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Release: Oct. 1, 1999

Writers' Workshop faculty member James Galvin reads from his new novel Oct. 11

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- James Galvin, an alumnus and faculty member of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from his new novel, "Fencing the Sky," at 8 p.m. Monday Oct. 11, in Shambaugh Auditorium of the UI Main Library.

The reading will be broadcast on "Live From Prairie Lights," originating on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910.

Galvin has published several collections of poetry, most recently "Resurrection Update: Collected Poems 1975-1997," which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award.

His earlier volumes of poetry include "Lethal Frequencies," "Elements," the National Poetry Series selection "God's Mistress," and "Imaginary Timber."

He is also the author of the critically acclaimed prose book, "The Meadow," which William Kittredge called "A masterpiece … one of the best books ever written about the American West."

His honors include a "Discovery"/The Nation award, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Foundation award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Galvin splits time between Iowa City and his remote home outside Tie Siding, Wyo.

Commenting on "Fencing the Sky," the Library Journal concludes that "Galvin has created a passionate and lyrical chronicle of cultural clashes in the contemporary West."

Critic David Laskin wrote, "Galvin, a poet, has assembled his narrative out of vivid shards, yet, despite the jump-cuts, this is an old-fashioned novel at heart, with heroes and villains, heartbreak and suspense, and characters so real you want to ride out and shake hands. Galvin can also crack a good joke, even though he knows as well as anyone that there's not a lot to laugh about under the big sky these days."

Kirkus reviews concluded, "Part celebration and part angry lament, 'Fencing the Sky' is a memorable debut, the most ambitious and original novel about the modern West to have appeared in some time."

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at