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februarystar27


Mar 31, 2009, 1:24 PM

Post #51 of 67 (6402 views)
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Re: [Chess] BU Can't Post

I got a 617 area code call today on my cell phone (which is also my own area code, so usually anyone from 617 who calls me is already entered into my address book), and I thought it might be BU and panicked and most likely answered the phone sounding like a crazy person. But then it just turned out to be a friend from my office, calling about a work question since I work from home and can't answer anything in person. The wait is driving me insane. Has anyone heard from playwriting yet or know when they might be notifying?

I have a weird question, now that poets have been called and at least two fiction people were called. Have any of your heard anything about the program expanding from one year to two to three years? When I had to defer my acceptance last year, Kate Snodgrass in playwriting told me to be aware of the fact that if I waited until 2009, the program would become two and a half to three years starting with that entering class. But the website says nothing at all about this, other than one line on the Playwrights' Theatre page that says something like "we plan to add production courses in fall '09." The main CW page still says the thing about "with our single year of residence...." Is playwriting the only program that is expanding? Or maybe the expansion plan was scrapped since I last heard about it because of the economy or something? I've just been very confused about it but also interested to learn more about it if anyone else has heard.

And to anyone still waiting... I mentioned this on Seth's blog already, but I didn't get my waitlist letter until around May 20 last year. I had completely given up hope and was shocked when it arrived. And I contacted them and ended up being offered admission. So don't give up. :)


Chess


Mar 31, 2009, 2:07 PM

Post #52 of 67 (6373 views)
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Re: [februarystar27] BU Can't Post

Got my rejection letters from Houston and Irvine (finally) and called Boston University. Rejected there too, but Matt Yost was very nice.

Rejections total: 14 (including an assumed rejection from Virginia)

My only hope is being on the waitlisted for NYU (fiction). Nobody go there!


Chess


Mar 31, 2009, 2:11 PM

Post #53 of 67 (6366 views)
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Re: [februarystar27] BU Can't Post

 

februarystar27 What school offered you acceptance so late?


februarystar27


Mar 31, 2009, 2:35 PM

Post #54 of 67 (6344 views)
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Re: [Chess] BU Can't Post

Oh, sorry, it was BU playwriting (see a few posts back for my last-year's dilemma as it unfolded). I'd gone 0-for-4 before finally getting that waitlist letter in late May, so I was definitely shocked. And then I figured that since I was hearing from them so late that I must be way down on their waiting list. The letter was very nice though and was encouraging after four straight rejections (five if you count the one that Carnegie Mellon felt the need to send twice :P). I waited a few weeks to see if I'd hear from them, and then in mid-June I emailed Matt Yost, but he knew nothing about the playwriting list. So I sent an email to Kate Snodgrass, and she told me that the last offer had just been accepted but that she would love to have me in the class anyway if I were still interested. The catch was that there was no funding left. I talked to her on the phone, and she was really nice and really helpful as we discussed ways to cut costs, but I ultimately couldn't make it work because my undergrad loans are already so high. I'd told her that if I had to decline it would be strictly for financial reasons and that I would definitely keep BU in mind when I reapplied in '09, which is when she offered to let me defer the acceptance to this year. I wasn't expecting an offer like that at all, which is why I definitely encourage any waitlisters to contact the programs, because you never know what could happen. And now here I am at the end of March '09 sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear if I will fare any better in the funding area this year. Good luck with NYU! I really hope that works out for you.


swiviol


Mar 31, 2009, 3:00 PM

Post #55 of 67 (6327 views)
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Re: [Chess] BU Can't Post

Chess, I emailed Matt Yost last week and he said letters were being sent out on Monday. I'm way too scared to actually call him!
(was he nice?)

I figure I'll get my letter tomorrow or Thurs. since I live in Michigan, but it's kinda suspicious that no one in the Boston/New England area has received them yet.


swiviol


Apr 2, 2009, 2:56 PM

Post #56 of 67 (6252 views)
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Re: [swiviol] BU Can't Post

Has anyone been waitlisted yet at BU? Or received their rejection letter yet? I have heard nothing from them either way - I'm assuming I'm not accepted or waitlisted, but I'm still not sure ... really don't want to call them to find out that I'm rejected :(.


februarystar27


May 15, 2009, 12:30 PM

Post #57 of 67 (6068 views)
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Re: [februarystar27] BU Can't Post

I don't think anyone is active in this thread anymore, but I figured I'd say that I finally heard from the playwriting dept. last night via email. It does sound like the program can still be completed in a single year rather than the longer program I'd heard about last year. So I'm pretty much in the same position I was in last year--in but without funding (at least for now, hopefully something opens up for me somehow but I can't count on it). I'm trying to see if I can make it work somehow with transfer credits and courses at BU's summer session, but I haven't given my final decision yet. Anyone else hear from playwriting?


februarystar27


Sep 18, 2009, 9:52 AM

Post #58 of 67 (5725 views)
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Re: [februarystar27] BU Can't Post

Just thought I'd post this for any potential 2010 applicants.... BU has this new global fellowship program that started with the class who graduated in 2009. They funded about 20% of the class to go abroad for a few months anywhere they chose to study or do anything they wanted to further their writing. I'm in the playwriting program now (see previous post--funding came through!), and they're hoping to fund close to half of my creative writing class. Anyway, just thought I'd share that bit of info. Good luck to everyone applying this year!


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Nov 12, 2009, 10:48 AM

Post #59 of 67 (5376 views)
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Re: [februarystar27] BU Can't Post

That sounds really interestingódo you know how they determine which students are permitted to travel abroad? And for those selected, do they travel during their single year at BU, or the summer afterward? (It seems it would be nearly impossible to complete the MFA in one year if even a few months were spent abroad...)


Hans Landa: You'll be shot for this!
Aldo Raine: Nah, I don't think so. More like chewed out. I've been chewed out before.


februarystar27


Nov 12, 2009, 11:23 AM

Post #60 of 67 (5368 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] BU Can't Post

Eric, our deadline to apply for the fellowships hasn't come up yet, so I don't know entirely how it works, but I believe that anyone interested submits a proposal to the head of their genre. The thing I'm not sure of is whether, for example, Leslie Epstein picks the fiction students, Robert Pinsky selects the poets, and Kate Snodgrass chooses the playwrights, or whether there's some sort of faculty committee that chooses the entire group out of the whole program. It does sound like they're pretty flexible for when you go abroad. If you're one of the few who are graduating in May (it seems like almost no one does this), then you can go abroad in the summer. If, like myself and many others, you are taking electives over the summer, they allow you to start your trip in the fall. What I don't know is what happens to people who are spreading the program over two years and taking their electives in the second year. I think that's becoming more common now that the program is an MFA not an MA, so they must have some sort of policy for it. But I'm not sure if those people would have to do their abroad trip in the summer and then come back and finish up their electives or if they'd be able to postpone their trip until their graduation requirements were all set. I'm definitely applying for it though. I'm hoping to be done with my electives after this summer since I transferred one of them in, so if I were chosen I'd do my abroad trip next fall.


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Nov 16, 2009, 11:29 PM

Post #61 of 67 (5285 views)
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Re: [februarystar27] BU Can't Post

That sounds phenomenal, & is definitely one of the program's biggest draws for me.


Hans Landa: You'll be shot for this!
Aldo Raine: Nah, I don't think so. More like chewed out. I've been chewed out before.


februarystar27


Nov 17, 2009, 8:38 AM

Post #62 of 67 (5259 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] BU Can't Post

Yeah, it is a really great opportunity. There's blogs from the '09 students who went abroad on the Creative Writing website if you wanted to see some of the places they went and how they spent their time.

I can only speak for the playwriting dept since I have no experience with the poetry and fiction workshops, but I am loving the program so far. I'm almost done with my first semester, which is crazy. I'm taking just the two workshops, but they're really good about letting you be certified as full-time status even without a full couseload. Like I said, it seems like hardly anyone is ready to graduate by May of the first year... it's only your writing classes that need to be done by then. I'm not sure what genre you're going for, but I know a couple of the poets and they're great and really nice. I only briefly met some of the fiction students, but the few I met were fun too (playwriting feels a bit more separated from the other two genres since our classes meet at the theater, which is like a 20 minute walk from the Creative Writing building, so I almost never run into any of the other students).


lorre


Jul 5, 2011, 11:52 AM

Post #63 of 67 (2744 views)
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Re: [februarystar27] BU Can't Post

Hey guys,

Iím interested in the BU poetry program, and I have one question about it. My parents live within walking distance of the BU campus, so Iím wondering: could I live at home with them during my time at BU, or do full-residency MFA programs require their students to live in campus sponsored housing? Iím wondering about this because money is a concern for me and living at home seems like a way to save a bunch of it. Though I guess another issue is whether the potential drawbacks (in terms of social life and maybe productivity) would even be worth the financial saving.

Or, any other general thoughts about the poetry MFA at BU?

Thanks!


februarystar27


Jul 5, 2011, 12:01 PM

Post #64 of 67 (2741 views)
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Re: [lorre] BU Can't Post

Hey lorre--I was playwriting at BU, so I'm not the best person to talk to about poetry, but I got an email alert when my old post had been replied to, so I figured I'd reply. :)

So, I lived at home as well when I did the program. My parents are from Somerville and I saved a TON of money living there and taking the T in for class. There's no on-campus housing for grad students at all, so no matter what you have to live off-campus. I'd definitely live at home if it wouldn't be a concentration distraction, especially if it's within walking distance, rather than one-hour T ride I put up with.

Definitely let me know if you have general questions about the program that aren't specific to poetry. I loved my playwriting class, and I knew a few of the poets from summer classes who were really great too.


lorre


Jul 6, 2011, 2:35 PM

Post #65 of 67 (2714 views)
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Re: [februarystar27] BU Can't Post

Thanks so much for the reply! It's great to know that living at home is an option. If I end up at BU, that's probably what I'll do.

I have another question or two that maybe you could help me with. First, how is it doing an MFA in 1 year? This is my major worry about the program. I think I would prefer a 2 or a 3 year program, but BU seems perfect in pretty much every other way, so at this point I'm trying to weigh my preferences.

How does tuition work when it comes to summer courses? I haven't found very much specific info about finances in general at BU--how was your experience with that?

Thanks again! And any advice, even if it has nothing to do with my questions, is very much appreciated!


februarystar27


Jul 6, 2011, 4:48 PM

Post #66 of 67 (2706 views)
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Re: [lorre] BU Can't Post

The one-year aspect was the biggest drawback for me too. But, at least in my program, no one finished in just the two semesters alone. About half my class finished in September, I finished in January, and a couple people finished this past May. I took just the two workshops in the fall and the spring and saved the electives for afterward. That seems like a pretty popular choice. I also worked during the program, so there was no way I could take on more than that (playwriting only gets one TA-ship... poets and fiction writers are much more likely to be offered one). The problem is that if you take one or two classes, BU considers you part-time and charges you per credit. If you take more than two, they consider you full-time and charge you for a full courseload (four classes) even if you only take three. Which is ridiculous. The only way you can get around that is usually they allow TA's to take three classes in the spring without extra charge if one of them is the translation seminar (which I've heard wonderful things about, by the way). I was taking a part-time courseload but the facutly signed a form that certified me as full-time, which helps with loan deferrals and things like that. So it helps that you don't need to finish all eight courses by May, but it is also kind of sad when May rolls around and you know there's no more workshops in the summer or next fall. It goes by so fast. My class got really close though, and we formed our own writing group after graduation and meet in the Boston Playwrights' Theatre like before and basically hold class once a month without the professors... it's pretty cool.

As far as summer courses are concerned, they are close to half the price of the regular classes. It's a great way to save money. The only thing is that the offerings can be pretty slim. In my Summer 1, only three courses were available to MFA students, two lit classes and one dramatic lit class at the School of Theater. And two of the classes overlapped each other. Summer 2 had only one course available, and it was on Linguistics in Literature. I had to take that one because I needed to save money, but I would've much preferred to wait and take two courses in the fall if money were less of a concern. As it was, I had gone in with one grad lit course I took the year before BU at UMass, then I did the two workshops in the fall and two in the spring, one elective in Summer 1, another in Summer 2, and one more in the fall. The most common financial aid package appears to be half tuition and a (tiny!!!) stipend, so I only had to pay full price for one course. Overall it wasn't bad financially, and if you were a TA your stipend would be considerably more than the non-TA stipend. Plus poets and fiction writers have more prizes/scholarships available to apply for.

Sorry for writing such a long reply... hopefully this helps! I've heard that Robert Pinsky is great. :) Definitely let me know if you have any other questions.


lorre


Jul 11, 2011, 8:10 AM

Post #67 of 67 (2641 views)
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Re: [februarystar27] BU Can't Post

Wow, thanks for all that!

It sounds like summer classes are definitely worth it.

Do you have to be fluent in second language in order to take the translation seminar? I don't understand quite what the seminar is--when I looked online the seminar seemed to be more like a lecture series, which would also be cool, but maybe I'm looking in the wrong place.

The global fellowships program looks awesome too. Does it seem very competitive to get these fellowships?

I would love to study with Pinsky! I've heard only good things about him as a teacher.

Thanks again for all your info. I will definitely apply to BU, though it won't be for another year and a half. It seems like an unusual program but also a really strong one.

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