My Introduction to Raymond Carver

Posted by Backyard Urban Gardening on Sunday, November 19, 2006

As a senior at Westminster College in 1989, I enrolled in a contemporary writing course taught by Professor Jay Carr. Mr. Carr was in his 60's at the time and was known on campus for playing basketball during lunch hour each day in the gymnasium. I think he even arranged his course offerings so as not to interfere with the daily ritual. I was lucky to have learned from him.

Professor Carr holds a distinction that I didn't think about much as a student, but now 17 years later as I ponder my own contemporary writing aspirations, I marvel that he was Raymond Carver's freshman English professor at Chico State College in California. They stayed in touch and spoke by telephone several times each year.

Before discussing the work in Dr. Carr's course, I had never heard of Raymond Carver, but several years later while in the local video store I ran across Carver's name right there on the shelf at Movie Gallery. I rented Robert Altman's movie Short Cuts that evening, and enjoyed it a lot. The movie consists of a compilation of Raymond Carver's short stories and vignettes.

Carver has also written several widely acclaimed poems. The Carver poem Gravy is certainly well known.

I came across this Raymond Carver article and interview today on the web and wanted to share it here.


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