Monday, April 10, 2006

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

I don't have the information that can answer Accepted and Aggravated's question. But maybe you do? If you have any insights, please leave them in the comments section.

I was accepted to the MFA in Writing at the School of the Art Institute of
Chicago, but I CAN'T FIND ANYTHING OUT ABOUT IT besides from the school itself.
I am going there next week to scope the scene, but was wondering what the word
is around town on their program. Do you know how it compares to more
well-known programs (reputation-wise, curriculum-wise,
making-you-a-better-writer-wise)? I love that they offer an inter-disciplinary
approach to writing, however I don't want to end up being a black sheep at a
school packed full of artists whose faculty devote more time to fine arts than
written art. So if you do know anything about it, is the writing program sharp
enough to not pale in respect to the studio arts programs?


Killing Myself with Comparisons in Cleveland said...

I am going to the open house at SAIC tomorrow too, and I am very, very curious to hear what they have to say for themselves. It is an outrageously expensive program.
I don't know much, but I will tell you what I do know:

1. I have a friend finishing the program now who has absolutely loved it, loved her teachers and feels like her writing has really grown, but has big questions about spending so much money on her MFA.

2. The Poetry Center of Chicago is housed at SAIC, and they seem to bring in a lot of writers - poets and otherwise. The presence of the center lends to my (largely unsupported) impression that the "art" people take the writing people seriously. One of the reasons I was attracted to the school is that it views creative writing as art-making.

3. When I told the program coordinator at another school, to which I was not accepted, that I had been accepted to SAIC, she responded: "OH! Well, now I don't feel so bad. The Art Institute is the cutting edge." That made me feel a little better too.

We'll see what the program has to say for itself tomorrow. Perhaps I'll run into you there, AaA. I'm the one with red sparkly cat's eye glasses.

Anonymous said...

I too have been accepted to SAIC-for the MFA-writing and have had the same qualms about the program. Since I live in New Hampshire I can't make it to the Open House...can you lend anymore insight into what the school said for themselves...?

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is a lot more money than traditional universities, but you would be studying under some great writers, a poet Dan Beachy-Quick comes to mind. Plus, the Poetry Center of Chicago is fabulous and the city is awesome for poets, so many outlets. If you do go there, live somewhere else that is not by the school so you get the neighborhood effect that is prevalent there! Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys,

I wouldn't bank on the Poetry Center of Chicago as part of your SAIC experience. The Poetry Center IS NOT part of the writing program, and really the two programs do not interact very much. I am an SAIC Writing Alumni from 2004. If you have any specific questions I'd be happy to help you out. Basically, the school is what you make it. It is a very loose and challenging environment, and once you're accepted you are free to customize your education. This can range from discovering new visual art forms, to the type of education you would recieve at any other school. If you're looking for an environment that will lead you to a publishing career and work in the field, I would suggest you look elsewhere. The SAIC program is about making ART, and unlike many schools--they generally don't care about your publishing record before you leave. What they are concerned with is challenging traditionally accepted forms and pushing students in their own direction. Like I said, let me know if you have more specific questions. The money is a major obstacle, so you need to decide now what your expectations are and how much you're willing to sacrifice to go there.

inuit said...

Interesting blog about publishing poetry, keep up the good work publishing poetry

butane_bob said...

It takes juevos to be in chicago. most of the women and men at the saic are really 'cutting edge'. But they also seem to really care about how you will grow. graduate programs take a ton of personal energy and an okaygoahead mentality to really get the bang for a (large) buck. But, there's nothing like chicago, and nowhere like saic. you jus gotta jump in and create. publishing becomes almost a sideline venture. art is living, teaching is eating, publishing is a potato sack race on the beach.

I'm Booked said...

I won't be able to make it to the open house either tomorrow, I live in Miami . . . I think they should have done it on a weekend and also given more notice. Those of you who are going please fill us in on your thoughts/opinions.

I'd also love to get in touch with the Alum who graduated in 2004 and posted earlier.

I was given quite a bit of funding from them . . . but was also accepted at two programs in NY, this is a tough decision, and I feel like I know little about the caliber of writers the art institute puts out/ quality of teaching there.

K said...

How's the SAIC writing program so far?

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