The Blue Absolute


Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
Nightboat Books
Publish Date
6.1 X 8.2 X 0.3 inches | 0.3 pounds
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About the Author

Aaron Shurin is the author of fourteen books of poetry and prose, including Flowers & Sky: Two Talks (Entre Rios Books, 2017), The Skin of Meaning: Collected Literary Essays and Talks (University of Michigan Press, 2015), and two books from City Lights: Citizen (poems, 2012) and King of Shadows (essays, 2008). His work has appeared in over forty national and international anthologies, from The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry to Italy's Nuova Poesia Americana: San Francisco, and has been supported by grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, The California Arts Council, The San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Gerbode Foundation. A pioneer in both LGBTQ studies and innovative verse, Shurin was a member of the original Good Gay Poets collective in Boston, and later the first graduate of the storied Poetics Program at New College of California. He has written numerous critical essays about poetic theory and compositional practice, as well as personal narratives on sexual identity, gender fluidity, and the AIDS epidemic. A longtime educator, he's the former director and currently Professor Emeritus for the MFA Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.


"Once again, Aaron Shurin proves to be one of America's greatest poets. The Blue Absolute is a lesson in how to write prose poems that sway, tilt, shiver, quake, torque, pulse, thunder, and dance. Aboard the vessel of this form, Shurin sails behind, in, and under the sensual dimensions of joy and grief, love and loss, youth and age, sex and death. In the end, this book teaches us how to feed our 'beautiful naked grief' to song so that we may live indomitably."--Craig Santos Perez
"Aaron Shurin's The Blue Absolute is a wonder composed by one of our most crucial poets who has trained his considerable powers of observation to exceed time and space. Refusing singularity, having long ago stolen 'gender from the fem-bots and dude-droids, ' Shurin has steadfastly become our poet of permeability in accord, in concord, with weather, city, lovers. His sharp attention to the everyday gives way to an expansive vision in the ever-changing cosmos that can be found in a room, on a street, at the kitchen table. Don't miss 'Shiver, ' his magisterial paean to San Francisco. In lieu of America's shrinking whispers of fear and scarcity, we receive the bounty of a maximalist: Mortality, paradise, ecstasy, days of youth, of aging, unfold into a sublime as close and shifting as the very sky."--Gillian Conoley
"Aaron Shurin's queer sentences have for decades liberated both gender and genre. Few poets wear their syntax with a fit so sensuous, so glamorous, but no one shows up to the poem dressed quite like him in the fabulous finery of 'crimson rebellion and orange confetti.' And no one else insists not only on the poem as a means of enchantment but also as an impassioned expression of enchantment's political and existential necessity. 'This was essential, ' Shurin declares, 'I had to make the walls sing.' And sing they do, as does every syllable in The Blue Absolute, tuned as they are to catch the frequency of a radical erotic music that's demanded nothing less than total devotion from the poet: 'tear up the book, feed it to the song, feed all to all.' Indeed, each of these ravishing sentences is an offering to all and a model of prosody that elicits from poet and reader alike 'a pose of surrender and a shiver of thanks.'" --Brian Teare
"The poems in The Blue Absolute are liberating in the way they lean toward sky, breaking ceilings and conjuring the absolute richness of the moment. Shurin is a bright voice in the wilderness, one that illuminates and builds worlds with words."--Scott Neuffer, Shelf Awareness