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Creative Writing Launches "CRATE"


New UCR Literary Arts Journal to Feature Fiction, Poetry, Criticism

“CRATE” Draws Literary Luminaries for Debut Issue

(April 11, 2005)

front cover of the first issue of CRATEEnlarge

front cover of the first issue of CRATE

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- The first issue of CRATE, a UC Riverside literary arts journal, will be unveiled at the Riverside Art Museum at a free public reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 14. The journal will feature several prominent literary voices, including nationally lauded poet Marilyn Chin, award-winning poet, playwright and essayist Juan Felipe Herrera and popular fiction author Nina Revoyr.

The first issue features photography, fiction, poetry and other kinds of writing, said Editor in Chief Jonathan Speight, a UCR graduate student. “We’re seeking a coherent vision with room to grow.” At the launch party, he has asked several people to read excerpts of the journal, including Chris Abani, who recently won the PEN/Hemingway Prize for his latest novel. Other readers are Stephanie Hammer, a writer and professor of comparative literature at UCR, and Elizabeth Chatterton, a poet earning her MFA at UCR.

In CRATE’s 200 pages, Speight and Managing Editor Liz Stoltz, also a student in UCR’s Master of Fine Arts program, aim to emphasize writing that reflects the community — meaning UCR and the Riverside area or the larger community of Southern California — and focus on writers who will work across literary genres and boundaries.

The ethnic differences among CRATE’s voices will be an important part of finding the balance of viewpoints he seeks, Speight said, so he is pleased that the big names featured in the journal’s first issue come from a variety of backgrounds.

“UCR is one of the most ethnically diverse campuses in the state, so we want to be able to reflect that,” he said.

Speight, Stoltz and the staff solicited authors at UCR, in the local artistic community and farther away for submissions to CRATE, and now are producing the first issue. About half of what the staff received was poetry; the rest was fiction and nonfiction prose. “It’s an interesting mix,” Speight said. “We’re starting from scratch.”

There is no subscription plan in place yet, Speight said, but issues of CRATE will sell at the Riverside Art Museum for $10. The staff plans to donate copies to other campuses, schools, libraries and museums nationwide.


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The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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