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fkaltz
Farah Bagharib-Kaltz

Jul 31, 2012, 1:45 AM

Post #2501 of 2662 (18657 views)
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Re: [shestartedit] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Just thought I'd share some information for those who are still in the process of deciding on a programme.

I’m currently doing my MFA in Writing at Spalding University (based in Louisville, KY), which is an amazing programme with a very positive and supportive culture. All students and faculty have been taught from day one to focus their feedback on what’s good about the work first, followed by what can be improved – so that workshops and packet responses are productive sessions that enable students to understand what’s working, what’s not, and most importantly, why. For me, I think it’s important to know what’s working about my writing as well… if nothing else, it’ll help me be able to do more of the good stuff! I’m only in my second semester but I feel like I’ve grown so significantly as a writer since I started the programme last July.

In terms of schedule, every semester starts with a 10-day residency followed by the at-home portion during which work is mailed or emailed to your mentor. I’m currently doing a ‘short’ semester which means that I send packets to my mentor every 3.5 weeks – comprising 35 to 45 pages of original work plus 2 to 3 short essays on craft (3 to 5 pages each). In the ‘long’ semester, packets are sent every 6 weeks.

Spring (May to October) and Fall (November to March) are short semesters, while Summer (July to March) is a long semester. Spring and Fall residencies are in Louisville, while the Summer residency is abroad. (Although you have the option of registering for the Summer semester and doing the Spring residency in Louisville – but be on the longer Summer packet schedule.) Last year, I went to Rome/Tuscany – such an inspiring, breathtaking experience! – and this year, the Summer students are just finishing up in Paris as I write this. And next year, we’ll go to Ireland!


Hope this information is useful in some way! :)


PeteCT


Aug 8, 2012, 3:00 PM

Post #2502 of 2662 (18598 views)
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Re: [sanssouci] Low-Residency MFAs (app essays) [In reply to] Can't Post

sanssouci - in my Bennington essay I wrote about some of the books I love and what I love about them. I mentioned about 25 titles. The essay was personal, rather than academic, which felt appropriate. The goal is to communicate an intelligent, writerly engagement with literature (like Francine Prose's book,) since the Benn program centers on reading. As you say: a straightforward topic, but intimidating in its vagueness. Just write something about books.
Pete


TonyB79
Tony Baker
e-mail user

Dec 10, 2012, 10:48 AM

Post #2503 of 2662 (18165 views)
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Re: [PeteCT] Low-Residency MFAs (app essays) [In reply to] Can't Post

The age-old question: which low residency programs are amenable to genre/popular fiction? I know about Stonecoast, Red Earth, Seton Hill, Western State Colorado, and UC Riverside, and I read back on the first page of this thread (in a very, very old post) that Goddard is - or used to be - pretty open to that kind of thing. Any other suggestions?


Mercy is the mark of a great man.

I guess I'm just a good man.


pongo
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e-mail user

Dec 10, 2012, 11:49 AM

Post #2504 of 2662 (18161 views)
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Re: [TonyB79] Low-Residency MFAs (app essays) [In reply to] Can't Post

Goddard is probably more open to genre than it used to be.


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/


TonyB79
Tony Baker
e-mail user

Dec 12, 2012, 11:29 PM

Post #2505 of 2662 (18078 views)
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Red Earth MFA Program [In reply to] Can't Post

Any students/graduates of this program out there?


Mercy is the mark of a great man.

I guess I'm just a good man.


conspicious
Alice Morris

Jan 2, 2013, 4:46 PM

Post #2506 of 2662 (18009 views)
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Re: [fkaltz] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I've got a bit of a dilemma I'm hoping to get some advice on. I applied to a bunch of full-res programs, along with VCFA and WW. I've been accepted to VCFA already, but they would like an answer by end of Jan. Full-res programs probably won't get back to me until Feb and March, and WW won't be looking at apps until March 1st. I'd really like to know what all my options are before making a final decision though. What should I do about VCFA?


pongo
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e-mail user

Jan 2, 2013, 6:01 PM

Post #2507 of 2662 (18004 views)
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Re: [conspicious] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

You might try calling them and explaining your situation.


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/


barkingmoon
Melissa Matthewson

Jan 18, 2013, 1:15 PM

Post #2508 of 2662 (17908 views)
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Re: [conspicious] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in the same position as you - just received an acceptance to VCFA, but waiting on 8 other programs. What to do?


writerle


Jan 19, 2013, 12:28 AM

Post #2509 of 2662 (17901 views)
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Re: [barkingmoon] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Like David said, call them and explain the situation to them. I went to VCFA and had a similar situation and they were very understanding. Most programs will give you extra time to make a decision. They know not all programs send out their acceptances at the same time.


Sibella
Pam, that is.


Jan 22, 2013, 1:50 PM

Post #2510 of 2662 (17855 views)
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Re: [writerle] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, folks...

This isn't directly in reply to an earlier thread; sorry.

Any thoughts on the best low-res program for a poet who's serious about poetry, wants as much studio/craft-type work and as little lit-crit-type work as possible, isn't in it to get a teaching degree (but rather a sort of mentor-based study that builds on itself over the course of the enrollment), and also wants an ongoing sense of community?

I have applied to a standard program, but I have serious doubts about the old-fashioned class-attendance model. I've swung back to looking at low-res again despite the expense.


"What I wanted to hear didn't exist, so it was necessary for me to go out and create it." --Richard Thompson


pongo
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e-mail user

Jan 22, 2013, 5:18 PM

Post #2511 of 2662 (17848 views)
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Re: [Sibella] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Which is the best is a pretty subjective judgement, but I have a high opinion of Goddard and Warren Wilson for what you are looking for.


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/


karinr
Karin Rosman


Jan 22, 2013, 8:50 PM

Post #2512 of 2662 (17842 views)
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Re: [Sibella] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I love my program, Rainier Writing Workshop. They have great poets there, both students and faculty. There isn't too much in the way of literary criticism, but they allow for some genre crossover. Judith Kitchen and Lia Pupura are there, as is Stephen Corey. I mention them because I've read criticism from Corey and Kitchen, and Purpura's essays make me wish I had the drive to be a poet/essayist. They have a great way of matching mentors and students, so far I've had the opportunity to work with Ann Pancake and Adrianne Harun, who have different styles but have pushed me and encouraged me. I'd like two more years instead of one. Poets in my cohort have said the same about their mentors. If you send them an email, you'd likely get a call from the director of the program. He's nothing short of enthusiastic.

As far as paying for the program, I took out a loan. I flinch when I think of the cost of the whole, but the experience has been worth it, and I will be able to afford the payments when I'm done, even if I'm working as a barista somewhere (which won't happen because I'm not so good with those monstrous machines). Now that I'm in a program and gaining from it, I'd be disappointed if I hadn't taken the jump.


emattison
liza mattison

Jan 24, 2013, 7:51 AM

Post #2513 of 2662 (17814 views)
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Re: [Sibella] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

      Spalding University (Louisville, KY) is a program I would encourage you to consider. Sena Jeter Naslund (fiction; Ahab's Wife) and Kathleen Driskell (poetry; Seeds Across Snow) direct the program and strive to create an environment of encouragement over competition. It's one of the reasons I chose the program, and I found it helps foster a really strong sense of community. The critical work done for the program emphasizes craft over literary criticism, but the vast bulk of your work is devoted to your creative writing. I'm not super familiar with the poetry department per se, but you can check them out here, and for what it's worth, my poetry friends speak highly about all of them.
http://spalding.edu/academics/mfa-in-writing/mfa-faculty/
As for financing it, financial aid is a life saver. There are also a few graduate assistantship positions available through the literary journal, The Louisville Review, which are modest but definitely help.
good luck with your searches!


s0ckeyeus


Feb 6, 2013, 11:59 AM

Post #2514 of 2662 (17714 views)
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Re: [Sibella] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, Spalding is definitely worth looking into. It seems like it might be a good fit with what you're looking for. I'm graduating from Spalding this May. The poetry I am producing now is in a different league from the stuff I was writing before starting the program. I think the brief residency. mentor-based approach works really well. At least it has for me. Spalding has done a great job developing a sense of community, despite students coming from all over the world. The poets are a pretty tight-knit group (but not cliquish). My experience has been overwhelmingly positive.


grubble


Feb 13, 2013, 1:46 AM

Post #2515 of 2662 (17659 views)
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Re: [susanjoy] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I highly rec Antioch LA (where i got my MFA) feel free to message me with questions.


AlisonW
Alison Wellford

Feb 13, 2013, 2:33 PM

Post #2516 of 2662 (17646 views)
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Re: [amy] Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

If anyone is still hunting, Cedar Crest has just announced scholarships and internships available for its MFA applicants.
The residencies are in Europe with top faculty; I don't think I can recommend the program enough. It's a new MFA, therefore very flexible to student needs, like I said, has a superior faculty (National Book Award winner, MacAuthur fellow, poet laureate) and the residencies are held at inspiring locations. This summer will be at Trinity College in Dublin. Have a look!

http://mfa.cedarcrest.edu
http://mfa.cedarcrest.edu/apply/pan-european-mfa-scholarships/


(This post was edited by AlisonW on Feb 13, 2013, 2:35 PM)


jillianlove
Jill Love
e-mail user

Feb 16, 2013, 7:20 PM

Post #2517 of 2662 (17525 views)
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Re: [grubble] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Has anyone been to the University of Iowa's MFA program?


Live through love. I enjoy writing for http://www.famous-love-poems.com


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Feb 16, 2013, 10:05 PM

Post #2518 of 2662 (17514 views)
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Re: [jillianlove] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Iowa isn't a low-residency program. You might have better luck asking in the Iowa topic. The program does have a very good reputation, though.


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/


lalpiger


Feb 18, 2013, 12:58 PM

Post #2519 of 2662 (17466 views)
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Re: [Sibella] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Sibella, I know you posted this a while ago, but I just read it--you've got to look into Spalding's MFA program if you haven't already. They are all about craft, craft, craft, and the mentor-student relationship is SO MUCH better than what you'd get at a "typical" MFA program. You get so much one-on-one attention, and you can choose what you focus on. So if you're not interested in teaching, then you can focus much more on developing your craft. There is, of course, some literary criticism involved, but I think that's something you'll find in every program, and try not to discount it. I'm not a huge fan of literary criticism, but I have to--grudgingly--admit that being forced into it with my MFA really helped me to become a better writer...


loveYA
Keiko Sanders

Feb 25, 2013, 8:44 PM

Post #2520 of 2662 (17207 views)
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Spring/Summer 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Low Res kids, Does anybody post here anymore? I've read such wonderful things about Spalding so I applied on Feb. 1. Trying to be patient but I'm so excited, its hard, especially since it seems people heard earlier in February in the past. Anyone heard back about application decisions from Spalding for Spring/summer?


lalpiger


Feb 27, 2013, 10:34 AM

Post #2521 of 2662 (17028 views)
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Re: [loveYA] Spring/Summer 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, loveYA,
Not really sure when you'll hear back from Spalding, but--as annoying as this sounds--just try to be patient, I guess. I can't remember exactly when I heard back from the MFA programs I applied to--Spalding was the one I ended up choosing--but I'm guessing it varies a lot each year based on number of applicants, etc. I hope you hear something soon. Good luck!


APilgrimSoul
Jessie Bacho

Feb 27, 2013, 4:47 PM

Post #2522 of 2662 (16994 views)
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Re: [AlisonW] Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm excited about Cedar Crest's program, and plan on applying in the future (I'm going to miss this deadline). I had a wonderful B.A. experience at Cedar Crest.


JonathanHelland
Jonathan Helland

Feb 28, 2013, 12:12 AM

Post #2523 of 2662 (16964 views)
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Re: [pongo] Low-Residency MFAs (app essays) [In reply to] Can't Post

Can you tell me why you believe that Goddard is more open to genre fiction?
I'm a genre writer, and I'm trying to decide between VCFA and Goddard.
I also have the impression that Goddard is more open to genre fiction, but I have nothing really to base that on except a hunch.
Both programs have exactly 1 genre writer on their faculty.

On a separate note, I'd appreciate anyone weighing in on my decision in general--there are a lot of pros and cons for both schools and I'm having a devil of a time making up my mind.


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Feb 28, 2013, 7:47 AM

Post #2524 of 2662 (16932 views)
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Re: [JonathanHelland] Low-Residency MFAs (app essays) [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I didn't say Goddard was more open to genre than was VCFA, I said they were more open than they used to be. I couldn't compare them to other schools in that regard.

Comparing the two schools, I think Goddard is a bit more of the traditional counterculture, in a more rural setting. Goddard also has the teaching practicum, if that's valuable to you. VCFA is right downtown in Montpelier, so it has easier access to Rivendell and Bear Pond, two very nice bookstores.


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/


AlisonW
Alison Wellford

Mar 5, 2013, 12:47 PM

Post #2525 of 2662 (16358 views)
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Re: [APilgrimSoul] Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Cedar Crest just announced an extension of its application deadline. It's now April 1st. They also have new scholarships and internships to offer.
mfa.cedarcrest.edu



In Reply To
I'm excited about Cedar Crest's program, and plan on applying in the future (I'm going to miss this deadline). I had a wonderful B.A. experience at Cedar Crest.


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