Brendan Galvin was born in Everett, Massachusetts, and received a BS from Boston College in 1960. After college he began studying literature and earned an MA from Northeastern University in 1964; the next year, he enrolled at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he received an MFA in 1967 and a PhD in 1970. He began teaching at Central Connecticut State University in 1969.
Galvin published his first poetry collection, The Salt Farm (Fiddlehead Books), in 1972. He is the author of over fifteen books of poetry, including Egg Island Almanac (Southern Illinois University Press, 2017), winner of the 2016 Crab Orchard Poetry Open Competition Award; The Air’s Accomplices: Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 2015); and Hotel Malabar (University of Iowa Press, 1998), winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize.
Known for his descriptions of nature, Galvin often writes about the birds and landscapes around Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In a review of Habitat: New and Selected Poems, 1965–2005 (Louisiana State University Press, 2005), Peter Makuck writes, “Galvin would like us to see, smell, hear, taste, and feel the world that is always there, moment by simple moment, a world replete with epiphanies of the common place.” Habitat was selected as a finalist for the National Book Award in 2005.
Galvin is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Charity Randall Citation from the International Poetry Forum, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has taught at several universities, including Connecticut College, Hollins University, and the University of Alabama. He lives in Truro, Massachusetts.