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kliq


Aug 25, 2011, 1:27 PM

Post #2076 of 2090 (13226 views)
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Re: [kliq] University of South Dakota [In reply to] Can't Post

So, where are people applying this year? This is going to be my third go-around for applying to PhD programs. I realize how insane that sounds.


rjh


Aug 25, 2011, 8:13 PM

Post #2077 of 2090 (13197 views)
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Great Teachers You Have Known [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey folks,

If anyone has first-hand experience with any of the universities that offer the CW PhD, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the quality of teaching and mentorship from individual professors or the program as a whole. There have been some very helpful posts over the years on such topics as how to think about the statement of purpose for the application, but I'm having a hard time getting a sense of where the great teachers are (specifically in fiction). I have and MFA and I understand that these things are very subjective, but I don't mind. If you're a PhD-er, current or former, or a PhD-er's friend, husband, mailman, or cat -- please, subjectify!

Thanks--
R


HollinsMFAer
Luke Johnson


Aug 28, 2011, 11:53 PM

Post #2078 of 2090 (13146 views)
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Re: [kliq] University of South Dakota [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm thinking of applying in poetry this year. Though I've toyed with the idea in previous years, this would be my first go-round. As of right now, here's my list:


Florida State
Cincinnati
Houston
Utah
Western Michigan
Wisconsin-Milwaukee
UGA
Wisconsin (Lit. w/ creative emphasis, or however they phrase it)


There are also a few programs that I keep going back and forth on (USC, Texas Tech, Tennessee), which I'd be eager to hear more about. Interested to see where others are looking, their reasoning, etc., etc.


http://www.lukejohnsonpoetry.com


ash2886
Ashleigh Johnson

Aug 29, 2011, 1:01 AM

Post #2079 of 2090 (13141 views)
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Re: [HollinsMFAer] University of South Dakota [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm applying in fiction this year. I'm currently finishing up my MA in Writing & Publishing. I guess I'm a glutton for academic punishment. This is my first time applying. So far my tentative list is:

Wisconsin-MilwaukeeDenverUIC [might take this off my list since I went there for undergrad]MissouriWestern MichiganIowaHoustonUNLVTennessee

I'm also applying to a few MFA programs, even though I feel like I've received the craft-focused learning already from my MA. I want my CW PhD because I want that emphasis on teaching. I'm also somewhat curious about theory, although I'm sure I'll hate myself later for saying that. Plus I figure why spend the time in MFA programs when I could be that much closer to my PhD and do 5 years of school instead of 8? I'm excited & terrified and it is exhausting. Lol.


(This post was edited by ash2886 on Aug 29, 2011, 1:03 AM)


vaquero


Aug 30, 2011, 7:34 PM

Post #2080 of 2090 (13099 views)
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Is an MFA really optional? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey all, I'm sure this question has been asked somewhere in the 84 pages of this thread but I've looked a little and can't think of an easier way of finding out than going page-by-page (that is, I'm not sure how to phrase it so a forum-wide search would get where I want it to) so I thought I'd just put my tail between my legs and ask.
Just about any CW PhD is going to tell me having an MFA before applying is optional, not required, but among those of you who are IN PhD programs, how common is it not to have an MFA? I'm very interested in a couple PhD programs, but I don't have an MFA. I know I'll be competing with a higher quality applicant pool, but I guess I just wondered how that actually pans out. Just curious. Thanks!


MissEsquire



Aug 31, 2011, 4:34 PM

Post #2081 of 2090 (13062 views)
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Re: [HollinsMFAer] University of South Dakota [In reply to] Can't Post

Considering, but not sold on, applying to these programs for fiction:
FSU Cincinnati UNLVWisconsin-Madison (with reservations...I don't really get the 'creative minor' thing)MizzouHouston
But, frankly, I could take or leave PhD programs. I loved my M.F.A. It did a lot for me. Though I love teaching creative writing, I had a rewarding career path before doing the M.F.A...going back to it wouldn't be so bad.
Luke, are you totally sold on being a prof?
P.S. How in the heck do we make paragraphs here?


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Aug 31, 2011, 4:45 PM

Post #2082 of 2090 (13059 views)
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Re: [MissEsquire] University of South Dakota [In reply to] Can't Post

Make paragraphs by hitting Enter twice at the end of a sentence.

Unless you're using Safari, on some machines, in which case you need to hit Enter thrice.


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


(This post was edited by pongo on Aug 31, 2011, 4:46 PM)


MissEsquire



Aug 31, 2011, 4:49 PM

Post #2083 of 2090 (13057 views)
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Re: [pongo] University of South Dakota [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, Pongo.


kghoerth



Sep 1, 2011, 5:55 PM

Post #2084 of 2090 (13023 views)
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Re: [kliq] University of South Dakota [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm preparing to apply this year also, though only to Houston and Texas Tech, and a few lit PhD programs also (would like to stay a little close to home). I'm kind of doing a "trial run" this year, though, as I recently started lecturing at a local college and well, I'm enjoying it :) So I won't be crushed to have to do that another year if I don't get in. I have an MFA, just graduated in May, and would like to pursue the PhD at least sometime in the near future.


rjh


Sep 2, 2011, 8:35 AM

Post #2085 of 2090 (13007 views)
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Re: [rjh] Great Teachers You Have Known [In reply to] Can't Post

Hmmm. So far in reply to my q I'm hearing crickets. Anyone out there with some thoughts? For those who are applying, what's your sense of the quality of teaching at various programs?


MissEsquire



Sep 2, 2011, 10:26 AM

Post #2086 of 2090 (12999 views)
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Re: [rjh] Great Teachers You Have Known [In reply to] Can't Post

 
It's hard to tell, especially because faculty seems to change so quickly at these programs. Eg. I know quite a few people who did their PhDs at Cincinnati, under Brock Clarke. They loved him, and it sounded like a lot of the program revolved around him. But now they've got Chris Bachelder, etc. And a lot of PhDs seem to take their workshops with a grain of salt, because sometimes they're in big groups with MAs and even the odd undergrad. Just an example.

I've also heard FSU really concentrates its resources on PhDs. Could ask a friend in the MFA program if that's true.

This really is a confusing and mystical process. If you find anything out about teaching quality at programs, please do share.

In Reply To
Hmmm. So far in reply to my q I'm hearing crickets. Anyone out there with some thoughts? For those who are applying, what's your sense of the quality of teaching at various programs?



green sneakers

e-mail user

Sep 13, 2011, 12:20 PM

Post #2087 of 2090 (12871 views)
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Re: [rjh] Great Teachers You Have Known [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey R,

I'm in the first year of my CW PhD, and have only been in school a week, so I don't feel like I can offer you a rundown of my current program. But I was at Houston for 3 years for my MFA, taking workshops and classes with the PhD students, so I'm happy to talk about their faculty.

I'm a fiction writer, and while I definitely don't hold reservations about being honest about my experiences, I have to say that I don't have anything negative to say about the Fiction faculty at Houston. They are all wonderful teachers, they are present, and they are each quite different from one another (both in terms of the kinds of writers they are and in their teaching styles). Antonya Nelson has serious x-ray vision for fiction, where she can look into your piece and see what it is you're trying to do, even if you're doing it poorly, even if you yourself haven't figured out what it is you're trying to do. I am a much stronger writer for having studied with her. Robert Boswell is a very generous reader, offering pages of feedback that is honest and constructive. They're both at UH in the spring, along with Alex Parsons and Mat Johnson, who are both very generous teachers. Alex likewise offers pages of feedback, and Mat has a no-nonsense approach to writing that encourages you stay focused on getting the work done. Mat, also, is not reluctant to talk about publishing, which many creative writing MFA profs shy away from. Mat (who also teaches nonfiction) and Alex are there year-round, and in the fall you also have Chitra, who will also discus the more practical side of the writing life and who's also taken time to do things like help you practice reading your own work aloud. I feel extremely lucky to have spent 3 years studying with these people. I've never taken a poetry workshop, but the poetry faculty has recently been rounded out nicely: in addition to Tony Hoagland and Nick Flynn (who teaches nonfiction too), Ange Mlinko and Kevin Prufer joined the faculty last year, and Martha Serpas joined the year before.

I can't speak to any lit scholars on the narrative side, but the poets have David Mikics, who is an insanely smart poetry scholar. Houston is a pretty good city to spend 5 years in; there are tons of museums and theaters, an opera and a symphony, and more readings than you'll be able to attend. Peep this year's Inprint reading series schedule, for example: http://www.inprinthouston.org/20112012-brown-reading-series Many of these writers (Michael Ondaatje, Rae Armantrout, Christian Wiman, and W.S. Merwin) are coming to the university to give smaller craft talks for the creative writing students. All in all, it's a pretty good deal.

Good luck to everyone applying! I remember last year's insanity all too well. Hope everyone ends up somewhere that makes them happy.


ash2886
Ashleigh Johnson

Sep 16, 2011, 12:28 PM

Post #2088 of 2090 (12807 views)
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Re: [green sneakers] Great Teachers You Have Known [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the great insight, green sneakers!

My list is getting smaller and smaller.

  • Florida State
  • UIC
  • Houston
  • Denver
  • Iowa

I have a few maybe schools, but these are the (somewhat) final five.


(This post was edited by ash2886 on Sep 16, 2011, 12:33 PM)


JennitheOdd
Jenni Bravo

Oct 31, 2011, 3:02 AM

Post #2089 of 2090 (12546 views)
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Re: [kliq] University of South Dakota [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm applying all over the place this year (first-timer, wooo), but the more I read on this thread (and elsewhere) the more discouraged I get.
I don't have an MFA; I have a BBA with a minor in creative writing, an MBA with marketing concentration, and an MLA with an English concentration, all from a little-bitty university no one has heard of. I've never been published anywhere outside my school's literary magazine, which is only open to student submissions. I also worked on staff there for four years. Being selected from a tiny pool when you're part of the selection committee isn't really a tremendous accomplishment.
I'm applying to:

Houston
UNT
USC
UNLV
Mizzou
USM
UWM
Texas Tech (maybe. I'm a native Texan and I know exactly what conservative Texas towns are like, and Lubbock does not appeal. Sweet, sweet funding monies and driving distance to my hometown of Houston, though, does)

I don't know that I'm actually expecting any of these places to even begin to consider me, but I've got nothing to lose by applying (except several hundred dollars and a few years off my life thanks to stress and anxiety).


umass76


Nov 16, 2011, 7:04 PM

Post #2090 of 2090 (12409 views)
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Re: [JennitheOdd] University of South Dakota [In reply to] Can't Post

New CW MFA/Ph.D.-related website: The MFA Research Project

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