It’s nice when you’re #1

 As I’ve written before, I’m not the biggest fan of ranking MFA programs, though I do think those rankings have some value. For one, they tell you what programs other applicants are likely to apply to. When they’re despcriptive, they can give you some valuable information as well. Though I don’t take a lot ofContinue reading “It’s nice when you’re #1”

Writing Digital Literature

My article “Crossing Genres in Digital Writing” is available at the Macmillan International Higher Ed blog. They are my publisher for A Writer’s Craft. I decided to write on digital writing because it’s an area I’ve been exploring recently. One of the most fun classes I get to teach in The W’s low-residency MFA programContinue reading “Writing Digital Literature”

The Personal / Universal Paradox in Art

The other day, one of my low-res MFA students, Dani Putney, and I were conferencing a poem and we got into a side discussion of the personal and the universal. Dani’s stance, which I agree with, is that the Universal doesn’t exist. (I’ll use a capital letter here, though Dani didn’t since we were talking byContinue reading “The Personal / Universal Paradox in Art”

How to Prepare to Apply for an MFA Program, Part 2

So you’ve been writing, revising, reading magazines and books (as I suggested in Part 1 of this series), and you feel like you’re ready to start the application process. How can you navigate the difficult journey to an MFA? Fortunately, there are a lot of resources that can help you choose a program and figure outContinue reading “How to Prepare to Apply for an MFA Program, Part 2”

Learning from My Students

When I first started The W’s MFA in Creative Writing, I wrote in our Student Handbook (which I’ve been editing this summer) that the students are our colleagues, perhaps the teachers are a little further along in their writing careers (though not always older), but the students shouldn’t feel like they are any less becauseContinue reading “Learning from My Students”

Keeping the Res in Low-Residency MFA

As our low-residency MFA program enters its fifth year, it seems like a good time to reflect on where we’ve come and how we’ve evolved, and that includes why we’re committed to the low-res format for the degree. Our program is different from many low-res MFAs out there because we follow an online class model.Continue reading “Keeping the Res in Low-Residency MFA”

Transcripts for the MFA Application

I’ve reached Day 8 in Kenzie Allen’s 10-day course on applying for the MFA in creative writing, and she’s talking about the CV, transcripts, and the GRE. She has a lot of good advice, so if you haven’t taken her free course, you should. She even links to my blog a few times, so sheContinue reading “Transcripts for the MFA Application”

Revisiting the Statement of Purpose for the MFA

This week, I’ve been learning how to apply to MFA programs in creative writing: I decided to take a free course, even though I direct an MFA program. I’m taking the course to see what Kenzie Allen has to say about the process and to review what I think about it, since I’ve written aContinue reading “Revisiting the Statement of Purpose for the MFA”

Remembering a Mentor

This weekend, I drove from Mississippi to western Illinois for the memorial gathering of one of my main college mentors, Robin Metz. The many hours by myself in the car on the the way there and back gave me lots of time to reflect, and seeing so many people come out for the memorial wasContinue reading “Remembering a Mentor”