In 1957 Cyrus Cassels 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 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 teaches poetry at the Texas State University-San Marcos for the MFA in writing program. He lives in Austin, Texas.