Posts Tagged: MFA

An Ideal MFA

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How would a writer without an MFA imagine an ideal Creative Writing degree program? Over at Ploughshares, Rebecca Makkai invites you to consider her optimal 2015/2016 course catalog, warning that “the course offerings will be much more practical than “Problems in Modern Fiction.” We’ll cover the things you need to know.

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Fine the Way You Are

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Homogeneity in the literary scene isn’t a recent development. Earlier this year, Junot Diaz caused a stir by branding the unbearable too-whiteness of his workshop experience. Justin Torres and Ayana Mathis couldn’t help but contribute:

“One of the characters is sort of referred to as having something like almond skin, something that would identify the character as black.

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How to Write (for Actual Legal Tender)

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Over at The Awl, Heather Havrilesky, a writer without an MFA, has some humorous and candid freelancing tips for her MFA students and us readers. Havrilesky knows we’ll appreciate this advice, since she’s “one of the only writers [her] students know who earns actual legal tender from her writing—instead of say, free copies of Ploughshares”:

It’s annoying, to have to take time out of my incredibly busy writing schedule in order to spell it all out for young people, just because they spend most of their daylight hours being urged by hoary old theorists in threadbare sweaters to write experimental fiction that will never sell.

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David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: Is Franz Wright the Rush Limbaugh of American Poetry?

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I had intended this week to write about gratitude. To express my thanks to all the new readers of Poetry Wire and The Rumpus and to wish you all a pleasant Thanksgiving. I wanted to say something about the necessity of thankfulness in art and poetry, to say that this week I rededicate myself to having kind thoughts, to not get angry or think badly about others, to work to the benefit of others as much as I can.

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