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Choosing an MFA Program (2008)
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Jan 17, 2008, 12:46 PM

Post #401 of 454 (13975 views)
     Re: [rdowney] Introducing Myself [In reply to]  

In Reply To
You bring up the major points that I am most concerned with. I was under the impression that the funding at SAIC was even more limited or that the school cost a good deal more. Is this not the case? I would be attending school with my girlfriend so I imagine rent could be more manageable with two people. Chicago sounds great but the funding issues (ditto for NYC) make it almost impossible for a working class person to attend. Hmmm.

Thanks for your words.


i feel you on the SAIC thing. i've applied there anyway against my better judgment - it's my "why-the-hell-not?" fantasy kind of school. a former professor of mine had a student who applied with a focus on poetry and, don't quote me on this, but i think he was able to get pretty decent funding, though through what means i'm not sure. heresay of funding motivated enough me to bother applying. SAIC's financial aid website is really vague about the whole thing, but i'm hoping this just might be a careless omission...

best of luck.

George David Clark
e-mail user

Jan 17, 2008, 1:28 PM

Post #402 of 454 (13956 views)
     Re: [calumnia] MFAs that offer editorialships at literary journals [In reply to]  

The are three funded editorships connected to UVa's _Meridian_ (a general editor, a poetry editor, and a fictin editor each year) as well as some paid positions as readers for _VQR_.


Jan 17, 2008, 2:27 PM

Post #403 of 454 (13922 views)
     Re: [stephkarto1] MFAs that offer editorialships at literary journals [In reply to]  

I think you do Subtropics as an independent study which takes care of one of your electives. At least one person is doing some work instead of teaching one of the classes, but it's more administrative stuff.

Clench Million

Jan 17, 2008, 3:57 PM

Post #404 of 454 (13893 views)
     Re: [calumnia] MFAs that offer editorialships at literary journals [In reply to]  

In Reply To
Dear PW,

I'm particularly interested in MFA programs that offer positions (preferably paid) at literary journals and publications associated with the program.

Can we do a round up of programs that offer this?

So far I have:
Cornell (Epoch)
FSU (Southeast Review)
UBC (Prism)

Also, Hunter has an internship program with a publishing house outside of the uni.

All the positions at Columbia's journal are staffed by students. You apply in your first year and are interviewed and hired by the current staff, ie your fellow students.

(This post was edited by Clench Million on Jan 17, 2008, 4:03 PM)


Jan 17, 2008, 10:45 PM

Post #405 of 454 (13817 views)
     Re: [calumnia] MFAs that offer editorialships at literary journals [In reply to]  

At Bowling Green we have the Mid-American Review and there are multiple assistantships you can get instead of teaching composition or creative writing courses. I don't think you can get the journal assistantships the first year, but if you're not interested in teaching at all I know we offer research assistantships for the first year and you can apply to work for Mid-Am the remaining time. One of the things BGSU prides itself on is its ability to give you tons of editing/publishing experience. Check it out!


Jan 17, 2008, 10:58 PM

Post #406 of 454 (13814 views)
     Re: [EastCoastPoet] MFAs that offer editorialships at literary journals [In reply to]  

Check out Indiana Review too. According to "additional opportunities" on their website:

Now in its twenty-seventh year of publication, the Indiana Review is edited and managed entirely by graduate students, with the editor and associate editor receiving full associate instructor stipends as well as summer stipends, and genre editors in both fiction and poetry receiving one-course reductions in their teaching loads.



Feb 12, 2008, 7:31 PM

Post #407 of 454 (13594 views)
     Re: [smulis] MFAs that offer editorialships at literary journals [In reply to]  

I'm curious if anyone knows anything about the Minnesota State Moorhead program. Has anyone here been to MSUM? Know anyone else at MSUM? (I wasn't sure which thread to put this post)


Feb 21, 2008, 5:27 PM

Post #408 of 454 (13460 views)
     Re: [captaintodd] American U [In reply to]  

I'm also interested in finding out about American, and people's opinions about it.


Feb 21, 2008, 5:49 PM

Post #409 of 454 (13422 views)
     Re: [dunnkc] Choosing an MFA Program (2008)/ Virginia Tech [In reply to]  

Hi, Does anyone know anything about Virginia Tech's program in poetry?

I haven't seen it ranked anywhere, nor have I ever heard anything about it really, but it has some good funding and one of my favorite poets, Bob Hicok, teaches there (although I know a good teacher does not a good poet always make). Hmmm....

Any info, perspectives, etc., would be soooo appreciated.



Feb 21, 2008, 7:11 PM

Post #410 of 454 (13355 views)
     Re: [rubyfruit] Choosing an MFA Program (2008)/ Virginia Tech [In reply to]  

when i was applying, virginia tech was recommended to me as an up and coming program. my advisor told me that their faculty really like to teach, which is more than can be said for some much higher ranked schools. that was for fiction, so i don't know how applicable that is to you, but i tend to take it as a good sign. sorry i'm not more help.

e-mail user

Feb 21, 2008, 7:15 PM

Post #411 of 454 (13351 views)
     Re: [rubyfruit] Choosing an MFA Program (2008)/ Virginia Tech [In reply to]  

I know Fred D'Aguiar as I obtained my MFA from U of Miami while he was there. He's very good and an excellent teacher. Oh and he's also a phenomenal novelist. He brings a very interesting perspective to his art, in part because of his dual Guayanese/British heritage. I think that, in accordance with his own unique nature, gives him an interesting perspective on form in poetry that you might not otherwise get from a faculty of American-born-and-educated poets. For example, one of his most recent books was a long poem about the Jonestown massacre written in Ottava Rima.

And of course, Nicki Giovanni teaches at Virginia Tech as well.

I can't speak to funding or lifestyle in Blacksburg, but feel free to PM if you'd like to know more about Fred and the way he taught the classes I took with him.

(This post was edited by LesK on Feb 21, 2008, 7:16 PM)


Feb 21, 2008, 11:37 PM

Post #412 of 454 (13240 views)
     Re: [rubyfruit] Choosing an MFA Program (2008)/ Virginia Tech [In reply to]  

I had Bob Hicok for two poetry workshops as an undergraduate at Virginia Tech. He is one of my favorite teachers. I would not hesitate to apply. If you get in, I'd recommend contacting some of the professors and beings as honest as you can about what you're looking for, your aesthetics, etc. After a couple conversations, you'll know whether a program is right for you or not.

On the fiction side of the Virginia Tech program, Ed Falco is a talent not to be overlooked. His last short story collection was quite good.

My few interactions with Fred D'Aguiar, Jeff Mann, and Lucinda Roy were all pleasant.

Blacksburg is a great little college town. I wasn't ever much of a weekend warrior type, but there are enough bars and events to keep you entertained on the weekends without getting too monotonous. The English department is often overshadowed by the university's engineering and computer science concentrations, but it is a well funded, very active community.

I've talked about my experiences at Virginia Tech before either on the forums or via private messages...I'll see if I can dig those up. Meanwhile, feel free to ask me any questions you might have.


Feb 27, 2008, 4:57 PM

Post #413 of 454 (13059 views)
     Re: [ptld] Choosing an MFA Program (2008)/ Virginia Tech [In reply to]  

ptld -- that helps, believe me. the more votes of confidence, the better, and certainly the more information i have, the better. so thank you for your feedback! ~sara


Feb 27, 2008, 5:08 PM

Post #414 of 454 (13032 views)
     Re: [JKicker] Choosing an MFA Program (2008)/ Virginia Tech [In reply to]  

Jonathan, Thank you so much! I am so (soooo) happy to hear that Bob Hicok is a good teacher in your opinion. He is such a genius as a poet, and his work has so much humanity to it, I think, that I guessed he might also be a wonderful instructor, but I of course had no way of knowing for sure. I also thought the program there sounded great, so I was hoping I would get some positive responses -- your comments are such a relief (!) and quite helpful. I am sure I will take up your offer to answer other questions I have, although I think I'll wait until tomorrow, as I'm a bit bleary-eyed and incoherent right now after working on applications all afternoon.

Thank you again for your generous feedback.


Mar 10, 2008, 1:54 PM

Post #415 of 454 (12797 views)
     Re: [rubyfruit] Choosing an MFA Program (2008)/ Western Michigan [In reply to]  

I posted this in the waiting game forum, but perhaps this is a more appropriate location.

I've been lurking for a while and am almost embarrassed by my question. One of the schools I applied to was Western Michigan. I was under the impression it was a two year program, but now I've heard from more than one person that they are a three year program. Their website is very unclear! Does anyone know for sure?

e-mail user

Mar 10, 2008, 4:23 PM

Post #416 of 454 (12722 views)
     What to do? [In reply to]  

So, I have heard back from all the schools I really care about except one (my current top choice). That one doesn't notify until mid-April. But one school (my cecond top-choice) wants to hear back by April first. I emailed the top choice school and posed my deliemma to them, but all I got was a response saying, "Ask us right before you have to contact the other school, because we can't tell you anything at this point."

What should I do?



Mar 11, 2008, 11:14 PM

Post #417 of 454 (12614 views)
     Sick to my stomach [In reply to]  

So I got into my dream MFA program. I was sure this was going to be great and there wouldn't be any problems (aside from the hassle of moving across country), because my boyfriend (of 3 years) and I had narrowed the schools down in September based on where he could get work.

Now I'm in, and I'm out-of-my-mind happy, and he drops the bomb that he doesn't think he can find work in the city where the school is located. He says he's with me and he supports my dream, and that he wants me to accept and he wants to come with me, but that he's scared.


Now if I follow my dream I'm the bad guy, and if I stay here and save our (very serious) relationship I give up my dream and continue working in a cubicle in a job that is nice, but boring and wholly unsatisfying.

I mean, the answer is obvious. I move. But I don't want to move without him. I hate having someone else's happiness in my hands, and I hate that I have to make sacrifices here. I hate that this acceptance, one of the best things to ever happen to me, is going to be ruined by the fact that this city isn't great for his industry. Why the hell did he tell me it was a good idea to apply there?

(This post was edited by Dinosaur on Mar 11, 2008, 11:17 PM)


Mar 11, 2008, 11:20 PM

Post #418 of 454 (12598 views)
     Re: [Dinosaur] Sick to my stomach [In reply to]  

You narrowed down choices together, based on where he could get work.
You applied to your dream school, put yourself and your work out there.
You got in.

If it works for you, financially, you owe it to yourself to go. He has the right to change his mind, but don't let his rights interfere with your own. You've got to go for your goals!

Tell him you want to make it work with him, but that ultimately you'd kick yourself for the rest of your life if you passed up this opportunity to accommodate his job hunting. (If that's how you feel.) That's DEFINITELY not being the bad guy.

Salty advice, straight from the Sarabellum.



Mar 11, 2008, 11:25 PM

Post #419 of 454 (12588 views)
     Re: [SaraBellum] Sick to my stomach [In reply to]  

You're absolutely right. I told him tonight -- I'm going. If I stayed here just so we could be comfy and hassle-free, I'd regret it for the rest of my life.

My income is twice as much now as my stipend will be, but it's worth it. Hey, I wouldn't be paying tuition, at least! I don't ever want to have to worry about money, but a worry-free cubicle existence is not how I want to live out my life.


Mar 11, 2008, 11:30 PM

Post #420 of 454 (12579 views)
     Re: [Dinosaur] Sick to my stomach [In reply to]  

Go girl!

Remind him that he has months to search for jobs in said location. He's probably just scared at the idea that it's actually going to happen. My guess is that he'll be kicking himself, too, if he stays behind for the sake of comfort and convenience.

Congratulations! :-D



Mar 11, 2008, 11:38 PM

Post #421 of 454 (12570 views)
     Re: [SaraBellum] Sick to my stomach [In reply to]  


I have the same situation. I'm still waiting to hear back from schools and the plan is for my boyfriend to come with me. It's driving us both crazy to not know what city he might go to because the job options will vary depending on the city.

I think the thing to remember is you don't necessarily have to choose between your relationship and school. Maybe he can keep his job until you find one and move out after. If you have a strong relationship, you will make it work.

And congratulations!


e-mail user

Mar 12, 2008, 12:19 AM

Post #422 of 454 (12533 views)
     Choices [In reply to]  


if y'all were presented with choosing between Boston University (Robert Pinsky, Louise Gluck; a TA teaching Creative Writing, and an almost free tuition) and Vanderbilt (Kate Daniels, Mark Jarman, free with a stipend)
what would y'all do?
which school has the better rep?

my situation is that I live near nashville and Vandy would not be a huge change for me. in fact, it would be really comfortable. Boston would be the adventure, but scary.



e-mail user

Mar 12, 2008, 4:12 AM

Post #423 of 454 (12486 views)
     Re: [idreamincursive] Choices [In reply to]  

There's no question that Boston University is the more prestigious program, and personally I'd find it incredibly difficult to say no to Robert Pinsky and Louise Gluck. They are giants, in a way that Kate Daniels and Mark Jarman are not. How do you feel about the poetry of the above four figures? Is there one person whose work has been more of a guiding light to you? When you go over their work now, whose attracts you the most? That might be one way to decide.
The next issue is money. I think you'd be absolutely justified in opting to not go into debt. That would make Vanderbilt a very wise choice. Still, though, getting through the door into the East Coast's world of monumental figures might serve you very, very well later. (I'm not suggesting that the East Coast world is in any way better in general, just that for you, coming from the South, it might be where you'd otherwise not be as well-connected.)


Mar 12, 2008, 10:09 AM

Post #424 of 454 (12437 views)
     Re: [Dinosaur] Sick to my stomach [In reply to]  

Ugh, I'm sorry. What a predicament. But he wants to come with you (even if he's scared)! That's huge. My guy can't come with me. He owns and runs a restaurant in our town.

I'm moving across the country to get my PhD. Ostensibly when I'm finished I could move back here and get a job in town, but here's the kicker--we effing live in Iowa City, possibly the hardest place to get a job teaching creative writing in the country. I'm trying really hard not to think about it.

Buy this book!

e-mail user

Mar 12, 2008, 10:47 AM

Post #425 of 454 (12413 views)
     Re: [aiyamei] Choices [In reply to]  

Jarman and Daniels may not be monumental, but they're very good teachers. I don't know about Gluck and Pinsky as teachers. Quality of teaching is, however, an important factor in determining what you'll learn. Nashville won't give you the connections, perhaps (although the city and, specifically, Vandy have a pretty good poetic tradition, if not quite Boston's), but consider what it will give you in terms of an education.

(And if you stay in town, consider coming to the poetry meetup you can find through Nashville Writers Meetup at meetup.com. Next meeting is a week from Saturday.)

The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

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

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