I buy and sell important or unusual books, ephemera, and other cultural detritus in all fields. Specialties include modern and contemporary literature; The Beats; poetry; popular culture; esoterica; artists' books; the avant-garde in all its various guises (music to film, art to dance); small journals and magazines (especially those associated with the Mimeo Revolution); letters, manuscripts, and archives; as well as vernacular, folk, and outsider books.
I have been involved in the book business in one form or another since 1994. For the better part of ten years, I was employed at several independent bookstores, including four years at Denver's Tattered Cover where I worked as a buyer. Since 2004 I have owned and operated Brian Cassidy, Bookseller - a rare, collectible, antiquarian, and out-of-print book business. From 2006-2009, I maintained an open bookshop in Monterey, CA, but now work privately in the Washington D.C. area. To date, I have issued more than a dozen print catalogues of rare books, and I exhibit at major book fairs around the country. In 2019 I co-founded with Rebecca Romney the rare book firm Type Punch Matrix.
I am a graduate (English/Writing) of Loyola College (Baltimore, MD) and hold a MFA (English/Poetry) from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. I am also a graduate of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (2006), which I attended on a scholarship from the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA). I have also attended Rare Book School at both the University of Virginia and UCLA. I am on both the faculty and board of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar. In Summer 2020, my Rare Book School course entitled "Understanding and Indentifying 20th Century Duplicating Technologies" will debut — a subject on which I've lectured at the University of Virginia, New York University, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.
I am a member of the Independent Online Booksellers' Association, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, the Washington Area Booksellers Association, the Washington Rare Book Group, The Baltimore Bibliophiles, The Fine Press Book Association, and The Bibliographical Society of America.
I was born and raised in Monmouth County, NJ, though I currently live just blocks from my office in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland.
The Washington Post once profiled me for their Sunday magazine. The excessively bored or curious can read a bit more about me there. Others may further burden themselves with my interview for Fine Books and Collections magazine. And the truly dedicated or deluded can watch my interview, given as part of the ABAA's oral history project, where I blather on about how I got into the trade, give my thoughts on the future of books, and other bibliophilic topics: http://hq.abaa.org/books/antiquarian/abaapages/cassidy.html.