News

43 Years Later: Looking back at Updike’s “Living with a Wife”

We’re pleased to celebrate John Updike’s birthday, March 18, by revisiting his poem, “Living With a Wife,” which first appeared in Crazyhorse #10, in March, 1972. Updike, who died in 2009, would have been 83 years old today.

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Although Updike was less well known as a poet than as a novelist, short story writer, and essayist, readers of Updike will recognize many of the themes and preoccupations of his prose in this five-part poem: a desire to give ordinary life a larger due; a view of marriage as a mystery never quite to be solved; the search for the universal in the domestic; and the ongoing difficulty of knowing those around us, no matter how much “data” we collect about them.

The poem closes on a minor note of defeat, perhaps, with the speaker still unable to reconcile his wife’s presence in his life, despite his best efforts. But the poem doesn’t yield to easy despair; instead, these five glimpses into marriage say yes to the world in all its particulars, from the wife playing Mozart barefoot in a ski sweater, to the underpants left soaking in the sink basin. The same wondering consciousness that informs Updike’s best work, from the Olinger stories to the Rabbit novels, is very much present in “Living With a Wife,” as well as Updike’s signature precision, wit, and gift for metaphor. It is an honor to have published this work back in 1972, and a pleasure to revisit it now.

MFA in Creative Writing Program Will Launch in Fall 2016

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of English are proud to announce the establishment of the Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at the College of Charleston.

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Crazyhorse Editors/Creative Writing faculty (left to right): Anthony Varallo, Jonathan Bohr Heinen, Malinda McCollum, Gary Jackson, Bret Lott (standing), Emily Rosko. Photo by Leslie McKellar.

Beginning in the fall of 2016, the College of Charleston will open its doors to graduate study in both poetry and fiction, and for good reason: the College is home not only to a cadre of nationally and internationally recognized writing faculty—Bret Lott, Gary Jackson, Emily Rosko and Anthony Varallo—but also houses one of the country’s premiere literary journals, Crazyhorse, published since 1960 and consistently ranked as among the top publishing venues in the nation. Undergraduate students have for years reaped the benefits of a creative writing concentration within the Department of English, but now, with the MFA, graduate students from across the country will be afforded the opportunity to study writing, literature, publishing and the arts at large on our campus. Given the city of Charleston’s literary heritage and its inherent ties to the arts, the program is sure to become one of the most significant homes for the study of writing in the country.

The MFA in Creative Writing, a two-year program of study, will feature separate Studio and Arts Management tracks, and will offer not only advanced degree training in the writing of poetry and fiction, but also opportunities to assist in the production of Crazyhorse. The backbone of the program will be workshops taught by writing faculty in the two genres, as well as training in the history and traditions associated with writing, theoretical and formal approaches to the craft, and intensive peer and faculty feedback. Students in both the Studio and Arts Management tracks will also gain reading, writing, and critical thinking skills valuable to such humanities-based industries as editing, publicity, marketing, and promotion in publishing and the arts; the Arts Management track will emphasize management, organization, decision-making, and problem-solving skills in preparation for jobs within the creative economy.

And all students, no matter the track, will be writing, and writing, and writing, seeking to find and hone the voice and vision that will see their work into print, and into the larger world of letters.456163_10151159021244182_832432169_o

Stay tuned—we’ll have more on the program as we grow closer to our first class of writers! For questions about the program, contact Bret Lott. More information about the English department at the College of Charleston can be found here.

(This article was first published in the HSS Spring 2015 newsletter.)

Crazyhorse’s First Experiment with Letterpress Broadsides

Jonathan Bohr Heinen (CH Managing Editor) and Brien Beidler (master bookbinder and former CofC student) designed and made three limited edition letterpress broadsides for the Tongues Aflame Reading Series at Halsey Art Institute. The broadsides feature poems by Ted Pope, Jillian Weise, and Samuel Amadon. [Click “Read Full Story” to see pics]

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Poet John A. Nieves wins book prize

Congratulations to Crazyhorse Issue 82 contributor John A. Nieves, whose first book, Curio, won the Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award Judge’s Prize! His book will be published in early 2014.

With Special Thanks to Lauren Gould

 

The editors of Crazyhorse could not have been more thrilled to return from the winter break and find a lovely package from our former intern, Lauren Gould. She not only managed to track down these two rare copies of the journal, she generously sent them to us as a gift.

These slim volumes contain work early work from incredible writers like Robert Bly, Maxine Kumin, Carl Dennis, and others. Flipping through theses pages reminds us of the standards set over half a century ago that we try to live up to with each new issue we publish.

Thanks so much, Lauren!

 

Where the real work of editing happens at Crazyhorse

Here at Crazyhorse, we’re all settled into our lovely new office space in a remodeled Charleston-single, 5 College Way–right in the heart of the College of Charleston’s picture-postcard campus. Click on “Read full story” to see our photo gallery with an inside look at where Editors Bret Lott, Anthony Varallo, Emily Rosko, and our new Managing Editor Jonathan Bohr Heinen gather to run and produce the journal.