Tag Archives: Rachel Galvin

National Poetry Month Wrap-Up

As April draws to a close, we’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Black Lawrence Press authors who participated in our National Poetry Month feature:

David Rigsbee, “Pilot House
Marcela Sulak, “Pomelo With Fallen Angel
Shelley Puhak, “War
T.J. Beitelman, “The Inciting Incident
Laura McCullough, “The Ellisionist
Jason Tandon, “Work
Abayomi Animashaun, “A New Religion
Carol Guess, “Kicks
Joe Wilkins, “A Roadside Diner in Iowa
Lisa Fay Coutley, “In the Carnival of Breathing
Matthew Gavin Frank, “After Il Sergente Serbo e Sua Moglie
Michele Battiste, “Nobody Leaves
Katharine Rauk, “How Many Weeks are in a Day and How Many Years in a Month?
Brent Goodman, “Another Prayer
Stefi Weisburd, “Behind My Ear is a Little Palace in Broad Daylight
Larry Matsuda, “Arc de Triomphe, 2003 Invasion of Iraq
Sandra Kolankiewicz, “Winter Sonata
Frank Matagrano, “Waiting with Alexandria for Her Mom
Hayden Saunier, “Beach
Kevin Pilkington, “Milk
Michael Hemmingson, “Sedona
Erica Wright, “Reservoir
Keith Taylor, “At the Living Creche
James Reidel, “Ave Maria afarensis
Helen Marie Casey, “Mary Dyer’s Courtship
Brad Ricca, “Workshop
Daniele Pantano, “The Oldest Hands in the World
Julia Cohen, “Panic at My Wilderness
Rachel Galvin, “In Cambium Lucida

And most importantly, thank you to everyone who read, shared, and commented on these poems — you’ve made this event a big success!

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Rachel Galvin


Sweet calendula, is it true what the gardener said—
when we learn the name of a thing

we no longer see it? If only I might hear the cinctured sorrow
in the cilia, the rumor of upshoot.

Rain makes love in its own language, uttering a phrase
in recitative,

a conversation in formlessness. It has a strange elation, as waves do
coming to the shore,

the multiplicity of a fluid touched with the thousand ideas
of photosynthesis,

dark sugared tubes whose relation to light dilates, as the arborvitae
abandons shingles

and fence posts for totems and seafaring vessels, in all shapes
branching into the mutable.

Q: Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on the day you wrote the above poem?

A: I wrote this poem while at a residency at Hedgebrook on Whidbey Island.  The air was riddled with the energy that precedes a storm. During my stay I had learned the term “sunshower,” also known as “a fox’s wedding,” which refers to what happens when the trickster sun shines even as rain falls.  It’s sometimes said that a sunshower predicts rain the next day. That day, a full-fledged rainstorm came; it was a warm rain for November and I bicycled through it. (I suppose I should say that I’d been reading some books about the natural history of the Pacific Northwest, as well as Roland Barthes, as the poem’s title indicates.)

Q: What is the last book you’ve read that made you want to grab a pen and write?

A: Susan Briante’s Pioneers in the Study of Motion, Anne Carson’s Nox, and Susan Wheeler’s Bag ‘o’ Diamonds.

Q: What is the most sublime meal you’ve ever eaten?
A: My friend Kristan’s homemade chocolate chip cookies. They are sublime enough to spur earnest combat over the last one in any given batch. No joke.
Rachel Galvin’s poetry collection Pulleys and Locomotion is available for purchase at Black Lawrence Press.

A Titular Ampersand

There is a great review of Rachel Galvin’s Pulleys & Locomotion over at NewPages, one of our favorite sites.

Reviewer Kate Angus begins with this:

Pulleys & Locomotion, Rachel Galvin’s first full-length collection, finds delicate grace balancing on that titular ampersand. As pulleys are a tool of motion and locomotion is movement itself, so this collection asks us to stop and consider not just the trajectory, but first what enables it to occur.

You can read the entire review herePulleys & Locomotion was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2009. It is available from the BLP website and Amazon.

Redactions Preview: Pulleys & Locomotion Review

Tom Holmes, Redactions Editor, has posted a preview of the Pulleys & Locomotion review on his poetry and wine blog The Line Break. You can read the “preview review” here. And be sure to read the whole thing in the next issue of Redactions.

Pulleys & Locomotion by Rachel Galvin was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2009. It is available from the BLP website and Amazon.

BLP Celebrates National Poetry Month

Black Lawrence Press will celebrate National Poetry Month by featuring a poem by one of our authors every day on the blog. Each poem will be accompanied by a short Q&A with the author. Participating authors include:

Abayomi Animashaun
Michele Battiste
T.J. Beitelman
Helen Marie Casey
Lisa Fay Coutley
Matthew Gavin Frank
Rachel Galvin
Brent Goodman
Carol Guess
Sandra Kolankiewicz
Frank Matagrano
Lawrance Matsuda
Laura McCullough
Kevin Pilkington
Shelley Puhak
Katharine Rauk
James Reidel
Brad Ricca
David Rigsbee
Hayden Saunier
Marcela Sulak
Jason Tandon
Keith Taylor
Stefi Weisburd
Joe Wilkins
Erica Wright

So be sure to check the BLP blog every day in the month of April for some great reading!

Two New Reviews

The Write Place At the Write Time has reviewed Pulleys and Locomotion by Rachel Galvin and The Butterfly Collector by Fred McGavran. According to the reviews, Rachel Galvin “…shines through in sophistication with all of the exciting grandeur reminiscent of the invention and innovation present in the early twentieth century.” McGavran is called “a fine contemporary voice to join modern literature.” You can read the entire reviews here.

Rachel Galvin on Poets.org

The title poem (sort of) from Rachel Galvin’s Pulleys & Locomotion has been posted on the Poets.org website along with her essay “Conversing With the World: The Poet in Society”. For a good read, click here.

Pulleys and Locomotion is available from Black Lawrence Press and Amazon.

Rachel Galvin and Paul Muldoon at the Bowery Poetry Club

Dear Friends,

Mark your calendars!

At 6:00 PM on Saturday, March 13th, Paul Muldoon will introduce Rachel Galvin at the Bowery Poetry Club. Rachel Galvin will be reading from her collection Pulleys & Locomotion, which has already received some outstanding praise: Ilya Kaminsky has called her “a visionary poet.” According to James Longenbach, “Pulleys & Locomotion is a capacious, riveting book.” And Susan Stewart says that the poems within “are alive with intense colors, clear edges, and continually resonating sound.” $4 at the door.

We hope to see you there!

-The BLP Gang

P.S. More info about (and directions to) the Bowery Poetry Club here.

Machinery and Fragile Moments

Neon has published a new review of Rachel Galvin’s Pulleys and Locomotion calling Galvin’s voice “consistently strong” and describing the collection as a whole as “immensely satisfying.” You can read the entire review online here.

Pulleys and Locomotion is available from Black Lawrence Press and Amazon.

An Imagination Shaped by Technologies

Rachel Galvin’s debut collection Pulleys & Locomotion is a hub for movement, immigration, and flight.  Alternating between lyrical extension and succinct prose poems, this book brings together science, philosophy, folktale, and half-remembered history.  Raised in Rochester, NY, the home of Eastman Kodak, Galvin has an imagination shaped by the technologies and metaphors of photographic and filmic vision.  Like a zoetrope, the spinning cylinder that led to early motion picture, the pages of Pulleys & Locomotion form a device that creates irresistible motion out of a succession of poems.  “Rely on your eye for illusion of motion,” Galvin writes in “How to Build Your Own Zoetrope.”  “Figures move naturally at fourteen frames / per second and if you have pictured me, / at this rate I will always run toward you, / years hence, luminous, blurred / with expectation.”  In conversation with figures as diverse as Emily Dickinson, Edmond Jabès, Roland Barthes, and André Kertesz, these poems teem with vitality.  Their sense of the contemporaneous is inextricable from history and dream: “News footage simulates the last century: / a woman running shoeless in snow, / her inaudible voice.” Audacious and musical, in a style that responds to French and Latin American poetic traditions, these poems will echo in the reader’s ear.  “Go, she says, Pour your palmful of water / from one hand to the other.

Pulleys and Locomotion is available from Black Lawrence Press and from Amazon.

About the Author

Rachel Galvin grew up in Rochester, NY, and has lived in Washington, D.C. and Paris. She has been a fellow at Hedgebrook, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a James A. Michener Fellow in Poetry at the University of Texas at Austin. Her poems, translations, and essays appear in journals including McSweeney’s, Drunken Boat, Gulf Coast, Humanities Magazine, and World Literature Today. She is currently a doctoral student at Princeton University.

Advance Praise

Rachel Galvin is a visionary poet.  With amazing subtlety, she can speak of the latest scientific discovery or the secrets of her next-door neighbor with the same level of intensity, of revelation.  Readers will be mesmerized to read this book. I know I was. Astonishingly original, Galvin’s is one of the voices my generation will be remembered by. –Ilya Kaminsky

…Intelligent and adventurous and musically alert at once, definitely in the stream of what Rexroth once called “the international lyric tradition,” by which, back to Apollinaire, Cendrars, the early Reverdy and forward in countless ways…. –Michael Palmer

What does it take “to unfurl a belief of this size,” asks Rachel Galvin.  The poems of Pulleys & Locomotion provide the answer: a sensibility animated equally by skepticism and wonder—equally at home in the backstreets of foreign cities and among the stars.  Pulleys & Locomotion is a capacious, riveting book. –James Longenbach

Rachel Galvin’s Pulleys and Locomotion, as the title clues us, is a moving book. The poems are in transit between immigration and flight, and indeed defy gravity along their vertical axes like the floating figures of Chagall. Whether revealing an imaginary room of blue sand, the folklore of a forgotten place, or an ordinary hummingbird’s truly surreal reality, these poems are alive with intense colors, clear edges, and continually resonating sound. –Susan Stewart