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Mar 6, 2010, 2:07 PM
Seth claims that the "growing trend" for poets is 3-5 books, yet after going through the list of recent hires (available on AWP), I found no evidence to back-up this claim; most of the young poets (in academia, "young" is under 40, not someone like Carolyn Wright) had 1-2 books. Big difference between 1-2 and 3-5. -- GCSUMFA
Seems kind of unlikely I'd be in a Ph.D. program and wanting to teach and not know anything about the job market, doesn't it?
Open Poetry Positions 2008-9
Carnegie Mellon: Yona Harvey (spousal hire).
Case Western: Sarah Gridley (inside candidate).
CUNY Staten Island: Patricia Smith (5 books).
CUNY Staten Island: Tyehimba Jess (1 book; National Poetry Series Winner + Whiting Award Winner).
Illinois State: Duriel Harris (1 book).
Loyola: Joshua Marie Wilkinson (4 books).
LSU: Lara Glenum (3 books; 2 poetry and 1 as anthology editor).
Montclair: Susan B.A. Somers-Willett (3 books; 2 poetry and 1 criticism).
Ohio Northern: Kathryn Coles (1 book).
Ohio State-Lima: Doug Sutton-Ramspeck (spousal hire).
Texas State: Ogaga Ifowodo (4 books).
UCSD: Ben Doller (2 books + Walt Whitman Award).
UC Boulder: Noah Eli Gordon (6 books).
UC Denver: Brian Barker (1 book + Tupelo Press Editor's Prize).
Oregon: Geri Doran (1 book + Walt Whitman Award).
Rochester: Jennifer Grotz (2 books + Bakeless Prize).
Washburn: Eric McHenry (1 book + Kate Tufts Discovery Prize).
Washington College (3 books; inside candidate).
York: Travis Kurowski (unknown).
Open Poetry Positions 2009-10
George Mason: Ben Doller (3 books + Walt Whitman Award).
Houston: Maurice Manning (3 books + Yale Younger Poets Prize).
Houston: Ange Mlinko (2 books + National Poetry Series Winner).
Charleston: Emily Rosko (1 book + Stegner Fellowship + Iowa Poetry Prize).
Northern Kentucky: Kelly Moffett (1 book).
Greensboro: Rebecca Black (1 book + Stegner Fellowship + Juniper Prize).
Wisconsin-Green Bay: N/A (inside hire).
Total Positions Filled w/ Known Data (Across Two Years): 25
Non-Publicized Searches: ?
Non-Open Publicized Searches: 5 (20.0%)
Spousal Hires: 2 (8.0%)
Inside Hires: 3 (12.0%)
Total Hires With 1 Book in Open, Publicized Searches: 9 (36.0%)
1 book + 0 awards/Stegners: 3 (12.0%)
1 book + 1 award/Stegner: 3 (12.0%)
1 book + 2 awards/Stegners: 3 (12.0%)
Total Hires With 2 Books in Open, Publicized Searches: 3 (12.0%)
2 books + 0 awards/Stegners: 0 (0.0%)
2 books + 1 award/Stegner: 3 (12.0%)
Total Hires With 3 or More Books in Open, Publicized Searches: 8 (32.0%)
3 books + 0 awards/Stegners: 0 (0.0%)
3 books + 1 award/Stegner: 4 (16.0)
4 books + 0 awards/Stegners: 2 (8.0%)
5 books + 0 awards/Stegners: 1 (4.0%)
6 books + 0 awards/Stegners: 1 (4.0%)
Top 10 Most Likely Scenarios (By Percentage):
1. 3 books + 1 award/Stegner (16%)
2t. Inside Hires: 3 (12.0%)
2t. 1 book + 0 awards/Stegners: 3 (12.0%)
2t. 1 book + 1 award/Stegner: 3 (12.0%)
2t. 1 book + 2 awards/Stegners: 3 (12.0%)
2t. 2 books + 1 award/Stegner: 3 (12.0%)
7t. Spousal Hires: 2 (8.0%)
7t. 4 books + 0 awards/Stegners: 2 (8.0%)
9t. 5 books + 0 awards/Stegners: 1 (4.0%)
9t. 6 books + 0 awards/Stegners: 1 (4.0%)
Since I didn't hear anyone here say, "Well, when I said you could get a job with just 1 book, I meant you had to also win a major national book prize and/or get a Stegner Fellowship," the categories we've been speaking of here are "1 book (only)" and "2 books (only)" which combined made up for 12.0% of the hires from 2008 to the present listed on the primary online community for CW job-seekers that is run by CW job-seekers (CHE or AWP data won't be different, but it will be less researched as to hires' backgrounds because they [CHE/AWP] don't care about that stuff institutionally).
The average hire during the span looked at above had 2.1 books and 0.8 major national awards and/or Stegner Fellowships.
So I suppose my question is, what percentage of CW Ph.D. graduates have 2.1 books and 0.8 major national awards and/or Stegner Fellowships or more?
But here's the rub: I did virtually no additional research on the names above. They may have more books than were stated, more awards than were stated, more inside/spousal hire connections than were stated. Moreover, we're talking about a) the job market now, not in 4-6 years, when current CW Ph.D. candidates graduate (which is why I said "growing trend" in my initial comment), and b) none of the above counted non-publicized job openings, which only go to already-famous writers. The jobs above are the most wide-open job searches in America. Many CW TT positions are the result of specific recruitment.
Nor am I at all clear why GCSUMFA only looked up "young poets" on AWP -- whose online data the organization has conceded (to me personally!) is not updated regularly or always accurately -- when in fact that stacks the deck; the question is how hard is it to get a job, and how many jobs are available, and who gets them, not the answer to any of those questions within the specific context of only schools that were already willing to hire young people.
1 book is exceedingly unlikely to get anyone a job. 2 books is exceedingly unlikely to get anyone a job. 2 books with approximately 1 major national award or fellowship is -- amazingly -- roughly "at" the average qualification level in this field. I stand by my contention that, going forward, and taking into account both publicized jobs (which go to less qualified candidates) and unpublicized jobs (which go to more qualified candidates), the average situation will be that one must have 3 to 5 books (and notice I didn't claim one had to have any national awards or fellowships) to get a TT job over the next 5 years.
(This post was edited by umass76 on Mar 6, 2010, 2:11 PM)
Post edited by umass76
(User) on Mar 6, 2010, 2:08 PM
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(User) on Mar 6, 2010, 2:10 PM
Post edited by umass76
(User) on Mar 6, 2010, 2:11 PM