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HollyHolly


Dec 4, 2005, 9:19 PM

Post #1 of 79 (15451 views)
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MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I have been looking at the MFA program and TA options at the University of Arizona. I'm mostly enamored by Tucson itself, but am seeking first-hand opinions on the program before I start seriously considering it -- does anyone out there know anything about either the program itself or ways to glean info about its merits?

Thanks! I'm at a bit of a loss...

(This post was edited by motet on Dec 5, 2005, 11:11 AM)


sharonlouise


Dec 5, 2005, 9:52 AM

Post #2 of 79 (15427 views)
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Re: [HollyHolly] Arizona??? Can't Post

Hi holly---
are you thinking this year? FYI--the deadline for U of A was Dec. 1....


HollyHolly


Dec 5, 2005, 10:33 AM

Post #3 of 79 (15425 views)
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Re: [sharonlouise] Arizona??? Can't Post

Oh no no - I'm kind of on the slow boat to grad school! I'm roughly aiming for next spring (Jan. 07), or that following fall. Speaking of which, is it better to start in the fall or spring? Does it matter or effect your odds of acceptance?


sharonlouise


Dec 5, 2005, 12:27 PM

Post #4 of 79 (15412 views)
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Re: [HollyHolly] Arizona??? Can't Post

 


(This post was edited by sharonlouise on Feb 28, 2006, 9:29 AM)


HollyHolly


Dec 5, 2005, 1:44 PM

Post #5 of 79 (15401 views)
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Re: [sharonlouise] Arizona??? Can't Post

Hm, I'll look into that, thanks. However, I'm not all that concerned about deadlines at this point -- I'd really just like to know about the program itself. Anyone?


andfw


Dec 29, 2005, 5:33 AM

Post #6 of 79 (15340 views)
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Re: [HollyHolly] Arizona??? Can't Post

What do you want to know? If you like Tucson, you'll probably like it here -- the city has a way of polarizing people. The fiction program is pretty much like I imagine most MFAs are: you can get as much or as little out of it as you choose. I don't know much about the poetry side. Not sure how the funding really breaks down; I'd estimate a little less than half get GAT positions. A few get to teach CW classes each semester. I like the faculty, but know going in that they're going to lean more toward traditional Iowa-style fiction. Most of the faculty went to Iowa, in fact. Again, not sure about poetry.

I hear the nonfiction program's good, too, but I don't know a thing about that. Seems like there are only a handful of nonfictioners.

If there's anything specific you'd like to know, just ask.


LookUp


Jan 20, 2006, 1:46 PM

Post #7 of 79 (15274 views)
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Re: [HollyHolly] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

It depends a lot on which program you want to go into. I was fiction, but from what I understand, the poetry program is great as is the nonfiction. The fiction program, in many ways, is outstanding. On the other hand, the poster who said a pretty traditional aesthetic dominates is telling the truth. This was at least true of when I was there. However, Aurelie Sheehan recently took over the program and she is not only totally open to experimentation, she's also a genuinly kind person and an excellent writer. There are also some strong and sometimes difficult personalities among the fiction faculty. If you can take them with a cup or two of salt, you will learn a lot. One prof in particular is not fabulous, although a couple of others are. To be honest, I had a love/hate relationship with the program, but you might encounter that anywhere. The MFA is a weird experience. If I were you, I'd go down there, sit in on a class or two, talk to some current students and a few professors, and see what you think. It might be a great match for you and it might not, depending on what you need as a writer. One thing I will say: although while in the program everyone always said "we're so much nicer here than at places like Iowa" it can be fairly cut throat. A lot will depend on the personalities of your classmates.

I know this is sort of a mixed review, but I have a lot of mixed feelings about my MFA experience -- again, you might get that anywhere, though. However, I can say this: I know a hell of a lot more about writing now than I did when I walked into my first workshop there. And although I didn't resonate with every professor I encountered, I figured out the couple who did sort of gel with my aesthetic -- I sought them out, sat them down, and got as much mentoring as I could.

Do a lot of homework, check out a lot of programs, and make your decision based on that. Tucson is a good place to be an artist, though. Lots of hiking, not too many distractions, cheap living.

Good luck.


laughingman


Nov 20, 2006, 6:42 PM

Post #8 of 79 (15084 views)
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Re: [LookUp] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

So-- per Kealey's MFA blog today, U of Arizona has six (6!) 25,000 dollar fellowships that they award every year. Why haven't I heard about this? Why aren't people talking about it?

I scoured the program website (which seemed to be broken in some areas) and couldn't find any mention or advertisement of these fellowships whatsoever. The only other evidence I found was in a googled news article.

Kealey wasn't so kind to U of A in his book ("a distinguished program, but one that is no longer among the elite")--and not many people have mentioned the school here--does this fellowship change things? Any alumni or current students lurking care to give comment? Any of our resident "helpful people" (as Junior Maas has coined them) care to weigh in on whether or not we should all forget about our applications to Iowa and Cornell and Columbia to apply here?


__________



Nov 20, 2006, 7:30 PM

Post #9 of 79 (15078 views)
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Re: [laughingman] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I originally wanted to apply to Arizona because David Foster Wallace went there...

...but then I read his essay in A Hideously Fun Thing... where he basically said it was a waste of time. Better make that an aggressive, super-didactic realist bent, then. Professors and students that refused to consider what his stories were aiming to be, getting hung up on their rules, such as this gem: NEVER INCLUDE DETAILS THAT COULD DATE A STORY, DAVE! ...To which Dave's confused reply was something like, But in your stories, people are using telephones and driving cars and speaking post-war English, etc. Ack! Run!

So, yeah.


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andfw


Nov 20, 2006, 10:01 PM

Post #10 of 79 (15056 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I'm actually reading that book right now, in part because I keep hearing about this essay in which DFW says he didn't like Arizona. Is it the one on TV and fiction? Because if so, I can only find brief sections in which he says that the emphasis was on realism and that a lot of the focus during workshop went to piddling things such as the telephones/cars example (both of which are absolutely true -- but is that really exclusive to workshops at the UA?). Having sat through those very workshops, I'd say that "aggressive" and "super-didactic" grossly overstate the case against them. Let's not forget that he also attended Arizona twenty years ago, before a couple of the younger, more non-realist-friendly (for lack of a better term) professors were hired.

I do know that DFW's not exactly hailed as the exemplar of the program (they would be the Russos and Nelsons and Cantys). But he came here to read a few years ago, so he must not have disliked it that much. And everything I've read in his essays (haven't read them all yet) and interviews seems to indicate that he was sort of ambivalent about his experience. I do think a fair amount of people leave Arizona ambivalent about their experience -- but again, is that exclusive to the UA? I really don't know, because I've never attended other MFA programs.

I think Kealey's rankings are widely misunderstood -- as he says, they had more to do with funding than anything else. Arizona has tiered funding, so he doesn't rank it among his top schools. He said similar things about Iowa and others. Call me defensive, but if you look at the success of current and former students, Arizona still can claim to be an elite writing program.

Anyway, re: the big fellowship, the reason you haven't heard much about them is because this year's class is the first to receive them. But it is true that there are a number (don't know how many, or how they break down by genre) of $25K fellowships.


In Reply To
I originally wanted to apply to Arizona because David Foster Wallace went there...

...but then I read his essay in A Hideously Fun Thing... where he basically said it was a waste of time. Better make that an aggressive, super-didactic realist bent, then. Professors and students that refused to consider what his stories were aiming to be, getting hung up on their rules, such as this gem: NEVER INCLUDE DETAILS THAT COULD DATE A STORY, DAVE! ...To which Dave's confused reply was something like, But in your stories, people are using telephones and driving cars and speaking post-war English, etc. Ack! Run!

So, yeah.



wilmabluekitty
Wilma Weant Dague

Nov 20, 2006, 10:52 PM

Post #11 of 79 (15039 views)
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Re: [jstgerma] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I'm beginning to think that Kealey is the Buddha that must be killed.

His way is one way, but it's not the only way.


__________



Nov 21, 2006, 12:32 AM

Post #12 of 79 (15023 views)
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Re: [jstgerma] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Hi there:

If DFW's assessment is a gross overstatement, then please elaborate! His MFA comments are indeed brief and sandwiched into a few of his essays, as well as his interviews (and even comments made at readings, dutifully transcribed at places like the Wallace-L e-mail discussion ring. Man am I a dork.). But I think in the Lynch essay, he gives a nicer, kind of comeradely account of his Arizona friendships. My fear has less to do with the realist stuff (we all have our leanings), and more to do with professors not really meeting student work on its own terms. I think thats Wallace's main complaint. It could happen anywhere; I just wish there was some reliable list. Like, Don't go to Syracuse: Saunders will only allow short, choppy sentences! Is that asking too much?


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Fear&Loathing


Nov 21, 2006, 1:01 AM

Post #13 of 79 (15018 views)
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Re: [wilmabluekitty] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

To say that he is the Buddha that must be killed is a nice back-handed compliment. Work out your own salvation with diligence.


andfw


Nov 21, 2006, 4:26 AM

Post #14 of 79 (15008 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I wasn't talking about DFW when I said it was a gross overstatement. I meant this comment of yours: "Better make that an aggressive, super-didactic realist bent, then." Based on my experience at Arizona, I think that's an overstatement; I never found any of the faculty to be aggressive or super-didactic. Unless that is a DFW quote -- in that case, then I guess I am disagreeing with him. I still have yet to find a place where Wallace makes the kind of damning comments about UA that I keep hearing about. I've read a few instances in which he sounds ambivalent. I would imagine many MFAers think similarly of their time in a program. I do, in fact. But my whole point re: DFW is that I think his comments about his MFA experience are often exaggerated (another poster here once said that DFW said he "hated" UA). If there are instances I'm not aware of in which he really bashes Arizona (there may well be -- like I said, I haven't read all of his work), then I stand corrected.

I actually hope there is not a list that says things like "Saunders only likes short sentences" or "Arizona's faculty is aggressively super-didactic." I find those sort of blanket statements difficult to believe. I've met a lot of MFA faculty, including Saunders (who is an amazingly nice man -- I sincerely doubt anybody would aim such criticisms at him) and everybody at UA. Many of them have strong opinions about fiction, opinions they're entitled to have. But I have yet to find a single dictator.
In my opinion, the rumors of their existence too often sound like the overblown carping of ex-MFAers who couldn't handle constructive criticism. And there are many.

In regards to Kealey, I wasn't trying to criticize him. I think he's done a fine job with his book, and also with his blog. He himself makes it very plain that he regards funding as the primary criterion when ranking programs. I think his rankings are often misunderstood in that regard -- he doesn't seem too interested in evaluating a program's prestige, per se. He's much more concerned with value. That's why I don't think his rankings are very authoritative in regards to identifying the "elite" programs. What did he rank Iowa again? Tenth?

In Reply To
Hi there:

If DFW's assessment is a gross overstatement, then please elaborate! His MFA comments are indeed brief and sandwiched into a few of his essays, as well as his interviews (and even comments made at readings, dutifully transcribed at places like the Wallace-L e-mail discussion ring. Man am I a dork.). But I think in the Lynch essay, he gives a nicer, kind of comeradely account of his Arizona friendships. My fear has less to do with the realist stuff (we all have our leanings), and more to do with professors not really meeting student work on its own terms. I think thats Wallace's main complaint. It could happen anywhere; I just wish there was some reliable list. Like, Don't go to Syracuse: Saunders will only allow short, choppy sentences! Is that asking too much?



__________



Nov 21, 2006, 5:35 AM

Post #15 of 79 (15005 views)
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Re: [jstgerma] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Hi again. Sorry if I wasn't clear. I just want to say I have no first hand knowledge of Arizona, just a generalized fear about all programs. My statement was only in regard to how I remember DFW's comments--from his essays, readings, and interviews--a few years ago! I'm not sure I'd call them damning, per se...and he was trying to be funny, as always. His stongest words did concern a kind of unbending allegiance by certain professors to rules with leaky logic. But who knows.

My pretend list is magical, hypothetical, and absolute. No rumors involved. I long for it after those wasted undergrad workshops--in which too many people--even teachers--tried to make every story--even the ones about robots!--into a Divorce & Cancer in Connecticut affair. Yikes. It's like, Dude, the chick in the Buffy shirt with the 5,000 word sentence with footnotes is not trying to be Raymond Carver. Deal with it!


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(This post was edited by Junior Maas on Nov 21, 2006, 5:37 AM)


laughingman


Nov 21, 2006, 11:58 AM

Post #16 of 79 (14980 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Sigh. A chick in a Buffy shirt who writes 5,000 word sentences with footnotes-- where else can you meet such people but in a writing program?

Alright, so apparently DFW graduated in 1987 and they've had some staff turnover since then--and even if they hadn't, whose to say a set of faculty might not evolve with the literary times? (especially if they'd gotten some gentle ribbing from a subsequently famous alum?)

At a glance: Arizona is a two-year program in a good-looking, artistically-inclined, million-person metropolitan area, with some opportunity for funding via TAships, some minor scholarships ($300-$500), and a chance at one of six annual $25,000 fellowships (one year only, I think, though I couldn't find any specific information). The staff appears to range from fully competent to potentially brilliant with the usual array of pushcart prices, best American short story appearances, and published novels. There is prestige and tradition, here, and a nice little history of published authors of some acclaim (as varied as DFW, Richard Russo, and Robert Boswell).

This one has all the hallmarks of a top 20 program, and that's what I'm going to call it until someone can convince me otherwise.

(and thanks much to jstgerma for the insights from inside the program.)



In Reply To
Hi again. Sorry if I wasn't clear. I just want to say I have no first hand knowledge of Arizona, just a generalized fear about all programs. My statement was only in regard to how I remember DFW's comments--from his essays, readings, and interviews--a few years ago! I'm not sure I'd call them damning, per se...and he was trying to be funny, as always. His stongest words did concern a kind of unbending allegiance by certain professors to rules with leaky logic. But who knows.

My pretend list is magical, hypothetical, and absolute. No rumors involved. I long for it after those wasted undergrad workshops--in which too many people--even teachers--tried to make every story--even the ones about robots!--into a Divorce & Cancer in Connecticut affair. Yikes. It's like, Dude, the chick in the Buffy shirt with the 5,000 word sentence with footnotes is not trying to be Raymond Carver. Deal with it!



andfw


Dec 1, 2006, 4:26 AM

Post #17 of 79 (14879 views)
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Re: [laughingman] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

In case anybody's interested in a sampling of UA's more esteemed alumni, check the newly updated department Web site: http://english.web.arizona.edu/index_site.php?id=135&preview=1

I hope this doesn't constitute bragging, since I am not listed there and probably won't be anytime soon, if ever. Maybe if this Stegner application I'm currently addressing pans out (are you listening, God?).


(This post was edited by jstgerma on Oct 7, 2007, 5:49 PM)


__________



Dec 1, 2006, 5:59 AM

Post #18 of 79 (14877 views)
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Re: [jstgerma] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Hey there. Before you get all disappointed, just remember--historically, they pick folks Robert Olen Butler recommends to Tobias Wolfe, along with various other 'insiders', such as people married to current fellows (like Ryan Harty and Julie Orringer) along with their honest choices. So when they say they pick five or whatever a year, keep in mind the actual, non-rigged number is much smaller.


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BuckeyeBrooder


Jan 14, 2007, 3:09 PM

Post #19 of 79 (14769 views)
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Re: [HollyHolly] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Does anyone know about the fellowships that Univ of Arizona added? It's awarded to six incoming grads, I think, and worth about $25,000. But is it divided among two years or awarded for one year?


debernardi
jeff thorsby


Jan 26, 2007, 1:11 AM

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Re: [BuckeyeBrooder] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

one year. hope this helps.


zebulon


Oct 7, 2007, 10:08 PM

Post #21 of 79 (14449 views)
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Re: [debernardi] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

OK, how about ASU? They have Norman Dubie, TR Hummer and Alberto Rios... but does anyone know anything about their TAships or have any personal experience with the program?


Dime49


Oct 18, 2007, 2:26 PM

Post #22 of 79 (14393 views)
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Re: [zebulon] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I'm currently in the ASU program and think very highly of it. At this point, all MFA students get TA positions and there are lots of additional funding opportunities beyond that. I'm in poetry and the faculty is pretty amazing. As are the students - it's a very friendly and supportive atmosphere...if you can handle the desert.


sarah_sophia


Jan 12, 2008, 7:36 PM

Post #23 of 79 (14273 views)
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ASU and deadlines Can't Post

   
what up ya''ll, i was just checking out arizona state's website. i had thought that the deadline was february 1st, which it says here http://www.asu.edu/...ing/information.html

but then here http://www.asu.edu/...iting/admission.html it says all application materials must be received by januar 15th.

i've already emailed the program contact person by the way, but i'd like to get a response before the deadline.

so yeah, anyone know what's going on?


jeleri


Jan 14, 2008, 2:37 PM

Post #24 of 79 (14214 views)
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Re: [sarah_sophia] ASU and deadlines Can't Post

I e mailed the program administrator with the same question. She said they'd honor the Feb. 1 deadline, but it should be received by then, not postmarked by then. Good Luck!


sarah_sophia


Jan 14, 2008, 4:22 PM

Post #25 of 79 (14199 views)
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Re: [jeleri] ASU and deadlines Can't Post

   
thanks!


bennyprof


Mar 17, 2008, 11:26 AM

Post #26 of 79 (6120 views)
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Re: [debernardi] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Okay, so I'm pretty sure all of this year's U of A fellowship recipients have already been e-mailed. Any word on the rest of their acceptances? It's a big program (I think they take 20+/genre/yr) so I can't help but think they haven't finished notifying yet.

I did e-mail the lady in charge of/coordinating MFA admissions (Ms. Cooksey) and she told me they would be notifying by the end of the week (which would have been last Friday) by e-mail or post.

Anyone get a letter today?

-B


Daaaaave


Mar 17, 2008, 12:06 PM

Post #27 of 79 (6097 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I still haven't heard anything either.

As a nonfiction applicant, it's extra frustrating since no acceptances have been posted. C'mon, they were the first ones last year!


bennyprof


Mar 17, 2008, 12:53 PM

Post #28 of 79 (6069 views)
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Re: [Daaaaave] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Well, if nobody posts today or tomorrow it might be next week before we hear anything, this week being spring break and all.


ilikemandioca


Mar 17, 2008, 1:09 PM

Post #29 of 79 (6050 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Wow, I'm really glad to read that neither of you have heard anything either! I applied to both Fiction and Nonfiction at U of Arizona and haven't heard a word. I called last week and heard that "most of the decisions" had been made. I think I called on Thursday...whoever I talked with said that "some people have been emailed and the rest are being snail mailed". She said some of the snail mail had already gone out and some of it was being sent out "today or tomorrow" (Which was this past Thurs and Fri). I really had expected to hear something by Friday (I live in Tucson, so I figured the mail wouldn't have far to go).

On Friday, though, I ran into a guy I know from the non-fiction program. He said that Alison Demming told their workshop that there was an especially high level of submissions this year and the department had had to make some difficult decisions. He seemed to think that the TA offers had gone out, but that the fact that I hadn't heard yet didn't mean I was rejected.

So...I'm riding on the hope that I'll hear something today. Going home from work early to check the mail. Am getting realllly nervous...

I'll post if I hear anything else.

Debbie


bennyprof


Mar 17, 2008, 1:50 PM

Post #30 of 79 (6029 views)
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Re: [ilikemandioca] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

All the TA's have gone out, huh? Well, without funding there's a good chance I won't be going anyway.

How do you like Tucson? Is living in the desert as depressing as it sounds? ;)


Daaaaave


Mar 17, 2008, 2:18 PM

Post #31 of 79 (6003 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Same here, if I don't have a shot at a Taship/funding it's pretty much out of the question.

Kinda sad too, I was thinking the warm weather might be a step up from northern Michigan :)


fiorava
Valerie Fioravanti


Mar 17, 2008, 3:49 PM

Post #32 of 79 (5971 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I live in Tucson, and I think it's a great little city. Hard to imagine it as depressing at all. The weather, except for the atrocious summer, is spectacular, and the city is surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges dotted with saguaros, and great sunsets. The city has good restaurant choices, a live music scene, tons of cafes and bars, etc. I'm from NYC, so I know it doesn't have big city variety, but it also lacks big city frustrations. I'm pretty happy here.

I don't have anything to do with the UofA program. I already have an MFA and I teach CW online for two CA schools. I do have two students who were accepted there, one with funding and one without. For you waitlisters, neither are planning to accept.


(This post was edited by fiorava on Mar 17, 2008, 3:53 PM)


ilikemandioca


Mar 17, 2008, 4:32 PM

Post #33 of 79 (5942 views)
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Re: [Daaaaave] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Tucson? Depressing? On the contrary, Tucson is a lovely little town. Ok, maybe not so little, but it feels that way. I am so in love with Tucson that U of A is the only school I applied to because I'm not at all ready to leave this place.

I'm in a workshop group with a couple of U of A non-fiction students. I know U of A has been eyeball-deep in hiring two new faculty--one fiction professor and one non-fiction professor, I believe. I think they just finished that process, which is apparently why they've been taking their sweet time with our applications this year.

Arrrgh, the torture of waiting....glad you're all going through it with me :)

Debbie

p.s. just came home to check the mail. nada.


ilikemandioca


Mar 17, 2008, 4:41 PM

Post #34 of 79 (5925 views)
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Re: [ilikemandioca] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

One more thing: did you guys receive a confirmation email or letter saying that your applications were complete?

I didn't receive anything, which I guess maybe isn't strange, but I'm hoping that my applications and WSs actually made it the mile and a half down the road to the Modern Languages building....


ilikemandioca


Mar 18, 2008, 8:11 PM

Post #35 of 79 (5855 views)
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Re: [fiorava] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Your students who were accepted to the U of A...what genre were they accepted to? Just curious...


fiorava
Valerie Fioravanti


Mar 18, 2008, 9:43 PM

Post #36 of 79 (5825 views)
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Re: [ilikemandioca] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Both were accepted in fiction.


camm


Mar 19, 2008, 8:57 AM

Post #37 of 79 (5774 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

bennyprof,
i was accepted in poetry on 3/17 by email. no financial aid or TAship.


Daaaaave


Mar 19, 2008, 1:37 PM

Post #38 of 79 (5747 views)
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Re: [camm] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Ok, somebody's going to have to take one for the team and call them about nonfiction. I can't do it because I'm at work, but the fact that poetry and fiction have been contacted already is killing me!


lovesapricots


Mar 19, 2008, 2:26 PM

Post #39 of 79 (5726 views)
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Re: [Daaaaave] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Hi,

I was accepted for nonfiction at U of Arizona around March 12th, via phone. No funding though. Sorry not to post sooner, and I have no sense of where they are with the rest of their notifications for nonfiction, but thought I'd share what I do know.

Good luck!


Daaaaave


Mar 19, 2008, 3:55 PM

Post #40 of 79 (5698 views)
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Re: [lovesapricots] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Yeah, it's good to know!

Sort of a bummer because that probably means I didn't get in, but at least I'm not tormented with the "when are they going to let us know" question.


ilikemandioca


Mar 20, 2008, 12:16 PM

Post #41 of 79 (5653 views)
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Re: [Daaaaave] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Yeah, I'm totally confused. What are they doing over there? How is it that I haven't heard of any rejections being sent out? Does everyone else think they're doing rounds? Should I still be crossing my fingers? Or should I move on to "Plan B"....of course, I'd have to make a Plan B first.

;)

<3 Debbie


bennyprof


Mar 20, 2008, 12:23 PM

Post #42 of 79 (5648 views)
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Re: [ilikemandioca] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Got my rejection yesterday, so they're in the mail.


stacylynn


Mar 20, 2008, 12:34 PM

Post #43 of 79 (5636 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Just to clarify, you guys are talking about U of Arizona letters being in the mail, right?

I am still waiting to hear from Arizona STATE. Has anyone heard from them ?


bennyprof


Mar 20, 2008, 12:36 PM

Post #44 of 79 (5635 views)
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Re: [stacylynn] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Yep, U of A. Don't know anything about ASU.


auroraleigh


Mar 20, 2008, 12:48 PM

Post #45 of 79 (5623 views)
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Re: [stacylynn] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I heard from ASU back in February (for poetry). Not sure about fiction.


jdavis


Mar 20, 2008, 1:47 PM

Post #46 of 79 (5596 views)
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Re: [auroraleigh] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Just got a waitlist email for Arizona U. in nonfiction. Yay! So apparently they're still working on notifications, folks who are waiting to hear...


ilikemandioca


Mar 20, 2008, 3:31 PM

Post #47 of 79 (5557 views)
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Re: [jdavis] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

to clarify, you got a waitlist email from University of Arizona? Or Arizona State University?


jdavis


Mar 20, 2008, 4:16 PM

Post #48 of 79 (5538 views)
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Re: [ilikemandioca] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Sorry -- it was a waitlist from University of Arizona.


ilikemandioca


Mar 20, 2008, 8:44 PM

Post #49 of 79 (5494 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Sorry to hear that, bennyprof. :( rejections are no fun.

what genre did you apply for?


bennyprof


Mar 20, 2008, 8:59 PM

Post #50 of 79 (5490 views)
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Re: [ilikemandioca] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

fiction.


nicolec24


Mar 20, 2008, 11:58 PM

Post #51 of 79 (10916 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I received a call from UA on March 7th with a teaching assistantship offer for fiction. FYI: They are on spring break this week.


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman

Mar 21, 2008, 12:47 AM

Post #52 of 79 (10907 views)
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Re: [nicolec24] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Just to clarify things--ASU had their spring break last week. U of A is on spring break this week. Don't know if that helps anyone or not...

Jeanne


http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com


littleneck


Mar 22, 2008, 8:31 PM

Post #53 of 79 (10862 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

 
Rejection letter from the University of Arizona arrived today, 3/22, for poetry.

Don't know what to make of the fact that I was accepted into the programs at Iowa and at the U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, but not into the program at Arizona. The rejection makes the whole process (acceptances and rejections alike) seem fairly subjective.

Does any one have any insight? If yes, I'd appreciate hearing what you have to say.

Best of luck to all.

(This post was edited by boneheaded on Mar 22, 2008, 8:34 PM)


hamlet3145


Mar 22, 2008, 8:37 PM

Post #54 of 79 (10859 views)
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Re: [boneheaded] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Yup. It's subjective. Good practice for the literary publishing world though.


littleneck


Mar 23, 2008, 10:04 AM

Post #55 of 79 (10811 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Thanks for your take, Hamlet3145.Yes, I think you are probably right.


found



Jan 30, 2009, 12:01 AM

Post #56 of 79 (10672 views)
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Re: MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Hi everyone, just thought I'd say that I live in Tucson and just finished my undergraduate in CW at the U of A. If anyone applying to Arizona wants a distraction (kinda) from the waiting, feel free to ask me whatever. Some of the mfa faculty teach undergraduate too, and I've taken classes with a few of them (all great). Good luck!
: )


http://foundinfiction.blogspot.com/

(This post was edited by found on Jan 30, 2009, 12:05 AM)


eet2


Jan 30, 2009, 7:10 AM

Post #57 of 79 (10628 views)
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Re: [found] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Hi Found -

I am most definitely interested in UA's program....can you just give me a general overview of the ups/downs of Tucson and the program itself?? Thanks!!


found



Jan 30, 2009, 1:14 PM

Post #58 of 79 (10528 views)
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Re: [eet2] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

hi eet2--

i'm not sure i know where to start, without a more specific question, but i'll see what i can do!

from my own experience: as far as nonfiction and poetry, alison hawthorne deming is amazing, and manuel muñoz (fiction) is incredible, too. (he's new here). there are a lot of great faculty members in both creative writing and literature.

i can't tell you too much about the atmosphere in the mfa program, because there's really very little interaction between grad and undergrad (unless they're teaching a class...i took an introductory fiction workshop with a great grad student teacher). but i know there's a lot going on in the department in general (housed in the english dept). the poetry center always has something going on, readings etc. i've been to one of the separate grad student readings at casa libre and it seems like those are really fun and intimate.

as far as tucson goes, the biggest downside for me is just the heat. it's oppressive. it's nice here in the winter, great in the spring, but summer is definitely the longest season. also, unless you live right on campus, (or you really love biking, even in 115 degree weather), you probably want to drive. the bus system is crap. you can make it if you live on a bus route that heads straight to campus without transfers, but it's confusing and it's a pain.

there's some fun stuff to do around town. we have the loft, a little indie/arthouse cinema, and they always have all kinds of crazy/interesting things going on. there's definitely stuff to do at night, a pretty good selection of restaurants and bars (but nothing like you'd get in a more metropolitan kind of city...tucson kind of feels more like a really big town). 4th ave, university ave and a few places downtown are the main areas for going out, all really close to the university. there's a drive-in movie theatre here too, which i love.

honestly speaking, you want to live as close to campus as you can. it's not hard to find a relatively affordable place, especially if you're sharing. campus feels homey. you'll probably spend most of your time in the modern languages building, which is close to the student union (the food court is there, unfortunately we don't have a traditional dining hall) and the library. i have to say that i don't understand why there are metal benches all over campus--you definitely don't want to get anywhere near those in the summer.

if you love the desert, you'll love tucson. (i kind of don't love the desert. i grew up in arizona and all i want is greenery). we're surrounded by mountains and you don't have to drive far at all to get to "the desert"--saguaros and all. there's also mt. lemon pretty close by, when you want to get out of the heat. the monsoons are always fun, when they come. lots and lots of rain. bisbee is a really fun daytrip.

well, that was incredibly long and i don't know how helpful it was. let me know if there's anything specific you're wondering about.


http://foundinfiction.blogspot.com/


Md23Rewls


Jan 30, 2009, 2:09 PM

Post #59 of 79 (10497 views)
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Re: [found] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Arizona's one of the places I applied to and that sounds more or less like what I thought. I got a laugh out of the metal benches thing. I think right now Arizona is fourth in my rankings (out of six). I like the looks of the program, I'm just slightly iffy on moving to that sort of climate. I've grown up around snow and varied seasons, I might perish in the heat, haha.


reality writes


Jan 30, 2009, 2:15 PM

Post #60 of 79 (10488 views)
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Re: [Md23Rewls] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I'm right there with you. (metal benches - hilarious!) I think I'd like the music scene in Tuscon, but it would take some getting used to the weather. I applied to Arizona State, too. I had to get over my climate preferences a little this year (my second time applying to MFAs). I figure that where the funding is, I should go. Also, I think living in a place like Arizona for only 2-3 years isn't the worst thing. It'd be like living on the moon, but hotter. And I'm sure being somewhere so different from where I've grown up and spent my early adult years (TN and NC) could really affect my writing in a good way, even if I just write with a nostalgic sense of place. My bf lived in the Phoenix area for a while, and he agreed with me. He hated waking up to 95 degree weather, but said it was still a cool place to live and something everyone should experience at least once in their life.


found



Jan 30, 2009, 2:32 PM

Post #61 of 79 (10471 views)
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Re: [reality writes] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I moved to Tucson after spending my freshman year in Boston (I had finally escaped Arizona)! I transferred to the U of A because of a relationship, and I've been here 3 1/2 years now. I think it's the best city in Arizona. Flagstaff's right behind it (they have better weather). I'm ready to go, but you can definitely enjoy yourself here if you put your mind to it. And it turned out that transferring to UA was a really good move for me. I probably wouldn't be applying to MFA programs now if I hadn't. Good luck everyone!


http://foundinfiction.blogspot.com/


PrivateI


Feb 1, 2009, 1:04 AM

Post #62 of 79 (10367 views)
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Re: [found] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

So when you guys call Tucson "artistically inclined," what do you mean? I'm a resident of Portland, OR, where everyone I meet is an artist of some variety, and there are murals and parades and art parties and zombie bar crawls (where people dress up as Zombies and walk around en masse).


v1ctorya


Feb 1, 2009, 11:47 AM

Post #63 of 79 (10318 views)
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Re: [PrivateI] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I had a childhood in Tempe and hope college brings me back there. In fact, while cleaning I found a book I won from the Tempe Library as a kid (1st place in a 'draw a mystery' contest while in 1st or 2nd grade, woot!) Anyway, I remember going to Tucson, but just to see the 'wildlife' and three-toed tree-toads and stuff. We used to camp there. I'm trying to think of an alternative way to describe it, because I always think more of Sedona as the arts colony in AZ, but it's been so long. . .

Of course, yesterday I watched a nature special that profiled the increase of africanized bees in AZ which freaked me out, they didn't have those when I was a kid! They showed them all swarmy and then had testimonials from people attacked, ick. Back then it was just the Choia we worried about.


NotRoyalButJohn


Mar 1, 2009, 3:03 PM

Post #64 of 79 (10219 views)
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Re: [HollyHolly] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Does anyone know anything about Peter Turchi, the new director of the ASU MFA? I've heard that the program, especially fiction, has suffered since he took over--but I haven't been able to get specifics.

If you know anything, let me (us?) know. I think ASU will start notifying this week.


found



Mar 1, 2009, 4:01 PM

Post #65 of 79 (10190 views)
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Re: [NotRoyalButJohn] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Sorry, I really don't know much about ASU. I can warn you, though, that you should do a lot of research about Phoenix before you commit to living there for a couple of years. Some people really love it----others, like myself, can barely stand to visit. Of course, anything is worth it if you get funding at a program you admire.

For anyone thinking about U Arizona/Tucson, I posted an updated review, with links, on my blog. If you're interested:

http://foundinfiction.blogspot.com/.../arizona-anyone.html

Hope it helps! Good luck everyone.


http://foundinfiction.blogspot.com/


NotRoyalButJohn


Mar 1, 2009, 4:09 PM

Post #66 of 79 (10184 views)
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Re: [found] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Re: ASU Fiction MFA, I've heard things in the past few months like "they don't know how to run a fiction program" and "it's very competitive, but doesn't show in the quality of student work." Not sure how to process or contexualize these comments, and I'm looking for anyone who's willing to share additional information.

I used to live in Phx, so that's not the issue.


Dime49


Mar 1, 2009, 4:26 PM

Post #67 of 79 (10172 views)
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Re: [NotRoyalButJohn] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Peter Turchi has been head of the program for only a few weeks, so I'm not sure how this would cause the program to suffer. I'm at ASU in poetry, so I can't speak specifically to the fiction program other than to say everyone I know in it seems to be quite happy. And from what I know of Peter, he is pretty dedicated to students, and the people I know like him.

Overall the atmosphere at ASU is quite supportive, particularly since everyone is funded. But that's just my sense of it. Maybe others have different views.


NotRoyalButJohn


Mar 1, 2009, 4:30 PM

Post #68 of 79 (10167 views)
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Re: [Dime49] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

That's refreshing to hear, as ASU has been at the top of my list. Maybe those comment were directed more at the previous director? Either way, thanks for the insight.


prosaic70


Mar 2, 2009, 12:15 AM

Post #69 of 79 (10106 views)
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Re: [NotRoyalButJohn] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I'm going to agree with Dime49. I'm in the fiction program myself, and Peter is a pretty great teacher to have. I don't know about the quality of my work not reflecting the competitiveness, but I'm happy with the faculty here, and glad I chose to come here over the other places I was admitted. I don't know where you would have heard "they don't know how to run a fiction program", but it seems inaccurate. The program is well run and the professors very committed. All initial reports on the Turchi reign are positive-- he's involved, hands-on, very helpful, and pretty experienced at running a solid program (he was director of Warren Wilson for years and years I believe).


(This post was edited by prosaic70 on Mar 2, 2009, 12:18 AM)


NotRoyalButJohn


Mar 2, 2009, 2:13 PM

Post #70 of 79 (10041 views)
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Re: [prosaic70] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Again, I appreciate the response. If Turchi is new, who was the prev. director?


drroche37


Mar 3, 2009, 12:30 AM

Post #71 of 79 (9977 views)
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Re: [NotRoyalButJohn] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

I did my undergrad at ASU and in terms of poetry I can honestly say the faculty was incredibly helpful: Sally Ball, Norman Dubie, and Jeannine Savard always had their office doors open.
As for living in Tempe, I loved it and I miss it.

I’m a current MFA playwright at SFSU.


scottjmonty


May 30, 2010, 11:46 AM

Post #72 of 79 (9534 views)
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Re: MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Hola! I'm going to be an MFA student at ASU starting fall of '10, will be arriving in mid-july. are there any writers reading this who are looking for a roomate in Tempe or know of a group of awosome people who are? let me know, i'd appreciate it

Salud!


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman

May 31, 2010, 6:20 PM

Post #73 of 79 (9491 views)
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Re: [scottjmonty] MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post

Scott,

There are some apartment complexes close to the university that offer individual leases for roommates and do roommate matching. The Gateway at Tempe is one. You can have up to three roommates in a four-bedroom unit. Each roommate signs an individual lease and is responsible only for his/her share of the rent. Utilities are handled separately, though. Apartments come furnished or unfurnished.

Try Googling the name. Also, check out the ASU site. I believe there is a link to housing with tons of information on apartments and rentals in the area.

I don't go to ASU, but both or our kids are undergrads there.

Jeanne
http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com


http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com


gegonsher


Jun 7, 2010, 7:39 PM

Post #74 of 79 (9177 views)
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MFA programs in Arizona Can't Post


In Reply To
Scott,

There are some apartment complexes close to the university that offer individual leases for roommates and do roommate matching. The Gateway at Tempe is one. You can have up to three roommates in a four-bedroom unit. Each roommate signs an individual lease and is responsible only for his/her share of the rent. Utilities are handled separately, though. Apartments come furnished or unfurnished.

Try Googling the name. Also, check out the ASU site. I believe there is a link to housing with tons of information on apartments and rentals in the area.

I don't go to ASU, but both or our kids are undergrads there.

Jeanne
http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com



Papercuts


Mar 12, 2011, 11:49 AM

Post #75 of 79 (7277 views)
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University of Arizona Can't Post

I have been admitted to the University of Arizona's Creative Writing MFA program in fiction. I'd love to talk with current or former students about the program. I'm particularly interested in finding out about funding: how likely I am to receive it and in what form. I was told that they would know more about funding availability in the next few weeks, but one of my programs is requesting a decision by April 1, so I need to make a decision sooner rather than later.

Thanks in advance.


TonyB79
Tony Baker

Oct 20, 2013, 4:04 PM

Post #76 of 79 (5303 views)
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Re: Arizona State (and Phoenix) Can't Post

The program at ASU is one of my "dark horse" picks for application season this year... I'm trying to focus mainly on programs with larger stipends that are closer to my part of the country (the southeastern part of the Midwest), but curious about ASU and just barely considering applying to U.C. Irvine as well. I'm kind of interested in an earlier poster's comment about doing your homework before committing to live in the Phoenix area for a years... why do you say that, I wonder? I admit the heat in that part of the country gives me a bit of pause...


Mercy is the mark of a great man.

I guess I'm just a good man.


knownas
Joe Ruskey

Jul 29, 2014, 6:58 PM

Post #77 of 79 (4317 views)
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Re: [TonyB79] Arizona State (and Phoenix) Can't Post

What kind of fiction is produced at ASU?


TonyB79
Tony Baker

Jul 29, 2014, 7:02 PM

Post #78 of 79 (4314 views)
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Re: [knownas] Arizona State (and Phoenix) Can't Post

I believe their program has some sort of a nature focus.

In any event...

http://english.clas.asu.edu/cw-admission


Mercy is the mark of a great man.

I guess I'm just a good man.


knownas
Joe Ruskey

Jul 30, 2014, 2:13 PM

Post #79 of 79 (4302 views)
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Re: [TonyB79] Arizona State (and Phoenix) Can't Post

Thanks for the link, but I've already read that.

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