Article Archive: Special Section

Articles from Poet & Writers Magazine include material from the print edition plus exclusive online-only material.

2011 MFA Rankings: The Top Fifty

Seth Abramson

A combination of hard data from programs that release funding and admissions figures to the public and a vital survey of what the individuals comprising the next generation of U.S. poets and writers have to say about their own priorities in choosing a postgraduate program, here is a ranking of the nation's top fifty MFA programs.

Necessary Agent

Jofie Ferrari-Adler

An editor reveals how the best agents—Molly Friedrich, Jud Laghi, Chris Parris-Lamb, Scott Moyers, and Jennifer Joel among them—work behind the scenes to help their clients’ books get the attention they deserve.

The Top Fifty MFA Programs in the United States: A Comprehensive Guide

Seth Abramson

In this excerpted version of his article from the November/December 2009 issue, contributor Seth Abramson reveals the methodology behind his ranking of the top fifty MFA programs in the United States, plus a ranking of the additional eighty-eight full-residency programs. For the full article and additional data for each program, including size, duration, cost of living, teaching load, and curriculum focus, see the November/December 2009 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

From Page to Pixels: The Evolution of Online Journals

Sandra Beasley

Creative writers stand at the edge of a digital divide. On one side: the traditions of paper. On the other: the lure of the Internet. As glossy magazines die by the dozen and blogs become increasingly influential, we face the reality that print venues are rapidly ceding ground to Web-based publishing. Yet many of us still hesitate to make the leap.

Regrouping After the MFA: How to Find Community Postprogram

Jean Hartig

After a brief but torrential thunderstorm in mid-June, eight writers of poetry and prose, myself included, huddled around a picnic table crowded with three-buck beer and leaves of printed-out poems, stories, and essays in the concrete garden of a Brooklyn bar. It had been almost a year since I'd taken a seat at a table with other writers to talk about the stuff, the meat of our writing and the project at hand every time each of us settles in to confront the blank page.

High Lonesome: Wyoming's Ucross and Jentel

Lisa A. Phillips

Northeastern Wyoming is a rugged place, where the ruins of turn-of-the-century homesteads still stand in the tall grass, and communities gather every spring to watch cowboys wrestle their calves down for branding. An average of five people per mile populate this High Plains landscape of low, bison-backed hills and rushing creeks. Such rough, isolated grace makes the region an ideal, though unexpected, environment for an artists colony—or better yet, two of them.

A First-Timer Reveals How It Feels

Steve Almond

Last April (the 22nd, to be exact), I received an advance copy of the New York Times review of my debut story collection. The piece, which appeared in the Sunday Book Review, began as follows: "There's a postadolescent period many of us would rather forget: that summer or decade when we have no idea what we're doing. Days are measured in beer, TV and dead-end jobs. It is a dull time to live through, and duller still to read about. "Which doesn't stop young writers from writing about it."