Turner Cassity

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Turner Cassity (January 12, 1929, Jackson, Mississippi - July 26, 2009, Atlanta) was an American poet, playwright, and short story writer.


He was the son of Dorothy and Allen Cassity, and grew up in Jackson and Forest, Mississippi. He graduated from Millsaps College and Stanford University with a master's degree.[1]

From 1952 to 1954, Cassity was drafted and stationed in Puerto Rico. He attended Columbia University on the GI Bill, and received a master's degree in library science in 1955 and then moved to South Africa. He worked at the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory University, from 1962 to 1991,[2] and also taught poetry there. He also cofounded the Callanwolde Readings Program, which highlights poets and writers, with poet Michael Mott.

He is buried in Forest, Mississippi.[3] His papers are at Emory University.[4]



Verse plays[edit]

  • Silver Out of Shanghai (1973)
  • The Book of Alna (1985)





Devils & Islands, Cassity’s 10th collection, reinforces the image of the dapper Southerner as a satirist, and, in the words of National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia, ’73, MBA ’77, perhaps “the most brilliantly eccentric poet in America.” [5]


  1. ^ "Turner Cassity, 80, award-winning poet and Emory librarian". Ajc.com. 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2013-10-17. 
  2. ^ David Yezzi. "Turner Cassity". The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 2013-10-17. 
  3. ^ "Turner Cassity (1929-2009) | New Georgia Encyclopedia". Georgiaencyclopedia.org. 2007-03-17. Retrieved 2013-10-17. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ CYNTHIA HAVEN. "A Poet Fond of Stumps". Stanford Magazine. 

External links[edit]