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Forum Apps


Nov 30, 2009, 4:37 PM

Post #701 of 1018 (13709 views)
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     Re: [aiyamei] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

aiyamei--
I will drop it. I already said what I had to say. It is strange to me that such a vague and open-ended guideline would be so insulting. It also wasn’t posited in absolute terms. But whatever. There are more important things to talk about.

Yeah… Derrida? WTF! Ha-ha.
I think he was speaking hypothetically in terms of “reading the complete works of” thing. Like, there are Heidegger scholars who haven’t read all of Heidegger. He wrote these long ass lectures that read the way chalk tastes. I read one about Kant a few months ago. It was a Kant lecture about Heidegger by Heidegger. Prefigured Deleuze in approach on that one I guess.

On that note… I’ve been really into Mearleau-Ponty, Levinas and Deleuze lately. Dope stuff. MP is like Heidegger but with water and flavor added.


Jamie--
I am not saying that an MA is easy. I am saying that they are often geared towards placing people into MFA and PhD programs. That means they are designed for the very purpose of helping people progress in their writing and thought so they’ll be more competitive at top MFA programs (among other things). MA programs still are graduate programs (as are MFAs… even if there is a “fine” stuck in the middle) MFA programs do have the element of being terminal which affects the approach to and content of the degree. But each program is going to be different and research is always a good thing.


IgnatiusJ


Nov 30, 2009, 5:23 PM

Post #702 of 1018 (13679 views)
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     Louisiana State University [In reply to]  

Hello, Writers and Poets. (That's right, I reversed them!)

Having browsed this forum for awhile now, I thought I'd offer a few thoughts on the program at LSU. (I’m a first-year student in fiction.)

Length: 3 years

Funding: Full Tuition Waver + Stipend of $16,500/yr (if entering with a bachelor’s), $17,000/yr (if entering with an MA).

Teaching Load: 1 course per semester or 20hrs/wk if working at The Southern Review.

Admittance: 4 fiction, 4 poetry

Benefits: Half the annual premiums of a pretty decent health insurance policy. The other half can be automatically deducted from the monthly stipend. (My check comes out to around $16,500/month after fees and premiums are taken out.)

Literary Journals: The Southern Review, New Delta Review (editorial opportunities available)

Reading Series: The Underpass (monthly), River Readings (bi-monthly)

Conferences:
Louisiana Book Festival, Words and Music (New Orleans)*


Given its funding and recent alumni success (Ronlyn Domingue, for example, just sold the German rights to The Mercy of Thin Air for six figures), I'm a little surprised LSU hasn't been mentioned here more often.

In any case, applications have risen significantly in the last few years, and, with the new attention the program has received from Seth’s site (specifically with regard to funding), I suspect that number will rise even more this coming application cycle.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Good luck, and happy hunting.

-I

*In exchange for volunteering to work for a few hours, LSU MFA's are given the opportunity to meet with an agent and editor to discuss a submitted story or novel excerpt. Conference fees are also waved.


Forum Apps


Nov 30, 2009, 5:37 PM

Post #703 of 1018 (13669 views)
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     Re: [IgnatiusJ] Louisiana State University [In reply to]  

Is the Southern Review the only publication one can work at for funding? This is good to know. What about the Corpse?

I'm applying to LSU in poetry. LOVE the poetry faculty (they are "experimental bent" if anyone was wondering, though I'm not sure how they would feel about the title experimental... poets tend to be touchy about such things. I'm saying it though. In a good way.)

How is the community and the like in the program? Are there regular get togethers? Do you like the town in terms of living there (I've been through before... but never for more than a day or so)?


IgnatiusJ


Nov 30, 2009, 6:58 PM

Post #704 of 1018 (13607 views)
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     Re: [Forum Apps] Louisiana State University [In reply to]  

The Corpse, as far as I know, has moved with Andrei (who's now semi-retired). DeWitt still helps edit it, though, and he's still around (and a very cool guy to grab a beer with, I might add). But no, I don't think it's a funded position. Too, forgot to mention, I think they're looking toward a new fiction hire for next year in light of the exits of both Madden and Codrescu.

Getting back to your question, each year someone new takes over the editor job at the New Delta (the journal run by the graduate department). That person (usually, if not always, a third-year) runs the journal in lieu of teaching.

As for questions of aesthetic, on the fiction side I've found subject matter and style to be wide open, the focus placed on helping the work succeed within its own framework (if that makes sense). The same, I think, can be said of the poetry side, regardless of the type of work being produced by faculty.

The community here is amazing. The second and third-years went out of their way to make us feel welcome. The bar scene in Baton Rouge is great, if that's your thing. Teddy's Juke Joint has an incredible house band, if you're into blues -- we also had a reading there a few months ago. There have been quite a few parties, but not an abnormal number of them, I wouldn't say. On Saturdays during football season we tailgate in front of The Southern Review. Opportunities to socialize are certainly available on any given weekend (or weeknight, for that matter), if you seek them out. Some of us go out often, some seldom. Most of us trend somewhere in between.

The LSU campus is beautiful, covered in huge oak trees and bordered by a lake. The city itself I've found a pleasant surprise. There are several large shopping areas and malls, six or seven movie theaters and great cajun food. I live in a house in the Garden District, which is within a mile or two of campus. My rent is reasonable.

There's also a movie studio in Baton Rouge, taking advantage of Louisiana's tax breaks. I saw Cuba Gooding Jr. the other night at Ivar's, a bar a few blocks from my house. He was... unsober.

Hope that helps.


IgnatiusJ


Nov 30, 2009, 7:04 PM

Post #705 of 1018 (13590 views)
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     Re: [IgnatiusJ] Louisiana State University [In reply to]  

Just noticed a typo in that first post. It's $1,650 per month, as opposed to $16,500. Though that probably could have gone without saying.


Forum Apps


Nov 30, 2009, 7:34 PM

Post #706 of 1018 (13563 views)
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     Re: [IgnatiusJ] Louisiana State University [In reply to]  

Now that would be a NICE stipend. Ha-ha.


The post was very helpful, thanks! Good to know about the journals especially. I almost put a line in my statement that wasn’t even possible according to what you just told me.

The program definitely sounds wonderful. And, of course, the faculty is going to try to help you become a good writer. It doesn’t hurt to go to school with people that jive with one’s own style, though. Nor does it hurt that I really dig the writing of the faculty. =)

The location and opportunities sound wonderful too. Glad you showed up here and posted.
Thanks again ~Aaron.


libbyagain


Nov 30, 2009, 7:44 PM

Post #707 of 1018 (13554 views)
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     Re: [aiyamei] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

Hilarious. I got an 800 on the SAT (only took it once, thankfully) verbal and was so smug about taking the GRE's after my super run as the second-most anal retentive English major on campus. I bombed. It was horrible! It seemed like every single freaking question was about the Harlem Renaissance and up to that point I didn't give a rat's behind about anything written after 1900. I still got into some terrific grad programs, but the scores really did not help in the least.

(I still don't like the Harlem Renaissance, and think "A Raisin in the Sun" doesn't make sense (a raisin doesn't ever explode in sun; if anything it shrivels more) but probably mostly that's sour grapes. Hah-hah).


insertbrackets

e-mail user

Nov 30, 2009, 8:24 PM

Post #708 of 1018 (13525 views)
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     Ohio State University [In reply to]  

Like IgnatiusJ, I am surprised my program is also not mentioned much on here. I am a first year in poetry, FYI. I submit for your application fee and general interest, Ohio State University's MFA program!

Length: Three Years

Funding: Tuition Waver + 14,500 Stipend

Teaching Load: One course per quarter (20 hrs/wk) with the opportunity to teach at least one section of creative writing in your genre guaranteed.

Admittance: 6-8 in fiction, 6-8 in poetry, 3 in creative nonfiction

Faculty: (Fiction/Nonfiction) Lee Martin, Lee K. Abbot, Michelle Herman, Erin McGraw (Poetry) Henri Cole, Andrew Hudgins, and Kathy Fagan

Heath Benefits: 85% health coverage paid by the university (remained can be automatically deducted from monthly paycheck)

Literary Journals: The Journal (opportunity to read slush is open to all MFA students; two fully funded editorial-ships are offered every year)

Reading Series: Recent and upcoming (this academic year) visitors include Linda Bierds, Francine Prose, Percival Everett, Harryette Mullen, Dan Anderson, and Stephen Elliot); additionally there is a Student-Faculty Reading Series as well as Mother Tongue, an MFA-run series run by our program's students.

Our program is situated in a completely affordable part of the country (Columbus, Ohio) and is deeply supportive on both the faculty and cohort front. Current students have work published or forthcoming in 32 Poems, Granta, Ploughshares, Sou'wester, DIAGRAM, Sycamore Review and FIELD. Recent alumni include Don Ray Pollack, Natalie Shapiro, Erica Dawson, Holly Goddard Jones, Christopher Coake, and Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

The applications are due for us on December 15, so feel free to ask me any questions you have about our program. PEACE!


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


Zuleika Dobson


e-mail user

Nov 30, 2009, 8:25 PM

Post #709 of 1018 (13522 views)
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     Re: [Junior Maas] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

Not a response to anyone in particular, but I think it's ridiculous that some MFA programs want applicants to take a GRE subject test. I considered doing this, but then looked at the ETS prep guide. While most of the questions would be recognizable for most Literature majors (IDing excerpts from playwrights, poets, and novelists), I don't really see how this is relevant for Creative Writing. MFA applicants should worry about producing quality work, not memorizing lines from Spenser and Coleridge.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."


insertbrackets

e-mail user

Nov 30, 2009, 9:39 PM

Post #710 of 1018 (13415 views)
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     Re: [Zuleika Dobson] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

Who requires the subject test? That's brutal! Some Ph.D's in creative writing don't even require it!


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


Zuleika Dobson


e-mail user

Nov 30, 2009, 10:32 PM

Post #711 of 1018 (13320 views)
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     Re: [insertbrackets] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

They don't require, but they "strongly suggest." I've come across two so far--Hopkins and BU.

Take, for instance, Hopkins:

Quote

Any application lacking GRE scores will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. In addition, we strongly suggest that the MFA applicant take the Advanced section in English Literature. The applicant must take the GRE no later than December.


I always thought that Hopkins' requirements were a bit over the top. Their website also says:


Quote
MFA applicants should include in their writing sample a two-page introduction and critique of their work. This statement should give admissions faculty a view to the scope and thoughtfulness of the work submitted and a sense of the student's ability to contribute in the writing workshops.


Reminds me of the Northwestern undergrad app with the three additional essays. Brutal.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."

(This post was edited by Zuleika Dobson on Nov 30, 2009, 10:32 PM)


jamie_mu


Nov 30, 2009, 11:53 PM

Post #712 of 1018 (13195 views)
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     Re: [Zuleika Dobson] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

At Hopkins now. None of us took the lit GRE. It is not needed.


Zuleika Dobson


e-mail user

Dec 1, 2009, 12:26 AM

Post #713 of 1018 (13171 views)
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     Re: [jamie_mu] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

Thanks for clearing that up, Jamie.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."


Pedro Eler


Dec 1, 2009, 8:53 AM

Post #714 of 1018 (13004 views)
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     Re: [FreakingOutInBd] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

I was wondering, what did you do about your letter of recommendations? I am having a hard time finding professors that would be able to read my writing in English and then write letters in English. I mean, they all know English, but I am not sure if they KNOW English, you know, enough to write good and solid letters.

Thanks!


morganapple


Dec 1, 2009, 12:30 PM

Post #715 of 1018 (12942 views)
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     Re: Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

has anyone finished the uc irvine application? i'm trying to figure out the difference between autobiographical sketch, personal statement, and personal history statement. why so many? what different things should i be addressing in each??

what?????


HarveyK


Dec 1, 2009, 3:52 PM

Post #716 of 1018 (12901 views)
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     Re: [FreakingOutInBd] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  


In Reply To
I'm from Bangladesh, and have been freaking out for over a year - so freak out away, Pedro!

I'm applying to 9 schools - my criteria were no GRE requirements, funding, location, faculty. My list, in order of preference, is:

Iowa
Irvine
Michigan Ann Arbor
Arizona State
Virginia Tech
U Oregon
Wisconsin Madison
New Mexico State
U of New Mexico

It's certainly more expensive and more of a hassle for international applicants. But I've found the majority of the schools to be very helpful and cooperative in dealing with all kinds of questions.

Let me know if you have specific questions, I'd be glad to help in any way I can. Also, it's a good idea that you're starting your preparations early. I spent most of my time freaking out and worrying and all sorts of other things - and now find myself scrambling to get everything together.

But sent out my first application (deadline was December 1) this week - so am :-D

You should remove Irvine. They don't admit international students, and even if they do, they can't provide a tuition waiver to insternational students, which makes it almost impossible to attend the program. This has been discussed before somewhere in this forum.



alamana
Jennifer Brown


Dec 1, 2009, 4:32 PM

Post #717 of 1018 (12872 views)
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     Re: [morganapple] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

Regarding Irvine's essays:

The autobiographical sketch is all about who you are as a writer and it is for the creative writing folks. The statement of purpose is more of an academic statement about what kind of work you wish to pursue, who might you want to work with, your prior training and your career plans/goals. The personal history statement is about your background and is supposedly very important for fellowship considerations. This is where they want to hear about economic hardship during formative years and diversity related issues.


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

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


morganapple


Dec 1, 2009, 5:37 PM

Post #718 of 1018 (12847 views)
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     Re: [alamana] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

thanks, alamana. appreciate you clearing up my confusion!


rohsun


Dec 1, 2009, 8:16 PM

Post #719 of 1018 (12808 views)
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     Re: Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

The schools I've applied to for Poetry:

UMass Amherst
Cornell U
Michener
Univ of Virginia
Vanderbilt
Iowa

Also considering Brown (deadline 15th!). Thankfully, all my LoRs are in except Iowa which will be done through regular mail. TOEFL and GRE scores have been requested for and sent. Just about finishing off the Michener SoP after which all the packets should be out by this Saturday.

All the best, guys!


Pedro Eler


Dec 2, 2009, 8:57 AM

Post #720 of 1018 (12700 views)
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     Re: [rohsun] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  


In Reply To
The schools I've applied to for Poetry:

UMass Amherst
Cornell U
Michener
Univ of Virginia
Vanderbilt
Iowa

Also considering Brown (deadline 15th!). Thankfully, all my LoRs are in except Iowa which will be done through regular mail. TOEFL and GRE scores have been requested for and sent. Just about finishing off the Michener SoP after which all the packets should be out by this Saturday.

All the best, guys!



ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Dec 2, 2009, 3:11 PM

Post #721 of 1018 (12637 views)
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     Re: [rohsun] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

Just mailed my Iowa app this week—three down, four to go.


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.


vaquero


Dec 2, 2009, 3:20 PM

Post #722 of 1018 (12631 views)
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     Re: Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

 


FreakingOutInBd


Dec 3, 2009, 3:14 AM

Post #723 of 1018 (12556 views)
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     Re: [Zuleika Dobson] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

Responding (kinda) to a slew of posts:

The GRE is a personal decision to make – I chose not to. Doesn’t mean that’s the right or wrong choice for everyone. I think it was the right choice for me.

None of you can even begin to imagine how crap I am at anything to do with numbers – you can even faze me by asking suddenly how much 2+2 is. Haha. But true. I also do not do well in test situations. To me GRE was like this: GRE= MATH= EEKUGHARGHH= Death. I chose life.

Having said that, given that I am not a complete moron, it’s possible that if I’d studied hard, I would have come up with a score that would’ve been merely mildly embarrassing.

I decided not to for several reasons. It would mean more time and energy (which I didn’t have too much of) – I would have to study really hard; it would mean more expense (which, for an applicant from S Asia, means: higher application fees, higher transcript fees (for translated transcripts), fees associated with a foreign language requirement ($150 for the TOEFL and then an additional for every copy sent out), and ridiculously high postal charges.) Yes, all this comes with the territory – I just decided I wouldn’t deal with all of that. Especially since I could come up with a rather good list of schools that didn’t require the GRE.

But I do think it’s very significant that some of the top schools don’t require the GRE and that some schools are dropping that requirement. (ASU no longer requires it). As someone on this thread noted – the GRE is essentially a grad school req, which is used to break a tie or to assess funding. Iowa actually says this on their site…

I’ve contacted a number of schools over the GRE/GPA issue (I have a low GPA score). Most of them responded, that’s just a grad school req, don’t worry or bother, just send us your manuscript. And oh yeah, don’t forget the SOP. Not exactly in those words, but you get the idea.

One (top) school actually said (I wrote to them that I did not have the required GPA3, should I even apply), send in your manuscript, if we want you, we will get the grad school to be flexible.

I would find these standardized tests a silly way of attempting to judge the writing potential of an applicant. Fortunately, from what information/vibe I get, the MFA adcomms seem to have their priorities straight. Another school I wrote to last year responded, 98% is your manuscript, 1% is your SOP. Among the rest, we actually look at the LORs…Get those in strong, and we’ll worry about low scores later.


FreakingOutInBd


Dec 3, 2009, 3:55 AM

Post #724 of 1018 (12550 views)
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     Re: [alamana] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

Okay, I just rechecked Irvine's appli checklist. Where are you guys seeing three essays?! Isn't it just the Autobio Sketch and then the Academic Statement?


FreakingOutInBd


Dec 3, 2009, 4:11 AM

Post #725 of 1018 (12549 views)
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     Re: [HarveyK] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

Hi! I've already applied to Irvine actually. I don't profess to know exactly how they fund the various categories of students, so have no opinion on that. Although if they don't provide a tuition waiver - I just wasted time, energy, money/

However, could you please elaborate how you know they don't admit international applicants?

They sounded interested when I initially contacted them. If they did have a policy of not admitting internationals, wouldn’t they have responded upfront about it? Also UCI is where (Ngugi’s) International Center for Writing ansd Translation is located – not that the Center is directly related to the MFA program, but it is perhaps indicative of a higher degree of openness towards international literature.

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