Winner of the National Poetry Series and author of the prose classic The Meadow (Holt, 1992), James Galvin writes poetry that is inspired by the often harsh landscape of southwestern Wyoming, where he spent most of a decade building a log home. Galvin’s firsthand knowledge of the expansive landscape of the west provides perspective more than mere imagery, reducing human activity to its proper dimension. He adds a pre-Socratic intelligence, a stoical turn of mind and a genuine love of hard physical work to make poems that are direct, spare, compact, and stripped of rhetorical or aesthetic device.
All around me to-ing and fro-ing
In a strapping south wind
Pine boughs lisp their approval
Of moving without moving around, saying,
Shh! This way! Shh! This way!
They contradict each other
By all saying the same thing.
Better to impersonate than to
Personify, when it comes to nature.
Shh! I tell them, This way!
And start walking.
“Unlike poets who write catchy titles but bad poetry (all hat, no cowboy), James Galvin creates inviting titles—e.g. The Other Reason It Rains, Etc.—and also delivers within the work itself.” —Small Press
“I invite all who care about poetry to listen to him.” —Rain Taxi
“James Galvin’s work reveals much about a writer’s evolving relationship to place… and about the literary art he has created from it in prose and poetry… Reading Lethal Frequencies and the earlier collections, along with The Meadow, illuminates the shaping of a writer’s art and outlook through kinship with a piece of western country and the inevitable changes it undergoes… And along with interest in the works themselves, there is value in seeing the way prose and poetry rooted in Boulder Ridge become not regional color but universal literature.” —Western American Literature
“In Lethal Frequencies… James Galvin explores the sacred and profane, the beautiful and cruel of a life lived close to the land… Copper Canyon’s new logo is the Chinese character for poetry, shi (‘temple of the word’); the Lethal Frequencies poet admirably represents the spirit of the house.” —Small Press Quarterly
“The real pleasure of Lethal Frequencies lies in having a poet who’s trained himself to ‘listen hard’ exhort us, his constituency, to do the same—though to do so is perhaps to invite a knowledge we will not survive.” —Rain Taxi