Cyrus Cassells's poetry has garnered a Lannan Literary Award, a Lambda Literary Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, a Pushcart Prize, two NEA grants, and best-of-the-year citations from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas and My Gingerbread Shakespeare, his first work of fiction, are forthcoming. A professor of English at Texas State University-San Marcos, he divides his time between Austin, Santa Fe, and Paris, and works on occasion in Barcelona as a translator of Catalan poetry.
Cyrus Cassell's fifth book, The Crossed-Out Swastika, tells the electrifying stories of young people caught in the vise of World War II. In its journey through the "anti-miracle" of Europe's embattled past, this book follows the lives of historical characters confronted by human violence. Cassell's poems unflaggingly unearth and amplify moments of almost impossible bravery, music, beauty, and redemption, carefully illuminating the human spirit against unspeakable tyranny.
"Cyrus Cassells here, as in all his work, attempts to penetrate the barriers of our limited sense experience, limited intelligence, limited capacity for feeling and empathy with others, through the arrow of language...The reader who enters Cassells's 'unstoppable human dawn' will be lacerated and comforted at once."
“In The Crossed-Out Swastika, Cyrus Cassells sets out to accomplish a genuine synthesis, to know the nature of the powers which thwart our human evolution, and to create a voice which can account for them and comprehend them. Perhaps this has been his mission from the beginning. In this volume his efforts achieve greater numinosity and deeper feeling than ever before.”
Copper Canyon Press