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hazelmotes


Nov 16, 2005, 5:16 PM

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Montana MFA Program Can't Post

Does anyone here know about the Montana program? I've been planning on applying (it's pretty high ranked, and appears to be fairly well-funded) but I find that their application pages say almost nothing about the program, and talk almost solely about teaching fellowships. This makes me feel that their only focus is getting cheap creative writing teachers for their undergrads. I actually want to teach, but I'd like the time to write as well.

Anybody heard anything?


(This post was edited by motet on Mar 15, 2006, 8:46 AM)


the wind



Nov 18, 2005, 1:28 PM

Post #2 of 154 (11131 views)
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Re: [hazelmotes] Montana Program? Can't Post

Hi Hazel,

I was accepted there and was ready to go last year. If I was a little bit younger, I probably would have been up for the adventure. Everything sounded stimulating and challenging, plus I heard Missoula is beautiful and rent was cheap, relative to other places. I spoke with a number of returning students and incoming ones, and they sounded on top of things.
As for funding, I think only half of the students receive the teaching fellowship, but it was comprehensive, paying tuition and a stipend. On the UM website, there is an article (http://www2.umt.edu/comm/w99/writers.html) about the program from a local paper and it talks about the tradition of the program, how it's the oldest in the west I think.
I considered it a big-time acceptance and was flattered they took me. Kate Gadbow, the director, was nothing if not helpful and kind and answered all my questions by phone. Ultimately though, I decided to stay in southern California for the weather, the diversity, and my family.
Good luck to you, and love your name btw

the wind


hazelmotes


Nov 18, 2005, 1:37 PM

Post #3 of 154 (11127 views)
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Re: [the wind] Montana Program? Can't Post

Thanks, that helps a lot. You know, they are well-ranked and they have a great faculty, and I do love Montana, but I think they just have a bad website.

Thanks for the compliment on the name. I have this moniker on another site and nobody gets it. but here, I've been complimented a few times.

Where did you go in SoCal? Now I'm doubting my choices, but it's too late. I've already sent out my envelopes, etc... to my recommenders and I don't want to ask anything else from them. I live in CA, and keep thinking I should've applied to Irvine or Riverside or SOMETHING, but I live up north anyway, so the only school I applied to here was SF State.


the wind



Nov 18, 2005, 1:57 PM

Post #4 of 154 (11124 views)
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Re: [hazelmotes] Montana Program? Can't Post

(Since you are a californian)
duuuuude, or dudette
read my post a little below on riverside, it is the bomb, and they have money for fellowships. i am there now and applied a little late and got in with tuition and stipend. depending on what you do and what you write, this place could be perfect for you. it is for me. i love our faculty. they are all award winners (big ones) but young, so less known, but i know their second books are going to be on fire and really invigorate the program. they are so smart and kind and talented and 4 of the 5 fiction writers are below 40 so we can kick it with them too.
it was fate i'm here cause i just happened to call, happened to have extra transcripts and letters of rec, re-printed my samples and statement, and BAM here i am. i also got into sf state, but there's no funding and no guarantee of finishing in 2 years. my friend and i relocated from the bay, and miss it, but LA has its own thing going on, very different, but cool (maybe too cool) nonetheless
good luck
enoch aka the wind


(This post was edited by the wind on Nov 18, 2005, 2:11 PM)


hazelmotes


Nov 18, 2005, 2:47 PM

Post #5 of 154 (11117 views)
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Re: [the wind] Montana Program? Can't Post

1. Is your name really Enoch? Because that's wierd, what with the whole Hazel Motes thing.
2. I'm female
3. SFState is like $2k per year for in-state people. Which means I could practically pay out of pocket. But I've heard some bad things about it-- just that classes are hard to get into, etc.. It wasn't until recenlty on this board that I'd even heard of the program at Riverside (maybe from you?) and it sounds so great. But unless I can do it without asking my recommenders for anything else, I'm not going to. It's kind of down to the wire anyhow. Of the schools I'm applying to, the only ones I'd think of cutting are SFSU, and Michigan, but Michigan gives full funding to all of its students. I'll give riverside another gander, though. It sounds good. Thanks. Can you tell I'm totally stressed?


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 14, 2006, 1:07 PM

Post #6 of 154 (11065 views)
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Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

So this is one of my prospective MFA programs!

Anyone know anything about it?

What about the style of writing done there?

I got interested in the program because Andrew Sean Greer graduated from Montana, and his Confessions of Max Tivoli was my favorite book last year.

Also because a short story I liked in the Best American series was written by J. Robert Lennon, another Montana graduate.


augustmaria


Mar 14, 2006, 2:22 PM

Post #7 of 154 (11047 views)
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Re: [rapunzel1983] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I'm accepted at Montana, as well! I'm assuming you're in for fiction, same as me.

I didn't know Andrew Sean Greer is a Montana grad. Oh man, The Confessions of Max Tivoli was so damn beautiful!

I actually applied to Montana mostly because of its location--I didn't know anything about the faculty, though I had a vague impression of its prestige. After I was accepted (I got an e-mail on March 1st, how about you?), I started looking into it more and I read a lot about Kevin Canty, who is now my number one reason why I want to go. His style writing is basically what I'm trying to accomplish, and his latest book is even based on (sort of) the same theme as my writing sample, which I'm currently turning into a novel. I so hope I get full funding, but I'm nervous about it because I'm only twenty-one and I feel as though they might not give me an assistantship because of my age? Probably a dumb fear. I dunno. But anyway! I'm so excited about Montana! I'm not sure about the overall style of writing done there, but Canty's is careful, beautiful minimalist prose with uncomfortable scenes that make the reader cringe--my most favorite sort of writing. :)


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 14, 2006, 3:24 PM

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Re: [augustmaria] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

This is so exciting! It's great to meet someone else interested in the school.

I'm 22 years old, so I know what you mean about the age.

I guess you're still in undergrad? I just graduated last year.

Are you going to visit the school? I'm going early April. I've never been in that area before. It's a bit far for me, but distance is not an issue.

In terms of my style, I like to think of myself as a romantic. Confessions is almost exactly my style, except Greer is a bit more spare than I am. He uses a lighter brush. I like Nabokov, Steven Millhauser, writers like that. I get criticized for being too flowery all the time.

Im going to get something by Canty soon. Maybe Winslow in Love, or his short stories.


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 22, 2006, 2:32 PM

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Re: [rapunzel1983] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Does anybody know what Missoula is like?

I heard it has the harshest winter in the US.


augustmaria


Mar 22, 2006, 2:45 PM

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Re: [rapunzel1983] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Harshest winters in the US? No way. I grew up in northern/central Maine and am currently going to school in the mountains of western Maine. Missoula's average temps and precipitation seem to be "better" than ours--higher temps, less snow. And Maine winters are, from my understanding, relatively "nothing" compared to Buffalo's or Michigan's. I wouldn't worry about the weather too much, but this is coming from a girl raised in the snow and ice, so take it for what it's worth.


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 22, 2006, 7:13 PM

Post #11 of 154 (10868 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Thanks for the response! This is very good to hear. I went to undergrad in the northeast, so I know all about harsh winters!!

I don't have a problem with them, just not anything too much worse than what I've known.


(This post was edited by rapunzel1983 on Mar 22, 2006, 10:32 PM)


augustmaria


Mar 22, 2006, 8:27 PM

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Re: [rapunzel1983] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Just curious, since I'm going a little nutty waiting--have you received your letter yet? I was notified of my acceptance through e-mail and am still waiting for the post part of it to come. Also, have you heard anything on funding? If I get no funding, I can't go. :(


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 22, 2006, 8:46 PM

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Re: [augustmaria] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I haven't received my letter yet either!!!!!!!!

I e-mailed Kate Gadbow the other day, and she told me that they should be arriving any day now. I noticed that some other students received rejections and acceptances via postal service.

This is so bizarre. I think I might e-mail the graduate school since it's not the department's fault.

I was called the other day, and I received a teaching assistantship.

Why don't you e-mail the professors and ask them where you stand in terms of funding? I don't think it's rude at all. You can mention how much you like the program and sort of subtly insinuate that funding is impt to you.

I really really hope you get to go! Then, at least I'll know someone (in this vague internet way) when I get there.

I'm going to visit next week.


augustmaria


Mar 22, 2006, 9:22 PM

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Re: [rapunzel1983] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I e-mailed...erm...someone (the secretary is, I think, the one who notified me) a couple weeks ago and asked about the letters and about funding. I was told that the letters would be coming in a couple weeks, i.e., now, and that funding decisions would be made mid-March. Congratulations on getting an assistantship! I want one, I need one, hopefully I will get one! I've become completely infatuated with the idea of working with Kevin Canty, so I'll be pretty heartbroken--not gonna lie--if it doesn't work out.

But! If it doesn't, something will work out next year. The stuff I'm writing now is ten times better what my writing sample consisted of, so I'm confident.


(This post was edited by augustmaria on Mar 22, 2006, 10:20 PM)


rocky_fona


Apr 4, 2006, 9:38 PM

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Re: [augustmaria] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Missoula is *not* that bad in the winter. It's kind of protected by the landscape.

And it's beautiful all year long.

Damn.

Looking back, if I could do everything over again, I'd have applied to study at Montana. Fiction. Amazing. Perfect western town, perfect college town, perfect place. Inexpensive. Progressive, artsy, funky...I miss it. Congrats to all you young studs who get to live there. I'm real jealous. Fantastic faculty, as well.


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Apr 10, 2006, 10:19 PM

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Re: [rocky_fona] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I am sad about this...!! I was really really really ecstatic to hear from Montana. It was my first acceptance and in some ways, my first choice--I still have the answering machine message saved. I won't be able to attend, though, mostly because it's too far from the northeast for me. But I love the school and the region and the faculty so much. it just kills me to make this decision. for about 3 weeks, I was definitely going... and I built up a lot of loyalty to the school during that time.

but the good news is--if anybody is waiting for a teaching assistantship, hang in there!! or if you're on the waitlist.

I hope my decision will make someone else happy (I feel like I'm giving up my firstborn son for adoption).


__________



Apr 10, 2006, 10:34 PM

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Re: [rapunzel1983] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

That's too bad. Where have decided to go? I know you've been accepted to many great places...


six five four three two one 0 ->


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Apr 10, 2006, 10:48 PM

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Re: [Junior Maas] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I'm going to Notre Dame. In the end, it just came down to comfort level.


augustmaria


Apr 10, 2006, 11:06 PM

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I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. :(

But you have given me hope with the assistantship! I'm going to hold off my other schools for a couple of days and hopefully hear good news from Montana (my first choice, once & always).


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Apr 10, 2006, 11:27 PM

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Re: [augustmaria] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

It's okay--I am very happy about my offer at Notre Dame and can't wait to start life there. it's just greed that makes me want to hold on to everything! best wishes for you at Montana, augustmaria. I really think you have a chance with the TA, but I won't jinx.


sambrunel


Apr 10, 2006, 11:37 PM

Post #21 of 154 (10680 views)
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Re: [rapunzel1983] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Good luck, AM...I hope you get to go to you #1 choice. When do you find out about the assistantship? Did they tell you the latest you might find out?


hamlet3145


Jun 15, 2006, 9:22 AM

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Re: [sambrunel] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Hi, All. Just saw this thread. I'm a current Montana MFA student so if anyone has any specific questions, just let me know and I'd be happy to answer.

(Oh, about the weather--I've experienced worse winters in Iowa).


FinishTag


Dec 31, 2006, 12:47 AM

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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I have a question about the Montana application: I paid $46 online when i completed the grad school application. The English website says I should send them a check for $45. Do I have to pay both of these?

Has anyone already asked the English Department this question, and I can avoid bothering them?

Thanks!


ecphraticknolls


Dec 31, 2006, 9:32 AM

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Re: [FinishTag] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I hope not... let me know if you find out.


hamlet3145


Dec 31, 2006, 1:10 PM

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Re: [ecphraticknolls] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Hi There. You just pay the fee to the grad school. Good luck!


(This post was edited by Hamlet3145 on Dec 31, 2006, 1:14 PM)


hamlet3145


Jul 30, 2007, 11:49 AM

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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Just FYI, if anyone is interested, our new director (Prageeta Sharma) is hiring an assistant to help with running the program. It's a half time position, but comes with health insurance, retirement, etc. and one could spend the other 20 hours a week perhaps with an adjuncting gig or writing.

http://www.umt.edu/hrs/STAFF/023450.html


Daaaaave


Feb 22, 2008, 2:16 PM

Post #27 of 154 (5341 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

There's been a lot of talk about the Montana program in "The Waiting Game" thread, so I figured I'd bring this one back to life:

1) Montana's definitely one of my top choices, but the other thread said that they only took 2 nonfiction people last year. As a person who applied in nonfiction, should I be worried that the program doesn't care or support as much nonfiction as other MFA's?

2) Tell me about Missoula!


hamlet3145


Feb 22, 2008, 2:37 PM

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Re: [Daaaaave] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Non-fiction is a much newer track than the other genres, so that portion of the program is still growing. It's not a huge secret that fiction and poetry seem to have more emphasis. My understanding is that it is a priority to remedy this, but in the meantime the non-fiction students are often "stuck" taking fiction electives. Or poetry. That said, there are also well regarded graduate programs in environmental writing and journalism here and you can take electives outside of the English department.

Missoula is great. I wasn’t expecting much more than a mud puddle and a truck stop when I showed up, but it has turned out to be Iowa City in a valley at the base of the Rockies. (I lived in Iowa City for three years). If you are remotely interested in the out of doors, I'm not sure what campus would be a better base of operations. We're a morning's drive from both Glacier and Yellowstone national parks. Skiing, natural hot springs, lakes, hikes, etc. are about 3 feet from Missoula. We're also about an 8 hour drive from Seattle so it is possible to head out there for a long weekend if one needs a city fix. (Portland is doable too). There are a number of writers who live in town that are not affiliated with the university and readings are well attended. There is an airport in town, but you can get cheaper flights out of Spokane which is about 2.5 - 3 hours away. I only lock my door when I go out of town.


blarring


Feb 22, 2008, 2:49 PM

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Thank you for all the wonderful information! Question: Do you know what the graduate housing is like?

Thanks again,



B. Lynn Arrington
"A Southerner talks music." --Mark Twain



hamlet3145


Feb 22, 2008, 3:06 PM

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Re: [blarring] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

It's like graduate housing. =) Which is to say, not exactly the Ritz, but perfunctory. Some of the buildings look like they belong in the Soviet Union circa 1973. I lived in the Lewis & Clark village complex for a while when I got out here. I was moving from Iowa with all my worldly possessions in a Nissan Sentra and having a furnished place that I didn't have to worry about was a big plus. I did have a roommate, but this was a real apartment and not dorm living. I was matched up with a Ph.d. student in Biology and it was just fine. Once I had my bearings in town, I found my own place.

For not a lot more than student housing one could get an apartment in town. I'm paying $465 for a pretty spacious basement apartment about an 8 minute walk from workshop. (That's probably a better than average deal though). You can get decent studio apartments for $400 - 450 and 1 bedrooms for around $500. There are cheaper, but those come with weird odors, ghosts and regret.


(This post was edited by Hamlet3145 on Feb 22, 2008, 3:13 PM)


blarring


Feb 22, 2008, 3:15 PM

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Thanks. Yeah, I'm scared of the graduate housing at all my potiential schools. However, any program that I get into will be far away from home and I thought grad housing might be the safest way to go for the first semester/year (at least until I adjust to the town). But I would rather not live somewhere that felt more like a state mental facility than grad housing.



B. Lynn Arrington
"A Southerner talks music." --Mark Twain



lindseymorrone


Feb 25, 2008, 3:58 PM

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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I really hope I get into Montana. For some reason, 90% of the people I tell I applied there think I'm nuts and the other 10% are ecstatic. I suppose the 90% think it's a dirt heap with no running water... I've never been there myself, but I just really feel like I'd love it out there. I've been living in cities my whole life--San Jose, San Diego, and now Los Angeles. A little isolation and a whole lot of nature sounds damn good to me right now. What would you say the dynamics between the professors and the students are like and is it like a little writer's community among the students??


aathema


Feb 25, 2008, 8:52 PM

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Re: [lindseymorrone] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I'm at Montana right now and I'd say the student writing community is very close-knit and supportive. The professor-student dynamic depends. I've only had good experiences with my professors--they generally give good feedback on my work and are always available for one-on-one conferences. Some invite students over for potlucks. Some go out with students for beers after workshop. None have been stand-offish or unapproachable in any way. That being said, professors here do tend to go on sabbatical or on visiting writer trips with little or no notice, which can be problematic when thesis time rolls around. I don't know if this is typical of other schools, or not, but it's something to prepare yourself for.


http://postmfa08.blogspot.com/


reality writes


Feb 26, 2008, 12:36 PM

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Re: [aathema] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Hey aathema - thanks for your post & commenting on the availability of professors there. A very important point. I'm still waiting to hear acceptance/rejection letters (crosses fingers), but I'll check out your cool blog in the meantime.


Vesuvia


Feb 26, 2008, 6:55 PM

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Re: [lindseymorrone] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Lindsey, I'm with you on that. I've really only lived in cities or close to them (New York-area, Baltimore, Chicago) - and I have this idea that an idyllic, peaceful existence awaits in Montana, away from the grit and turmoil of the city which, though character-building and great fuel for writing, is becoming a little too stressful and draining. Are you applying for poetry or fiction?

Montana MFA-ers, any comments on how living in Missoula has affected your writing? Is the peace and quiet a) real and b) invigorating and conducive to your writing? What's the cultural life like, outside of the lit scene?


lindseymorrone


Feb 26, 2008, 7:13 PM

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Vesuvia, I'm applying in fiction, how about you?
By the way, great questions. I wanted to ask more, but I wasn't sure how to ask them. I just generally want to know about Montana MFAers' experiences, whatever they may be. Plus, I also started to shy away because it's so hard dealing with rejections and I don't want to get too attached to any one school until I know I've gotten in.


hamlet3145


Feb 26, 2008, 7:25 PM

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Missoula is a nice college town. The population is around 60 - 70 thousand. Many coffeeshops, bars & used book stores. Montana fun fact: gambling is legal. Thus, just about every gas station has some slot machines. More rusticly, you can watch the old timers play poker in the front window of the Oxford. The town is surrounded by mountains and navigation is made easy by the giant white M on the side of Mt. Sentinel above campus. (See my avatar to the left). I've never lived in a big city, so I really don't know that I might be missing out on. I'm not sure that the locale has affected my writing much one way or another. Richard Hugo still casts a large shadow here though, particulary in the main workshop room where there is a giant photograph of him. The eyes follow you around like something out of an old Scooby Doo cartoon.


(This post was edited by Hamlet3145 on Feb 26, 2008, 7:27 PM)


miss.modular


Feb 26, 2008, 8:33 PM

Post #38 of 154 (4935 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Has anyone heard anything back from Montana? Any idea when they'll be sending out their refusals, acceptances, and in-betweens?


hamlet3145


Feb 26, 2008, 8:38 PM

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I heard that they are making their final decision on March 5th so the letter/phone calls should happen soon after that.


(This post was edited by Hamlet3145 on Feb 27, 2008, 7:07 PM)


aathema


Feb 26, 2008, 9:01 PM

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Re: [Vesuvia] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I've only lived in mid-size to large cities and I've found the landscape to be very inspiring here. I tend to set the scenery against other places I'm familiar with in my writing, which has been productive. I've also heard other people in the program characterize coming to Missoula as achieving a "clean slate"--i.e., there's a sense that anything could happen here and one is so separate from one's past experiences that there's a sort of freeing effect. I'd agree with that characterization to a point.

There's as much (or as little) peace and quiet as anyone could want. Being an 8-hour drive from a major city in any direction can feel a bit isolating, especially since plane tickets in and out of Missoula are so expensive. But I find that the other students in the program provide a vibrant social atmosphere, when needed. There tend to be many nights on the town. There's a pretty big bar scene.

As for cultural life, it seems to be based more in personal relationships than public offerings. There are plenty of artists, musicians, film people, etc. in town, but there aren't a lot of public venues. So you just have to get out there and meet people in order to get the exposure to cultural life. I will say that there's an excellent documentary film festival in February and that the city holds first Friday art walks downtown, which are both impressive considering the size of Missoula.


http://postmfa08.blogspot.com/


Vesuvia


Feb 27, 2008, 7:02 PM

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Re: [aathema] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Thanks, aathema and Jason. It all sounds lovely and very much like a place I'd like to live for a while.

Lindsey, I'm for poetry, and I agree - I don't want to get too attached to a place and then have a rejection roll in. I find myself checking out apartment listings on craigslist for Montana, Iowa, and a bunch of other possibilities, and then realizing that I'm about 8 steps ahead of myself. A girl's got to have a little hope, though, no?

Good luck to everyone waiting to hear!


reality writes


Feb 28, 2008, 4:56 PM

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Jason, thanks for continuing to provide thorough information on Montana!

And hey, keep the Unofficial blog going! Your songs of the week KILL ME. Any idea who will fill your blog shoes once you graduate? Would you like to see my application? (J/K)


miss.modular


Mar 3, 2008, 1:12 PM

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Re: [reality writes] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

To anyone in the know,

Do you think it's possible to survive in Missoula without a car? Is there any public transportation? Car share programs (like Flex Car in Seattle, where I currently live)?

I probably shouldn't think too much about these things until after acceptances and rejections go out...


hamlet3145


Mar 3, 2008, 3:15 PM

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I know people who do it. The trick is to live near campus/downtown. There is also bus service (free with your student ID). The drawback is that it doesn't operate much at night. Honestly, I really only ever use my car to go grocery shopping. A car is nice, but not necessary.


miss.modular


Mar 3, 2008, 3:17 PM

Post #45 of 154 (4592 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Nice to know Jason, thanks.


lindseymorrone


Mar 5, 2008, 3:44 PM

Post #46 of 154 (4513 views)
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Today's Montana's decision making day! EEK!


miss.modular


Mar 5, 2008, 3:49 PM

Post #47 of 154 (4504 views)
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Re: [lindseymorrone] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Eek indeed! I wonder if they'll be making calls and sending acceptance emails today...


lindseymorrone


Mar 5, 2008, 3:54 PM

Post #48 of 154 (4494 views)
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I hope so! The sooner the better--After you call your parents, boyfriend, husband, best friend, and dog, you better post here and let me know! Pulling for us both>Gulp.


miss.modular


Mar 5, 2008, 4:00 PM

Post #49 of 154 (4479 views)
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Re: [lindseymorrone] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Yes, fingers crossed! Good luck!


Vesuvia


Mar 5, 2008, 7:31 PM

Post #50 of 154 (4423 views)
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Oh my god, I completely forgot today was the day - seriously, I have it written in my planner, on a post-it note on the inside flap of my planner, and about 8 other places. How did I miss it? This obsessiveness works in weird ways, especially when it unexpectedly doesn't work at all....

If anyone hears from Montana, please post ASAP!!! And Montana, please accept me!

Good luck to all ;)


miss.modular


Mar 6, 2008, 11:28 AM

Post #51 of 154 (4163 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

So...I called Montana today and was told that the committee finalized their decisions yesterday. The Lucky Ones will be called this week and early next week. They've received 180 applicants in Fiction, 40 in Non Fiction, and 85 in Poetry. This really surprises me, I thought the numbers would be much, much higher.

I didn't get the impression that there is a waitlist. When I asked how many finalists they've chosen, I was told that they're admitting 20 in Fiction, 10 in NF, and 20 in Poetry. I think letters of rejection *might* come via email? I imagine this would happen starting next week.

Well, there you have it. Good luck to everyone!


hamlet3145


Mar 6, 2008, 11:32 AM

Post #52 of 154 (4156 views)
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Wow, that's a lot lower than I heard for poetry--but then I heard the poetry total from a fiction prof. Good luck everybody!


lindseymorrone


Mar 6, 2008, 11:38 AM

Post #53 of 154 (4142 views)
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Thank you so much miss.modular for the info! I really feel like I might have a chance. I was expecting WAY higher numbers. Man, I hope they make some calls today...the wait is killer.


mchard


Mar 6, 2008, 11:40 AM

Post #54 of 154 (4142 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Thanks for calling, miss.modular.


miss.modular


Mar 6, 2008, 11:41 AM

Post #55 of 154 (4140 views)
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No problem! I couldn't stand it anymore ;) I just had to know!


mchard


Mar 6, 2008, 11:49 AM

Post #56 of 154 (4131 views)
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Did you speak with the program director or someone else?


Vesuvia


Mar 6, 2008, 12:03 PM

Post #57 of 154 (4120 views)
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Re: [mchard] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Yes, thanks for calling! Those odds (poetry) seem unbelievably good - which I think means that a rejection will suck all the more. But hopefully we won't have to deal with that.

Jason, I don't remember the deal from my research - how's funding at Montana? Sorry if this question was already answered here, my brain is so fried at this point....


miss.modular


Mar 6, 2008, 1:03 PM

Post #58 of 154 (4079 views)
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Re: [mchard] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I spoke with Karen Sturm, a staff member in the English Dept.


reality writes


Mar 6, 2008, 2:08 PM

Post #59 of 154 (4049 views)
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Re: [Vesuvia] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

ooh i feel the same way. it's going to hurt more if we don't get in!


hamlet3145


Mar 6, 2008, 2:08 PM

Post #60 of 154 (4048 views)
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Re: [Vesuvia] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Vesuvia,

Funding is good if you can get it. =) The problem is that there are only 10-11 TAs to go around. If anybody does get in but gets no funding, drop me a line. (I didn't get funding). I have some tips as to how to make it workable. While having to pay for an MFA isn't the best route one could take, Montana's yearly tuition & cost of living are exponentially less than, say, Columbia. I think the TA's pay is about $10k these days, but you only teach one class per semester. Most second years get to teach creative writing. I think Montana gets a bit of a bad rap by not funding everyone, but the situation is that there just aren't enough undergrads to teach. The U only has 13,000 students. If the program were smaller (i.e, 20 students total instead of a little over 40) eveyone would be funded. But nobody wants it to be smaller.

--Jason


bennyprof


Mar 6, 2008, 8:03 PM

Post #61 of 154 (3964 views)
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Well, looks like they won't start making their calls until tomorrow. If they were going to start tonight, surely someone would've posted by now.


miss.modular


Mar 7, 2008, 11:46 AM

Post #62 of 154 (3887 views)
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The suspense is killing me. The really horrible thing is I know I will probably have a slow day at work.


lindseymorrone


Mar 7, 2008, 12:17 PM

Post #63 of 154 (3870 views)
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I don't know what to think. I caved and called. The secretary/receptionist/girl who answers the phone said the MFA acceptances will go out within the next couple of weeks! Maybe we should stop holding our breath? This is killing me.


annie0


Mar 7, 2008, 12:31 PM

Post #64 of 154 (3849 views)
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I just got the call! In at Montana for Nonfiction.

Good luck all, I think they are making a lot of calls today...


mchard


Mar 7, 2008, 12:46 PM

Post #65 of 154 (3834 views)
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Re: [annie0] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Congrats, Annie, you have some impressive choices!

M.


hamlet3145


Mar 7, 2008, 1:12 PM

Post #66 of 154 (3811 views)
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Re: [annie0] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Annie, congratulations! PM me if you would like to talk to a current non-ficiton student; I can hook you up.

Did they offer you funding?


bennyprof


Mar 7, 2008, 3:01 PM

Post #67 of 154 (3762 views)
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Congrats, Annie!

Hmm. I figured the acceptance posts would start rolling in after that first one, but it's been sort of quiet since.


lindseymorrone


Mar 7, 2008, 6:52 PM

Post #68 of 154 (3681 views)
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I'm pretty shocked and disappointed no fiction acceptances announced at Montana. I'd prefer knowing one way or the other, even if it's the ugly other. I'm really hoping I get in here though!


bennyprof


Mar 7, 2008, 7:38 PM

Post #69 of 154 (3650 views)
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Re: [lindseymorrone] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Yeah, me too. Looks like it'll be Monday before they start notifying the masses. Fingers crossed.


bennyprof


Mar 7, 2008, 10:02 PM

Post #70 of 154 (3611 views)
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Re: [lindseymorrone] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Someone just posted an acceptance for poetry w/TA-ship on Seth's blog. Maybe they're calling the funded ones tonight?


pareidolia


Mar 7, 2008, 11:51 PM

Post #71 of 154 (3581 views)
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I saw the poetry acceptance too. My heart is in my throat.


miss.modular


Mar 10, 2008, 2:23 PM

Post #72 of 154 (3443 views)
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Anything? Anyone? Hopefully they're calling their fiction picks this week.


Daaaaave


Mar 10, 2008, 11:38 PM

Post #73 of 154 (3346 views)
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Do we know if all the nonfiction people were called yet?

Montana was one of my top picks :(


hamlet3145


Mar 11, 2008, 12:06 AM

Post #74 of 154 (3328 views)
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Daaaave,

As far as I know non-fiction was called on Friday. One the new admits was actually visiting tonight. I hate to convey that potentially bad news.


miss.modular


Mar 11, 2008, 1:38 AM

Post #75 of 154 (3303 views)
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Jason, any info on the fiction picks?


blarring


Mar 11, 2008, 10:44 AM

Post #76 of 154 (4439 views)
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I was waiting for someone to ask him that! Come on, Jason, you knew that question was coming;)

Thanks



B. Lynn Arrington
"A Southerner talks music." --Mark Twain



(This post was edited by blarring on Mar 11, 2008, 10:45 AM)


danielaolsz


Mar 11, 2008, 10:48 AM

Post #77 of 154 (4428 views)
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And, um, if you could find out about poetry, that would be swell.


hamlet3145


Mar 11, 2008, 1:16 PM

Post #78 of 154 (4366 views)
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Re: [danielaolsz] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I only heard about nonfiction. =) I will say that when I got in, I did not get an e-mail or phone call--I got a letter. And this is Montana so snail mail might take a few days depending on where you are located.


lindseymorrone


Mar 12, 2008, 3:32 PM

Post #79 of 154 (4245 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Montana Report: Someone on Seth's blog reported being called by Kevin Canty for fiction this afternoon.


ali888


Mar 12, 2008, 4:35 PM

Post #80 of 154 (4185 views)
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Re: [miss.modular] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I can't help but suspect these application numbers (not that anyone is stretching the truth, but that there has to have been a mistake or something); they seem too low to me too. Anyone have any thoughts on this, or know average application numbers in past years for various genres at Montana? Probably not common knowledge at all, but the numbers I've been hearing about from other schools seem higher (schools that are comparable or "lower ranked"--whatever that means--than Montana).


bennyprof


Mar 12, 2008, 4:38 PM

Post #81 of 154 (4175 views)
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Re: [ali888] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I think the location probably turns some people away. Some of the city folks, maybe. Just a thought.


lindseymorrone


Mar 12, 2008, 4:39 PM

Post #82 of 154 (4167 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

It does seem low, which will only make me feel worse if I don't get in...No ringing phone yet. Anyone else heard anything?


ali888


Mar 12, 2008, 4:56 PM

Post #83 of 154 (4143 views)
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Re: [ali888] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

BTW, I get the feeling that most MFA applicants really are at the end of their ropes now, since the conclusion of the Wire means that it can no longer serve as an alternate obsession.


miss.modular


Mar 12, 2008, 5:07 PM

Post #84 of 154 (4128 views)
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Re: [ali888] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

I was shocked to hear there were so few fiction apps at Montana, too...I don't get it.


lindseymorrone


Mar 12, 2008, 5:09 PM

Post #85 of 154 (4126 views)
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Re: [miss.modular] Montana MFA (new post, because the other thread died) Can't Post

Quote from Seth's blog: "Oh. And in response to earlier comments about Montana: I called them as well. Their rep said they're only just beginning to make decisions/notifications for fiction and that they won't have completely decided until the end of the week."


miss.modular


Mar 12, 2008, 11:30 PM

Post #86 of 154 (4049 views)
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Re: Montana reject! Can't Post

Well, I'm out of the running. Got my rejection letter from Montana today (I live in Seattle). Good luck to those who got in and to those who are waiting.


bennyprof


Mar 13, 2008, 12:23 AM

Post #87 of 154 (4028 views)
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Re: [miss.modular] Montana reject! Can't Post

Bummer.

Well, I'll probably be right there with you in a few days. From what I've heard (and judging from the kind of stuff recently published by their alumns) the stories I included in my sample -- even if the writing is strong enough to put me into consideration -- isn't really up their alley, aesthetic-wise.

Who knows, though. I've given up trying predict these things.


miss.modular


Mar 13, 2008, 12:39 AM

Post #88 of 154 (4024 views)
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You know what's funny is that in Montana's FAQ, they state that they don't favor a particular aesthetic. But I guess taste, any kind of taste, operates on a subconscious level. What's your take on their current aesthetic?


bennyprof


Mar 13, 2008, 2:38 AM

Post #89 of 154 (3999 views)
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Re: [miss.modular] Montana reject! Can't Post

I don't know. Now that I think about it, it'd probably be wrong (and misguided) of me to speculate. I've never sat in on a workshop there or spoken to any past or present students in person, not to mention the fact that I'm not all that good at assigning aesthetic designations in the first place.

Jason would be the right guy to ask, I think.

Though, if you've read God of Animals or The Farther Shore (and I've only read bits and pieces of each), from what I can tell they're both fairly straight-forward stories. That's not to imply a lack of complexity, but less of a leaning toward the experimental or postmodern traditions.

This may or may not reflect Montana's overall aesthetic. After all, that's taking a sample of only two alumni out of dozens over that past five years. But even if it does, I suspect the same trend can probably be found at most programs.

-B


bennyprof


Mar 13, 2008, 12:05 PM

Post #90 of 154 (3934 views)
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...I also get mixed up with the terms, especially when it comes to the types of realism: post-realism, rough realism, new realism, magic realism, surrealism, stir-fried realism, realism with a side of bacon...

It's all too much to keep straight, so I don't even try.

(I get minimalism, though. I think.)


miss.modular


Mar 13, 2008, 1:00 PM

Post #91 of 154 (3888 views)
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Haha! I hear you, B. I i'm a fan of stir-fried realism myself. Delicious for the mind and mouth.


girlonfoot


Mar 13, 2008, 6:41 PM

Post #92 of 154 (3812 views)
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Re: [miss.modular] Montana reject! Can't Post

Also got my Montana rejection in the mail yesterday (Washington, D.C.). Was mad-bummed, since I was hoping to combine the best things in life there (writing and mountains). But, then I drank a beer, caught up on Lost, and decided to write a novel before I go through this mess again NEXT year. I then drank another beer, scrounged some pity from the dog and my missus, read a little of Jitterbug Perfume, and this morning I felt significantly better. Best of luck to all still waiting to hear. Hope you get in.


Yugao


Mar 13, 2008, 6:57 PM

Post #93 of 154 (3793 views)
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Re: [girlonfoot] Montana reject! Can't Post

I just got my Montana rejection too. It's okay, because I think there is no way my husband would have agreed to move there at this point.


bennyprof


Mar 14, 2008, 12:05 AM

Post #94 of 154 (3731 views)
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Re: [Yugao] Montana reject! Can't Post

Yep, mine came today too. Incidentally, the envelope was very small, the letter cleverly folded. Sort of cool, I thought. Unique, anyway.


pareidolia


Mar 14, 2008, 12:13 AM

Post #95 of 154 (3727 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] Montana reject! Can't Post

I wonder if they will accept anyone by postal or if they called everyone they wanted. I just thought I'd hear more than the three or four acceptances on these blogs since their program is pretty big.

Wishful thinking...


hamlet3145


Mar 14, 2008, 12:36 AM

Post #96 of 154 (3715 views)
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Re: [pareidolia] Montana reject! Can't Post

In workshop tonight I asked Dee how how admissions were going and she said that five people have been called for fiction. Those are not all the people who will be admitted, but these are the initial people offered TAs. Note the word, initial. The longer you go without a rejection letter in your mailbox, the more likely you will get either a phone call or an acceptance letter.

I should also mention that there are going to be a number of people offered admission, but not funding. If you are one of these people, and Montana is your dream school, there are ways to make it work and various loop holes to take advantage of. I'd be happy to give those folks the low down.


P.S. I was accepted by a letter not a phone call.


aathema


Mar 14, 2008, 11:16 AM

Post #97 of 154 (3662 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana reject! Can't Post

I'd like to echo Jason here: if you haven't received a rejection yet, there's still hope. Back in 2006, I didn't get the call until April 10th or so, and I was offered a TA.






http://www.postmfa08.blogspot.com


ali888


Mar 14, 2008, 1:40 PM

Post #98 of 154 (3604 views)
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Re: [aathema] Montana reject! Can't Post

Question for current Montana students: Montana is a 2-year program, right? Is it possible to finish in 3 years (take an extra year)? Does that happen often? If so, do students with a TA their 2nd year get a TA for that extra 3rd year if they take an extra year to finish, or are students with TAships only funded for 2 years?


hamlet3145


Mar 14, 2008, 1:59 PM

Post #99 of 154 (3586 views)
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Re: [ali888] Montana reject! Can't Post

If you are funded, you get the TA for two years. You don't have to graduate in two years though. The graduate college's policy is that you need to graduate within five. A number of those without TAs take longer to graduate in order to spread out the cost and to get residency.

To sum up: you could take 3 years, but you would be unfunded for the 3rd.


meadowlands1


Mar 15, 2008, 8:37 AM

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montana word Can't Post

Hi all. Received a call on the 7th, but am waiting for a formal mailed acceptance. Want to say no to another program and job, or at least hold on until I get hard info from MT. Despite the wonderful call, I won't be completely calm until I see the offer and funding in writing. Anybody get in and receive this stuff in post?

Jason or anyone else in the know-- can you speak to job opportunity in Missoula? (concerned about spouse). Thanks.


reality writes


Mar 15, 2008, 11:29 AM

Post #101 of 154 (4568 views)
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Re: [meadowlands1] montana word Can't Post

congrats, meadowlands! what genre are you?


hamlet3145


Mar 15, 2008, 11:29 AM

Post #102 of 154 (4568 views)
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Re: [meadowlands1] montana word Can't Post

What field would your spouse be looking to work in? There are the usual college town opportunities: retail, waiting tables, etc. There is a Direct TV call center that a lot of people work at. The university also does have some interesting positions open up form time to time ranging from academic advisor to library work to night dispatcher at public safety.

P.S. Congratulations!


meadowlands1


Mar 15, 2008, 11:51 AM

Post #103 of 154 (4556 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] montana word Can't Post

Thanks! I'm poetry. (Jason, sent pm)


reality writes


Mar 15, 2008, 3:57 PM

Post #104 of 154 (4508 views)
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Montana rejection Can't Post

well, I'm out of this race as of today. Just got my rejection letter in the mail. Good luck to everyone else who's waiting!


aathema


Mar 16, 2008, 11:36 PM

Post #105 of 154 (4449 views)
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Re: [meadowlands1] montana word Can't Post

It really depends on what kinds of jobs your spouse is looking for. It took my partner a couple of months to find a woodworking job (though I suspect he was a little lax in his search in order to enjoy a much-needed vacation). The pay isn't great, but it's enough to get by.

Other partners seem to have found jobs quickly enough, but the search requires some amount of flexibility and openness to working outside of one's field.

I'd suggest contacting Workforce, Inc. ( http://www.workforce-inc.com/ ) and talking to Sasha.

Feel free to PM me if you have other questions--my partner is happy to talk to concerned S.O.s about the job market.




http://www.postmfa08.blogspot.com


amandadeleted


Mar 17, 2008, 3:39 PM

Post #106 of 154 (4387 views)
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Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

I called Montana today on a whim and found out that I was accepted for fiction. It seems like they're a little behind with the fiction notifications. The first guy I spoke with told me that calls would go out on the 19th to applicants receiving TAships, and emails would be sent to everyone else who is accepted. Judging from the posts here, I guess rejection letters have already been mailed. Anyway, he transferred me to the woman who told me about my acceptance, but she implied that formal acceptances would be sent by mail closer to the end of the month. So I didn't get a clear sense of what's going on, but I'd say no news is definitely good news from Montana at this point.


kate88


Mar 17, 2008, 3:55 PM

Post #107 of 154 (4371 views)
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I called on Friday, not specifying genre, and was told the "top" candidates had been notified by telephone and that all other letters had been sent and she imagined all would be known by the 19th. I guess I won't know for sure until there's an envelope in my mailbox, so confusing ...

But congratulations! Montana seems like such an awesome program.


dickenscratch



Mar 19, 2008, 11:18 AM

Post #108 of 154 (4288 views)
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I'm in at Montana, but wasn't notified by phone with the top choices (I called them, however, and learned this). They told me that I'm not in the top five positions for getting a TA, so I probably won't get one. My question is: does anyone know what other funding options are available? I've looked at the fellowships on the website, but I don't see any that provide a tuition waiver. I'm guessing I simply cannot go if I don't get the TA, but I'd love it if someone chimed in to tell me different.

Good luck to all...


hamlet3145


Mar 19, 2008, 11:25 AM

Post #109 of 154 (4280 views)
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Re: [dickenscratch] Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

We've had a couple of initially non-funded people able to land positions that granted a tutition waiver but it is rare. It is also still possible you could get a TA--I know some folk's were awarded them in late spring or even at the last minute. There is also a way to get in state tuition by your second year. And another loophole that can basically allow you not to have to pay for your 12 thesis credits. That said, if you have a funding offer from another good school you should probably give priority, unless Montana was your top choice.


dickenscratch



Mar 19, 2008, 11:49 AM

Post #110 of 154 (4264 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

Thanks, Jason. It is actually my top choice, but I won't be able to go without funding, unfortunately. The good thing is that I have other offers with full funding. But wow, how frustrating to get in to your top choice but not be able to attend!


hamlet3145


Mar 19, 2008, 11:55 AM

Post #111 of 154 (4257 views)
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Re: [dickenscratch] Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

It ain't over 'till it's over, so you might still give things a couple of weeks to see if something materializes. There is no guarantee that those initial five awarded TA's are all going to come.


dickenscratch



Mar 19, 2008, 11:58 AM

Post #112 of 154 (4253 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

Kealey's book says that about 1/2 are funded with TAs. So is that 5 for poetry and 5 for fiction?


hamlet3145


Mar 19, 2008, 1:20 PM

Post #113 of 154 (4226 views)
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Re: [dickenscratch] Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

That sounds about right with throwing in a 1-2 for non-fiction.


Vesuvia


Mar 19, 2008, 2:45 PM

Post #114 of 154 (4200 views)
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calling Montana Can't Post

I posted a version of this in "I'm In"...

Just called Montana - I'm in for poetry! Spoke with Karen Sturm, who was very friendly and didn't at all seem to mind looking up my decision (I had seen that other people here had called, and I couldn't stand waiting anymore). She kept saying that the poetry committee had fallen behind and said that my letter had "just gone to the Graduate Office" so I probably wouldn't get it until the end of March - so if anyone else is waiting impatiently, call!

She also said I was "in the middle of the pack" for funding, but that some spots would probably open up, and they wouldn't know until April if I would get one of them. Not sure what that means in terms of actual likelihood of something coming through. I couldn't tell if that meant middle of the pack of a funding waitlist, or middle overall - it's the difference between hoping 5 people turn down a TA vs hoping that 8-10 do, which seems very unlikely.

Jason or anyone else, how many people do you think turn down Montana, thus opening up the funding waitlist? (If this question was already answered, I'm sorry for repeating - I'm running on caffeine and sugar today, so I'm a little scattered.)


hamlet3145


Mar 19, 2008, 2:52 PM

Post #115 of 154 (4192 views)
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Re: [Vesuvia] calling Montana Can't Post

Overall Montana assumes that 50% of accepted people come. Now, that includes funded and non-funded. I would think that more than 50% who are offered TAs will wind up showing up in the fall. That said, don't give up on the TA train just yet..

P.S. Congrats!


amandadeleted


Mar 19, 2008, 3:51 PM

Post #116 of 154 (4165 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

I'm in the same boat. Accepted for fiction, no TAship. I'm really confused about Montana's financial aid options. They don't offer any other tuition-waivers, right? I'm guessing people work part-time, apply for fellowships, etc. I'd be interested to hear more about how people make it work, because right now I'm starting to resign myself to not going. It doesn't help that my other option is Columbia (with 1/2 tuition funding, but still more expensive). Oy.


hamlet3145


Mar 19, 2008, 4:00 PM

Post #117 of 154 (4158 views)
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Re: [amandadeleted] Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

If Montana were a smaller program, everyone would be funded. Folks who come primarily rely on loans to get by + working part time. It is quite doable. But you would graduate with debt. (Last time I checked graduate students are eligible for up to $18,500 in subsidized and unsubsidized loans with interest rates around 6-7%). It's possible to get in-state tuition by the second year by only taking 6 credits per semester during your first. This really turns it into a three year degree though. (Not neccesarily a bad thing).

I'm not pimping the loans idea here, but I do know of two recent student who came in with no funding, did not get jobs and spent hours every day writing in the free time this provided. One left Montana with a Wisconsin Fellowship the other with a Fullbright. Both are now in top Ph.d. programs and have published well.

I don't regret coming in unfunded, but it is not for everybody.


rparks624


Mar 19, 2008, 4:33 PM

Post #118 of 154 (4140 views)
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Montana Can't Post

So I found out today that I don't have funding. I'll be moving to MT anyway with my husband and small dog. Thanks for the tips on how to still survive without funding, Jason.

I'm a little nervous about it all!


ancorder


Mar 19, 2008, 5:12 PM

Post #119 of 154 (4118 views)
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Nonacceptance Can't Post

So a few days after e-mailing I finally heard back from Montana and was told that "a nonacceptance letter" was on its way to me.

I'm going to assume that's their nice way of saying "rejected." Yes?


ali888


Mar 21, 2008, 10:40 AM

Post #120 of 154 (4044 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

Jason,

I am in a similar situation as some of the people here (I've been admitted in fiction, but I'm on the middle of the funding list, so no TA yet). I was wondering: Montana is a fairly large program, so how do you feel about the attention you/your work has received from professors? Do you feel Montana is a nurturing place? Obviously a writer has to be ready to work hard in any MFA program (and the success of Montana's graduates proves that the students there do work hard), but what kind of environment is created by the professors and fellow students? I also got in with funding to two other less prestigious but slightly smaller programs, but Montana was initially my top choice, and I wanted to get a sense of the atmosphere from current students. Any thoughts?


hamlet3145


Mar 21, 2008, 11:58 AM

Post #121 of 154 (4016 views)
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Re: [ali888] Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

Montana is about 45 students total in the program. This number includes fiction, poetry and non-fiction. The main bennefit of this is that there are usualy two workshop per genre (except non-fiction) for you to choose from. I really like the size and wouldn't enjoy a smaller department where you are in the same class with everyone ever single semester. (I think you'd get diminishing returns as to comments that way). The program is very, very social. We have Mary Gaitskills reading here tonight and I'm sure one of the faculty will be having a post-reading reception that we will all be invited too. People often go out after workshop together as well. If there is anyone who doesn't like being here, I don't know who they are.

What are the programs you got into with funding? (PM me if you'd like). If I had an idea of what you are choosing between I might have better advice.


Osiris


Mar 23, 2008, 10:06 AM

Post #122 of 154 (3929 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

Any other poets considering Montana? I'm 90% sure I'll be in Missoula come this summer! Feel free to e-mail me at free2accept4life <at> yahoo <dot> com. Peace.


rparks624


Mar 24, 2008, 11:02 AM

Post #123 of 154 (3871 views)
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Montana - summer Can't Post

Will any of you be in Montana this June/July? I'm in for fiction and will be moving there. Anyone want to meet up or talk more? My email is robu624@gmail.com.


rparks624


Mar 25, 2008, 10:05 AM

Post #124 of 154 (3795 views)
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Re: [rparks624] Montana - summer Can't Post

Jason- Do you know of good places to live in Missoula?


hamlet3145


Mar 25, 2008, 11:36 AM

Post #125 of 154 (3776 views)
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Re: [rparks624] Montana - summer Can't Post

I'd highly recommend finding a place near the university & downtown. This would allow one to walk or bike to just about everything. The rent might be slightly more, but I really think it is worth it. As you start to look into apartments, feel free to PM me any particular addresses you are considering and I can pass along what I might know.

P.S. Congrats on your acceptance!

(BTW, there is a Montana MFA Facebook group if you (or anyone else) might like to put some faces to names and see some current students and recent alums). http://www.facebook.com/...p.php?gid=4111579671


rparks624


Mar 25, 2008, 12:24 PM

Post #126 of 154 (5981 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana - summer Can't Post

Jason - Do you know anything about Southgate Apartments?


hamlet3145


Mar 25, 2008, 12:58 PM

Post #127 of 154 (5975 views)
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Re: [rparks624] Montana - summer Can't Post

Not specifically, but the name implies it is probably a complex near the mall in the center of town. (The mall is the Southgate Mall). It may still be a bit early to find much in the way of listings if, say, you wanted to move here around June 1st or so though. There will be a bunch of places opening up soon though as people graduate and begin to take off. In fact, some current students might know of some cool places opening up. For example, I know of a house that will becoming available around then. It is currently occupied by 3 MFA students who are all leaving.

P.S. http://professionalproperty.com/ is my property management company and they have been good to me.


(This post was edited by Hamlet3145 on Mar 25, 2008, 1:00 PM)


quotidian poet


Mar 26, 2008, 10:55 PM

Post #128 of 154 (5917 views)
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Re: [Osiris] Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

I just emailed Montana yesterday, figuring I'd been rejected because of a weird letter from the financial aid office, but found out I've been accepted for poetry! No concrete info about funding yet (so I suppose I'm not part of the 'top 5'.)

I'd love to hear some perspectives from poets who are in the program now ... will probably head over to the facebook group and start bugging some of you.

I've also been accepted to U of Oregon ... with their max funding package, so I expect funding may be the deciding factor. Eugene and Missoula aren't bad for places to choose between - it feels kinda weird to be so excited about going there from NYC, while so many people on the other boards are so anxious to come here and go into huge debt at Columbia / SLC / TNS. ... But if anyone has any specific knowledge about UM vs. UO, that would be great!

-Evan


aathema


Mar 26, 2008, 11:49 PM

Post #129 of 154 (5902 views)
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Re: [quotidian poet] Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

I love the program and I love the city. However, there are rumors that more than one of the poetry faculty will be on sabbatical next year. If this is the case a visiting writer will come to fill the void. You might want to check into that with the department before you make your decision.

I tend to think that a large part of what one gets from a program is from one's fellow students. I've been continually impressed (and intimidated) by the quality of my peers' work since I've been here.

As for UO, I had a friend who graduated from there in fiction and she loved it--both the program and the town. But I don't know anything about poetry there.






http://www.postmfa08.blogspot.com


hamlet3145


Mar 31, 2008, 5:11 PM

Post #130 of 154 (5815 views)
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Re: [quotidian poet] Montana Fiction Update Can't Post

Just an FYI for incoming Montana people, Sarah Gambito was named the "Hugo Visiting Poet" for next year.

Here is her info:

Quote


Sarah Gambito is the Executive Director of Kunidman, an organization dedicated to the creation, cultivation and promotion of Asian American poetry. She is the author of Matadora (Alice James Books) and Delivered (forthcoming from Persea Books). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, The Antioch Review, Denver Quarterly, The New Republic, Field, Quarterly West, Fence and other journals. She holds degrees from The University of Virginia and The Creative Writing Program at Brown University. A recipient of grants and fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts, Urban Artists Initiative and The MacDowell Colony, she teaches at New York University and Baruch College.



rparks624


Apr 2, 2008, 10:38 AM

Post #131 of 154 (5747 views)
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Re: Other Types of Funding Can't Post

Hi all. I was wondering if there are other types of funding-- for travel abroad, etc. available at UMT. I didn't get funding for the MFA. I'm going to reapply for the TA-ship my second year and see what happens. Is it possible to be a TA for profs in the English Dept or other depts? Any good tips or info on getting any type of funding or who to talk to at UMT?

I'm also anxious about registration and 1st day of class. When did you guys register and what was expected of you the 1st day of class?


aathema


Apr 2, 2008, 11:31 AM

Post #132 of 154 (5730 views)
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Re: [rparks624] Other Types of Funding Can't Post

There are a couple of different types of funding available. I know there are some jobs on campus for grad students, though they aren't handled through the English department. You might look at the campus job listing for "staff". There's also the annual Bertha Morton scholarship for $2,000-$3,000. The award is given for publications, proffessional distinctions, and service/involvement in the community.

In your second year, you can apply for a creative writing fellowship. If you get it, you teach one creative writing class (in your genre) for one semester of your second year and I believe you get paid at the same rate as the ENEX 101 TAs. Since you are not a 101 TA, the likelihood is that you'll either be offered the creative writing fellowship to teach over the summer between your first and second year or during the winter quarter of your second year.

First day of classes--Prior to the first day of classes, it's a good idea to email the professors and let them know that you'd like to take their classes as a courtesy so they can know how many students are likely to show up. On that first day, have your override slip in hand and get it signed. Then you take it to the Lomassen Center (Registrar's Office) and drop it off. The registrar's people will sign you up for the class.

As for what's expected--that depends on the professor. This is why it's a good idea to email the professors before hand--so they can tell you if you need to bring anything or do anything for that first day. In my experience, the first day of class has been pretty chill--you go over the syllabus, read some sample pieces of writing, or get an introductory lecture (in lit classes).


http://www.postmfa08.blogspot.com


Gus82


Apr 4, 2008, 11:51 AM

Post #133 of 154 (5662 views)
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Good coffee in Missoula? Can't Post

Hi to any UMT students living in Missoula,

I know this is going to sound crazy, but I live in the Oakland area right now and am accustomed to really great coffee. I'm headed over for fiction in the fall and I'm wondering if Missoula has much of a coffee culture. I read online about a place called Bernice's that seems to be somewhat centrally located-- but I can't tell if this is only a bakery or if it also has a coffee culture gestalt. Obviously, this is not my main deciding factor, but I can't help but be curious!

thanks!

-Koik


forthedogs


Apr 4, 2008, 12:02 PM

Post #134 of 154 (5654 views)
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Re: [Gus82] Good coffee in Missoula? Can't Post

don't know about missoula, but coffee in oakland is the best. i worked at gaylords for a couple years. i miss oakland!


aathema


Apr 4, 2008, 12:29 PM

Post #135 of 154 (5642 views)
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Re: [Gus82] Good coffee in Missoula? Can't Post

I'm not a huge fan of Bernice's coffee. It's just drip and it's not terribly good. However, Le Petit Ouevre is a bakery that has fantastic espresso (Vivace, from Seattle). Unfortunately, the only seating is a couple of tables outdoors.

Break Espresso (downtown on Higgins) is the big hangout for coffee people. It's huge, has free wifi, and you can pretty much hang out there all day. There's also a Liquid Planet, which is pretty much the same deal only in chain form.

In my opinion, Butterfly Herbs (downtown, also on Higgins) serves the best espresso. It has a small area of booth seating and also serves great sandwiches.

Smaller coffee places abound, including Posh Chocolat (excellent chocolate and soups as well as coffee), Catalyst (which is hardly ever open), and a bunch of drive-thru coffee stands for a quick fix.

In terms of coffee for home use, we have a local roaster (Hunter Bay), which is pretty decent.

Coming from the Seattle area, I'd say that Missoula does pretty well for itself on the coffee front considering its size.


http://www.postmfa08.blogspot.com


(This post was edited by aathema on Apr 4, 2008, 12:30 PM)


lars79


Apr 4, 2008, 4:32 PM

Post #136 of 154 (5600 views)
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Re: [Gus82] Good coffee in Missoula? Can't Post

Gus82 -

I might come (from Philly), and I love coffee too! PM me. We'll talk roasts, grinds, cream or no cream.

- Boit



"Save the manatees"


Gus82


Apr 4, 2008, 7:06 PM

Post #137 of 154 (5571 views)
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Re: [lars79] Good coffee in Missoula? Can't Post

Boit,

I hope you do come! I hear Philly's a great town! (good cheesesteaks, right?). Well, if you come, we'll have to go to Bernice's or one of the other's and discuss crema together, or something like that.

Hope to see you in Missoula,
K


quotidian poet


Apr 8, 2008, 1:45 PM

Post #138 of 154 (5503 views)
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Montana Prospective Perspective Can't Post

In case any other prospectives are looking for info here, I visited Montana last week, and the current students I met were super welcoming and the program definitely seems to live up to its rep as having a great sense of community and a supportive environment. And Missoula's definitely a cool town - lively with great local color and obviously a beautiful setting. The only faculty member I was able to meet with was Greg Pape (who was very nice and laid back and definitely believes in the program) as the others were not available; also, there were no workshops, but I sat in on a lit class that was very good.
I won't be attending, I'm afraid, as I wasn't been offered funding but have since been accepted with a very generous offer off the waitlist from another program. But I thought I'd throw in my two cents for anyone who isn't able to have the pleasure of visiting.


nicolec24


Apr 8, 2008, 2:35 PM

Post #139 of 154 (5476 views)
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Re: [quotidian poet] Montana Prospective Perspective Can't Post

I will second that opinion of Missoula. It is quite possibly one of the greatest places on earth (I'm biased - I grew up on the Idaho/Montana border). I'm removing myself from the wait list at Montana (in favor of Arizona), as I too have other offers with full funding. I envy those attending!


Osiris


Apr 16, 2008, 10:42 AM

Post #140 of 154 (5389 views)
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Re: [nicolec24] Montana Prospective Perspective Can't Post

I'll be in Missoula April 22nd through the 24th. I'm going to try to get to as many classes and thesis readings as I can while I'm there, as well as trying to secure housing for next fall. Any Missoulans out there, feel free to contact me with information and helpful tips! My e-mail address is free2accept4life <@> yahoo <dot> com!
I'm going for poetry!


greenape


Apr 16, 2008, 4:13 PM

Post #141 of 154 (5344 views)
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Re: [Osiris] Montana Prospective Perspective Can't Post

Going for poetry as well! Can someone tell me how to get to Missoula by plane, the least expensive way? I hear other nearby airports are the way to go. Also, any thoughts on what area of town to look for apartments? I would love to be able to bike to class. This is all very exciting.


hamlet3145


Apr 16, 2008, 7:39 PM

Post #142 of 154 (5303 views)
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Re: [greenape] Montana Prospective Perspective Can't Post

Spokane is the cheapest "nearby" airport. It's about a 3 hour drive. Pretty dangerous in the winter though. (You have to drive over the Rockies).

You will definitely want to find a place in the University district or downtown if possible. There is a trail by the river that goes right to campus and, honestly, many people tend to just walk.

Also, for those of you who are coming there is a University of Montana MFA facebook group you might like join. I think you should just be able to search for it but if not just let me know and I can dig up the direct link.


aathema


Apr 16, 2008, 9:23 PM

Post #143 of 154 (5280 views)
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Re: [greenape] Montana Prospective Perspective Can't Post

I second what Jason says and add this: see if you can get the email list of current/graduating students from the director and email the list to see who's vacating their digs. It might save you some time and you won't have to drive all over town blindly looking at random places.

Incidentally, I'll be vacating a 2 br/1 ba house about 1 1/2 miles from school (close to the bike trail) as of the end of May. Rent is $650/mo and the landlords are a nice couple (i.e., not a management agency).









http://www.postmfa08.blogspot.com


hamlet3145


Jun 29, 2008, 11:06 PM

Post #144 of 154 (5173 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] Montana Prospective Perspective Can't Post

For those interested in a vivid take on Missoula:

http://poetryfoundation.org/...ssoula_missoula.html

The author, Linh Dihn, was a visiting poet this spring.


Tabby



Mar 12, 2009, 6:17 PM

Post #145 of 154 (4969 views)
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Re: [hazelmotes] Montana MFA Program Can't Post

Montana generally has acceptances out by now. I graduated in 08, and I'm up for questions. If they seem answerable in a public way, great. If not, PM me!


http://www.kellykathleenferguson.com


OldScribe2000


Dec 19, 2009, 7:08 PM

Post #146 of 154 (4760 views)
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Re: [the wind] Montana Program? Can't Post

Many schools, including Motana, are requesting an "expository essay" sample if you apply for a teaching assistantship. I automatically assumed--because you'll be teaching lit and/or comp classes--that an expository essay is a critical essay on a piece of literature, like the thousands of essays I turned in while completing my B.A. in English.

However, I'm finding out now that an expository--form of the word exposition--essay generally means anything that's not creative writing. Put simply, they don't want another short story or novel excerpt, they need to see if you can put an "non-creative writing" essay together.

I'm curious what most of you are turning in for expository essays, especially if you're applying for teaching assistantships.


orthetiger


Dec 20, 2009, 11:19 AM

Post #147 of 154 (4713 views)
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Re: [OldScribe2000] Montana Program? Can't Post

I submitted a short critical essay. It says on the website that it can be an "essay, term paper, research paper; it need not be from an English course so long as you believe it fairly represents your writing ability." I believe that most TAships are in teaching composition, so most likely it is to make sure that you can write well in an expository way.


anna2


Feb 25, 2010, 10:47 AM

Post #148 of 154 (4361 views)
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Montana Can't Post

Reviving the Montana thread! Any prospective/admitted/current students around?


OldScribe2000


Feb 25, 2010, 12:39 PM

Post #149 of 154 (4316 views)
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Re: [anna2] Montana Can't Post

Someone on the MFA Blog reported an acceptance, but I don't know whether it's poetry or fiction.

I applied for fiction.


paligal


Feb 26, 2010, 12:55 AM

Post #150 of 154 (4246 views)
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Re: [OldScribe2000] Montana Can't Post

I was accepted to Montana today in Creative Nonfiction, per e-mail.


Dry Leaves


Mar 1, 2010, 10:20 AM

Post #151 of 154 (4962 views)
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In Reply To
I was accepted to Montana today in Creative Nonfiction, per e-mail.



Dry Leaves


Mar 1, 2010, 10:44 AM

Post #152 of 154 (4947 views)
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Re: [Dry Leaves] Montana Can't Post

paligal,

did they say anything to you about other CNF spots?


Thomassutpen


Mar 9, 2010, 12:40 AM

Post #153 of 154 (4803 views)
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Re: [anna2] Montana Can't Post

I got in for fiction. I'm in a state trying to figure out money. It's really frustrating that my little law schools can flash the figure $130,000 around and call it an "average starting salary."


LindsayD


Feb 11, 2013, 1:16 PM

Post #154 of 154 (2199 views)
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Montana MFA 2013! Can't Post

Anyone chewing their nails to bits yet? Montana is the only program I applied to since it's not feasible for me to move anywhere else right now and I didn't want to go the low-res route. So, all my eggs are in one basket so to speak. Looking back through the thread it looks as though early March is the general response time frame but it seems as though "top choice" varies from early to late acceptance. Any responses from 2012?

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