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Rachel Galvin with Eye 94

  • The Dial Bookshop 410 S. Michigan Ave Chicago, IL (map)




Elevated Threat Level


News of War: Civilian Poetry 1936-1945

rachel galvin

Elevated Threat Level: (Green Lantern Press, 2018). This new lyric poetry by Rachel Galvin explores an ethical response to American comfort and its ties to war and exploitation. The poems in this collection reflect on news reporting, natural disasters, journalist safety, and the act of observing war from a distance as a civilian. Written in a variety of forms and registers—from elegies to faits divers to sonnets—Elevated Threat Level thinks about violence and the rhetoric used to convey it. The book is also a tribute to the print form of the newspaper.

News of War: Civilian Poetry 1936-1945 is a powerful account of how civilian poets confront the urgent problem of writing about war. The six poets Rachel Galvin discusses-W. H. Auden, Marianne Moore, Raymond Queneau, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, and César Vallejo-all wrote memorably about war, but still they felt they did not have authority to write about what they had not experienced firsthand. Consequently, these writers developed a wartime poetics engaging with both classical rhetoric and the daily news in texts that encourage readers to take critical distance from war culture.

Rachel Galvin is the author of News of War: Civilian Poetry 1936-1945 (Oxford UP, 2018) and co-editor, with Bonnie Costello, of Auden at Work (2015). She has published a poetry collection titled Pulleys & Locomotion (2009), and translated Raymond Queneau’s Hitting the Streets (2013), which won the Scott Moncrieff Prize for Translation. Her collection of poems Elevated Threat Level (Green Lantern Books, 2018) was a finalist for the National Poetry Series and Alice James Books’ Kinereth Gensler Award. She is co-translator, with Harris Feinsod, of Decals: Complete Early Poetry of Oliverio Girondo (Open Letter Books, 2018). Galvin’s poems and translations appear in journals such as The Boston Review, Colorado Review, Drunken Boat, Gulf Coast, MAKE, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, PN Review, and Poetry, and her criticism appears inComparative Literature Studies, ELH, Jacket 2, MLN, and Modernism/modernity. She is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago.

Earlier Event: July 26
Joseph Reid with Jamie Freveletti
Later Event: September 7
Kenning Editions Reading & Book Launch