Chris Beha, executive editor of Harper’s Magazine, made the most of his time in The New School’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. The New School provided him with
an experience that extended well beyond the classroom, enabling him to develop close ties with the program’s renowned faculty and immerse
himself in the New York City literary scene.
“I liked the idea that the program
was in New York and that it was plugged into the New York literary and
New York publishing worlds,” says Beha about his decision to attend the
MFA in Creative Writing Program. “I wanted to be a part of that.”
During his time at The New School, Beha says he spent a lot of time
getting to know the faculty, writers with whom he has remained close
since his graduation in 2006.
“I had a literature class with Ben Taylor that was really amazing,” Beha says. “I also had the opportunity to work as Helen Schulman’s research assistant when she started as the fiction coordinator; working with Helen was great.
“My thesis experience was also amazing,” Beha continues. “My advisor was Dale Peck,
and that semester, he selected a small number of advisees who would meet
every week at his apartment. It was just me and two other people
meeting with Dale, reading each other’s work. It was really
About his position at Harper’s Magazine, Beha says,
“The New School was very important to me getting on this career path,”
as it was Professor Helen Schulman who introduced him to his first
experience in the publishing world with an internship at Tin House.
“Learning about the importance of revision, of just how much work
writing well requires — that obviously comes into play with my current
editorial work,” he says.
Beha is the author of the novels Arts & Entertainments (Ecco, 2014) and What Happened to Sophie Wilder (Tin House Books, 2012), as well as the memoir The Whole Five Feet (Grove Press, 2009). His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, The Believer,Bookforum, and other publications.