Jun 20, 2008, 6:39 PM
Post #16 of 50
Hi there. I'm also a current Michener Fellow (poetry). You've certainly hit on two of the biggest questions applicants and prospective students ask about the program. As far as teaching experience goes, I'm not particularly worried about it and I don't get the sense many other students are, either. Then again, I taught in a poets-in-the-schools program as well as an arts charter school for a year before I moved here so I already had some experience and was honestly kind of tired of teaching, so I saw the no-TAing thing as a boon. We have two great writers-in-school organizations here, Badgerdog which is well-established, and Austin Bat Cave, which is just starting out. Also, one recent grad arranged to team-teach an undergraduate workshop with one of the poets on faculty, which worked wonderfully well--she got an excellent teaching job right after she graduated. But generally, the Michener Center works from the logic that publications are more likely to help writers land teaching jobs.
Re: [sarahc] Question for Michener Alum or Current Students
As far as tension between the MA and MFA programs go, it sort of varies from year to year but it's definitely a presence. Often more of an elephant-in-the-room kind of presence. There was a lot of camaraderie my first year, and seemingly less last year, but it really depends on the people, and sometimes on the genre. I get the sense that MA and MFA poets are closer than MA and MFA fiction writers. (What do you think, Sarah? Oh, and hi there!) Like Sarah says, it's not such a weird dynamic that it should keep anybody away from either program. It's never been an issue in my workshops or regarding any other collaborative efforts between programs (such as the Bat City Review.)
Usually, the third question about the Michener Center has to do with the visiting faculty situation and whether it gives us enough mentor support to work with. Happily, that question is moot (for poets anyway) because Dean Young will be teaching here as a permanent faculty member starting in the fall (YAY), and as I understand it, plans are in the works to hire a permanent fiction professor soon.
Hope all of this helps!