Michael Benedetto

Today our Reader Spotlight shines on Michael Benedetto, who is well-versed in all sorts of writing. His favorite story from Carve is also one of our all-time most popular.

What would you like to tell us about yourself?

I hail from New England, went to school there and worked as a technical writer for several years before moving out West last summer. Right now I’m an MFA student at San Diego State University’s Creative Writing Program and an intern for Poetry International. I grew up on everything from the classics to comic books and will always have a place in my heart for good fiction.

What first attracted you to Carve?

Taking a break from the professional world and returning to academia has given me plenty of time—and excuses—to spend long hours perusing literary journals, magazines, and other online publications. Carve was recommended to me by a friend about a year ago, and I really enjoyed last year’s summer edition. The variety of subject and style from story to story is what keeps me coming back.

What characteristics do you look for in a good story?

As a writer I strive to learn from “good writing” of any kind, but I always appreciate a story that can make me forget about the act of reading. A well-written, well-crafted narrative can still compel me to skip meals or delay sleep for hours simply to find out what happens next. Yearning to satiate this basic curiosity is what turns many people into life-long readers. More specifically, I’ve always been drawn to the strange and unusual—stories I feel haven’t been told before. I love the feeling when I start to read something and have no way of guessing what may come.

What Carve story do you recommend to new readers?

Adrienne Celt’s “The Eternal Youth of Everyone Else” is an excellent piece of fiction. The author raises profound questions about humanity and mortality but does so through an altered lens of otherwise-familiar, ever-evolving family dynamics. The story is beautifully written, the characters genuine and engaging, and the unique subject matter propelled me to the subtly ambiguous yet thought-provoking ending. I’d recommend it to any new reader coming to Carve.

We appreciate Michael taking the time to let us shine the spotlight on him. You can read his work at Poetry International.

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.