I’m in that small and shrinking group of writers who don’t have MFAs. Which I think makes me uniquely qualified to start my own MFA program. Haven’t most education reformers come from outside the system? My program will, for starters, involve napping and swimming pools. And the course offerings will be much more practical than “Problems in Modern Fiction.” We’ll cover the things you need to know. (The writing part you can figure out on your own.) I herewith present my 2015-2016 course catalog.
I was 21 years old when I first read José Emilio Pacheco, one of Mexico’s premier literary writers, who died earlier this month. I found him by being nosy, browsing through my friend’s bookshelves while he was having sex with his girlfriend in her father’s Land Rover, somewhere out on top of a hill. She refused to stay in the house should his parents come home (and also, presumably, because I was in the house), so they left me behind. I had no idea I would read a poem that would change my life that day.
In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines and websites, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. This week we bring you posts about writers and their mentors.
- Two Native American poets speak of how their friendship influenced their craft and creativity in “I Don’t Stand Alone: Poets Orlando White and Sherwin Bitsui on the Importance of Mentors”
- Thomas Lee interviews his mentor Tom Parker in “Tips and Tricks: an Interview with Tom Parker.” Parker, too, provides a rich selection of writing advice as he reflect over how he critiqued Lee’s stories.
- In “Patience and Courage: Finding the Balance between Teaching and Writing,” Jennifer De Leon highlights how she was guided by her mentor when her writing life got out of balance.
In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines and websites, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. This week we bring you posts about what to do now that you’ve graduated.
- Eric Weinstein plans out an “Exit Strategy” for an MFA looking towards imminent graduation.
- Looking back post-MFA, Ian Stansel gives advice on “How to Leave School (Without Leaving Your Writing Behind).”
- As an MFA, you’re most likely faced with the question, “Do I go into teaching?” Eric Weinstein evaluates the options in “Those Who Can, Teach.”
From Around the Web:
- Over at the Poetry Foundation, Jeremy Hoevenaar reflects on his MFA experience and what he discovered after he left.
- Jean Hartig describes the set-apartness of the MFA program, and the need for a writing community afterwards, in her article at Poets & Writers.
- Nicole Nelson at F Newsmagazine addresses the challenges faced by those graduating with arts degrees, specifically the MFA, in “Life After the MFA.”
- The Chronicle of Higher Education has some interesting (depressing?) stats on what writers are doing after they graduate in “What Becomes of an MFA.”