In 1957 Cyrus Cassells was born in Dover, Delaware. He grew up in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles, California. He began writing poetry in high school. Cassels received a BA from Stanford University in 1979.
He is the author of The World That the Shooter Left Us (Four Way Books, 2022); More Than Watchmen at Daybreak (Nine Mile Books, 2020); 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), which won the Lambda Literary Award; Soul Make a Path Through Shouting (Copper Canyon Press, 1994), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and received the William Carlos Williams Award; and The Mud Actor (Henry, Holt & Co., 1982), which was a National Poetry Series selection.
Cassells is the recipient of a 1995 Pushcart Prize, the Peter I.B. Lavan Younger Poets Award, and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has worked as a translator, film critic, actor, and teacher.
He is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, lives in Austin and teaches at Texas State University. In 2021, he was appointed Texas poet laureate.