Cyrus Cassells: The World That the Shooter Left Us
October 13 @ EST 7:30 pm - 8:15 pm– $20
In the aftermath of the Stand Your Ground killing of his close friend’s father, Cassells explores the brutality, bigotry, and betrayal at the heart of current America. Taking his cue from Civil Rights- and Vietnam War-era poets and songwriters who inspired him in his youth, he presents a frank, bulletin-fierce indictment of unraveling democracy in an embattled America and in a world haunted by slavery, Guernica, Hiroshima, the Holocaust, climate catastrophe, countless battles, and broken promises. In his most fearless book to date, Cassells adds new grit, fire, and luster to his forty-year career as a dedicated and vital American poet.
“Wrestling in the clutches of fury and mourning, Cassells—long a master purveyor of both the splendor and contradictions of the natural world, as well as the voluptuary elements of the self—turns his consummate clear-eyed gaze to a bleak and burgeoning brutality that threatens our days, siphons the spirit, and challenges the realm of the poet. The World That the Shooter Left Us is a world defined by stark boundaries and firepower, chalk outlines, rampant injustices and histories tainted with each and every version of sin. Cassells, a wily and relentless witness, doesn’t tiptoe through the maelstrom or allow the reader to turn away. Instead, he becomes the writer that this moment needs—one with the lyrical skill and decades of experience to craft this revelatory guidebook for our grief.” —Patricia Smith
Cyrus Cassells is the 2021 Poet Laureate of Texas. His honors include a Guggenheim fellowship, the National Poetry Series, a Lambda Literary Award, a Lannan Literary Award, two NEA grants, a Pushcart Prize, and the William Carlos Williams Award. His 2018 volume, The Gospel according to Wild Indigo, was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award, the Helen C. Smith Memorial Award, and the Balcones Poetry Prize. Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas, translated from the Catalan, was awarded the Texas Institute of Letters’ Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translated Book of 2018 and 2019. He was nominated for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism for his film and television reviews in The Washington Spectator. He teaches in the M. F. A. program at Texas State University and is the recipient of the 2021 Presidential Award for Scholarly / Creative Activity, one the university’s highest honors.
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