Jul 2, 2007, 11:01 AM
Post #165 of 357
Re: [ellen362] Well, that was helpful.
[In reply to]
In Reply To
You weren't kidding about it being a top school!
I'm actually quite curious about that program. A lot is said about Iowa in this forum and elsewhere, and it would be great to get some firsthand information. If you wouldn't mind answering a few questions I'd greatly appreciate it.
1.) Does the tiered funding situation create tension between the students, as is rumored/assumed by many people? Do those who receive full funding get more positive attention from faculty? Conversely, do they have a big target on their back? In his book, Kealey seems to suggest that a tiered funding system would cause competition in the workshop environment (i.e. a well funded student would have his work ripped apart by his peers on a more regular basis because of his place at the top.)
Note: I recognize the possibility that some of the negative press about Iowa could be due, at least in part, to jealousy. Maybe they applied and didn't get in, or they know someone from Iowa who got a great publishing contract right out of the gate, etc...
2.) What was your writing sample like, if you don't mind me asking? (Subject matter and genre?)
3.) Is there a wide variety of writing styles represented at the school? Are there students who push the envelope, subject-wise? I've heard that Iowa is a fairly conservative program (not necessarily in the political sense, but with regard to a general standard of decency) and that most students are writing the type of fiction that would fit nicely into the Paris Review, Glimmer Train, or the New Yorker. But I'm wondering if anyone is writing horror, crime novels, comedy, satire, metafiction, experimenting with voices/points of view, etc...?
I suspect some of the rumors flying around about Iowa are inaccurate. I also know that an MFA program is largely what one makes of it. I would, however, like to find out which of my impressions might be partly true from someone who is attending, or has attended, the program.