Brendan James Galvin was born in the Boston suburb of Everett, Massachusetts, and has maintained a strong identification with the history and flavor of New England. He received a B.S. degree in natural science from Boston College in 1960; one finds evidence of the trained eye of the informed naturalist everywhere in his work. Shifting to English studies in graduate school, Galvin earned an M.A. from Northeastern University in 1964, where he also began his teaching career.
In 1965, Galvin enrolled in a course of study at the University of Massachusetts that would lead to an M.F.A. in creative writing in 1967 and a Ph.D. in 1970. Although he had dabbled in poetry since the late 1950’s, it was only after 1964 that Galvin charged himself with the serious pursuit of poetic excellence. The early results were impressive; he had two poems published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1965. Still, Galvin’s published output was small until 1970, after which a creative explosion seems to have occurred.
The late 1960’s were busy years, busy in ways that allowed for poetry to be germinated if not harvested in publication. In 1968, Galvin married Ellen Baer, and the couple has raised two children. A one-year position at Slippery Rock State College in Pennsylvania (1968-1969) would inevitably cause some temporary dislocation of sensibility for a man so attuned to the Massachusetts coast. With the 1969-1970 academic year, Galvin began his long association with Central Connecticut State College. The chance for settled employment and the completion of his doctoral work seems to have freed Galvin’s energies. His dissertation, which involved a close reading of Roethke’s poems through the lens of Kenneth Burke, was also a stimulus to Galvin’s direction as a poet. Of the poets of his generation, Galvin is the...
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