Jul 3, 2009, 1:55 PM
Post #1050 of 2090
Re: [jacarty] Creative Writing PhD Looking for 2010
[In reply to]
Wanted to add my two cents...which might be worth slightly more.
First off, I wouldn't worry about age. If you can swing the finances and the (potential) change in lifestyle, go for it. I'm 34 and starting at U. Cincinnati in the Fall. So, as long as the spouse is on board...and that's a big one....I think it's a great way to get better, work in a community, and sharpen your critical acumen.
As for your questions:
1) I studied a lot for both the GRE and the GRE Lit. The GRE Lit is an evil, evil course, and even though I agree with Tabby that ETS is a bit of a racket. I'd recommend throwing some energy into it. The scores won't be anywhere near as important as your writing samples, which are obviously key, but why give 'em any reason, any reason at all to doubt your ability?
That said, it won't make any difference whatsoever if the selection comittee doesn't like your writing samples.
But yeah, the sooner the better, so you can spend more time on the samples and your letter of intent.
2) Go with one longer essay, definitely. I think the idea is to prove that your capable/will be capable of producing critical work that's publishable with a little help from your Department....
The essay on poetic closure sounds intriguing....definitely try to flesh that one out!
Make sure (particularly if you choose to apply to Cincinnati) to include a touch of theory. You don't have to have Cixous rolling off your tongue, but some clear indication that you can read, understand, and apply theory is important (and I'm paraphrasing an email I got here). Also, I'm certain that many selection committees include English (as well as CW) profs. After all, it's not merely a CW degree....right?
3) From what I've seen, the profiles of those who get acceptance letters is remarkably impressive. Cincinnati (and I think a number of other schools) actually asks for CVs, so your chapbook, poetry publications, and ezine shoud prove extremely useful.... and it's not unheard of, I believe, for poets with book publications under the belt to go this route...
Good luck and feel free to pm me if you have questions about Cincy.