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sayra


Mar 11, 2009, 6:33 PM

Post #126 of 165 (8801 views)
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Re: [jtomscha] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

I was at Michigan for my MFA in poetry the past two years. I didn't have a car the first year, did have a car the second year. The Ann Arbor buses are free to students, and cars can be hassles because of the snow in Ann Arbor--I did an awful lot of shoveling that second year. I'm split really on the car decision--it's nice to have, but not vital, and other people are sure to have them to borrow (I had roommates to steal cars from if I was in a pinch). Also, Ann Arbor has zipcars, which are also worth looking into if you just need a car for a few hours here and there. Basically, it can work either way, but it definitely is far from impossible to live in Ann Arbor without a car.

I can't explain the Michigan hostility. Like any program, it definitely has its strong points and its weaknesses, but overall I really loved it and think it's a great place (and I find myself massively missing Ann Arbor (and the MFA) often). Any future Michigan students with any questions (particularly poets), feel free to pm me or to ask them here :) And congratulations!


swiviol


Mar 11, 2009, 7:09 PM

Post #127 of 165 (8783 views)
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Re: [jtomscha] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a current Michigan undergrad, and in my opinion you don't need a car. It's nice to have, certainly, esp. when going grocery shopping, but usually I get a ride w/ friends for that. I don't have a car and it's my 4th year here ... the bus system is usually good too.


Raysen


Mar 11, 2009, 7:12 PM

Post #128 of 165 (8776 views)
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Re: [swiviol] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

Had I gotten into Michigan, I would've signed up for a meal contract at East Quad. Intimate and close enough to Angell Hall without it feeling like a zoo like West Quad and South Quad.

But Michigan didn't want me.


swiviol


Mar 11, 2009, 7:14 PM

Post #129 of 165 (8773 views)
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Re: [Raysen] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

Haha, I could talk all day about East Quad! I lived there for 2 years, my freshman and sophomore year, and really liked the cafeteria, but no one else on campus seems to ... especially with the newly reopened MoJo caf which is beautiful and has like 10x more the options than EQ has. oh well.


Kurt


Mar 11, 2009, 7:46 PM

Post #130 of 165 (8757 views)
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Re: [jtomscha] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

You don't need a car in Ann Arbor, so long as you're fine staying in Ann Arbor.


khopper


Mar 12, 2009, 11:06 AM

Post #131 of 165 (8700 views)
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Re: [jtomscha] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd say it depends on where you live afterwards. When you're done with your MFA, are you going to keep living in the downtown part of a big city? If so, I think you're safe passing on a car for now. But if you're otherwise planning on living in the suburbs or in a non-city, you might want to consider getting a car now, while dealerships are desperate for buyers.

Not that it's going to affect you much, since you'll mostly be around other students, but people from Michigan will think you're an America-hater if you don't have a car. :-) I don't actually need mine, but the idea of selling it fills me with terror.


Raysen


Mar 12, 2009, 1:54 PM

Post #132 of 165 (8647 views)
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Reading List exam [In reply to] Can't Post

The one positive I can take away from my Michigan rejection is that I don't have to take that exam they give to MFA students in the first year -- the one based on the reading list they distribute to new admittees in the Spring. Whew! One big load off my mind...


nickagaudio


Mar 12, 2009, 4:26 PM

Post #133 of 165 (8589 views)
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Re: [jtomscha] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I may or may not be visiting that weekend as well. I'm currently on the waitlist (according to Eileen Pollack, very high). So, actually...could you just not accept? :) haha


SaundraN


Mar 12, 2009, 6:41 PM

Post #134 of 165 (8557 views)
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Re: [nickagaudio] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

Have all of the acceptances for Michigan in poetry already gone out?


jtomscha


Mar 13, 2009, 1:32 AM

Post #135 of 165 (8501 views)
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Re: [nickagaudio] another Michigan applicant [In reply to] Can't Post

nickagaudio, haha...Well, I probably won't - but I hope someone else does!

Everyone, thanks for the help with the car situation. I think I'll put off buying one for now and instead go to India with the car money. Better for writing, right?


anna2


Jul 10, 2009, 5:11 PM

Post #136 of 165 (8365 views)
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age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, didn't mean to reply to one person in particular but couldn't figure out how to simply do a post. (My writing, I hope, is a bit better than my message board skills.) I'm really interested in applying to Michigan for fiction this year, and I had a few questions about the program that I've had trouble finding answers to online. I was wondering first how big it is--for some reason I can't find this on Michigan's website (both the size of the entire program and how many new students are accepted per year.) I was also wondering, for those who've been there, about the average age of the students. It seems some programs have students who fall mostly around age 30, while others have a wider age range. Since I'll be applying right out of undergrad, it would be helpful to get an idea of where I might be. I know, of course, that this varies each year, but any insight on the (very general) demographics of the program would be much appreciated!


sayra


Jul 10, 2009, 6:51 PM

Post #137 of 165 (8358 views)
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Re: [anna2] age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, I graduated from Michigan last year (in poetry, but I should still be able to be of some help...) There are 12 writers per genre in each year (for a total of 24 writers per year, and 48 writers at a time total). When I went, I was right out of college; the fiction cohort was a bit older, but there's really a wide range of ages, from fresh out of undergrad to very much not. I hope this helps!


Dhorton


Jul 11, 2009, 3:21 PM

Post #138 of 165 (8281 views)
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Re: [sayra] age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm looking at Michigan for next year--I have a background in fiction but during the last few years have been reading and writing for the juvenile audience.

I believe those teaching at UM have more of a "contemporary literature" feel--if I submit my writing for young adults as part of my application, will this hurt me? And if so, what schools do you recommend?

Thanks, I'm new around here and appreciate the help.


pongo
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e-mail user

Jul 11, 2009, 3:25 PM

Post #139 of 165 (8278 views)
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Re: [Dhorton] age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post

If submitting what you write will hurt your application, you shouldn't be applying there.


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taraberyl



Jul 11, 2009, 5:31 PM

Post #140 of 165 (8258 views)
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Re: [Dhorton] age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post

i know vermont has a program specifically geared toward writing for children and young adults, though i think it is low-residency. there are a lot of programs that are specifically for those genres of writing, if you search 'em. however, if you are looking to move away from young adult fiction, i probably wouldn't recommend using it for a writing sample.


Dhorton


Jul 12, 2009, 7:38 AM

Post #141 of 165 (8226 views)
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Re: [taraberyl] age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
i know vermont has a program specifically geared toward writing for children and young adults, though i think it is low-residency. there are a lot of programs that are specifically for those genres of writing, if you search 'em. however, if you are looking to move away from young adult fiction, i probably wouldn't recommend using it for a writing sample.

Thanks.

I guess my real question is: Is there a bias against those whose fiction differs in style or genre from what the professors write?


mpagan


Jul 15, 2009, 3:50 PM

Post #142 of 165 (8021 views)
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Re: [Dhorton] age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post

We have folks in the program writing in all kinds of styles. As far as I can tell there is no bias for one kind of work over another. But realistically there is no way to account for the faculty's taste in any given year. They're human afterall. In the end, send something you are passionate about. Also think about your needs as a writer. If you write very genre specific work only then you might want to apply to a school were the faculty can help guide your work best. In the end, don't worry too much about Michigan's asthetic bent when it comes to non-genre specific work, or more general literary fiction. The writers who teach here are open to most anything as long as it clearly exhibits potential and skill. (We did afterall graduate a writer who wrote a massive bestselling vampire novel. As far as I know she workshopped that bad boy here. The Historian anyone? I've never read the book, not my kind of thing, but shows there is no accurate way to predict what get's in one year over another. But it does show in some ways the diversity of the writer's here. )


Dhorton


Jul 16, 2009, 12:14 PM

Post #143 of 165 (7958 views)
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Re: [mpagan] age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you, that's very helpful.


WanderingTree


Jul 24, 2009, 8:34 PM

Post #144 of 165 (7768 views)
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Re: [mpagan] age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post

This is good to hear from another person. I have read the Historian and enjoyed it (although it took a while - over 700 pages!). I write in several genres from what could be termed "immigrant literature" to "magical realism". I keep telling myself that its the quality and potential in the writing itself that matters but for someone that incorporates fantastical elements into stories a lot (albeit more of the bent of Kelly Link and Jonathan Lethem vs. hardcore speculative writers), I always worry.

(This post was edited by Sequoia on Jul 24, 2009, 8:36 PM)


WanderingTree


Sep 17, 2009, 5:03 PM

Post #145 of 165 (7028 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post

Weather question:

Exactly how cold does it get in Ann Arbor? I lived in Iowa for four years. Is it comparable? (~ 20 - 30 F without windchill). Still applying, but I'm curious.


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Sep 17, 2009, 5:18 PM

Post #146 of 165 (7023 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post

Yep, Ann Arbor gets colder than iowa. I grew up in Michigan, and it gets pretty darned cold there.


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


blair_violet


Sep 17, 2009, 5:18 PM

Post #147 of 165 (7022 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm no meteorologist, but I did my undergrad at Michigan and so I braved the Ann Arbor winters. I would say your estimate is about right. We did get some exceptionally cold days, though, and the wind is usually killer during winter.


katelauren
Kate

Oct 25, 2009, 8:48 PM

Post #148 of 165 (6677 views)
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Re: [blair_violet] age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post

   
Does anyone know if Michigan offers cross -genre workshops? I'm applying for fiction but I want a program where I can still do some work with poetry.

Thanks!


miekekoo


Oct 31, 2009, 5:52 PM

Post #149 of 165 (6510 views)
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Re: [katelauren] age range and size [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a recent grad, and while I was there there were plenty of opportunities to do cross genre work, including a poetry workshop for nonpoets, Anne Carson's essay writing for poets class, a novella workshop open to poets and fiction writers, and a creative nonfiction workshop. A few people also took a playwriting course through the theater department. All of these courses aren't offered every semester, but if you are dying to work in some other genre it's likely there will be a workshop you can take at some point during your two years.

Good luck with your applications!


Peaquah

e-mail user

Feb 21, 2010, 2:46 PM

Post #150 of 165 (5427 views)
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Michigan 2010 [In reply to] Can't Post

I reckon it's about time to revive this thread. I got accepted to Michigan (in fiction) Friday and would like to connect with others in the same boat. I know over at the MFA blog a few other people mentioned acceptances.

Thoughts on Ann Arbor?
Anyone currently in the program?

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