Darrell Kastin was born in Los Angeles, California. His mother, the daughter of Azorean poets and journalists, Francisco and Josefina do Canto e Castro, was born on the island of Faial, in the Azores, Portugal. The family left the Azores at the end of World War II, and has roots on the islands of Terceira, Faial, Pico, S. Jorge and Corvo. Kastin has spent considerable time each of the nine islands, including Santa Maria, his wife’s birthplace, as well as the Portuguese mainland.
He is a novelist, short-story writer, poet, musician and composer, much influenced by Azorean and Portuguese music, history and culture. His fiction and poetry have appeared in The Seattle Review, The Crescent Review, The Blue Mesa Review, The Windsor Review, Confrontation, Gávea-Brown and elsewhere. In Portugal his work has appeared in NEO Magazine, Oficina de Poesia, and Açoriano Oriental.
His first novel The Undiscovered Island was published in 2009 by Tagus Press. Currently out of print, it won the 2010 Independent Publishers IPPY Silver Prize in Multicultural Fiction. His short-story collection, inspired by the myths, legends, and people of the islands, The Conjurer & Other Azorean Tales, was released in December 2012. The Undiscovered Island (reprinted by Boavista Press), and a new novel, The Iconoclast, Shadow Boxing with Bukowski, Fomite Press, will both be forthcoming in 2015.
As musician and composer, in 2007, he released a CD of original folk-rock songs titled “Lullabies for Sinners”; in 2011, the CD “Mar Português/Portuguese Sea” was released; here, Kastin set the poetry of Fernando Pessoa and Florbela Espanca, to his music. The work features vocals by his daughter Shawna Lenore and maestro Pedro Barroso, one of Portugal’s finest composers and singers, who also produced the CD. It was recorded in Lisbon with some of Portugal’s best musicians, and Kastin on guitar, piano, and background vocals.
Darrell Kastin is also a former bookstore owner. His shop was in San Pedro, California. He is a passionate bibliophile and a supporter of all small and independent booksellers. He currently lives in Sacramento, and is working on several projects, including setting the poetry of Yeats and more Portuguese poetry to music, a musical based on Dracula, and two new novels: a sequel to his first novel titled A Tale of the Azorean Nights, and an historical novel Inês de Castro: Queen after Death.
Copyright © Darrell Kastin