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insertbrackets

e-mail user

Nov 29, 2008, 12:46 AM

Post #326 of 1018 (16870 views)
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     Re: [Mikielg] Re: [In reply to]  

Hello all,

I am new here, but deeply embroiled in the application process and just wanted to note (I suppose for more than just the sake of notation) the programs I am applying to in an effort to commiserate and communicate with my fellow applyers! Any information I can get would be very helpful, particularly on Oregon, which seems to have fallen off the wagon, poetry-wise, so to speak. Any particulars you have on that situation would be great!

My programs:
  • Brown University
  • Cornell University
  • Indiana University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Florida
  • University of Massachusetts
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin
This is all, of course, for poetry. I am about halfway through getting everything out. Still need to order a few more transcripts and stuff. How is everyone else doing?


Who told you I was a racist? Was it...a minority?
-T-Rex, qwantz.com Dinosaur Comics


unsaid78


Nov 29, 2008, 3:25 AM

Post #327 of 1018 (16859 views)
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     Re: [insertbrackets] Re: [In reply to]  

Hey Insertbrackets!

Nice list!

I'm also applying for poetry to a few of the same schools you listed. Oregon was on my early list but I decided not to apply since Dorianne Laux left and I was told that the weather is often rainy lol.

I plan to have all my application fees paid this coming week and hope to be totally done with my part of the application process at that point.

Just wanted to say hello and wish you good luck in this process!


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


insertbrackets

e-mail user

Nov 29, 2008, 3:30 AM

Post #328 of 1018 (16857 views)
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     Re: [unsaid78] Re: [In reply to]  

Thanks for the kudos unsaid. Oregon is on shaky ground with me now, since Garrett Hongo seems to cause more trouble than he's worth, based on a few forums I have read on this site. I am now considering Houston and ASU to replace that spot. If anyone has any other suggestions, I'm all ears!


Who told you I was a racist? Was it...a minority?
-T-Rex, qwantz.com Dinosaur Comics


HollinsMFAer
Luke Johnson


Nov 29, 2008, 10:01 AM

Post #329 of 1018 (16845 views)
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     Re: [insertbrackets] Re: [In reply to]  

I don't know what the funding situation is like, but if you're a Dorrianne Laux fan, consider NC State. That's where she moved...plus they have John Balaban...and he's freaking amazing. The fact that he hasn't won a national book award is beyond me...

But I guess funding is probably priority number 1. You'd think at a big state school like State they'd have it...it might be they haven't caught on yet. But as soon as they do, I imagine NC State will be one of the top poetry programs in the country.

Edit: I hear Houston is amazing for PhD program, but it's tiered, so they PhD kids get a lot more attention than the MFAs. That, and I'm fairly sure I heard Doty is heading to greener pasture (with his National Book Award in hand). But Hoagland and Nick Flynn are nothing to sneeze at.


http://www.lukejohnsonpoetry.com

(This post was edited by HollinsMFAer on Nov 29, 2008, 10:03 AM)


v1ctorya


Nov 29, 2008, 10:30 AM

Post #330 of 1018 (16836 views)
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     Re: [Junior Maas] Re: [In reply to]  


In Reply To
Wait -- first of all, was it Boy Meets World, or Saved By The Bell: The New Class!? Because Boy Meets World was in every way superior. (Topanga will always have a free ride in my heart).

Secondly, the issue under discussion wasn't whether a school should admit only those who can pay vs. those who require aid; the issue was whether a school should admit the under-qualified simply because they're famous -- or in these pathetic examples, marginally famous. In your example it sounds like the guy just happened to be on the career-killing Saved By The Bell: The New Class!. (And was this the undergrad or MFA writing program? And was it even at Columbia?)

What's weird, though, is that Columbia uses its MFA program as a cash cow in general. It's not a matter of some rich folks subsidizing fellow writing students; it's rich folks and middle class folks lining Columbia's pockets to the tune of, what, $75, 000? For a useless arts degree? That's been the traditional complaint against Columbia.

But getting back to your experience, I still have to take fault with something. Columbia does have the money to send poor kidz there, regardless of how many rich, inbred, hydrocephalic George Bush -types they admit. The may charge you billions to go there, but they don't actually pay billions for teachers and rent. Far from it.



apparently, both went there. I just looked up rider Strong, who I knew wrote, and he has some published poetry and went to Columbia. While I was there though, the controversy was over a saved by the bell: the new class person. that year news leaked that the PTB decided to call up potential students and ask if they needed financial aid. Those who promised to pay, they were admitted over those that didn't - note, this was off of the wait-list. which would makr the SBTB guy undergrad

But of course, it's beginning to sound like we're all getting high-horsey here, sounding like we think someone who acts can't also write, or are underqualified?

and columbia has money to send poor kids there because they get a lot of money from the rich ones. And they own a lot of land, and other stuffs.


Mikielg
Mikiel Ghelieh

Nov 29, 2008, 12:29 PM

Post #331 of 1018 (16809 views)
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     Re: [insertbrackets] Re: [In reply to]  

That's a very good list. Might I suggest Syracuse as an option. I lived there last year with a 3rd year MFAr in Fiction, so I got a peak at the program from the inside. It is a great program three years the last year is sent mainly on writining. The people are great. Mary Karr is very nice even if your not in the program she was willing to talk to you about it. They have some great reading that go on very often. If you do decide on it Arthur Flowers is a professor on the fiction side and she gives in my option one of the best performances I have ever seen. He does not read his book at all, you can't tell when she actually begins his reading. He is so fluid from the intoduction to the end. how he is not internationally famous is beyond me. Oh and if all this isn't enough they have the George Saunders, all these people I mentioned are approachable and will talk to you. They will be there teaching the classes, not just in name alone. If you want to know more please feel free to ask me.

Mikel
P.S. The winters are pretty terrible every other year. Last year wasn't bad, this year is pretty terrible. The good news is they are great at clearing the roads. If you've ever lived in a snowy place you will be fine.


insertbrackets

e-mail user

Nov 29, 2008, 4:28 PM

Post #332 of 1018 (16768 views)
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     Re: [Mikielg] Re: [In reply to]  

I have not lived in snow, but strongly, strongly desire to as I live in the desert where the irrepressible heat never fails to upset me. As far as the cold goes, my part of the desert gets that too. Some snow would offer a much needed break from all the sand I am used to seeing. If I wanted to stick around here, I'd apply to Irvine (a great program, but waaaay to close to home).


Who told you I was a racist? Was it...a minority?
-T-Rex, qwantz.com Dinosaur Comics


insertbrackets

e-mail user

Nov 29, 2008, 8:03 PM

Post #333 of 1018 (16727 views)
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     Re: [insertbrackets] Re: [In reply to]  

Also, I just found out that Mark Doty is leaving Houston and heading to Rutgers this fall. So if you were applying to Houston and he was the reason, you might want to change your plans.


Who told you I was a racist? Was it...a minority?
-T-Rex, qwantz.com Dinosaur Comics


aiyamei

e-mail user

Nov 29, 2008, 11:29 PM

Post #334 of 1018 (16690 views)
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     Re: [Junior Maas] Re: [In reply to]  

Also I would have to say: you're talking straight out of your ass, so far as Columbia goes. These places are not businesses, nobody's getting rich. If someone is not funded, then someone else is. Just how it goes.


__________



Nov 30, 2008, 12:57 AM

Post #335 of 1018 (16677 views)
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     Re: [aiyamei] Re: [In reply to]  

I'm not exactly spouting crazy original ideas here; these criticisms are heard not just from Columbia students, but Columbia professors.

Schools are run like businesses. Columbia's writing program has low overhead and a huge markup. They charge $75, 000. For an MFA! About ten times what other schools charge. And they admit, what, 25 students per class? Up to three, four, five times the number of students at other programs.

Just because no one's getting rich -- or there's no CEO in a sharkskin suit with like a pinkie ring and a money clip or something -- doesn't mean it's not a cash cow. It is. They are in the business of fleecing rich dilettantes to fund various other programs.

Ooh -- and it costs -- or rather, they charge -- $75 to apply. Three times the cost of most everywhere else.

We can quibble over the word 'business', but really? You're don't see any red flags on the field?


six five four three two one 0 ->

(This post was edited by Junior Maas on Nov 30, 2008, 1:01 AM)


__________



Nov 30, 2008, 1:14 AM

Post #336 of 1018 (16672 views)
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     Re: [Junior Maas] Re: [In reply to]  

Double ooh -- even if we're real generous and imagine only 15 people (or 60% of students) pay full price, that is...let's see...15 times $75, 000...

$1, 125, 000 they're raking in from each graduating class.

Over one million dollars!

(Hint: they are not paying Sam Lipsyte one million dollars).


six five four three two one 0 ->


insertbrackets

e-mail user

Nov 30, 2008, 1:53 AM

Post #337 of 1018 (16654 views)
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     Re: [Junior Maas] Re: [In reply to]  

I am going to jump in here and agree with you Junior Maas. Columbia University is a true blue racket. With their tremendous endowment and numerous wealthy alumni, it seems ludicrous that they cannot find sufficient funding for even a third of their students (and if, in fact, they do, then they need to consider rethinking their marketing techniques). Initially Columbia seemed like the most attractive option for me until I tabulated the price tag and lack of resources. Most NYC programs are like this, but Hunter and Brooklyn have cheaper tuition, and NYU offers some assistance (and in some cases A LOT of assistance) to their students. Columbia does not. And it seems like it is trying to evolve into a three year program. Crazy. Tracy K. Smith put it bluntly: There are three kinds of people who go to Columbia: the rich, the extraordinarily rich, and the financially irresponsible.


Who told you I was a racist? Was it...a minority?
-T-Rex, qwantz.com Dinosaur Comics


mvalente


Nov 30, 2008, 1:56 AM

Post #338 of 1018 (16652 views)
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     Re: [Junior Maas] Re: [In reply to]  

The advantage to being an MFA student at Columbia is that you're surrounded by the publishing giants and the majority of many literary agents, including international agents. I'd bet that literary agents attend the readings of Columbia MFAers, and since so much of the publishing industry is executed via handshakes and personal relationships, that's vital. I can imagine a conversation that goes like this:

Agent: So according to your intro, you've traveled extensively...
MFAer: I actually served in Iraq (did Peach Corp, etc)
Agent: Do you think that you can write a non-fiction book?...and I'll take a look at it?

And while I'm not privy to Columbia's finances, I'm guessing that much of their revenue generated from tuition goes to paying city taxes just for being in NYC. Possibly compensating faculty for cost of living. So if they need tenured profs to teach each graduating class, that million bucks is paid out as operating expenses.

Also, MFA programs in small towns serve as economic hubs for businesses, stimulating the local economy, employing local laborers, etc. I imagine that historically, NYC has not relied on Columbia for generating business. This last point is a wild guess, though.

Mike Valente


__________



Nov 30, 2008, 2:14 AM

Post #339 of 1018 (16649 views)
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     Re: [mvalente] Re: [In reply to]  

People often make this point: that Columbia is worth the fleece because you get to hobnob with agents. New York literary agents!. That the suits have a soft spot for Columbia grads...

Setting aside for the moment what a ridiculous blow to your self-esteem it must be to realize you just paid $75 K to chat with an agent --

Damn you, codeine, you've lost my train of thought!

-- setting that aside, I still don't think it's anything to bank on. Think of the few impressive folks Columbia's produced this last decade (none of my complaints are against the actual teachers or students), and remember: 25 students per class! As with every program, the vast majority of students are not going anywhere but to their ATM. Who knows how that $75,000 conversation you had will pay off five, ten, fifteen years down the line as you're still struggling to repay your loans.

Anyway. I'm not a class warrior or anything. The price, their business practices, just strike me as highly dubious. The one person I know who did go to Columbia MFA -- a sweet girl, a rich girl -- well, funny thing, she only thought she was rich, poor girl, before Columbia -- was super connected. Her daddy got her a sinecure at a big publishing house right out of undergrad. She met a big famous author who wrote her rec letters. She was one of the 25. And -- I don't know if this is typical -- but she did hobnob with some other young, rich, connected agent-y types at Columbia. She was elated. For weeks. But in the end, it didn't amount to anything. You still got to have mad skillz and super luck, I guess.

Now her trust fund's gone and she's got LOANS to repay. She advised me to save my application fee.


six five four three two one 0 ->

(This post was edited by Junior Maas on Nov 30, 2008, 2:23 AM)


v1ctorya


Nov 30, 2008, 12:53 PM

Post #340 of 1018 (16579 views)
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     Re: [insertbrackets] Re: [In reply to]  


In Reply To
I have not lived in snow, but strongly, strongly desire to as I live in the desert where the irrepressible heat never fails to upset me. As far as the cold goes, my part of the desert gets that too. Some snow would offer a much needed break from all the sand I am used to seeing. If I wanted to stick around here, I'd apply to Irvine (a great program, but waaaay to close to home).



Be careful what you wish for!

I miss my AZ homeland and the desert. I've lived in NY for far too long now, and know syracuse, it's a tundra man, barren cold industrial wasteland (save, perhaps, the area around the Uni) I used to have to go out there for 'stuffs' and I'll never forget the LAST time I made the trip, the train doors froze open, snow was blowing in down the aisles.

Never again, for me. I want the sand blasting me instead.


Dovlatov


Dec 2, 2008, 1:00 PM

Post #341 of 1018 (16448 views)
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     Re: [flobelle] Whittling Down "The List" [In reply to]  

Flobelle

Your comments on this board are mostly obnoxious. They reveal your immaturity and insecurity. You are a reader for a "competitive" journal, you say (over and over and over). That means you know something? Guess what? I am an editor for a major university review. So are other people on this board. Read the posts instead of talking out of your ass.

YOU ARE NOT AN EXCEPTION.


HollinsMFAer
Luke Johnson


Dec 2, 2008, 1:19 PM

Post #342 of 1018 (16438 views)
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     Re: [Dovlatov] Whittling Down "The List" [In reply to]  

This seems unnecessarily argumentative. Yes, flobelle's comments are frustrating, given that she asks for advice then seems to ignore it. But it's the internet, it's very easy to not read comments if they bother you. I'd let sleeping dogs lie. I think anyone who reads these posts with any sort of regularity can discern who's worth listening to and who's not.


http://www.lukejohnsonpoetry.com


Dovlatov


Dec 2, 2008, 1:29 PM

Post #343 of 1018 (16426 views)
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     Re: [HollinsMFAer] Whittling Down "The List" [In reply to]  

You're probably right, HollinsMFAer, but I think it's important that new readers of this board recognize when they are being misinformed. I also feel insulted by her comments on behalf of some of the posters here. I'm entitled to express this.

I'm happy to drop it at this point.


flobelle


Dec 2, 2008, 2:10 PM

Post #344 of 1018 (16384 views)
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     Re: [Dovlatov] Whittling Down "The List" [In reply to]  

I'd be interested to know what a "major university literary review" means. Because I'm pretty sure I work for the same, and I'm not sure what your point is in saying this. Yes, plenty of people work for reviews. If you wanted, you could contribute your expertise. But you seem hellbent on being rude instead.

A lot of people who send submissions to our journal do so incorrectly, because they send material unsuited to our review (or to literary magazines in general) or because they seem to believe that their list of e-zine or small publications in fiction (most of which nobody in the office has ever heard of) will contribute towards winning one or another of us over. A lot of the people who do this have MFA degrees, even, and others don't. I think that contributing to this board is a way that we can provide accurate information about submitting to literary journals so as to increase publication and prevent people from wasting their time or ours in submitting unnecessarily.

I decided not to apply to an MFA program because I decided the MFA wasn't what I was after. I spoke with my friends (who are currently in MFA programs) about the MFA process rather than continuing to consult a number of strangers who are unaware of the particulars of my situation. They agree that it's not what I should pursue at this time, or likely ever.

And HollinsMFAer is right: if you don't like what I write, you don't have to say anything.


mvalente


Dec 2, 2008, 3:10 PM

Post #345 of 1018 (16351 views)
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     Re: [flobelle] Whittling Down "The List" [In reply to]  

Hi Flobelle,

You had mentioned in previous posts that if you didn't get accepted into an MFA program, you'd write. You also were considering the move to apply two years ago in previous posts. So if you've been wavering on the decision, and if all you want to do is write, then I'd say Go For It.

That said, you also mentioned that you worked your way into MFA coursework at your undergrad institution. So if additional MFA coursework is something that you don't want to pursue -- since you already have the experience under your belt -- then I won't argue with you.

I have noticed that some literary journals recommend "browsing through a previous issue" before submitting. While I understand that they don't want to be inundated with genre writing, I almost don't see the advantage of receiving less submissions. True, more submissions means more rejections of lesser quality work. But on the flip side, I'd think that more submissions would provide a bigger pool of stories, one that has more stories of higher merit. That can only help the journal and the quality of work it publishes.

Mike Valente


flobelle


Dec 2, 2008, 10:29 PM

Post #346 of 1018 (16272 views)
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     Re: [mvalente] Whittling Down "The List" [In reply to]  

Mvalente,

That's a good point. I guess what I'd like is maybe the same number of submissions (or fewer--by the end of our reading period things get a little hairy in terms of who we accept and who gets rejected--leading me to ALWAYS try and submit at the beginning of a reading period because tired eyes make things easier to reject) but from people who have actually read the magazine.

So many people send work blindly, and if you can afford the annoyance, the postage, and the photocopying, and risking not being published for a long time....well, go for it! But just a little bit of research makes a world of difference:)


Raysen


Dec 6, 2008, 3:54 PM

Post #347 of 1018 (16072 views)
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     Finally done! [In reply to]  

All my apps have been submitted. The process that began back in June is finally over. I didn't apply to as many schools as I originally planned but I'm confident in my writing samples, ecstatic about my Personal Statement (and/or Statement of Purpose), and have my fingers crossed. Historically, I've been lucky. In my entire life, whenever I've applied for anything or been up for anything, regardless of the odds, I've always gotten something.

You know Forest Gump? I'm kinda like him except for the developmentally-challenged part. I've been lucky in my life -- in the right place at the right time and took advantage of opportunities that came to me.

And if I don't get in, I'll be depressed for about a week but will get over it.

Good luck to everyone else!


Katevey


Dec 7, 2008, 5:32 PM

Post #348 of 1018 (15974 views)
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     Re: [Raysen] Finally done! [In reply to]  

I've enjoyed reading this forum, it's like bar-room politics: your opinion matters but what are you doing about it? Hearing who's at which school and why is actually helpful, we've all already made it through college, regardless when, but a LOT of people don't just because they weren't in a place good for them in the beginning. We aren't writing to just hear ourselves, someone else is suppose to also.

Yep, businesses are schools. And one sad eye opener will be when you're the teacher and, if you're at one of the big or legacy schools, you'll discover that if you were in "honors" classes you were probably in the 25-30% of those classes that were actually there for being a bright, hard working student, the others go to segregate the "elite" from the masses. When you hear some big name goes to a state school, you can bet they'll be in special - honors - classes so they never meet just any inner city or farm kids; and you WILL pass them with a good grade. Every state has publically funded private schools, not just for math and science academies, to use tax dollars for upper-middle and lower-upper class kids (7-series Beemers & Jags, seldom any Maybachs.) One of the top in Illinois is Inverness.

If all we wanted was to write poetry, we'd all be Emily Dickensons, great poet just would'nt choose her life-style. Atmosphere is character - 'ask' Ogden Heath.

Due to necessities of life, my list has whittled down to 7 and I'm still scrambling for "credible" references; Brown will just have to miss out!


HappyCianci



Dec 10, 2008, 5:54 PM

Post #349 of 1018 (15832 views)
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     Too early [In reply to]  

I know it's early to start the waiting game, but now that twelve of my fourteen applications are in, and the other two envelopes are only missing LORs, I'm not sure what to do with myself until February.

My long list for poetry, in no particular order includes

UMass
Indiana
UNH
UNCG
Michener
Michigan
Florida
Wisconsin
Illinois
Irvine
Oregon
Alabama
Syracuse
Wash U STL

I've been scanning last year's I'M IN thread, uselessly. Ow, my psyche.


motet
Dana Davis / Moderator
e-mail user

Dec 14, 2008, 7:26 PM

Post #350 of 1018 (15702 views)
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     A cautionary note [In reply to]  

Let me please remind you that personally disparaging remarks and ad hominem attacks violate the rules of engagement at the Speakeasy.

Spirited yet civil disagreement is most welcome.

Name calling is most definitely not.


Dana Davis
Speakeasy Moderator

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