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mpagan


Aug 17, 2008, 11:17 PM

Post #76 of 165 (7651 views)
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Re: [Raysen] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Sure Raysen - it's not a secret at all -

29 books!

I can send you the list - or heck - I'll just post it - Mind you the list will prob change next year - or the requirement for that matter - who knows - enjoy! (My reading it tied up for the next year)

Pre-1900
Don Quixote
Tom Jones
Pride and Prejudice
Middlemarch
Bleak House
Madame Bovary
Ann Karenina
Portrait of a Lady
The Portable Chekov

1900-1950
Dubliners
The Great Gatsby
Kafka - the complete stories
Mrs. Dalloway
Native Son
As I Lay Dying

1950-Present
Go Tell It on The Mountain
Lolita
Flannery O'Connor - The Complete Stories
The Bloody Chamber
Waiting For the Barbarians
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Where I Am Calling From
American Pastoral
The Known World

Criticism
E.M Forester - Aspects of the Novel
The Rhetoric of Fiction
Understanding Fiction
Burning Down the House


Dovlatov


Aug 18, 2008, 12:16 AM

Post #77 of 165 (7628 views)
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Re: [mpagan] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Any Michigan people or anyone else care to weigh in on this?

If your writing sample is six-seven pages over the stated 40 page limit, would you edit? Just send one of two stories? Or send both, knowing your page count is significantly over the requested amount? How strict is Michigan on this? I don't get a good handle on this from their comment on page count on the website.

Also, I heard that a couple of programs (such as Iowa and Michigan) sometimes request one or two more stories during the application process, beyond the writing sample. Any truth to this rumor?

Thanks!


Raysen


Aug 18, 2008, 12:17 AM

Post #78 of 165 (7628 views)
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Re: [mpagan] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks mpagan!

It's quite a lengthy list. I have only read 6 items on that list. Damn.


__________



Aug 18, 2008, 1:19 AM

Post #79 of 165 (7612 views)
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Re: [mpagan] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Goody! I like lists...

They tell you a little about what the program values, no? A good list. Nothing objectionable, but nothing really razzle-dazzle either, save for Lolita or the Don. I'd be surprised if any English major hadn't read most of these already (especially the 1900-1950 books...Yeesh.)

Nothing wrong with looking at the way they put the program together, and making informed decisions. Many schools have reading lists; if you don't like them, don't apply.

What really concerns me about Michigan (and why I won't apply) is the weird kind of nepotism going on there. One teacher let his daughter in...and Ryan Harty teaches there...a guy who's only book (a book of short stories) was published as the winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Contest. And, uh, he was a recent Iowa grad. In fact, most winners of that contest are recent Iowa grads. (One was an Iowa teacher!). I like some of the work coming out of Michigan, and I'm sure it's a swell place, but it so....AWP. Inbred, favors, blech.


six five four three two one 0 ->


__________



Aug 18, 2008, 10:45 AM

Post #80 of 165 (7588 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Where did the edit button go?

Erase! Erase!


six five four three two one 0 ->


Dovlatov


Aug 18, 2008, 6:35 PM

Post #81 of 165 (7532 views)
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Re: [Dovlatov] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Thanks for the reading list!

In Reply To





daleth


Aug 20, 2008, 10:18 PM

Post #82 of 165 (7471 views)
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Re: [mpagan] foreign language requirement [In reply to] Can't Post

That must be a Delbanco development. He used to teach a class that did just that--you read various classics and mimicked them. Some people (myself included) mixed them up--writing the story of a Hemingway novel in the voice of Virginia Woolf, etc. It was great. Delbanco released a book designed for such a class, full of examples, questions and exercises:
http://www.amazon.com/...lbanco/dp/0072414715



In Reply To
They give out this large reading list the summer before you start - and you have unti March to read all the books (like 25 books from pre-19th on to current lit and crit.) then take an exam that measures how well you understand the different styles of writing. The questions ask you to mimic voices and styles and apply them to different environments from the various works - like write in the voice of a Henry James character who shows up in the world of Flannery O'Connor - that kind of stuff. There are prob 4 or 5 questions like that.



Daleth Demented (Blog)


bec1029


Aug 27, 2008, 11:46 PM

Post #83 of 165 (7385 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm an undergrad at Michigan and Harty has a reputation as a pretty phenomenal teacher and mentor. Also, to the person who asked like three pages ago, the writing program is based out of the third and fourth floors of Angell. Does anyone actually use the Hopwood room? I always feel awkward there.


gcsumfa


Aug 28, 2008, 1:33 AM

Post #84 of 165 (7374 views)
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Re: [bec1029] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, I can't believe some of the whining about reading a list of books before entering an MFA program, or completing a foreign language requirement, or taking lit/theory courses (heaven forbid). Also, to the person who stated that he/she "doubts (s)he'd ever have to know any lit theory in a creative writing job"--sorry, but you're quite naive about the creative writing job market today. Unless you're a star, chances are your "creative writing" job will entail more than showing up to teach a creative writing workshop or two each semester. You'll have to teach lit courses...and you'll have to fit into the department as a whole...which means that locking yourself into only one area and refusing to broaden your knowledge in secondary areas won't get you very far on the academic job market--again, unless you write a book that wins an NBA or Pulitzer.

Good luck with that.

Finally, name an academic program that doesn't require work in other areas? That's life in academia; you don't get to enter academia on your own precious, entitled, terms, esp. when you're not qualified to do so. You haven't even applied yet and you already know more than university professors who were probably in a tenure line job before you were born? LMAO.


daleth


Aug 28, 2008, 12:33 PM

Post #85 of 165 (7330 views)
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Re: [bec1029] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

We had our fiction workshops in the Hopwood Room in at least one semester. And sometimes it was there that certain little talks were given.
Also there were the Thursday afternoon Hopwood Teas.


In Reply To
Does anyone actually use the Hopwood room? I always feel awkward there.



Daleth Demented (Blog)


Raignn



Sep 2, 2008, 9:44 PM

Post #86 of 165 (7266 views)
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Re: [mpagan] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Is there a reading list for poetry? (I'd assume). I'd just be very curious to see what's on that list if anyone could share it.


unsaid78


Oct 11, 2008, 9:15 PM

Post #87 of 165 (7155 views)
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Re: [mpagan] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey mpagan! I've appreciated your insights into the Michigan program on this board. Mind sharing how your first semester is going so far? I'm particularly interested in the staffing drama on the poetry side mentioned earlier on this thread? How's morale amongst the students in the program?

I'm all set to apply to Michigan for Poetry for Fall 2009 (along with about 17 other schools). Those posts about the poetry faculty drama made my stomach drop so I'd like an update if anyone has one.


www.mfachronicles.blogspot.com - Follow us as we begin our 1st years in MFA programs!


sayra


Oct 13, 2008, 5:02 PM

Post #88 of 165 (7079 views)
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Re: [unsaid78] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

As the person who (somewhat regretfully) stirred up all the trouble on this board re the staffing drama, I would recommend that no one let all that mess get in the way of their decision to apply to what is overall a very good program. Well-funded, well-respected, with a great student body--overall, I'm really grateful for my 2 years there. The staffing drama settled itself down, from what I understand (I graduated and am no longer in Michigan, so I'm not quite positive what's going on). I would recommend that anyone who does go to Ann Arbor simply keep in mind that you need to be your own advocate. This goes extra if you work on the more experimental side of things, since the program does tend to have a narrative bend (that's not to say that the experimental folk don't exist; there are just fewer of us, and therefore more need to really keep an eye out for your good readers and allies if your writing is less traditional). Communicate with your cohort and work together if there are larger things that you feel you need to advocate for. There are great things to get out of the degree and the program--at the very least, 2 fully funded years of writing. Ann Arbor's a great place--not a perfect place, but what is, really? I don't know how morale is right now, but regardless, I'd say, apply.


unsaid78


Oct 13, 2008, 7:39 PM

Post #89 of 165 (7058 views)
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Re: [sayra] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks sayra, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. Oh, I'm definitely still applying to Michigan and would be thrilled to be accepted! No program is perfect, I just wasn't sure to what degree the poetry program was effected. I appreciate your insights!


www.mfachronicles.blogspot.com - Follow us as we begin our 1st years in MFA programs!


PJwave1


Jan 21, 2009, 9:56 AM

Post #90 of 165 (6858 views)
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Rackham Website Application Status [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm wondering if anyone has had any correspondence with the Grad Eng Department or Rackham regarding their "complete" applications. I've spoken to people both in the department and the school about a mysterious missing transcript (I sent everything in Dec. 17, but the Rackham website indicates "transcript not received").

Has anyone who applied to Michigan received any emails requesting additional materials to complete their applications? I want to know up I should give up any hope I have of spending the next couple years reading and writing in Ann Arbor.


unsaid78


Jan 21, 2009, 10:07 AM

Post #91 of 165 (6853 views)
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Re: [PJwave1] Rackham Website Application Status [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey PJ,

I have one mysterious missing transcript with Michigan too. I didn't receive any correspondence from them about it, but it shows online in the application status area. What did they say when you spoke to them?


www.mfachronicles.blogspot.com - Follow us as we begin our 1st years in MFA programs!


v1ctorya


Jan 21, 2009, 10:25 AM

Post #92 of 165 (6839 views)
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Re: [unsaid78] Rackham Website Application Status [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Hey PJ,

I have one mysterious missing transcript with Michigan too. I didn't receive any correspondence from them about it, but it shows online in the application status area. What did they say when you spoke to them?



Huh, I also have a mysterious missing transcript. I e-mailed, no response so called the grad office. They told me to send it again. I'm mystified because I sent everything in one envelope, so how they could get one transcript and not the other? And the one they are missing is the one that costs money.


Mae Fields



Jan 21, 2009, 10:36 AM

Post #93 of 165 (6834 views)
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Re: [v1ctorya] Rackham Website Application Status [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm inclined not to contact them. I think they are probably not keeping the website current with all materials, because only one of my schools transcripts is showing up on my friends page too, but my status says "no holds."

Since we had to send transcripts to both the graduate school and the Eng. department, I'm sure, or at least I hope, they received them...


Mae Fields



Jan 21, 2009, 10:41 AM

Post #94 of 165 (6832 views)
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Re: [Mae Fields] Rackham Website Application Status [In reply to] Can't Post

Oops. On the website's help screen:
  • If you find any other discrepancies or errors report them using the contact information at the bottom of the Application Verification page. Contact information varies based on the admitting office.



  • Maybe everyone missing something should drop them a line, just to ensure all bases are covered. That's what I'm going to do after reading the above statement.


    PJwave1


    Jan 21, 2009, 10:45 AM

    Post #95 of 165 (6831 views)
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    Re: [v1ctorya] Rackham Website Application Status [In reply to] Can't Post

    The woman I spoke with at Rackham was pretty rude and did nothing to help my anxiety. Granted, she probably responds to hundreds of helpless prospective applicants, but she could have been a little more compassionate.

    I spoke with someone in the Grad Eng Dept who was much more helpful and sympathetic. She said that the Eng Dept has little interaction with Rackham, so the application status listed on the website is misleading. I'm going on one person's assurance here, but she said that if you sent your application materials in on time they were most likely there. She also said the deadline listed on the How to Apply section of the website isn't as strigent as I thought. If you sent in all materials before Jan 1 (with the holidays in mind), your application will be considered. If the selection committee reviews your sample and application and like you, they'll contact you for any additional materials needed.

    Rackham's website flat out sucks. All it does is perpetuate our collective agony. Don't worry about the application status page. If it says "transcript not received" and you're a potential acceptee, you'll be contacted.

    Good luck to all.


    unsaid78


    Jan 21, 2009, 11:01 AM

    Post #96 of 165 (6819 views)
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    Re: [PJwave1] Rackham Website Application Status [In reply to] Can't Post

    Ok I just called and had a good experience with the person I talked to. The grad school woman said missing transcripts probably haven't been processed but that it's really most important that the department has all the info since they make the admission decision. So she was nice enough to transfer me to the MFA program. They asked my last name and informed me that all of my stuff was in. It was pretty quick. I'd say if you are missing anything and unsure, give the program a call and double check.

    The grad school said that if they are truly missing anything they'll make contact.


    www.mfachronicles.blogspot.com - Follow us as we begin our 1st years in MFA programs!


    PJwave1


    Jan 21, 2009, 11:21 AM

    Post #97 of 165 (6809 views)
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    Re: [unsaid78] Rackham Website Application Status [In reply to] Can't Post

      
    Unsaid,

    Is 734 763 4139 the correct number to call?


    (This post was edited by PJwave1 on Jan 21, 2009, 11:23 AM)


    unsaid78


    Jan 21, 2009, 11:44 AM

    Post #98 of 165 (6793 views)
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    Re: [PJwave1] Rackham Website Application Status [In reply to] Can't Post

    I'm not certain about the best number for the department, PJ, since I was transferred to the department from the grad school.


    www.mfachronicles.blogspot.com - Follow us as we begin our 1st years in MFA programs!


    Deja


    Jan 21, 2009, 1:00 PM

    Post #99 of 165 (6754 views)
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    Re: [PJwave1] Rackham Website Application Status [In reply to] Can't Post

    I also had a supposedly missing transcript according to the Rackham website and called both Rackham and the English department. The lady at Rackham told me as long as the English dept. had the copy of the transcript not to worry about it (she was nice enough) so I called the English dept. and the woman in the English dept I spoke to (who was very nice) also told me that they would send me an email if they were missing any transcripts, but at that point they were processing a lot of paperwork and it was probable not everything had been entered. She also said as long as they had everything else, it should be ok.


    Stroudb

    e-mail user

    Jan 27, 2009, 7:25 PM

    Post #100 of 165 (6570 views)
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    Re: [Junior Maas] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

    This is a little late, but just a few things to mention.
    On Ryan Harty: He, and his wife Julie Orringer, were at Michigan on a fellowship for emerging writers. That's not nepotism. There was a national search, and the idea is to find someone(s) who only has one book out, and give them a chance to teach and write. And it helps the students to interact with writers at different stages in their careers.
    (however, I do agree that the way the Iowa Short Fiction prize is handed out has seemed at least a little suspect).

    On the reading list: I personally think it's a good thing. But rather than debate its merits, I'd just like to add to the conversation where it came from. Because the program is housed in the English Department, rather than separate from it, it has to have a certain amount of requirements for its students. This used to be the language exam, but that caused a lot of problems for a lot of people, so the faculty tried to come up with something that would be more relevant, less daunting, and that would satisfy the department and college brass. Thus the reading list, a scaled down version of what many first-year PhD English students have to do at other programs. It's not condescension by the faculty, nor a hoop they're adding for the fun of it. It's their best attempt to help students and satisfy the college at the same time. And, basically, so long as you do the reading (or at least most of the reading), you won't fail. Anyway, I just thought it would help to add this in to the discussion so as to put stuff in perspective. Good luck to everyone waiting on app responses!

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