If you like your literature laced with hearts and flowers, Glenn Cassidy is not your guy. His acerbic wit and topical subject matter just don’t fit the outdated mold. And that’s what makes his appearance at the Lazy Lion July 19 such an eagerly anticipated event.
Cassidy, who lives in Carrboro, has a large and loyal following to our west, where he regularly joins in Poetry Spark and the West End Poetry Festival. He also hosts a Raleigh reading at Amplified Art Gallery.
Cassidy calls himself a “compulsive observer of people and language and social institutions.” Known for political jabs and public policy pokes (he has a PhD in public policy), Cassidy is equally at home with fiction and poetry. Over 40 of his poems have been published in journals and anthologies.
“He uses his exceptional writer’s craft to make us laugh, cry and above all, think,” says Laura E. Towne, a co-host of the event. “I always learn a lot when Mr. Cassidy comes to town. He’s one of our outstanding regulars at Third Thursday, and we’re thrilled to have him as a featured reader this month.”
Cassidy can stretch a metaphor like a rubber band as well as stretching his subject matter to include what intrigues and annoys him. That list is eclectic, incorporating a guerrilla gardener, cranky retirement center residents, stars who hawk designer labels, Facebook, death, and red dwarf stars.
Cassidy’s bent humor yields poetic plums like “Vegetarian Pacifism,” which exhorts readers to gouge out potato eyes, break celery ribs, and “gut a pumpkin.”
“I’m honored to be invited as a featured reader,” Cassidy says. “It speaks well of the event organizers that they invited me despite my poem ‘Lord, Don’t Let Me Die in Fuquay Tonight.’”
Towne, a Fuquay-Varina resident, takes no offense. “My friend Glenn can always be counted on for his humorous insight and honest intelligence on numerous subjects,” she says.
Cassidy’s reading promises to be both enlightening and entertaining. “I did a stand-up comedy routine last month, for the first time ever,” he explains. “This should improve my Fuquay reading, now that I’ve purged all the bad jokes out of my system.”
Glenn Cassidy’s reading, complete with the good jokes, will be July 19 at the Lazy Lion Bookstore, 601 East Broad Street. Come early to sign up for reading and browse. The reading starts at 6 p.m., with an open mic to follow.