Saturday, June 10, 2006

Brooklyn College or City College?

K writes...

I have been accepted into the MFA(Poetry) program at Brooklyn College as well as City College. I just cannot decide between the two!

K, hopefully some of our readers will have insight.

Tell us more in the comments section though. What criteria are you weighing?

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

If it's fiction, I'd choose Brooklyn without any hesitation. I don't know much about poetry.

Anonymous said...

Brooklyn has Michael Cunningham of "The Hours" fame, teaching in their fiction program. Apparently, he declined offers from Princeton and NYU to come to Brooklyn.

But for my purposes(poetry):
City has Marilyn Hacker, Elaine Equi and Eve Grubin. Hacker and Equi are excellent poets and teachers.

Brooklyn poets are Julie Agoos and Louis Asekoff. Asekoff formerly was part of Allen Ginsberg's inner circle, and is a terrific teacher, with a lot of wisdom to share, from what I hear from current students.

The tuition and funding is the same.

The only edge I can think of at Brooklyn is their one-on-one tutorial with a professor that you can take upto four times during your degree.

Honestly, I didn't even apply to non-cuny schools. One, because I just don't want to leave NYC, and two, the rest of the schools here are too expensive for me.

Any thoughts? Suggestions?

Thanks,
KS

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about the location? Where do you live? In Brooklyn, Queens, or Manhattan? I always didn’t like the location of The City College. It’s in West Harlem, not a good neighborhood, and it became sort of a black college after it adopted the open admission policy in the 60’s. The campus facilties are bad--probably it’s the same in the other CUNY colleges. I think City College has more alumni success than Brookyn or probably any other colleges in the South, even Houston since they have a Pulitzer Prize winnder and many other well-known writers as its graduates—and Alan Ziegler, chair of the Columbia Writing Program and Ben Marcus are also its graduates.

Anonymous said...

It looks like City College has better poetry faculty, and also more experimental?

Anonymous said...

a black college....in harlem... oh noes1111!!!1

Anonymous said...

For the record, I live in Brooklyn. But that's not a factor for me. I love being on the train.

City College has long been considered the Harvard of the poor. It's the only public university in the country that boasts of a nine nobel prize laureates as their alumni. I don't mind studying up in Harlem either. Columbia is only a few blocks away. The open admission policy was amended in the 90's.

The thing is, I don't have enough inside information about the two programs. I've spoken to one former student at each college. I imagine City would be open to experimental poetry, though Hacker is a well-known formalist, and very good at it.

I hear their creative writing program in past years has accepted a few international students, from France and Spain specifically, so if that happens this year as well, that would be nice.

KS

Anonymous said...

You can ask Maud Newton for some inside info. I am not sure whether she graduated or is still attending City College.

Anonymous said...

I would also love love love to hear any and all things about City College's MFA program. I'm headed there this Fall for certain but notwithstanding the solidity of my choice would still like to hear some gossip.

Also: Cringe-wortby question, I'm certain -- have any MFA folk felt inhibited in their writing when starting a program? Out of self-conciousness, excessive expectations, or just plain shyness? As a retired attorney I can write my way around a courtroom, yet my fingers are beginning to curl in fear at the prospect of the workshop dissection. Hints, advice?

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Manny said...

Hi,

for undergrad creative writing,new school,city or brooklyn college?

thanks,

mh

helen_boyd said...

interesting question. i'm a brooklyn resident and a CCNY alum, & while i loved the English Dept up there (though it's changed since i left), you can also work with profs at CUNY (with permission) if you go to either.

so there's that.

as for it being a "black campus" - besides "oy" - the diversity of voices at CCNY was its best selling point, imho.

Cory said...

hey, i also just got accepted into city college's MFA program for poetry. any info anyone has on the program would be greatly appreciated- i have researched the faculty (you're right, KS, the teaching poets are fabulous), and as much as i can about the college without speaking to students or visiting, but i would really love to know more about class size, bureaucracy issues, how to get help with tuition, can i take classes at any other CUNYs?, are the classes challenging?, are the workshops worth the money? are the required courses interesting? And a million more things I will not waste time posting... Any CCNY poetry students out there who can enlighten me (us)?

Lady in Red said...

Cory,

Did you ever get more information? I've just been accepted to CCNY for poetry as well, and I'd love some insight if anyone has any to share...

Thanks, in advance.

Maureen said...

Wow did it ever occur to any of you that the people applying are black??
Geez -racist much?

Lady in Red said...

right Maureen...sheesh

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Brooklyn Soul Harlem Light said...

some of these anonymous bloggers are racist. don't you think black people apply to MFA programs too? I think that comment about city college being "the harvard of the poor" and how it has more blacks due to the open door policy is insensitive. Oh..so you don't wanna go to any school with black writers, huh? If i knew who you were, i would not wanna be in your class (which ever school is unfortunate to have you). You'll get what's coming to you some day with such hatred, ignorance and negativity. As artists, we can't segregate each other.

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MysticalPoet said...

Hi everyone, I was just accepted into the MFA in creative writing program at City College, CUNY. I was wondering what you all think about the program there. Is it ranked well and how are the poetry faculty? Also, will I be able to get a teaching position with a degree from there? Should I look into other programs as well? I'm worried that since City College is not on the Poets and Writers best MFA in creative writing programs, that will lower my chances at getting a good teaching job in the future. What do you guys think? Thanks!

Brooklyn Soul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brooklyn Soul said...

@Mystic...wow, City College accept people in December? That doesn't sound right. You should be sending off your application, not receiving one. Unless City accepts in the Spring? Hmmm.

Anyway, to answer your question, Sarah Lawrence College is the best MFA program for poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Uhm...maybe I'm biased because I go there and LOVE it! :-)

At the end of the day, I think you should choose the school that feels right for you. A school that you think could improve your technique as a writer and nurture your creativity. It doesn't have to be at the top of "Poets and Writers".

MysticalPoet said...

Hey Brooklyn Soul,

City College is one of the few colleges that has a spring admissions for its MFA in Creative Writing Program. I was just accepted for the Spring 2011 semester.

I know Sarah Lawrence has a great MFA program and I thought about applying there, but it's very expensive, so I did not apply. Do you know of any other good/affordable MFA in Creative Writing Programs in NY? Thanks!

Mystical

MysticalPoet said...

But thanks for your reply Brooklyn Soul. City College seems decent, although I don't know much about it honestly. I suppose I should go for advisement. And perhaps I'll apply to other CUNY colleges like Brooklyn College and Hunter College, since they are relatively less expensive than other MFA programs in NY. I wish Sarah Lawrence was cheaper! I would have loved to have gone there. The poetry faculty seem awesome.

KRoberts said...

I was looking for info on the City College program and found this post. I live around the corner from the CC campus, and because of the perception that it's a poor or dangerous neighborhood, I rent the top floor of a brownstone, beautiful and huge, for a silly low rent. Not that I want to ruin that in any way by inviting people up here ... but when you leave the subway, turn left on Convent and walk up to the CC campus, you're walking up one of the most peaceful, beautiful streets in the city, nominated thus in fact by New York Magazine.