Jul 19, 2004, 12:39 PM
Post #2 of 10
Is it okay to be of dual minds about this?
Re: [sonshineslocs] dual concentration?
My MFA program allowed a crossover. I didn't take it; there were so many great poets to study with, and I was already missing out on studying with some of them because of residency limitations. So, I concentrated completely on the poetr.
The PhD program at Houston requires you do a crossover, and I took a class in nonfiction writing. It's been amazingly good for my writing -- I've discovered a genre that I love writing. But, more than that, I think working in two genres helps you think more about macro-level things like structure and one's approach to subject matter. Certainly, a poem about an experience isn't the same as a personal essay about the same experience -- I'm sure even the details differ (perhaps not in fact but in intensity or importance to the piece).
The MFA is a time to really hone your writing. But I think if you have leanings towards another genre, you might benefit by exploring it. The MFA is also a time to explore, test out limits, try new things, experiment a little.