The Best of Crazyhorse: Thirty Years of Poetry and Fiction


from the INTRODUCTION

In compiling this anthology, I have tried to do three things: select the best works published during Crazyhorse's thirty-year history, represent as many of its finest contributors as space would allow, and reflect some of the major trends in our literature during the past three decades. Of these three aims, the first was most important to me, for I believe the chief responsibility of an anthologist is to call attention to excellence. "The excellent," Aristotle tells us, "becomes the permanent," and I hope The Best of Crazyhorse helps the excellent poems and stories published in the magazine achieve the permanence they deserve. I also hope it leads readers to discover the many excellent poems and stories that aren't included. There simply wasn't enough room to include all of the worthy works published in the past thirty years (this is especially true of three brilliant novellas, Andre Dubus's "Molly," Andre Dubus III's "The Cage Keeper," and Barton Sutter's "My Father's War"), and the reader who turns to back issues of the magazine will find there many other poems and stories that deserve to last.

. . .

In 1987, Library Journal ranked Crazyhorse in the top twenty of the several thousand magazines that publish poetry in the United States, and in 1990, after polling more than one hundred editors and agents, Writer's Digest named it one of the fifty most influential magazines publishing fiction today.

Few literary journals have been around for the past three decades, and fewer still tell us more about our literature, and ourselves, during that time. I hope The Best of Crazyhorse gives adequate testimony to the accomplishments of the writers and editors whose work has made the magazine, in the words of Raymond Carver, "an indispensable literary magazine of the first order." And I hope it inspires writers and readers to help the magazine not only survive but thrive for another thirty years.

FICTION COLLECTIONS
11 stories from previous collections plus 6 new stories.
Winner of the AWP Award for Short Fiction. "Black Maps is a moving, impressive, deeply rewarding collection from a very talented writer."--Lorrie Moore (To read excerpts, please click on the title above.)
"The stories are executed with verve and wit, and one of them--'Shards'--is terrifying enough to have vexed my sleep for two nights running. A fine collection."--Tobias Wolff (To read excerpts, please click on the title above.)
ESSAY COLLECTIONS
Seven essays on such subjects as writing what you don't know, point of view, the music of syntax, epiphanies, structuring story collections, and the role of contradiction in the creative process. (To read excerpts from these essays, please click on the title above.)
ANTHOLOGIES
Thirty-two essays on the craft of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction by past and present faculty of the acclaimed Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program. (For the Table of Contents and an excerpt from the Preface, please click on the title above.)
A showcase for the finest contemporary examples of nearly 75 traditional forms, ranging from ballads and sonnets to kyrielles and pantoums, by nearly 200 poets, this anthology demonstrates how today's poets have experimented with the old forms to make them "new" and relevant to our times. (To read an excerpt, please click on the title above.)
An anthology of the finest poems and short stories published in Crazyhorse, the journal Raymond Carver called "an indispensable literary magazine of the first order." (To read an excerpt, please click on the title above.)
POETRY COLLECTIONS
Winner of the Fleur-de-Lis Press National Poetry Book Competition. "Compassion, humor, restless intelligence, and flawless technique come together brilliantly in You Are Not Here to create poems of real tenderness and classical restraint."--Maura Stanton (To read excerpts, please click on the title above.)
"Jauss sees the exercise of style as a form of pilgrimage to the human heart. And he knows the heart in all of its intricacies, misery, and splendor. It is hardly the fashion anymore to label a book as noble--but no other word will suffice."--David Wojahn (To read excerpts, please click on the title above.)
MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS AND INTERVIEWS
Selected essays and interviews on the West Memphis Three, the craft of writing, jazz poetry, minimalism, Anton Chekhov, Flannery O'Connor, William Carlos Williams, James Wright, Stephen Dunn, Lynda Hull, and other writers and subjects. (To read excerpts, please click on heading above.)