A note from Porter Shreve, Program Director of the Purdue MFA program:
"Great site, Tom. I wanted to echo pretty much everything you’re saying here — go to a program where you can get full funding, where all students are funded the same, and where a real emphasis is placed on the work and the creative writing community. I went to the University of Michigan’s MFA, and have taught at the University of Oregon, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and am now Director of Creative Writing at Purdue. I want to put in a plug for programs like these — small programs housed within large universities, located in college towns. I think there's much to be said for retreating to a smallish city of, say, 100,000 to 200,000, to immerse completely (and inexpensively) in the craft. I certainly found this in Ann Arbor, Eugene and Greensboro -- and, now, in West Lafayette at Purdue.
"In pretty much all ways Purdue meets your criteria for a top tier program. Our faculty includes a National Book Award finalist, NEA and Guggenheim recipients, regulars in such places as Best American Poetry and Best American Short Stories. We're about to hire a third poet, after which our student to faculty ratio will be 4:1, one of the best in the country. All of our 24 students are fully funded, with tuition wavers and between $11,600 and $13,000 stipends. We're a three-year program, which as I see it means one more year to write. Our third years work closely with the MFA faculty in their thesis year and leave the program with a book length and ideally publishable manuscript by the end of their time here.
"I've taught at more hyped programs, but this is definitely the most collegial place I've been. I'm on the English Department bowling team, for the love of God! As the new director of the program I'm doing what I can to make us less of a well-kept secret. We have excellent funding, very strong students and faculty and, if you’re up for those Midwestern vibes (we're less than an hour from Indianapolis and two hours from Chicago) this is a great place to be."