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kghoerth



Sep 22, 2010, 9:40 AM

Post #976 of 1018 (14091 views)
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     Re: [Karen Martin] university of new mexico [In reply to]  

http://chronicle.com/...r-Dominatrix/124369/

That's pretty much all I know about the UNM Creative Writing program. This is one of those cases were fact is much more interesting than fiction...


bokmakierie



Sep 22, 2010, 12:37 PM

Post #977 of 1018 (14072 views)
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     Re: [kghoerth] university of new mexico [In reply to]  

Thank you. It doesn't sound like a good environment right now. What a pity.


umass76


Sep 22, 2010, 6:34 PM

Post #978 of 1018 (14045 views)
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     Re: New York City MFA Programs [In reply to]  

Hi all,

I have a new article up at The Huffington Post regarding creative writing MFA programs:

The Decline of the New York City MFA

I'm posting notice of it here rather than on the "New York MFA Programs" board because it's actually aimed at those still researching program options, not those who have already decided on their ideal program location. If you like this article, I hope you will re-post it, re-tweet it, share it on Facebook, etcetera.

Best of luck to all,

Cheers,
Seth


__________



Sep 22, 2010, 10:56 PM

Post #979 of 1018 (14014 views)
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     Re: [umass76] New York City MFA Programs [In reply to]  

What is it with HuffPo and these creative writing articles, lately? I don't get it.


six five four three two one 0 ->


bokmakierie



Sep 23, 2010, 5:53 AM

Post #980 of 1018 (13994 views)
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     Syracuse [In reply to]  

I am interested in applying to Syracuse and would appreciate some opinions and experience on the programme.

It appeals to me because: 1. In the MFA Handbook it says that application numbers are low hence the acceptance rate higher than for other top ranked universities. And 2. The faculty looks very interesting. 3. Funding seems good.

I write short short fiction and want to work across genres, including memoir and perhaps poetry. And I may like to explore drawing and other visual work.

I would like to know more about the funding, how it works, and how it relates to the cost of living in Syracuse. Also, what is Syracuse like as a place to live? Intellectual and cultural life? Weather? What is the rest of the university like? I have a community of friends in New York City. How far away is it? And how might one travel there? (I am South African, should I sound insanely ignorant.)


bokmakierie



Sep 23, 2010, 6:53 AM

Post #981 of 1018 (13989 views)
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     Johns Hopkins [In reply to]  

I hope it's OK to be starting specific new topics like this. My searches of the MFA Programs don't always give me the answers I need, and this seems to be the best place for my questions.

I am exploring Johns Hopkins. Any insights will be welcome. Particularly on the general character and reputation of the programme. And also about living in Baltimore.

But I have a specific question about the funding. In the MFA Handbook, it's described as "full funding for all", "excellent", and "generous". But the JHU website says "Hopkins offers Financial Aid in student loans, plus limited, competitively awarded scholarships beginning in 2008." What does this mean? I can only consider programmes that offer full funding, namely tuition fully covered as well as enough to live on.


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Sep 23, 2010, 7:40 AM

Post #982 of 1018 (13985 views)
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     Re: [bokmakierie] Johns Hopkins [In reply to]  

Hopkins offers full tuition remission and a ~$19,000/year stipend.


Hans Landa: You'll be shot for this!
Aldo Raine: Nah, I don't think so. More like chewed out. I've been chewed out before.


bokmakierie



Sep 23, 2010, 7:47 AM

Post #983 of 1018 (13983 views)
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     Re: [ericweinstein] Johns Hopkins [In reply to]  

Thank you. That does sound good. I wonder why the website doesn't say so? Perhaps I didn't explore deeply enough.


umass76


Sep 23, 2010, 10:36 AM

Post #984 of 1018 (13963 views)
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     Re: [In reply to]  

JM,

The Huffington Post is making a concerted effort to bring more writers to its Books section who are willing and able to write about creative writing (pedagogy, institutions, &c). Hence articles like The Decline of the New York City MFA. In fact, they even have an entire news page devoted to poetry. Seems to me this is a good development, right? More people discussing these issues can only benefit MFA applicants and spread the word re: the important and value of poetry, fiction, and other literary arts.

Seth


WanderingTree


Sep 28, 2010, 5:41 PM

Post #985 of 1018 (13830 views)
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     Re: [alamana] 2011 MFA [In reply to]  

Great Interview with Ben Percy below as well as some insight into the Southern Illinois University - Carbondale 3 yr fully-funded MFA program.


http://fictionwritersreview.com/...-with-benjamin-percy

(This post was edited by WanderingTree on Sep 28, 2010, 5:46 PM)


Pedro Eler


Sep 29, 2010, 11:57 AM

Post #986 of 1018 (13781 views)
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     Re: [WanderingTree] 2011 MFA [In reply to]  

Hello everyone!

I'm in the process of finishing up my list of universities so that I can kick start the application process, and I would like to hear what some of you guys think about the programs. So far, I'm only thinking of applying to four programs. One long shot, Cornell, and three more acessible ones, Virginia Tech, Louisiana State and University of Wyoming.

Besides Cornel, which we all know is a great program but virtually impossible to get into, what do you guys know and think of the other three programs?

Best of luck to all who are also applying at the end of the year!


chicagofog

e-mail user

Oct 1, 2010, 8:03 PM

Post #987 of 1018 (13700 views)
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     Re: [Pedro Eler] 2011 MFA [In reply to]  

Which schools made the list for everyone? I just sent in my app waiver to Brown and Michigan today to make things a little easier financially for the application process. Iowa and Cornell are on my list as well although I'm not expecting to make the cut for any of the above schools but hey, miracles happen! Anyone applying to Columbia?


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Oct 1, 2010, 9:40 PM

Post #988 of 1018 (13690 views)
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     Re: [kneelis] 2011 MFA [In reply to]  

I didn't apply to Columbia last cycle because I didn't have a spare $100,000 lying around for an art school degree. (Their application fee is outlandish, tooŚ$110 in '09.)


Hans Landa: You'll be shot for this!
Aldo Raine: Nah, I don't think so. More like chewed out. I've been chewed out before.


patrickdunn


Oct 2, 2010, 2:03 PM

Post #989 of 1018 (13659 views)
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     Re: [kneelis] 2011 MFA [In reply to]  

Might be a dumb question, but what's an app waiver?


chicagofog

e-mail user

Oct 2, 2010, 2:08 PM

Post #990 of 1018 (13656 views)
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     Re: [patrickdunn] 2011 MFA [In reply to]  

Some schools allow applicants to apply for an application fee waiver before applying so they don't have to pay the application fee. You have to provide either a copy of your FAFSA or other supporting documents to show financial hardship. Brown and Michigan are the only two schools I'm aware of that have this option but there might be others out there I'm unaware of.


umass76


Oct 8, 2010, 1:01 PM

Post #991 of 1018 (13524 views)
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     The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs in the United States [In reply to]  

Hi all,

My recent article in The Huffington Post on the top underrated MFA programs in the U.S. can be found at this link. If you like it, I hope you'll consider passing it on via Twitter & Facebook. & feel free to comment in the HuffPo thread!

Best of luck to all,
Seth


Swamp Thing
Jim Ryals

Oct 8, 2010, 2:23 PM

Post #992 of 1018 (13516 views)
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     Re: [umass76] The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs in the United States [In reply to]  

Seth and everyone else -

Have you seen the curious little piece in Boulevard accusing MFA programs of all evil in the world of literature, including global warming? It's an odd little tome with a whole thicket of Marxist leaning comparisons of MFA programs to the pre-capitalist craft guilds to hack through.

According to this article, I can't exist. I've been to Sewanee and have been published and I don't have an MFA. I've also only been writing seriously for two years. It emphatically states that writing these days is a closed loop and without an MFA no one gets to go to conferences or gets published.


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Oct 8, 2010, 3:48 PM

Post #993 of 1018 (13505 views)
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     Re: [Swamp Thing] The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs in the United States [In reply to]  

I'm not sure it really says you can't get published or go to a conference like Sewanee without an MFA. . . I think the point is more that you can't publish in a big name place or get a scholarship to a conference like Sewanee if you don't have an MFA. I believe the writer makes the point that Bread Loaf is more than happy to take your money--but that waiterships, etc. are reserved for the MFA crowd.

Here is a link to the article.

http://www.boulevardmagazine.org/shivani2.pdf


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

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


umass76


Oct 8, 2010, 5:13 PM

Post #994 of 1018 (13489 views)
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     The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs in the United States [In reply to]  

That article (as I mentioned on my Facebook page a couple days ago) is the single worst piece of writing on the MFA I have ever read. There is virtually not a single accurate statement in that entire article. It's a travesty.

S.
The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs (The Huffington Post)


(This post was edited by umass76 on Oct 8, 2010, 5:14 PM)


MissEsquire



Oct 9, 2010, 2:53 PM

Post #995 of 1018 (13419 views)
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     Re: [umass76] The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs in the United States [In reply to]  

Just a question-slash-extra boost for BGSU: why is fiction at BGSU not ranked within the top 50? Our successful fiction grads far outnumber our successful poetry grads...including Tony Doerr and, more recently, Matt Bell and Seth Fried. At least 50% of our current fiction class is publishing in respected journals like Third Coast, PANK, Gargoyle, Mad Hatter Review, Ascent. Plus, we run the Mid-American Review.


umass76


Oct 9, 2010, 5:46 PM

Post #996 of 1018 (13399 views)
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     Re: [MissEsquire] The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs in the United States [In reply to]  

MissEsquire,

Nothing wrong with BGSU at all -- it's just that competition is fierce, and every top 50 MFA has similar bona fides. That said, I suspect BGSU will make a strong run at the top 50 this year.

S.


jaywalke


Oct 9, 2010, 7:36 PM

Post #997 of 1018 (13384 views)
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     Re: [umass76] The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs in the United States [In reply to]  


In Reply To
There is virtually not a single accurate statement in that entire article. It's a travesty.



Oh, come on. What is your ranking, with its focus on full funding and faculty connections, other than a ranking of apprenticeships? The fee has changed from "a set of tools and three suits of clothing" to a stipend, but where else is it different? The students still have to live in poverty for years (being paid less than others doing the same job, while supporting an out-moded system. How many MFA programs would be allowed to exist by their Boards of Trustees if they didn't provide xx number of Comp classes taught for almost nothing?) and please the masters, both to get in and to graduate, and along the way create a "master piece" (the thesis).


(This post was edited by jaywalke on Oct 9, 2010, 7:38 PM)


umass76


Oct 9, 2010, 9:34 PM

Post #998 of 1018 (13367 views)
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     Re: [jaywalke] The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs in the United States [In reply to]  

Jay,

Where in the ranking are you seeing a focus on "faculty connections"? And how is a system where around 75% of applicants get in the first time around a "closed system"? What proof is there that MFA graduates have a better publishing record because of their degrees...? If you're complaining about making $12,000/nine months in salary + $30,000/nine months in tuition remission to teach a three-credit-hour 1/1 when the rest of the country averages about $40,000/year working 60 hours a week (often in manual labor), you've got to be kidding me. Every worker is exploited in America, because no jobs exist in America unless the boss is making more money off the job than s/he is paying the help -- and the field of education is no different. This theory that somehow colleges and universities will create "break-even" salaries when (despite being non-profits) they still have operating budgets they need to meet is ridiculous.

When I was a public defender, the court system saved money every time it assigned a case to the state PD service rather than a private "contract" attorney, because we'd do the work well and do it for much less -- is the criminal justice system a "medieval guild system" too? How about law firms, which don't pay associates anything like the money they're earning for the enterprise? Pyramid scheme? -- yes. Just as the education system is, just as so many of the economic systems in the U.S. are. But please -- Anis's article fundamentally misuses the word "apprentice" (among other words) over and over again. MFA programs don't -- as medieval apprenticeships did -- promise employment or marketability, let alone publishing contracts. Heck, they don't even claim to be able to "teach" anyone anything, nor do they claim their teachers are Masters, one reason why internal MFA culture is far more horizontal than it is vertical, because (as you well know) the so-called "apprentices" are often publishing work alongside, i.e. in the same venues as, their "Masters." I could go on -- like pointing out the professionalizing function of apprenticeships, which is almost totally lacking in MFA programs (which almost never offer proseminars) -- but it's a waste.

S.


jaywalke


Oct 9, 2010, 11:02 PM

Post #999 of 1018 (13353 views)
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     Re: [umass76] The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs in the United States [In reply to]  


In Reply To
Where in the ranking are you seeing a focus on "faculty connections"?


I'll use your terminology: placement. From your own methodology: "The four hard data-based rankings are as follows: total funding, annual funding, selectivity, and placement."

Placement (for an MFA program) is a factor of faculty connections. If you think differently, you've never been part of a CW search.


In Reply To
And how is a system where around 75% of applicants get in the first time around a "closed system"? What proof is there that MFA graduates have a better publishing record because of their degrees...?


When did I say anything about this? How is this argument based on what I said, counselor? :-]


In Reply To
If you're complaining about making $12,000/nine months in salary + $30,000/nine months in tuition remission to teach a three-credit-hour 1/1 when the rest of the country averages about $40,000/year working 60 hours a week (often in manual labor), you've got to be kidding me.


Where I live these numbers are: 18K & 10K for a 2/2, and $38K for 40 hours. I know exactly how much graduate students cost, because I routinely write budgets that include them. Even counting indirect costs (look it up), they are only $50K a year including benefits. They are considered to be cheap, malleable labor, and when writing grants we add them to mitigate the costs of actual faculty. That's it. The standard for these "jobs" is set at 20 hours a week, but anyone who has been tossed to the wolves with their first 2 Comp classes knows that it takes much longer than that to do even a halfway decent job.

They are people learning to do a job, who are paid less than the job is worth, following a set time limit, with the promise that they will emerge at the end of that time with the blessing of the masters and the ability to then earn more for the same work. How is this not an apprenticeship?


umass76


Oct 10, 2010, 2:31 AM

Post #1000 of 1018 (13340 views)
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     The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs in the United States [In reply to]  

Jay,

Respectfully, if you think that's what the "placement" category means in the rankings, you didn't even read the section of the Methodology Article called, er, "Placement." That measure has absolutely nothing to do with faculty connections, as it has absolutely nothing to do with job searches, as you'll see if/when you read the article.

You quoted something I said--"There is virtually not a single accurate statement in that entire article"--and then replied, to that submission, "Oh, come on." That "opened the door" (as us counselors are wont to say) for me to prove to you that yes, in fact, Anis's article was replete with inaccuracies, and that saying "Oh, come on" to such a contention would be an insufficient reply in every respect. I can understand that you don't like me pointing out how shoddy the article is--as it would suggest that the parts you like are probably also, as it turns out, pretty shoddy too--but your comment invited the partial laundry-list I offered, you must see.

So: Where you live, TAs get $28,000 in value every nine months, which is a pro-rated value of more than $36,000/year. A 2/2 means about six hours in the classroom per week; figure one spends triple that time outside of class (not, actually, a reasonable presumption, as it's over-generous to your view) and we're looking at someone getting paid at the equivalent of a $36,000/year rate for working 24 hours a week. And in many instances we're talking about twenty-one year-olds with zero teaching experience making this kind of money. Then you're saying that the average full-time job where you work pays more (to wit, $38,000) than the average person over twenty-five with an Associate's Degree earns in the United States ($36,000), and that unlike everywhere else in this country a full-time job where you live still only requires 40 hours/week of work, though the last time this was true for most jobs was 1980.

You're then telling me that our hypothetical MFA-student twenty-one year-old working the equivalent of a 50%-full-time job and making more than the average full-time salary for someone with an Associate's Degree is "cheap" for a college or university because they cost "only" $50,000/nine months, or the equivalent of $67,000/twelve months, which is about the full-time salary for a person over 25 in the United States who has a doctorate ($69,000). And from all this, you conclude that the university TAship system is the same thing as a blacksmith in 1389 bringing in a ten year-old apprentice at the cost of two meager meals a day and a sleeping-spot in the barn?

The purpose of an MFA is actually not--in any way--"learning to do a job," as fewer than half of these so-called "apprentices" even have any interest whatsoever in ever teaching (the actual figure's about 40%), and even of those who'd like to eventually teach most know (nevertheless) that they never will. So yes, if I point out that one of Anis's inaccuracies, from his article, is that he claims, with absolutely zero proof, that "it's almost impossible to find" any poet or writer in America who doesn't work in the Academy, can you see why his untruths are expressly calibrated to support his outrageous analogy?

S.


(This post was edited by umass76 on Oct 10, 2010, 2:32 AM)

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