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Jan 27, 2009, 7:42 PM

Post #101 of 165 (7464 views)
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Re: [Stroudb] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

The nepotism I was referring to was that one guy who let his daughter in.

It bugged me when I was considering applying to Michigan. I realize not everyone feels that way.

But wow. Another dual fellowship for the Harty-Orringer marriage? Right after they were both given the Stegner fellowship? If nepotism's not the word, please tell me what is! (Unless it was another stellar coincidence that a husband and wife team won two prestigious fellowships in a row. Who won it first this time? Ryan or Julie? When is their next zillion to one coincidence involving paid contests and university funding?)

:D


six five four three two one 0 ->

(This post was edited by Junior Maas on Jan 27, 2009, 7:45 PM)


Stroudb

e-mail user

Jan 28, 2009, 1:49 PM

Post #102 of 165 (7382 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

In the case of Harty/Orringer, nepotism wasn't the word--the word (or phrase) was two-for-one. The fellowship was for one person, and they offered to share it, giving the department double for their money (and both are, in their own rights, very good writers: Orringer's won a Pushcart, among other things, and Harty has had a story in Best American). I'm not exactly sure how that would be nepotism. Nothing extra was paid out for them; instead, they offered the university a deal.

(And the Stegner thing seems suspicious until you find out that Harty got it first, then Orringer a year or two later (after having applied four-five times). I personally think that's less nepotism on the Stegner's part than an equally problematic predilection for writers already living in the bay area (both of them were already living in SF, and it seems a good portion (though not a majority, but noticeable enough) of the people who do get Stegners have SF roots). And the reason I say it seems less like nepotism once you find out the order they went--well, I like them both, and respect them both as writers and teachers, but we know who has the star power (at least for now) in that relationship.)

And as for "the guy who let his daughter in," from what I understand Delbanco never taught his daughter, nor took part in the decision on her admission. It certainly looks suspicious, but she's managed to publish a couple books and she won some of the MFA writing prizes (which are judged anonymously by outside readers), so she was able to pull her weight.

I don't mean to sound touchy about all this, but Michigan, in my own experience, has always struck me as a program that does it's best to guard against things like "nepotism" (which is a big part of what was going on in poetry search mentioned above--they hired the outsider). Also, I think as writers just starting out, we tend to assume too quickly that everything is stacked against us, and so apply that narrative too quickly (I've certainly been guilty of that) when really, things end up being a bit more haphazard (I imagine the slight SF predilection of the Stegner has less to do with some nefarious doings of the admissions committee than there being something about the writing community there that naturally meshes with whatever aesthetics the committee happens to prefer). Of course, there's no way to know that unless you get more info, and so I've provided what little I've got.


swiviol


Feb 1, 2009, 6:32 PM

Post #103 of 165 (7238 views)
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Re: [bec1029] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
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.
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I'm an undergrad at Michigan as well, applying there (among other schools) for Fall '09 admission to their MFA program. I had Julie, Ryan's wife, for a class last year, and it was an interesting class.

And yes, I always feel awkward in the Hopwood room :-P even though sometimes I go there to read the past winners' stories.


PJwave1


Feb 2, 2009, 4:34 PM

Post #104 of 165 (7151 views)
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Re: [Stroudb] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Stroudb/mpagan,

Do you have any insider information on when decisions will be announced this year? I know that last year's first emails went out on the 19th and 20th of Feb, and 2007's came out a bit later than that. Has there been any talk in the department on newly accepted (fingers crossed) or rejected (much more likely) applications?

Please, oh please, hit us with some news.


Stroudb

e-mail user

Feb 2, 2009, 8:31 PM

Post #105 of 165 (7058 views)
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Re: [PJwave1] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't have any specific info, but I do know applications in fiction alone have gone up, and are at about 700 (which is about 200 more than when I applied to the program three years ago). However, this shouldn't slow things so much. UM's admissions works on a tier system. Teams of two (one faculty member and one other person, usually a recent graduate with a book) read through their allotted portion of the applications (so every application gets read at least twice, which helps guard against anybody getting rejected just because an app reader had a bad day or didn't like their style or whatever). Those that make it out of this round then go to a board of faculty, and then the director makes the final cuts.

Before they had three teams for this early round, but now there are five, so the uptick in applications shouldn't bog things down. And because of this system, there's no situation where people are already being admitted or anything--it all gets decided at once. As far as I know from what little I've heard, everything is more or less on schedule, and so announcements should be made at their usual time--end of february (which is pretty much the day after the final decisions get made).
hope that helps. good luck!


(This post was edited by Stroudb on Feb 2, 2009, 8:39 PM)


moomoocow42


Feb 2, 2009, 8:36 PM

Post #106 of 165 (7055 views)
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Re: [Stroudb] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

That's incredibly helpful, Stroudb. Thanks for the insight!


My MFA Blog -- Watch me slowly lose my sanity.


swiviol


Feb 2, 2009, 10:54 PM

Post #107 of 165 (7016 views)
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Re: [Stroudb] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Stroudb, how do you have all this inside information on Michigan's MFA program?! I'm jealous. Thanks for sharing :).


mpagan


Feb 3, 2009, 1:34 AM

Post #108 of 165 (6980 views)
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Re: [PJwave1] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

I've heard the same as stroud - nothing out of the ordinary.
End of Feb. seems right for final decisions


mpagan


Feb 3, 2009, 1:36 AM

Post #109 of 165 (6978 views)
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Re: [mpagan] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, by the by,

Stoudb had an awesome story in Subtropics not too long ago!


PJwave1


Feb 3, 2009, 9:40 AM

Post #110 of 165 (6924 views)
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Re: [Stroudb] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you! This information is comforting and incredibly helpful.

"so every application gets read at least twice, which helps guard against anybody getting rejected just because an app reader had a bad day or didn't like their style or whatever"

This comment is especially reassuring. I often picture the scenario where reader X comes into the office fresh from a fight with their S.O., takes a look at my writing sample, laughs, then throws it into a fire.


Stroudb

e-mail user

Feb 3, 2009, 12:41 PM

Post #111 of 165 (6861 views)
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Re: [mpagan] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

oh, gosh, thanks, mpagan!


(This post was edited by Stroudb on Feb 3, 2009, 12:43 PM)


sayra


Feb 3, 2009, 4:12 PM

Post #112 of 165 (6784 views)
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Re: [swiviol] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

side note: the hopwood room is the most awkward place in the world. even though i love (and miss, now that i've been out of michigan for a year) hopwood teas and things that happen in the hopwood room, it just is a magically awkward place, even for mfa students. but great coffee. and cookies. and tea. and cookies.

(ps: hi, stroudb!)


swiviol


Feb 3, 2009, 4:19 PM

Post #113 of 165 (6773 views)
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Re: [sayra] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

I like sitting there and reading past winners' stories, but it's awkward because there is never anyone around. As an undergrad I went to 1 Hopwood tea, but I ended up not knowing many people there, so I mostly just ate some cookies and left :-P.


flergenderg


Feb 9, 2009, 8:34 PM

Post #114 of 165 (6625 views)
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Re: [swiviol] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

How funny to hear people chatting about The Hopwood Room! I worked there as an undergrad, for three years. It's true--The Hopwood Room can be an awkward place at first. But it does have a fantastic selection of journals and my former boss--who still runs the room--is always generous with her time in answering questions about contests, writing programs, etc.


swiviol


Feb 9, 2009, 9:22 PM

Post #115 of 165 (6601 views)
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Re: [flergenderg] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Is your former boss Andrea? She does seem nice :).


flergenderg


Feb 9, 2009, 10:01 PM

Post #116 of 165 (6575 views)
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Re: [swiviol] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, Andrea--she is a dear friend and a wonderful resource. Now if only I can get into the MFA program... :-)


swiviol


Feb 9, 2009, 11:34 PM

Post #117 of 165 (6523 views)
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Re: [flergenderg] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

I applied there as well for their MFA program ... we'll probably be notified end of February, would be my guess, based on the past posts in here.


flergenderg


Feb 10, 2009, 1:00 AM

Post #118 of 165 (6494 views)
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Re: [swiviol] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah--somewhere around Feb 19th it seems. I'm counting the days in six-packs! Let's keep each other sane.


swiviol


Feb 10, 2009, 10:58 AM

Post #119 of 165 (6432 views)
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Re: [flergenderg] reading list [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, man - I leave for my spring break trip on the 21st! If they're notifying by mail, I reallyyyy hope it gets here by the 19th or 20th ... and I live in Ann Arbor (I'm a current undergrad) so that's good, I guess. Hopefully they will email/call instead.


EmilyMay


Feb 13, 2009, 12:39 PM

Post #120 of 165 (6306 views)
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another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

Just jumping in here because I applied to Michigan for poetry. Waiting anxiously for a response. Best of luck to everyone else who's applied!

I did my undergrad at Bowling Green, and we used to go up to Ann Arbor sometimes. It's a great town, and a place I think I'd be very happy.


swiviol


Feb 13, 2009, 12:40 PM

Post #121 of 165 (6305 views)
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Re: [EmilyMay] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

I love Ann Arbor :) don't really want to leave in May.


scarlet m


Feb 13, 2009, 5:37 PM

Post #122 of 165 (6222 views)
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Re: [swiviol] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

bandwagon: i too applied to the mfa program for fiction. michigan is my first choice and likely the first program i'll here back from, either way. neeeeeervous


swiviol


Feb 27, 2009, 11:45 AM

Post #123 of 165 (6013 views)
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Re: [scarlet m] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

Has anyone actually been REJECTED from Michigan yet? Someone on TSE said that letters are going out next week, but I have not heard either way yet ... and Wolverine Access tells me nothing.


swiviol


Feb 27, 2009, 11:46 AM

Post #124 of 165 (6010 views)
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Re: [swiviol] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

Oops, sorry - it was Iowa that they said next week (and it was on here, not TSE).
Any Michigan info, then?


jtomscha


Mar 11, 2009, 6:22 PM

Post #125 of 165 (5843 views)
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Re: [swiviol] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

This question has less to do with Michigan and more with Ann Arbor.

I'm trying to decide if I should purchase a car. I am ninety percent certain that I'll be heading to Michigan in the fall (for fiction). Just wondering if I'll need a car in Ann Arbor. I prefer to live in the midst of the campus and downtown community, and thus far have lived in Cambridge and Missoula without one. Probably would like a car for the next few months, but will put off buying one if it's a big hassle or not at all important in AA. So- not considering matters of carbon footprinting- should I be thinking about a vehicle?

Looking back through this thread, I've notice more hostility than I was expecting about the Michigan program - although not from the Michigan students, but rather more from outside posters. Anyone else have any thoughts about why this might be?

Anyone future classmates going to the visit weekend next month?

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