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Egg Island Almanac

An endangered right whale attempting to nurse her new calf in the December ocean, foxgloves blooming in different places from year to year, or the rescue of imperiled Kemp's ridley sea turtles - the bounty and cruelty of nature infuses this latest collection of poems from Brendan Galvin, which takes as its maxim finding the extraordinary in the ordinary all around us.

The poems chronicle the waxing and waning of the seasons from one winter to the next in the area around Egg Island, the dunes near a small seacoast town on the outermost reaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.


Galvin's training as a naturalist and environmental writer is evident as his practiced eye roves the waves, marshes, and forests, finding meaning and beauty in the smallest detail - bird-watching, rebuilding a woodpile, or the flight of bobwhite quail.

Other poems recall the poet's affectionate memories of his deceased wife and the life they shared together, acknowledging grief without veering into the maudlin. Always present beneath the surface is the question of where humans fit into this wild, ever-changing landscape.

In meditations that recall the poetry and prose of Mary Oliver or W. S. Merwin, Galvin sets off on a vivid journey sure to increase readers' appreciation for the natural world. Perhaps his most compelling message is that readers need not jet off to Everest or Kilimanjaro to experience mystery and beauty on Earth - there's wonder aplenty in our own backyards.

Crab Orchard Series in Poetry

The Crab Orchard Series in Poetry began in 1998 as a co-publishing venture of the Crab Orchard Review literary journal (published by the English department at Southern Illinois University) and Southern Illinois University Press with a mission to publish some of the best new work by established and new voices in American poetry.

Each fall, the Crab Orchard Review sponsors an open competition for poetry manuscripts; the winners are then published in the series the following fall.

Each spring, the journal chooses a manuscript for their First Book Award as well as an editor's selection. These manuscripts are then published the following spring.


Comments welcome.


Posted on September 12, 2017

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