For the past few months, I have been reaching out to poets from both inside and outside the MFA to discuss the merits and drawbacks of the current MFA system and to consider how it can be bettered.
As a holder of the degree, it would be nice to lift the English Masters Lite stigma. I am wondering what those of you who attend or teach in an MFA think might improve your program. For those looking at programs, how closely have you considered the curricular requirements of the programs to which you're applying? What criteria are you using?
I'm most interested in pedagogical questions. As a poet and visual artist who also works with sound, I wanted more interdisciplinary opportunities. I also hankered for a more demanding academic program that considered the history of poetry and asked poets to have a firm grasp on prosody.
What do you think would make for an ideal program? If your experiences were generally positive, to what do you attribute that success? If you didn't feel that the degree benefited you as a writer, what do you think could have been done differently?