Cyrus Cassells signs a book for Abigail Vegkley.

TAMU-CC welcomes Pulitzer Prize nominee Cyrus Cassells

February 13, 2019

On Feb. 7 and 8, TAMU-CC observed Authors Day with Cyrus Cassells, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, William Carlos William Award winner and professor at Texas State University.

On Thursday, Feb. 7, Cyrus Cassells came to TAMU-CC for a live reading from his manuscripts, poems that had not made it into his books, as well as poems from his latest published book, “The Gospel According to Wild Indigo.”

Throughout his readings, the emotion behind his work is clearly evident. The poems, already powerful in writing, are even more moving when read out loud, the way the author intended.

Along with the reading, there was also a table set up in the room where attendees could purchase Cassells’ works.

Cyrus Cassells reads his poetry to the audience.

The reading on Thursday had a sizeable turnout with many faculty members and students showing up to listen to Cassells’ readings. Some of the students at the event had heard about it through one of their professors.

Malia Perez had heard about the event through Dr. Robin Castensen.

“It was very good,” Perez said. “I liked his words. I like his poetry.”

The following day on Feb. 8, Cassells was a part of a workshop for high school students from around the Coastal Bend that even included an open mic for students to show each other what they had written.

Words of encouragement were spoken by Cassells.

“Don’t be stopped by your age,”said Cassells.“My first book was chosen for the National Poetry series when I was 23. I had my career because someone believed in my at that age. Even it’s 16, 17, 18, 19 or 20 years of experience. You may have gone through significant things that you have something to say that people are waiting to hear about.

“There are always going to be issues that are pertinent and significant to young people,” continued Cassells, “and that young people are going to find ways to express that.”

He encouraged the students to write about what they are passionate about, about their experiences, about what has affected them. In doing so, Cassells has given these aspiring writers advice what will assist them their future writings.

Students sign in for the event.

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