods and desires. It would be difficult to find a piece in Shurin's tightly constructed bounty that doesn't reiterate the beauty of his cerebrally-interpreted text, but there are indeed standouts and, conversely, some pages that could possibly rise above the heads of more inexperienced poetry fanatics."


Rob McClennan's Blog

"The author of some dozen collections of poetry, there is a subtlety to Shurin's work, a series of invisible turns that take time to sink in, and a cadence that appears straightforward but is actually understated, twirling tricks around in air."

—Rob McClennan


Small Press Distribution

"...Throughout Citizen, Shurin produces kaleidoscopic visions of urban and domestic daily life, of sprawling cities and small shimmering objects. Most importantly, he takes the prose poem 'to where the beautiful nights dance like bears.' Citizen promises a journey to a space somewhere in between now and the future, which readers are sure to find both fascinating and familiar."

—Melissa Hohl


Monday Poem: "Cool Dust"
Jun 18, 2012

The poem "Cool Dust" appears on The Write Question, a weekly literary program from Montana Public Radio that explores the world of writing and publishing in the western U.S.

- The Write Question

"Inhabiting both sides: Aaron Shurin's correspondences"
Jun 4, 2012

Aaron Shurin discusses poetry and the impetus for the book Citizen.

- Lily Iona Mackenzie, Jacket2

Poems by Aaron Shurin
May 1, 2012

Three poems from Citizen, "Cool Dust," "Plume," and "Then," appear on the Poetry Foundation's website.

- The Poetry Foundation

Interview & Reading on Poet as Radio: Part One
Feb 11, 2010

Aaron Shurin reads from and discusses his recent collection of prose poems, Citizen on POET AS RADIO, a weekly show co-hosted by Nicholas Leaskou, Jay Thomas, and Delia Tramontina, airing Saturdays at 9am on KUSF In Exile.

- Poet As Radio, KUSF in Exile

Interview & Reading on Poet as Radio: Part Two
Feb 8, 2012

Part two of Aaron Shurin's reading and discussion of his recent poems on weekly radio show Poet as Radio.

- Poet as Radio, KUSF in Exile

Interview & Reading on Poet as Radio: Part Three
Feb 25, 2012

Part three of Aaron Shurin's reading and discussion of his recent poems on weekly radio show Poet as Radio.

- Poet as Radio, KUSF in Exile

Interview & Reading on Poet as Radio: Part Four
Mar 3, 2012

Part Four of Aaron Shurin's reading and discussion of his recent poems on weekly radio show Poet as Radio.

- Poet as Radio, KUSF in Exile

Q Syndicate

"These new, 60-plus, mostly one-page are bursts of lyric intensity and sensual imagery with at times hints of personal passions and sexual moments – '...A pulley system raising chin or ass – yanked in – grommet eyes – your grin flushed out as your hand clutches....' Each of the solid texts is saturated with words, a rush and a tumble of exciting and excitable but at all times controlled excess. This is writing that is volatile and nuanced, vivid and innovative, vital and inviting."--Richard Labonte


San Francisco Bay Guardian's "Great Author Readings"
Feb 22, 2012

Aaron Shurin included on San Francisco Bay Guardian's list of great writers to catch reading. He will be reading a selection from Citizen.

- San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Adventure" Read on Audio Saucepan
Jan 29, 2012

"The Adventure," a poem from Citizen, was read on Audio Saucepan: The Heart of the Wood Episode on KSFR 101.1 FM Santa Fe Public Radio.

"Aaron Shurin, the author of eleven books of poetry and prose, uses witty, lyrical language to travel across the borders of cities and the boundaries of form,  crafting a complex and entirely readable vision of daily life as a citizen of the imagination."

- Lauren Camp, Audio Saucepan

"Citizen" Mention in Literary Journal
Jan 10, 2012

Aaron Shurin's Citizen was mentioned in literary journal Prairie Schooner.

- Prairie Schooner

San Francisco Magazine

"The best pieces, like 'The Stillness,' a monologue by a character who dreams of being a sailor, are moving meditations on human desire; the fluid sentence structure beautifully captures a man's sense of longing. Shurin's strangely evocative imagery is also a delight to unpack, as in this intriguing line from 'Cool Dust': 'A heave of afternoon light pulls a tulip from the turf.'"


X Poetics

"Shurin's ear is finely attuned to prosodic potential; each prose poem in Citizen delights in probing the dangerous acrobatic potential of working on the prosodic wire above the wide space of the prose poem.  What a delicious pleasure for readers!"


Poetry Feature: Aaron Shurin
Jun 14, 2011

Read four poems from Aaron Shurin's latest collection of poetry, Citizen.

- Omnidawn

Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin
Dec 31, 2011

Aaron Shurin's Citizen was mentioned on "Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin" of Poets & Writers.

- Poets & Writers

Aaron Shurin - [Cowboy, don't] and other poems from "Citizen"
May 2, 2011

Aaron Shurin reads selected poems from his collection Citizen at the Switchback Issue 13 launch party at Dog Eared Books in the Mission, San Francisco.

- Switchback Live!, Vimeo

Aaron Shurin reading at University Press Books.
Apr 22, 2010

Poet Aaron Shurin reads new work at University Press Books.

- Lucas M. Rivera, Vimeo

The Critical Flame

"His writing folds the mundane and the mythic in with deep images of personal archetype. The passing moments in which the poems possessed Shurin are held fresh to the page in a dazzled string of trigger-touches. They hint of lingering spiral passages, personal journeys, which lie just below such occasions."


Rain Taxi

""The voice—playful, charming, and self-deprecating—creates an engaging persona...These prose poems certainly deserve praise for their rich musicality. They almost overflow with effervescent lyricism...This citizen lives and thrives on a current of lilting language that swarms and swims through him."
—John Bradley