Nov 18, 2009, 9:50 PM
Post #77 of 107
You’re saying that (“With all the sites about MFAs out there, it's almost impossible NOT to read about them.”) as someone who participates in an online poetry forum. I think your perception is skewed.
I’m currently living on a farm and taking classes at the local branch university. There are some decent undergraduate-level writers (I don’t know how they would do applying to top programs, but still) who write local-type fiction and poetry. Many of them talked about their desire to go to MFA programs but very few of them have any idea what is involved in the application process and the professors don’t seem to know much either.
There is no publish or perish mindset around here. No perception that one has to apply to 10+ programs to be competitive. Nothing of the sort.
Hell, one person is so set on keeping their sense of local identity that they will only attend the University of Wisconsin (although there aren’t any writers at the school that write in the same style as the said student, nor are they accepting applications in his genre during his senior year…) I read some of his stuff—I’m not the best judge of fiction but his work was wonderfully comical and slightly surreal. He’d probably fit in wonderful in a program that is open to that kind of writing. I can see the same thing happening at NYC schools—people want to stay in the city. They may not have a huge sense of MFA programs or have looked much at online rankings but they probably found out which schools in town have MFA programs.
Philosophy and classics majors are often clueless about shit like this too (I have a few friends in such fields and basically I had to tell them where to apply—and I’m not even a major in either field… though, I do know where a lot of continental philosophy experts are).
Friend: “I’m going to apply to [insert program].”
Me: “I think you’d be really unhappy there.”
Friend: “How do YOU know where I'd be happy?!”
Me: “Dude, that program is all philosophy of logic and cognitive science.”
Friend: “Oh. Good point."
I’m not saying that there won’t be crappy people in workshop. Likely, there will be. I HIGHLY doubt how well they are able to look up MFA program rankings or find poetry forums online has much to do with this. Hell, there are many brilliant people out there who know nothing about admissions.
(This post was edited by Forum Apps on Nov 18, 2009, 9:51 PM)