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rebliv
Rebecca Livingston

Oct 24, 1998, 1:22 PM

Post #101 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Mary Jo: Yikes, that was a curt e-mail. But I wouldn't take that
personally. They're probably getting a lot inquiries right now and the
person who has to respond is probably overworked and tired of the same
e-mails. But you're right, it should have been phrased differently.
Reb


lexy
Alexis Adams

Oct 25, 1998, 11:12 AM

Post #102 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Thanks, Mary Jo, for your reply. I'm sorry to hear about the response
you had from Bennington. Sounds like someone was having a bad day and
you received the brunt of it. I checked out Antioch's Website. It
looks like an interesting program, one that weaves some social theory
and issues into its classes, which appeals to me to a degree. On the
other hand, my day to day life is rather swept up in local issues of
political debate, so it might be nice to escape to a school where
literature and writing are the sole focus. I wish I could talk to
someone who has some insight on Southampton's program. Does anyone
know if programs tend to give out names and contact info for current
students? Good luck, Mary Jo, on admissions.


susanjoy
Susan Newell

Oct 30, 1998, 1:50 PM

Post #103 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Alexis, When I was researching the low-res programs, I had some luck
with the Admissions office providing email addresses for alumni, so
give it a try. It was very useful. Antioch's OH campus had a low res
MFA (and probably still do) that required you to have a local mentor /
faculty-type person that was willing to work with you on your
curriculum. That was a few years ago so it might have changed. Their
west coast arrangement was still in its infancy. susan


lexy
Alexis Adams

Nov 1, 1998, 1:41 PM

Post #104 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Thanks for the insight, Susan. I'll pursue those e-mail contacts and
check out Antioch in Ohio. Best, Lexy.


mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Nov 2, 1998, 6:34 AM

Post #105 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Rebecca: Last night just read Robert Bly's Bennington poem in the 1998
Best American series -- he wrote a poem a day during his stay at the
96 (or 97 residency.) Check it out! very apropos! --MaryJo


rebliv
Rebecca Livingston

Nov 3, 1998, 1:26 PM

Post #106 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Mary Jo: I was not aware of the poem, but will definately look it up
this week. Thanks. The end of October has passed, did you ever hear
from Bennington? Reb


mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Nov 6, 1998, 3:14 AM

Post #107 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Reb: yes. I'm on the waiting list for Bennington in January. The same
for Vermont College. I have decided not to do Goddard, and wait it
out. Vermont was very up front and said they doubt a spot would open.
It seems way more fiction people applied than usual. Both schools were
very reassuring about the quality of the work I submitted, and said
the waiting list was a result of timing and more applicants than open
spots. (The admissions people must be used to hearing self-doubting
writers ask "but am I good enough?" !!) Which was good to hear. But, I
haven't quite resigned myself to the fact that come January, I won't
be in the workshop as I planned. I still have a shred of hope that
I'll be able to go. However, my realistic side forced me to start a
new story this week. No sense waiting. Ready to move on.... --Mary Jo


rebliv
Rebecca Livingston

Nov 7, 1998, 6:01 PM

Post #108 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Mary Jo: Sorry to hear about the waiting lists, but I guess it isn't
that bad. The worst case scenerio is that you'll have a choice for
July. (I'm assuming that like Vermont, Bennington will accept you next
session.) Waiting sucks, but not as much as rejection. Your manuscript
must have been pretty good for them to still consider it late. I'd
take this as just a small delay in starting your MFA, but not a delay
in furthing your writing. Good luck! Reb


mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Nov 9, 1998, 3:50 AM

Post #109 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Reb, thanks. and good luck to you in the January program. I'm
heartened by the fact that I didn't get an outright rejection -- but a
little depressed that I wasn't among the first group accepted. I am
telling myself, however, that it was all a matter of timing. (I did
post my application packages two days before the deadline.) To
complicate matters, I'm thinking of applying to Warren Wilson now. I
really wanted to go to the Jan. session. I even quite my job to give
myself the time to devote to a writing program. I guess, a change of
focus now is needed...my serious writing will just have to be
completely self-directed for the next 8 months or so. I have the time,
so no excuses. I just have to be careful that I don't fill up the days
volunteering -- I'm a sucker when the school calls. I'm on the school
board, and that's busy work enough. But tomorrow, I'm a chaperone for
a trip to the Anne Frank huis, and Thanksgiving's coming up, so
they'll need help with the program.... I find it difficult to work
when I don't have a "real" deadline in front of me. As I'm sure many
writers do. Any suggestions out there? --Mary Jo


smerwin
Shawn Merwin

Nov 9, 1998, 1:49 PM

Post #110 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Mary Jo, I'm sorry too to hear about the waiting you will have to do.
Here is a suggestion. Contact someone new in each of the programs you
hope to go to. Ask them to send you the reading lists or schedules
that they will have to follow. This will both help you decide which
program is more your proverbial cup of tea, and it might also give you
a "head start" on the work you will have to do when you do enroll with
a program. Just a suggestion. Shawn


mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Nov 11, 1998, 8:25 AM

Post #111 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Shawn: great idea! I think I'll start by asking the admissions office
for the reading lists/schedules. If that doesn't work, I'll hit you
and Rebecca for Vermont and Bennington. :) --Mary Jo


smerwin
Shawn Merwin

Nov 11, 1998, 8:35 AM

Post #112 of 2632 (17047 views)
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I would be more than happy to share my stuff with you. The "reading
list" will probably be different for each person in a program
depending on the mentor that he/she chooses and the goals/interests of
the writer.


lexy
Alexis Adams

Nov 15, 1998, 3:27 PM

Post #113 of 2632 (17047 views)
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I'm planning a trip to the east coast in April to visit low-res MFA
programs. Of course, they include the biggies, Bennington, Vermont
College and Goddard, plus Southampton on Long Island. Are there any
noteworthy (or lesser known) programs I'm forgetting? New England is
my destination, thus the omission of Warren Wilson. By the way, I'm
planning my trip around the AWP annual conference in Albany, NY.
Anyone here planning to attend the conference as well? For that
matter, has anyone here attended any AWP conferences in the past?
Thanks, Alexis.


mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Nov 16, 1998, 7:03 AM

Post #114 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Alexis -- tell us about Southhampton. I don't think it's been
mentioned here before. It is a real low-residency? How about a link or
address? THanks. --Mary Jo


lexy
Alexis Adams

Nov 16, 1998, 4:41 PM

Post #115 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Mary Jo, Southampton's MFA program commenced in the fall of '97. Their
"low-residency" option allows students to attend two semesters on
campus and then to complete the rest of their work independently. Some
of the on-campus work can be completed during their summer intensive.
I haven't heard much about the program, but I was pleasantly surprised
by the *phone call* I received in response to a query letter I sent
via e-mail requesting literature and application materials. The
program's secretary (also an MFA student) called to tell me the packet
was in the mail and did I have any questions?! It floored me. I'm sure
that's not a great criterion upon which to judge a program, but I
can't help but take it into consideration given the horror stories
I've read here regarding communication from other, more established
programs. Teachers include Indira Ganesan (fiction), Kaylie Jones
(fiction), William Hathaway (poetry, I think) and Roger Rosenblatt,
who directs the program. I've heard (and this was a criticism) that
the program draws from the Hampton's literary community quite a bit
for its marketing and less so for its instruction. Some of those folks
include Kurt Vonnegut, Peter Matthiessen and Shana Alexander. There's
no Website for the program yet, but you can get a sense of the rest of
Southampton U. from this: http://www.southampton.liunet.edu For
further info, contact: info@southampton.liunet.edu Good luck! I've
talked quite a bit with instructors, students and friends of the
program, so if you have any further questions, you're welcome to ask
them of me here, or by e-mail at the following address: lexy@wtp.net
Cheers, Lexy.


lexy
Alexis Adams

Nov 16, 1998, 4:46 PM

Post #116 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Oops, I take that back. Robert Pattison is the director of the
program...


lexy
Alexis Adams

Nov 16, 1998, 5:48 PM

Post #117 of 2632 (17047 views)
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One more correction: the program started in the summer of '98 (not
'97).


valfiora
Valerie Fioravanti

Nov 17, 1998, 9:36 AM

Post #118 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Lexy, Kaylie Jones was the most popular/requested instructor at the
writer's org I used to work for. Everyone submitted ms. for her
workshop, again and again, and her students tended to stick with her.


lexy
Alexis Adams

Nov 17, 1998, 5:15 PM

Post #119 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Valerie, Really? That's great news. I have to admit to being quite
intrigued by Southampton and having that bit of information about
Kaylie compounds it. I actually talked to her on the phone last week
and she was *very* warm and incredibly enthusiastic. The way I see it,
even if there are still kinks to work out at Southampton, the fresh
enthusiasm that comes along with new a program is enough to make me
take the leap and choose this over more established schools. Heard
anything about Indira Ganesan?


mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Nov 18, 1998, 4:04 AM

Post #120 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Alexis-- thanks for the info. Definitely worth an inquiry. --Mary Jo


mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Nov 24, 1998, 9:08 AM

Post #121 of 2632 (17047 views)
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ANyone out there? Last night Vermont College called -- I'm in for
january! Hooray! A few openings came up when fiction people decided to
switch into poetry. Shawn -- was one of them you? --Mary Jo


smerwin
Shawn Merwin

Nov 24, 1998, 9:52 AM

Post #122 of 2632 (17047 views)
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MJ, WOO-HOO! We'll have to party down in the snow next month. I didn't
change to poetry, so we will be going through all this together.
Congratulations on your acceptance! I look forward to meeting you in
person come the New Year. Shawn


rebliv
Rebecca Livingston

Nov 24, 1998, 1:24 PM

Post #123 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Mary Jo, Congrats, congrats, congrats! I'm sorry I won't get a chance
to study with you at Bennington, but I'm glad to hear you'll be able
to start in January. I have a friend who's there in poetry and he
absolutely loves it. You're going to have a good time and get a lot
out of it. I just know it. Reb


lexy
Alexis Adams

Nov 25, 1998, 2:21 AM

Post #124 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Congratulations, Mary Jo! That's wonderful news. Those of us who are
just beginning the process of researching and applying to low-res
programs will appreciate any insight you and Sarah can supply. I hope
you keep us posted on the VC experience. Rebecca at Bennington, too!


mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Dec 1, 1998, 2:31 PM

Post #125 of 2632 (17047 views)
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Shawn, I look forward to reading your workshop piece, which you
probably sent off weeks ago. Mine goes to Louise tomorrow. See you in
December! And thanks for the congrats, all. Good luck around. I'll
post in to let you know how goes it. -- Mary Jo

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