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Texas State University

Texas State's Cyrus Cassells awarded Guggenheim Fellowship for poetry

Jayme Blaschke | April 11, 2019

Cyrus Cassells
Cyrus Cassells, professor in the Department of English at Texas State University.

Cyrus Cassells, a professor in the Department of English at Texas State University, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts for Poetry by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Guggenheim Fellowships are awarded to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. Fellowships are intended to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions.

"It's such a wonderful moment for me professionally!" Cassells said. "I've had such an outpouring of congratulations and appreciation from students whom I've mentored in the past, supportive colleagues, and treasured friends, from key stages of my life. I'm honored, grateful, and exhilarated to be a Guggenheim fellow and to absorb this wave of goodwill!"

Cassells is among 168 fellowship recipients chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants. In all, 49 scholarly disciplines and artistic fields, 75 different academic institutions, 28 states and the District of Columbia, and two Canadian provinces are represented in this year’s class of fellows, who range in age from 29 to 85. Forty-nine fellows have no academic affiliation or hold adjunct or part-time positions.

Cassells has been an English professor at Texas State for 20 years, and January 2017 marked the 30th anniversary of his teaching career at the college level. He is a cultural critic for The Washington Spectator. He 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 (1994) 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.

Cassells' latest project, a bilingual book of his translations of Catalan poet Francesc Parcerisas, Still Life with Children, is available from Stephen F. Austin University Press. Cassell's recognition brings the number of Guggenheim recipients in Texas State's MFA program in creative writing to four. The other three faculty are Karen Russell, the Endowed Chair in Creative Writing through spring 2020, Kathleen Peirce, professor in the Department of English, and Naomi Nye, professor in the Department of English.

For more information on the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, visit www.gf.org.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922