»

Subscribe | Give a Gift Subscription

Log In or Register | Help | Contact Us | Donate

Advanced Search

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs
MFA Programs and Diversity
Edit your profilePrivate messages Search postsWho's online?
You are not signed in. Click here to sign in.
If you are not a member, Register here!
137916 registered users
First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 Next page Last page  View All


mingram
Mike Ingram

Mar 19, 2006, 12:25 PM

Post #76 of 100 (3151 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [Clench Million] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  

Maybe this is naive, but I think if a school makes an honest effort to pick the strongest/most promising writing samples, they'll get a group of people who are a) engaged with the process of writing, and b) engaged with questions of how a story works or doesn't work. Of course not everyone will have the critical lingo of an Ivy League-educated lit. major, but perhaps that's not such a bad thing. One of the things I've liked about my MFA workshops is that everyone comes from varied backgrounds -- there are younger folks who've just graduated from top-tier schools and are well-versed in the language of criticism, there are people who've been out of school for a long time, there are people who've worked as journalists, editors, art curators, bartenders, lawyers, etc. etc. This makes for interesting discussions in class, because everyone talks about stories in slightly different ways (not to mention the fact that people have a varied set of aesthetic preferences).

Plus, I think one of the things you do in an MFA program is develop those critical faculties. If you've been reading and writing enough that you can put together a really strong manuscript, I think you can probably also be a good reader for others' manuscripts. Of course you may run into one or two people who just aren't willing to put in the work required to be careful readers, but are these people really going to be outed by an interview process? Is someone going to sit across from the program director and say "You know, I'm really just profoundly lazy"?

My concern about interviews is that there are a lot of really good writers (and good readers) who are a little bit (or a lot) socially awkward, and would probably not fare well in a one-on-one interview. Whereas other people have had some experience in the business world, or are just natural schmoozers, and would come off really well. And I don't know that this would translate in any meaningful way to the work they'd do in the program, or how engaged they'd be in workshop.


edwriter



Mar 19, 2006, 12:42 PM

Post #77 of 100 (3146 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [mingram] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  

The points about interviews here are well taken. Still, a sample written critique is another way to check on workshop readiness.

I don't mean to suggest that varied academic and critical backgrounds are a bad thing--they're a good thing--as long as they're all at a high level of achievement. I don't really care how or where people acquired those backgrounds--as lawyers or journalists or curators or undergraduates at top-tier colleges, etc. I just care that people bring the ability to the table.

Best,
Erika D.


shadowboxer


Mar 19, 2006, 1:19 PM

Post #78 of 100 (3133 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [edwriter] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  

It would be difficult to weed out bad apples on basis of a critique. Disinterest in writing critiques does not always relate to disinterest in being in a program. You jump through a lot of hoops to apply: the GRE, tracking down letters of recommendation, money, a polished writing sample. I don't see how a written critique would raise the commitment threshold to a point where bad critiquers wouldn't apply.

I'm sorry the people in your class were bad critiquers. I've never met a good writer who wasn't well read. So in a way, I feel that the writing sample takes care of that problem. I'm not saying that critical reading skills don't matter. I just feel that these skills are always reflected in the quality of the manuscript.

I don't think knowledge of literature and critical ability is always related to formal, academic training. I'm not exactly sure what you are getting at here (or if you're even talking about formal training). I know some highly regarded programs will accept people without degrees- do you think this is a bad thing?

I'm sorry that my comments were unclear. Someone mentioned that there is no such thing as a minority voice or experience because there is too much variation within the literature written by authors of said minority. I disagree. To use some of the examples I gave before, there is certainly a body of literature and criticism built around the African-American experience and other minority experiences that are distinct from each other and the greater mainstream experience.

Diversity has been used with so many different meanings on this thread that it's hard to keep track. I'm sorry I misinterpreted some of your comments. They do take on a different meaning with the definition you supplied.

Obviously one should supply evidence while making arguments. It's all water under the bridge now, but if you're (not specifically you edwriter) going to to argue that a program uses quotas, please have some solid evidence to support your claims. About the more detailed information on admissions and matriculation: When I was applying to school, my top choice had a report hidden away on its website with detailed demographic information including acceptance and matriculation rates. I found similar reports for many of the other schools- I think public schools are required to have them. I was just too lazy to go back and search for them all again. The acceptance rates were pretty similar, but some schools, particularly the schools in the midwest, had problems with matriculation. One word about MFA programs and certain doctoral programs- the acceptance rates are so low in general that it would be difficult to come to conclusions.

I also think its important not to place 'underrepresentation' in a historic vacuum. There are organisations and prizes that exist because underrepresented writers don't feel that they have the same oppotunities to present their voices as writers in the 'mainstream'. Examples are the Dark Room Collective school, Cave Canem, and the Hurston Wright Foundation. I know there are similar prizes for Asians and Latinos, but I can't remember their names at the momennt. It isn't coincedental that these organisations exist.

I don't mean to dismiss your experience. I find it strange that a person would not have contact with Jews before going to grad school, just as I find it strange that a person would not have contact with an African-American, Asian or Latino before entering graduate school. There are many cultures I haven't encountered, but I certainly wouldn't make offensive or nasty comments upon meeting people from these cultures. I may be off base here, but I think some of your experience could because some of the people in your program were rude and crass. To relate this back to reading and writing- I find that I am able gain access to different cultures and countries by reading both fiction and nonfiction. Being close-minded and insular does not work in your favor artistically, so I think it would be anomalous to find these traits dominating in a group of quality writers.

Clench_Million- I'm not sure I'm following your arguments.
Writers travel all over the country and sometimes internationally to attend MFA programs. Rarely will you find an MFA program made up of people from the state or neighboring states. By conservative, I meant location. Sorry for not making that clear. So for example, although Arkansas is in a conservative area, the people attending the program are most likely coming in from different regions of the country and different environments (moving from urban to suburban).

ETA: I don't really get your last post. Who has argued that minorities should get special treatment? And what programs use 'reverse-racism'? And this isn't about redressing past wrongs or making a political statement about poverty at all. Selecting the strongest manuscripts usually leads to a diverse class, and by diverse, I mean all types of diversity. The presence of minorities should not be taken as evidence for quotas or 'reverse-racism'. (Not even going to get in to the problem of using the term reverse racism)


(This post was edited by shadowboxer on Mar 19, 2006, 1:43 PM)


Clench Million
Charles

Mar 19, 2006, 1:39 PM

Post #79 of 100 (3119 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [shadowboxer] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  

Shadow:
I did not mean that only people from RI go to Brown's english grad programs, I was just giving some general context. The NE is mostly white and, while people certainly move around for college and grad school, probably a majority stay in their state or general area (west coast, NE, etc.)

I only meant to say that a mere 4 minorities out of 30 might sound like they are underrepresented, but it might easily be the case that 86% of applicants to Brown were white.



Quote
Who has argued that minorities should get special treatment?

Well, I think there are some people who have implied that, but my statements werne't directed at any particular poster here, they were addressing the hypothetical set-up in the OP. The question was, what is wrong with programs taking race into account when picking applicants. If taking race into account means privliging minorities, then I think it is bad for the reasons I said.


Quote
Selecting the strongest manuscripts usually leads to a diverse class, and by diverse, I mean all types of diversity.


This is my contention as well. But others in this thread have been arguing for other factors than the manuscript....


Quote
The presence of minorities should not be taken as evidence for quotas or 'reverse-racism'.


Other than Poe, who claims to have some information on Indiana's program, no one is claiming quotas exist in real-life current MFA programs. This thread is a hypothetical discussion.


edwriter



Mar 19, 2006, 1:54 PM

Post #80 of 100 (3112 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [shadowboxer] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  

Well, the quality of the writing in the program was also pretty variable, but I don't want to get into that too much...again, I think some of that had to do with the newness of the program at the time and my hope is that the program is now attracting a stronger applicant pool overall.

And yes, one would hope that good writers would also be good critics. But we've all pretty much agreed on this board that not all good writers are good writing teachers, so I'm not sure that good writing always translates into good writing-about-writing /workshop participation, either (and I'm not sure all recommenders would include this information, even if they possessed it, in their letters).

And I think it is, actually, a bad sign if people are too lazy to complete one more application component (especially if, as in many low-res programs, they may have been spared some others, such as the GRE). If you can't be bothered to write one critique for an application, for your own benefit (admission), that doesn't bode well for your commitment to writing them throughout your MFA program not only for yourself (honing your skills and insights about writing) but for the benefit of your classmates/future students. (Before anyone refutes me on this and tells me that low-residency programs rely on mentors and so workshopping skills are less important, let me point out that my low-res program was one of the several workshop-based programs that do exist, although they're also something of a "minority" within the low-res world.)

Shadowboxer, I appreciate your last set of comments and I especially appreciate the thoughtfulness with which you have presented them. And I agree with some of them--especially about the power of reading to enlighten us about other cultures (again, I think reading lists/curricula should acknowledge this not only on the basis of the skin color of the writers whose work are included but by including work reflective of a multiplicity of geographic locations (U.S. and international), ages, religions, classes, etc.). I think it's even better when American writers can read literature in at least one other language beyond English. That also expands one's intellectual and creative horizons.

Obviously, however, I still disagree with some of your views, and I think at some level we'll have to agree to disagree and move on. I am, indeed, among those who may be reluctant to group all "minorities" in clusters and generalize about their experiences and writing. My own Jewish-inflected writing, for example, is not by definition identical to the writing of other Jews. There are varieties of experience. (My father used to joke that my sister and I were products of intermarriage, because his background is German-Jewish and our mother's is Eastern European. I have Orthodox cousins whose experience as Jews is vastly different from mine as a Reform Jew.) And I think the criticism does acknowledge the varieties within any single group's experience and common bonds.

Best,
Erika D.

(This post was edited by edwriter on Mar 19, 2006, 2:13 PM)


Clench Million
Charles

Mar 19, 2006, 2:14 PM

Post #81 of 100 (3101 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [edwriter] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  


Quote
But we've all pretty much agreed on this board that not all good writers are good writing teachers, so I'm not sure that good writing always translates into good writing-about-writing /workshop participation


I certainly don't think the ability to critique and the ability to create art necessarily match up. They are different fields of ability and I'm sure we can think of plenty of people who excel at one but fail at the other (Harold Bloom might be the most famous living literary critic and Roger Ebert might be the most famous living film critic. Yet the fiction works of both aren't highly regarded at atll)

In my personal undergrad experience, some of the best writers were the worst critiquers and some of the best workshoppers were the worst writers.

Also, Shadow:


Quote
There are organisations and prizes that exist because underrepresented writers don't feel that they have the same oppotunities to present their voices as writers in the 'mainstream'. Examples are the Dark Room Collective school, Cave Canem, and the Hurston Wright Foundation. I know there are similar prizes for Asians and Latinos, but I can't remember their names at the momennt. It isn't coincedental that these organisations exist.


I would be wary of assuming that since minority-exclusive fellowships, prizes and such exist then minorites must need their help.

Recently there has been a bit of discussion in the US media about how boys are underrepresented in college. Currently, women make up 60% of college students. Women also get better grades on average. In areas like English and creative writing, they make up the vast majority.

By all accounts, women are "winning" in academia.

And yet, there are tons of prizes, scholarships, fellowships, magazines and everything else that are only elligible for women. OTOH, I doubt a single male-only prize, english fellowship, or magazine exists in America.

Women are overrepresented in these realms AND they get special prizes and help. The same might be true for minorities. Some of these things are left-overs of past discrimination (It wasn't that long ago that women were underrepresented in college) and some are just products of the general climate which promotes pride (especially minority pride) and allows for minority only prizes/magazines/etc. but not majority only.


(This post was edited by Clench Million on Mar 19, 2006, 2:18 PM)


mingram
Mike Ingram

Mar 19, 2006, 3:10 PM

Post #82 of 100 (3084 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [Spurts] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  

I think this gets around to what MFA programs expect from their students. Perhaps it's different at a low-res program, but at a fully residential program that offers funding -- and, thus, a break from the distractions of holding down a full-time job -- I think the model most schools are going for is closer to post-grad fellowships (like the Stegner, for instance) than more "academic" grad programs (like literature, or women's studies). These programs, then, are basically saying "you [X number] of applicants show the kind of skill and promise that we think deserves to be developed for a couple years without distractions in the company of other talented writers." So, in that model, the program is looking simply for the best writers, not the smartest/best educated/best spoken/most mature people from the applicant pool.

Of course that has certain drawbacks, as people have noted. But the problem with selecting for those other qualities is that you may not be picking the strongest writers, and that's what these programs have decided to make their top priority: pick the best writers---give them time to develop---hope they get better and go out into the world and produce good work that makes the investment in them worthwhile.

If what the programs were hoping to produce were excellent teachers, or writers of criticism, I think their selection standards would necessarily be different (and I do think some of those other qualities should come into play when picking people for TAships. At least at Iowa (and I can't speak for other programs) the departments you'd be teaching in have their own standards, so some of those other things are looked at).


edwriter



Mar 19, 2006, 4:20 PM

Post #83 of 100 (3066 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [mingram] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  

But even at Iowa, don't students need to take classes beyond workshop? Literature classes, for instance, or classes in other departments? Aren't there exams that focus on reading, not just one's own (or even one's classmates') manuscripts? I remember one of my friends, who attended the program in the early '90s, worked very hard on that exam. (I just looked at the Web site and it seems that these requirements are still in place: http://www.uiowa.edu/...missions/degrees.htm.) Surely the Workshop has some interest in students' abilities to negotiate those requirements when it admits them?

I'd like to think that what you said before is true--truly exceptional ("the best") writing is generally found among people who do bring the other talents and abilities to the table. But I can't help suspecting--maybe I'm wrong--that Iowa (like Indiana--see below) already attracts a highly talented applicant pool which isn't necessarily replicated everywhere else.

But in the end this goes back to something else you brought up--what MFA programs are looking for, as well as what individual students may be looking for in their educations, and where the twain may meet. This is why I always recommend that individual applicants/students think very carefully about what they, specifically, are looking to achieve in their programs in light of their past experience and goals for the future (some don't think it's important to do any critical work at all, for example; again, I disagree), and how the programs they're considering truly match up (or don't).

To get back to the original question that started this thread (I'm sure some people would like us to do that!), I don't think anyone will argue that anything is inherently "wrong" with a program seeking a diverse (meaning, in this instance, primarily an "ethnically" diverse population). Where some people may disagree is how important a priority it should be--where it should rank among the many other elements, from the writing sample on, that may make any applicant desirable to a particular program.

The odd thing here is--and I hope this may be my final comment although maybe it should have been among my first--I've always considered Indiana to have a great reputation (great affiliated journal, etc.). And as was pointed out earlier, Indiana grads have certainly gone on to accomplish terrific things. You also need a certain level of academic stamina to begin with to complete Indiana's 3-year program--check out the degree requirements here: http://www.indiana.edu/...e/admissions.html#02 . So I think it's odd that Indiana seems to have served as a kind of catalyst for this discussion.

But my guess (and I repeat, it's only a guess--I'm not on any admissions committee) is that Indiana (like Iowa, as I began to say earlier, and I'm sure like many but by no means all other programs) attracts a particularly talented applicant pool to start with. So the issue of how valid "diversity" (as traditionally understood), or any other quality, may be as something that makes an applicant particularly attractive may in fact be a more pressing concern for programs with less stellar pools and applicants who may be more "diverse" in many other ways I hope I've already tried to describe.

Wishing everyone the best.

Erika D.

(This post was edited by edwriter on Mar 19, 2006, 4:25 PM)


mingram
Mike Ingram

Mar 19, 2006, 4:37 PM

Post #84 of 100 (3056 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [edwriter] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  

Well, there are academic requirements at Iowa beyond workshop, but not many. There's no requirement, for instance, that students take grad-level (or even undergrad-level) literature courses, which was one of the things that attracted me to the program. The priority seemed to be (and is) on giving students a ton of time to write fiction or poetry without having to write critical papers or take exams. Basically, each semester you take 12 hours -- 6 of those are the workshop, and you can choose from several seminars taught by fiction and poetry faculty. Those meet once a week and are basically craft discussions. But there are no grades, no papers, no exams. You're free to take classes in other departments instead, so if you wanted to take lit classes, or art history classes, or even math classes, you could. But it's not a requirement.

There is an MFA "exam," but it's not a very weighty undertaking. They supply a few questions and you choose two to respond to in essay form. I don't think anyone fails it unless they just blow it off completely. Although I've heard Sam Chang would like to make the exam a slightly more serious project.

This kind of lax attitude toward academic requirements drives some people crazy, I imagine. But for other people, it's great. So, E., I would definitely agree with your advice to check out what you'll be required/expected to do in various programs and think about what you WANT to do. Because every place is different. I didn't want to take a bunch of critical theory classes, for instance, because I'd taken some as an undergrad and found them to be not my cup of tea.


edwriter



Mar 19, 2006, 4:55 PM

Post #85 of 100 (3048 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [mingram] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  

Thanks. Just clarifying here--it is a requirement (unless I'm reading the page incorrectly?) that students do take other classes (where, depending on the discipline, one would presumably have papers, grades, exams, etc.), isn't it? It's just that literature courses (let alone graduate level literature courses) aren't required (this seems to be different from the Indiana program, where some courses must be taken at a certain level, to give an example of how requirements differ). But you do need to get the credits somewhere, though, right?

I'm not a theory fan, myself. But I do think knowing how to research authors/themes/other literary topics in the library, and knowing how to write up my ideas using documentation that some publications (like the Writer's Chronicle) require, is useful. It's also something I enjoy. I think it makes me a better writer. I know these things are totally irrelevant to some other people.


mingram
Mike Ingram

Mar 19, 2006, 5:08 PM

Post #86 of 100 (3043 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [edwriter] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  

Yes, you have to take "other classes" in the sense that you need 12 hours per semester, and workshop only counts for six. But those other classes can be once weekly seminars that are basically just discussion groups led by permanent and visiting faculty. There are no grades, no exams, no papers. In fact, there's no attendance policy for the seminars, so you could just sign up and never go, though that seems like kind of a wasted opportunity to me, since the discussions are often pretty interesting, and the teachers also incorporate some good craft lectures.

Some people do take other, more strenuous classes. Like you could take language classes if you wanted to learn a language. Or, I took an art history class that sounded interesting (it was, but having to write a critical paper was kind of a drag).

I don't think most MFA programs are this lax about academic requirements, though. Partly because programs generally have to justify to the English dept. at large why they exist as a degree-bearing program, which may mean adding some requirements to bring the MFA more in line (in appearance, anyway) with other degrees offered by the department. Because the workshop here has been around a long time, and is no longer officially a part of the English department, everyone just kind of leaves the workshop alone to do whatever it wants.


bighark


Mar 19, 2006, 9:23 PM

Post #87 of 100 (2992 views)
Shortcut
     MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  

Is this conversation still going on?

Yawn.


the wind



Mar 19, 2006, 9:50 PM

Post #88 of 100 (2975 views)
Shortcut
     wow, the cat's out of the bag [In reply to]  

We, the writing community, specifically the MFA community, are just as confused and distraught and frustrated by race in America as everyone else, only we write more eloquently about it.

This thread kind of bummed me out. I'm a writer of color. My friend is going to Indiana. It's hard to put into words the necessity for diversity programs, especially in writing programs and graduate school. All my life, I've been outside, outside the canon, outside the program, outside the system. When space is made for people of color, it is like a breath of fresh air. It's so hard to stick out in every class as the "other," to have to be the expert on your ethnicity, to have people wonder if you're there because of your ability or not.

I enjoy this place, but when this discussion comes up, it can be hurtful whether it is intentional or not. Congrats on those who are in and condolences to those who didn't. I'm going to take a break from the speakeasy for awhile.


(This post was edited by the wind on Mar 19, 2006, 10:37 PM)


clarabow


Mar 20, 2006, 9:22 AM

Post #89 of 100 (2915 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [bighark] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  

It may be "yawn" to you, bighark, but it's pretty important to me...

Thanks for all the people contributing. I keep thinking I know what to say, then someone posts something else and I'm all a muddle again!


bighark


Mar 20, 2006, 10:15 AM

Post #90 of 100 (2900 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [clarabow] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  

Do me a favor then, clarabow, and let me know when someone has something says something intelligent here.

I haven't read a single post that hasn't caused a sense of either outrage, offense, or dismay.

This thread is an embarrassment, frankly, and a boring one at that.


motet
Dana Davis / Moderator
e-mail user

Mar 20, 2006, 10:51 AM

Post #91 of 100 (2883 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [bighark] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  


In Reply To
I haven't read a single post that hasn't caused a sense of either outrage, offense, or dismay.



Well, fortunately, I have. I've seen many thoughtful and intelligent posts.
Unfortunately, they seem to get drowned out by the thoughtless, acerbic and uncivil ones. And that is truly the unfortunate part of this discussion.

We've had this kind of conversation before at the Speakeasy and one specific one leaps to mind. It occurred right after Sept. 11, 2001. You can imagine how high the emotional level was then.

The upshot was that my boss, the head of the Poets & Writers organization, directed me to close that conversation, which I did--not because it wasn't a worthwhile topic to discuss but because the discussion became loaded with -isms and degenerated into completely uncivil discourse.

I have thought about doing that here and I've hesitated because if the tone continues to change, which I think that it has, there still may be some good sharing of ideas.

However, if I continue to get complaints, if I see anything written that is not within the boundaries of civility (and yes, it's going be my call on that one), I'm going to close this topic.

Dana


sibyline


Mar 20, 2006, 11:51 AM

Post #92 of 100 (2862 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [bighark] MFA Programs and Diversity [In reply to]  


In Reply To
Do me a favor then, clarabow, and let me know when someone has something says something intelligent here.

I haven't read a single post that hasn't caused a sense of either outrage, offense, or dismay.

This thread is an embarrassment, frankly, and a boring one at that.


It's ironic that you're complaining about inflammatory posts when you're simultaneously baiting an inflammatory response. When I find something either unintelligent or boring in a forum, I usually ignore it. People don't usually respond positively to words they've spent time writing being called boring or unintelligent. So I would kindly suggest either ignoring the topic or coming back when you have something substantial to say.


poetastin


Mar 20, 2006, 12:07 PM

Post #93 of 100 (2848 views)
Shortcut
     cogitation station [In reply to]  

Hey bighark:

Thanks for stopping by! Despite your tone, I see this as an exciting opportunity. Clearly you've thought long and hard about these issues, and have something valuable to say. Might I encourage you, then, to share with us the fruits of your labor, and not your boredom? Perhaps we could all learn something, together.

Thanks.


sk1grrl


Mar 20, 2006, 12:26 PM

Post #94 of 100 (2826 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [poetastin] cogitation station [In reply to]  

Dear Motet:

Please reconsider. I have not found this thread to be enlightening but I think the conversation is an important one to have. Conversations about race and ethnicity are tremendously loaded in our country, and this thread contains many examples of negative contributions to that general discussion.

But I don't think shutting down the conversation is the answer. I think many of the contributors are earnestly trying to address the topic--if their offensiveness is sincere, why sugercoat that by making the thread go away? I'd rather hear the truth. Please, tell people to play nice, but don't tell them what to talk about. I think it has a very chilling effect on conversation.


Windiciti



Mar 20, 2006, 1:04 PM

Post #95 of 100 (2793 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [the wind] wow, the cat's out of the bag [In reply to]  

It was good to hear from you!
I agree that it IS hard to be the only writer of colour in a class sometimes
This depends on the other members of the class, and of course, the workshop leaders. The leaders in the classes I have taken have never made anyone feel uncomfortable, as far as I know.

I'm sorry if your feelings were ever hurt. Being Latina, AND Jewish of Spanish descent, (Sepahrdic), I've heard plenty of unguarded comments in my time, when people thought I was Christian.

I am taking a short fiction class this summer at UW-M specifically to write with a woman of colour, Audrey Petty, who teaches in the MFA program at Champaign-Urbana. I spoke to her on the 'phone and she sounded great.

I've mentioned it on another post but there is a program called VONA (Voices of our Nation)which will meet at SF U this summer, around July5-12. They have two sessions, and they seek writers of colour. They receive public funding. They soud fabulous, but I am already committed to Iowa. Will go next year!

Good luck. Keep on writing your opinions. There are many voices on this forum.


bighark


Mar 20, 2006, 4:08 PM

Post #96 of 100 (2744 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [poetastin] cogitation station [In reply to]  

Poetastin,

You're an eager one, aren't you?

Ok, then. Here goes: I'm not buying.

You can stalk me for as long as you wish and send a whole host of private messages with subject titles that allude to gun violence and the Vanilla Ice lyrics. I'm still not buying.

I sent an apology to motet (Dana) for my "yawn" comment because I realized that no good could have come from it. That was something I did out of exasperation. I also owe an apology to clarabow. I shouldn't have snapped at her and I did.

As for you? I don't owe you a thing.

If there are two people in this discussion who have proved that they are incapable of engaging in passionless discourse, it's you and me. I'll be damned if I take your bait.

Anyway, this conversation has less to do with the issues of race, diversity, intellect, creativity, justice, and the life of the mind and more to do with who wants to be righteous, and that's what got me going in the first place.

I said that I was bored by this conversation because it, like all polemics, has no endgame. What's going to happen here? Are the participants of this thread going to come to a consensus? Are we all going to cast off our masks of anonymity, exchange telephone numbers and say things like "My name is Justyn, and because this culture will automatically regard my children as 'minorities,' I resent what you have to say"?

Is that what we're going to do?

No, I think I'm going to apologize to the community for my earlier outburst and then I am going to find some other form of diversion. And I don't need any more private messages from you, Poet. One was enough.


murasaki
Marie Mockett
e-mail user

Mar 20, 2006, 4:22 PM

Post #97 of 100 (2728 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [bighark] cogitation station [In reply to]  


In Reply To
I said that I was bored by this conversation because it, like all polemics, has no endgame. What's going to happen here? Are the participants of this thread going to come to a consensus? Are we all going to cast off our masks of anonymity, exchange telephone numbers and say things like "My name is Justyn, and because this culture will automatically regard my children as 'minorities,' I resent what you have to say"?

Is that what we're going to do?



For what it's worth, the cultural appropriation thread ended being civil and (I think) with some people willing to look at other points of view. But we only got there once people were willing to relate the subject of diversity (huge topic, but can't think of a better word for now) to themselves in a way that was personal. I don't know. No conversation at all ends up with . . . no conversation at all and I tend to think that sucks in the long term.


poetastin


Mar 20, 2006, 4:32 PM

Post #98 of 100 (2720 views)
Shortcut
     Relax, don't do it... [In reply to]  

Hi bighark!

Thanks for getting back. It sounds like your complaint is with discussion boards in general, not with me. Nevertheless, I apologize for my interest in your viewpoints, whatever they may be.

From your previous comments, it appeared you might posess some insight that eludes the rest of us. I see that's not the case. I'd prefer that if you're going to post, you might respond to some position outlined here, rather than blowing a gasket because you saw the word 'diversity'. Otherwise, why post at all?

My comments aren't righteous or self-righteous and certainly don't imply that you 'owe' me anything. If you believe otherwise, well, again, I encourage you to read this thread and then throw some quotes at me.

:)


bighark


Mar 20, 2006, 4:35 PM

Post #99 of 100 (2715 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [poetastin] Relax, don't do it... [In reply to]  

Wow. I thought I could be smug.

Good luck with that being right thing. I hope it works out for you.


motet
Dana Davis / Moderator
e-mail user

Mar 20, 2006, 5:36 PM

Post #100 of 100 (2677 views)
Shortcut
     Thread closed [In reply to]  

This topic will be temporarily closed pending review by the Poets & Writers organization.

Their decision in the matter will determine whether or not the topic is re-opened or closed permanently.


Dana

First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 Next page Last page  View All

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs

 


P&W Newsletters

Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter to stay informed of the latest news, events and more.

Click to Sign Up

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | About Us | Contact Us

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2011. All Rights Reserved