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Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs Re: [renapoo] Lists that actually matter: Edit Log


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Jan 6, 2007, 4:11 AM

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Re: [renapoo] Lists that actually matter

I love this question, renapoo. I truly believe that the people make the program. We’re all getting sick of these lists, but here’s a list of fiction faculties I’d already put together to help me narrow ‘em down. Ryan

1. Michigan ... Check out their philosophies of the workshop on the UM website. I think these are my kind of people. Peter Ho Davies is one of the great short story writers. Michael Byers is not bad. Nicholas Delbanco is considered to be a teaching giant. Eileen Pollack, too.
2. Houston ... Perhaps more awards have been won by this faculty (Robert Boswell, Antonya Nelson, Chitra Divakaruni, Daniel Stern, Robert Phillips) than any other.
3. Iowa ... Marilynne Robinson has two Pulitzers. James McPherson has one. Then, there's the beloved Ethan Canin. And visiting writers.
4. Virginia ... Ann Beattie has written eight novels and seven short story collections! She is the bomb. John Casey has a National Book Award.
5. Johns Hopkins ... Stephen Dixon has published more short stories than any other American. Every book Alice McDermott publishes wins a plethora of awards. Tristan Davies and Jean McGarry are also the tops.
6. Texas ... I'm just going on the faculty that amassed in Austin this year. Outstanding. Michael Adams is a really terrific writer. James Magnuson and Rolando Hinojosa-Smith each have ten novels. Peter LaSalle, Elizabeth Harris, and Zulfikar Ghose are widely published. Laura Furman is the editor of the O. Henry Award anthologies.
7. Brown ... This just looks like a large, competent faculty. Robert Coover, Meredith Steinbach, and Brian Evenson have many awards between them. Thalia Field, Carol Maso, and Renee Gladman appear to be those fine "experimental" writers we all hear about. What is experimental fiction, anyway?
8. Minnesota ... This is all about Charles Baxter. His stories drive me insane they're so great.
9. Columbia ... Lots of people here that probably never teach. Richard Ford seems to headline the group with his Pulitzer and PEN/Faulkner Award. Nicholas Christopher has published at least fourteen books of fiction and poetry. Ben Marcus and Binnie Kirshenbaum widely publish too.
10. Florida ... David Leavitt is a terrific writer and, I've heard, a top-notch teacher/mentor. Mary Robison and Padgett Powell are also quite accomplished.
11. Cornell ... Alison Lurie has a Pulitzer, I believe. Then, there's Alice Fulton, but she's mostly poetry, right? Add Dan McCall and Molly Hite. Pretty solid.
12. Arizona ... Large group. I've heard great things about Fenton Johnson and Jonathan Penner. I have a grudge against C.E. Poverman, because of his pissy assessment of the MFA and what it can do for you. Get out of town with that negative shit.
13. NYU … E.L. Doctorow.
14. Massachusetts … I’ve heard Anthony Giardina is the best teacher around. Seems like an extremely solid, if not spectacular, bunch.
15. Indiana … I know these people well. Tony Ardizzone and Alyce Miller have won the Flannery O’Connor Award. Samrat Upadhyay is the first Nepali writer to be published in the West, and he leads an amazing workshop. Crystal Wilkinson is thoroughly published and awarded, and is a delightful person. Maura Stanton went to Iowa, was friends with Raymond Carver, has published numerous works of fiction and poetry, won several awards, and is very, very sweet. John McCluskey Jr. wouldn’t let me in his graduate workshop.
16. Florida State … This is a stacked lineup, and leading off is Robert Olen Butler.
17. Syracuse … I’ve heard things about George Saunders. Good things. And bad things. Arthur Flowers serves as a very nice complement, or compensation.
18. Colorado State … A very underrated faculty for a very underrated program. Look at this pedigree: Leslee Becker comes from Iowa, David Milofsky from UMass, Stephen Schwartz from Arizona. All are widely published. But the best-known would be Judy Doenges; she’s swell.
19. Arizona State … T.M. McNally has written some great stuff. Melissa Pritchard has a lot of awards. But I think there’s only three permanent fiction faculty.
20. Washington U in St. Louis … Marshall Klimasewisky is very popular. Not the most widely-published or awarded faculty, but I get the impression that they really excel in the classroom.

(This post was edited by jargreen on Jan 6, 2007, 4:52 AM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by jargreen (User) on Jan 6, 2007, 4:15 AM
Post edited by jargreen (User) on Jan 6, 2007, 4:38 AM
Post edited by jargreen (User) on Jan 6, 2007, 4:52 AM

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