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Rachel Galvin

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

Twentieth-century poetry in English,
Spanish, and French; poetry of the
Americas; literature and war; comparative
poetics; Modernism; Oulipo; Hemispheric Studies

The Humanities Center
Gilman 240
Johns Hopkins University
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Fax: 410-516-7354


Rachel Galvin specializes in comparative poetics. In 2010 she earned a PhD in Comparative Literature from Princeton University, where her dissertation received the 2008-2010 Sidonie Clauss Memorial Dissertation Prize. Before joining the Humanities Center as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, she taught at Princeton.

Galvin is currently working on two book projects. The first, Poetry and the Press in Wartime (1936-1945), studies the problem of how to write reflectively during wartime by examining the poetry and journalistic writing of W.H. Auden, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Raymond Queneau, and César Vallejo. It argues that print journalism offered an unexpected model for wartime poetry and poetics during the tumultuous period spanning from the Spanish Civil War through World War II. In her second project, Galvin theorizes a trans-American poetics, contending that poetry of the long twentieth century must be understood in hemispheric terms. Galvin is studying how poets interpret the idea of “the Americas” as lands and nations, arguing that their poetics develop through dialogue across linguistic and geographical distances. She is also preparing an edited volume of essays, titled Auden at Work, with Bonnie Costello. Other work in progress focuses on the wartime writing of Gertrude Stein; T.S. Eliot and Jules Laforgue; Auden’s travel writing; John Ashbery’s Tennis Court Oath; French and English odes on the French Revolution; and post-9/11 poetry in the U.S.

Galvin’s essays appear in The Wallace Stevens Journal, Jacket 2, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, as well as in scholarly publications in France and Peru. With Bart Eeckhout, Galvin co-edited an issue of The Wallace Stevens Journal on the topic of Stevens and the everyday (Spring 2012). She is also the author of a chapter of the forthcoming Blackwell Companion to Translation Studies (2014) on the translation of poetry in the Americas, and an essay in an edited volume on the work of Oulipian Paul Fournel. She is the recipient of an NEH Independent Study, Research, and Development Award, as well as grants for archival research carried out in Belgium, France, Peru, the UK, and the U.S., including a Newberry Library Fellowship.

Galvin also writes and translates poetry. She is the author of a collection of poems, Pulleys & Locomotion (Black Lawrence Press 2009), which is currently being translated into Spanish and French, and a poetry chapbook, Zoetrope (Ediciones Chätaro 2006). Her poems and translations appear in journals such as Drunken Boat, Gulf Coast, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, and PN Review, and have been included in monographs and read on the BBC. Hitting the Streets, her translation of Raymond Queneau’s Courir les rues, is forthcoming from Carcanet Press in 2013. Her new collection of poems, Lost Property Unit, was a finalist for the 2011 National Poetry Series and Alice James Books’ 2011 Kinereth Gensler Award. She has given poetry readings around the country, including at the Hallwalls Art Center in Buffalo, NY; as part of San Diego State University’s poetry series; and with Paul Muldoon at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.

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