Reading & Signing: Cyrus Cassells
Join us for a night of translated poetry with acclaimed poet and recent Guggenheim Fellow Cyrus Cassells!
Cyrus's newest book is Still Life with Children, his translation of the brilliant poet Francesco Parcerisas, is out now from Stephen F. Austin University Press. Cassells’ vibrant translations grow on the page as though the essence of Francesc Parcerisas’ work has also moved forward in a Janus-like fashion. These translations are not simply the same poems in a different language; Cassells has crafted new poetry. The gentle and delicate rhythms of Parcerisas have been contracted into shorter lines that explore sharper cadences whilst Cassells carefully maintains a sensitive continuity in the opening feet. This is poetry for the ear first and the page second; Cassells has stronger consonants at his disposal, a resource that he skilfully exploits. The ultimate product of his labors is a short collection of poetry that reads and feels like a work of English literature, a sensation that is perhaps the highest compliment one may bestow upon a literary translation.
Cyrus Cassells is the author of six books of poetry: The Mud Actor (1982), winner of the 1981 National Poetry Series competition; Soul Make a Path through Shouting (1994), nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the William Carlos William Award; Beautiful Signor (1997), winner of the Lambda Literary Award; More Than Peace and Cypresses (2004); The Crossed-Out Swastika (2012); and The Gospel According to Wild Indigo (2018), nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work-Poetry. He has also received two Pushcart Prizes, the Peter I.B. Lavan Younger Poet Award and the Lannan Literary Award. His first novel My Gingerbread Shakespeare (about a fictional Harlem Renaissance poet), and To The Cypress Again and Again: Tribute to Salvador Espriu (a compendium of poetry, fiction, and drama by Catalan Spain’s most celebrated 20th century writer) are forthcoming in 2021. In April, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work.