Jan 27, 2009, 7:25 PM
Post #100 of 165
This is a little late, but just a few things to mention.
Re: [Junior Maas] reading list
On Ryan Harty: He, and his wife Julie Orringer, were at Michigan on a fellowship for emerging writers. That's not nepotism. There was a national search, and the idea is to find someone(s) who only has one book out, and give them a chance to teach and write. And it helps the students to interact with writers at different stages in their careers.
(however, I do agree that the way the Iowa Short Fiction prize is handed out has seemed at least a little suspect).
On the reading list: I personally think it's a good thing. But rather than debate its merits, I'd just like to add to the conversation where it came from. Because the program is housed in the English Department, rather than separate from it, it has to have a certain amount of requirements for its students. This used to be the language exam, but that caused a lot of problems for a lot of people, so the faculty tried to come up with something that would be more relevant, less daunting, and that would satisfy the department and college brass. Thus the reading list, a scaled down version of what many first-year PhD English students have to do at other programs. It's not condescension by the faculty, nor a hoop they're adding for the fun of it. It's their best attempt to help students and satisfy the college at the same time. And, basically, so long as you do the reading (or at least most of the reading), you won't fail. Anyway, I just thought it would help to add this in to the discussion so as to put stuff in perspective. Good luck to everyone waiting on app responses!