About the Book

King of Shadows

King of Shadows

June 2008
Trade Paperback · 184 Pages
$16.95 U.S. · $16.95 CAN · £11.99 U.K. · €11.99 E.U.
ISBN 9780872864900
City Lights Publishers


Recommended for These Courses


Based on the author’s life as a gay man and a poet, King of Shadows is a collection of twenty-one autobiographical essays that circle in and around San Francisco since the 1960s. The three longest pieces deal with Aaron Shurin’s coming into poetry and gay identity via a high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, his deep relationships with poets Denise Levertov and Robert Duncan, and his personal history of venturing into San Francisco gay bars, starting in 1965 and ending just before Stonewall.

Aaron Shurin is the author of fifteen books, including Involuntary Lyrics and The Paradise of Forms, named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.

About the Author

Aaron Shurin has published eight books of poetry and one of essays. His selected poems, Paradise of Forms, was chosen as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 1999. His essays on AIDS, Unbound, went through several printings with Sun & Moon Press. Since 1999 he has directed the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.