A Better Place Is Hard to Find
(The Song Cave, 2020)

“Witty, inventive, surprising, uplifting, but also drawn to probe the darker recesses of the human psyche, the poems collected here reveal Aaron Fagan at his most compelling. This volume will surely enhance his status as one of the brightest stars in the American poetic firmament.”
—Mark Ford

“Aaron Fagan’s marvelous A Better Place Is Hard to Find revels in ideas without being at all intellectualized.  Rather, he takes pleasure in the sheer feel of them as they unfold in long, sinuous sentences, a pleasure the reader shares, even though the poems are not so much addressed to a reader as overheard by one.  His poetry feels like it flows on endlessly, ‘Full of what we did or didn’t do, said / Or didn’t say, but it comes and goes, / (Like all things clear) like nothing clear.’”
—John Koethe


(Salt Publishing, 2007)

“Way back in the book-writing era, Plato wrote about the ‘old quarrel between philosophy and poetry.’ If the quarrel seemed old to Plato while writing The Republic, to make it seem new in 2007 requires some serious ingenuity. In his inventive first book, Garage, Aaron Fagan seems to be the poet for the job. Like Plato, Fagan is interested in definitions: what kind of philosophizing in a poem is an unearned indulgence, while another sort of philosophizing might qualify as art . . . . As much as Plato attacked poetry, he recognized something vital about a rhetorical stance made lyric; that vitality is sharply present in the questions and turns of thought in Garage. Fagan both considers the ‘laws’ of poetry and breaks them, a mix that has made for an excellent first book.”
—Idra Novey, The Believer

Echo Train

(Salt Publishing, 2010)

“Somewhere along the continuum of black holes and dividing cells, televised moonlight and Sanskrit tattoos, Fagan makes a characteristic music—bluntly oblique, elegantly perforated—out of the sufferings and strange comedy of the everyday grotesque and everyday irrational, ‘inventing / My reason to stay out of thin air.’ This Echo Train reverberates with remnants of everything from souvenir T-shirts to ancient hymns while emerging into the jagged sound of its own present moment.”
—Geoffrey O’Brien