Allen Kratz

Today our Reader Spotlight shines on Allen Kratz, who admits he only discovered Raymond Carver recently. (Better late than never!) We ask him to tell us a little bit about himself, how he discovered Carve, and what he looks for in a good story.

What would you like to tell us about yourself?

I’m a Computer Programmer from Des Moines, Iowa. I’ve always been a reader and a writer but have gone through different stages of ignoring both of those things. With my daughter off to college, I found a lot of new free time and have been enjoying reading again.

What first attracted you to Carve magazine?

Somehow, I made it to 43 without reading any Raymond Carver or Flannery O’ Connor. Carver’s name kept coming up in things I was reading about writing, so I bought Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? and have been hooked ever since. Around that time, I made the pleasant discovery of Carve magazine at a Barnes & Noble. Sometimes it’s nice to miss out on stuff like this so there can still be something “new” in the forties.

What characteristics do you look for in a good story?

I think I’m drawn most to characters and how fast some authors are able to create that interest. Sometimes its even just the first sentence. I like a voice where I immediately know I am in for a good ride.

What Carve story in particular would you recommend to our readers?

I will go with a recent one and choose “The Possibility of Fire.” I loved how Jessica Barksdale weaved the crisis of past, present, and future. That’s one I still think about after finishing it, and it left me wanting to know more of the narrator’s story.

We appreciate Allen letting us shine the spotlight on him. Follow him on Twitter to stay connected to the Carve community.

Follow @AllenKratz

Reader Spotlight is a chance for us to turn the spotlight on you. We get to know more about you and what you like about the magazine. Whether a new fan or a longtime reader, we want to hear from you. Email us at to be featured.