Cyrus Cassells (born 1957) is an American poet and professor.
Life and workEdit
Cassells was born in Dover, Delaware, grew up in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles, and began writing poetry in high school. He graduated in 1979 from Stanford University with a degree in film and broadcasting, and landed a job creating poetry filmstrips in the film division of a publishing house, where he was working when poet Al Young called to tell him that his manuscript had been selected for publication from the 1981 National Poetry Series competition. He then went on to win the 1981 National Poetry Series competition. He has worked as a translator, film critic, actor, and teacher. Since 1998, he has taught poetry at Texas State University in the MFA creative writing program. He lives in Austin.
Cassells' collection More Than Peace and Cypresses (Copper Canyon Press), and his fifth book, The Crossed-Out Swastika, (2012) were published by Copper Canyon Press. He has won many awards including a 1995 Pushcart Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, and the William Carlos Williams Award. His collection Soul Make A Path Through Shouting was nominated in 1994 for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Cassell's poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and in such journals as Ploughshares Indiana Review, AGNI, The Literati Quarterly, Boston Review, Icarus, and Callaloo.
- More Than Watchmen at Daybreak (Nine Mile Books, 2020)
- Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2019) (translator)
- The Gospel according to Wild Indigo (Southern Illinois University Press, 2018)
- The Crossed-Out Swastika (Copper Canyon Press, 2012)
- More Than Peace and Cypresses (Copper Canyon Press, 2004)
- Beautiful Signor (Copper Canyon Press, 1997)
- Soul Make a Path Through Shouting (Copper Canyon Press, 1994)
- The Mud Actor (Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, 1982)
Honors and awardsEdit
- 2020 Civitella Rainieri Fellowship
- 2020 The Texas Institute of Letters Souerette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translated Book for Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas
- 2019 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship
- 2019 Pulitzer Prize nomination for Criticism for cultural reviews in The Washington Spectator
- 2019 Finalist, The National Poetry Series for Is There Room For Another Horse on Your Horse Ranch?
- 2019 Artist in Residence, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of Taos, New Mexico
- 2019 Resident Fellowship, Mabel Dodge Foundation
- 2019 Finalist, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Work of Literature—Poetry for The Gospel according to Wild Indigo
- 2019 Finalist, Texas Institute of Letters Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for Best Book of Poetry for The Gospel according to Wild Indigo
- 2019 Finalist, Balcones Prize for Outstanding Poetry Book of 2018 for The Gospel according to Wild Indigo
- 2014 Resident Fellowship, Lannan Foundation, Marfa, Texas
- 2012 Finalist, Balcones Prize for Outstanding Poetry Book of 2012 for The Crossed-Out Swastika
- 2008 Resident Fellowship, Lannan Foundation, Marfa, Texas
- 2006 Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship
- 2005 NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry
- 2004 Library Journal Best Poetry Books of the Year for More Than Peace and Cypresses
- 2004 Lannan Literary Selection Book for More Than Peace and Cypresses
- 1997 Finalist, Bay Area Book Reviewers Award for Beautiful Signor
- 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Beautiful Signor
- 1997 Sister Circle Book Award for Beautiful Signor
- 1995 Pushcart Prize
- 1995 Finalist, Lenore Marshall Prize for Soul Make a Path through Shouting
- 1994 Publishers Weekly Best Poetry Books of the Year for Soul Make a Path through Shouting
- 1994 William Carlos Williams Award for Soul Make a Path Through Shouting
- 1993 Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship
- 1993 Lannan Literary Award - Poetry
- 1992 Peter I.B. Lavan Younger Poet Award
- 1992 Finalist, AWP Poetry Prize for Soul Make a Path through Shouting
- 1986 NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry
- 1984 Artist in Residence, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of Taos, New Mexico
- 1983 Finalist, Bay Area Book Reviewers Award finalist for The Mud Actor
- 1982-83 Resident Fellowship, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, Massachusetts
- 1981 National Poetry Series Prize for The Mud Actor
- Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More - Cyrus Cassells
- Texas State University > Rising Star: Cyrus Cassells Continues to Form Cultural Legacy as “A Poet of Witness By Amy Francisco Archived 2010-05-27 at the Wayback Machine
- Texas State University > MFA Faculty Archived 2010-01-29 at the Wayback Machine
- Academy of American Poets > Poet: Cyrus Cassells Bio
- Ploughshares, > Authors & Articles > Cyrus Cassells
- Callaloo > Volume 24, Number 3, Summer 2001
- Jiménez, Mary Frances, and Cyrus Cassells. "Living Witness: An Interview with Cyrus Cassells." African American Review 43, no. 1 (2009): 69-77. https://www.jstor.org/stable/27802560.
- "Lannan Foundation > Bios: Cyrus Cassells". Archived from the original on 2009-02-18. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
- "Academy of American Poets > Peter I.B. Lavan Younger Poet Award Winners List". Archived from the original on 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
- NEA Literature Fellowships: Forty Years of Supporting American Writers > NEA Literature Fellowships > Creative Writers Archived 2009-11-19 at WebCite