Friday, June 23, 2006

Extra Workshops in the Midwest?

Mr. Pen-demonium writes...

Are there particular MFA programs in the Midwest (for poetry) that
offer an especially high number of workshops as their curriculum?

I want a lot of opportunities to write (and get feedback) and I'm
wondering if you could recommend particular programs with such an
emphasis.

Mr. P, of course there are a few exceptions, but four workshops are pretty standard for most MFA programs. If someone has other information, please do share it here.

Stating the obvious: Programs that last more than two years are more likely to give students additional workshop opportunities. This was the case at UMass when I was there.

A good starting point for programs in the Midwest in general: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Washington (MO), Minnesota, and Notre Dame. UPDATE: Our reader Dani reminds me to include Purdue. Now I have, and so should you. Thanks Dani.

8 comments:

Bhavin said...

I know this won't help much, but I'm going to South Carolina in the fall, and their curriculum is 5 workshops (its a 3 year program)

Dani said...

Kealey! You forgot Purdue! Four workshops like many others, but that additional year to work closely with stellar faculty and really ruminate on what those workshops did for your writing...don't discount it.

katefromkansas said...

The University of Kansas just started an MFA program. I know programs need a few years to build their reputation, but the students and faculty are very dedicated and excited. The MFA offers at least 12 hours of workshop, and also 15 thesis hours, so you do a lot of writing. Plus, Lawrence is an amazing (though little known) place to live!

Incredible Undulating Daughter said...

Hi Kate. Do you have a program specific web address for KU or funding info? I just found the general faculty page.

Looks like Rebecca Curtis and Deb Olin Unferth teach there (hooray!). But...both are young, and from Syracuse, which makes me wonder if I should just apply to Syracuse...

katefromkansas said...

Hey daughter,

The MFA website is finished, and should go up soon. You probably already found the page about coursework: http://www.english.ku.edu/graduate_program.htm

Rebecca is actually moving to NY this year to focus on writing, which is sad because she's a great teacher, but Deb is amazing as well. She's been great about bringing visiting writers (Diane Williams, and I think Gary Lutz is coming this year). Tom Lorenz is a fantastic teacher, and Adam Desnoyers (Syracuse grad, O.Henry winner 3 years ago) works in the department as well.

Of course, it's still a young program, very different from Syracuse, with different pros and cons. Apply to both!

Sorry to be long-winded, everyone. And daughter, feel free to email me with any other questions: misskate@ku.edu.

davincisdiva said...

Hello everyone. I am a student in the NEOMFA and I wanted to plug my program. It is a three year program which allows for 4 workshops in genre and 1 out with an additional 6 hours set aside as thesis hours.

Nervous in L.A. said...

Tom, you forgot Ohio State! Their funding is excellent, and Columbus is a great place to live.

Chad Simpson said...

Just want to add one more: Southern Illinois University Carbondale. It's my alma mater, but I studied fiction, not poetry, so I suppose I'm not being totally self-serving. The poets on staff include Rodney Jones, Allison Joseph, and Judy Jordan, who are all great. Four poetry workshops, three-year program--so there's an extra year to work on the thesis. Recent students, especially in the poetry program, have been publishing very well.