Ms. Cassin was born in New Orleans in 1927 of Armenian and Jewish descent. She attended the all-women's Newcomb College (now part of Tulane University), earning an M.A. in philosophy. She was a poet, editor, and publisher who influenced and published many New Orleans poets, most notably Everette Maddox, founder of the Maple Leaf Bar poetry reading series. In the 1950s, Cassin and Richard Ashman edited the New Orleans Poetry Journal. Contributors included William Stafford, Donald Hall, Judson Jerome, Sylvia Plath, and Vassar Miller. The journals' press published Miller's Adam's Footprint and Struggling to Swim on Concrete, as well as collections by Maddox, Raeburn Miller, Martha McFerren, Tom Wright, Harold Witt, Felix Stefanile, Rosewell Graves Lowrey, Charles L. Black, Ralph Adamo, Charles DeGravelles (a later co-editor of the press), and Paul James Petrie. She also published Malaika Favorite's poetry and art. Cassin, along with Maddox and Yorke Corbin, also edited the first Maple Leaf Rag anthology. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina forced the Cassins to relocate from their home in Uptown New Orleans to Baton Rouge. She continued to publish in major journals as late as 2006; Callaloo's post-Katrina issue featured "Three Love Poems by a Native," which Cassin also read during an October 26, 1995 interview with WWNO-FM's Fred Kasten. Maxine Cassin died in March 2010.
BOOKS OF POETRY
Against The Clock: New and Neglected Poems (Portals Press, 2003)