What’s It Like at Your MFA Program?


John Gallaher is looking for responses in what he’s calling his “Market Research Friday.” Yes, it’s Saturday, but I suspect he’s leaving comments open for a while yet. Here’s what he’s mainly asking for:

“1. Is there an reigning, asserted aesthetic where you feel forced or seduced into writing in a “camp”? Is there a two-camp model being talked about, and do you feel you are being indoctrinated into one side or the other? What are your reading lists like? Who is ignored?

2. Is there talk of the “real world” in your MFA program? Is there conversation about this notion of the “professional artist”? How does the faculty talk about this? How do students talk about this?”

He’s doing this in the context of the P&W rankings, and asking primarily from people in the top 20 programs, but anyone is welcome to answer. If you’re a current or recent MFA student and have something to offer, head on over there. He’s welcoming anonymous comments.

Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →