Monday, January 24, 2011

The Creative Writing MFA - A Professor's Point of View

The Chronicle of Higher Education just published an excerpt from Roger Rosenblatt's new book, Unless It Moves the Human Heart: The Craft and Art of Writing. In it he discusses the graduate-level creative writing workshop from a professor's point of view. What are your thoughts on it? Comments?

10 comments:

M. said...

Two wonderful parts of this excerpt:

"students...avid to join a profession that practically guarantees them rejection, poverty, and failure."

So, here's to our unconscious protest against the age. I think he's onto something indeed.

anotherjenny said...

I really enjoyed reading this, partially because I teach and I often feel the way this professor does about my students. The way he writes... I can tell he believes in them so much, each in their own way. Not that any or all of them will go on to write best-selling novels, but they will all go on to do something, and he wants to help them do it better.

That's how I feel, and why I think I'll end up teaching writing as well as writing writing. Personally, I'm much more interested in the craft of teaching and sustaining a writing community than picking apart the notion of what constitutes "literature" or where it's "headed." I like this guy's notion of stories: we tell them. We have to. We do or we don't. For my own process, I function best not thinking too much into it.

Not to pick on this wonderful blog or any of its contributors, but sometimes I choose not to read it because it can generate frenzies of angst/circular debates that often belabor the act of writing: that is, just doing it. Do it!!!!!

But overall, I DO appreciate the community :) Gotta take the good with the bad.

michiganwriter said...

I loved reading this. Thanks for sharing!

Sally Jane said...

Glad you liked it!

anotherjenny said...

@ michiganwriter

I grew up in Dearborn Heights and went to UM for undergrad. Are you a MIgander?

Daj said...

I enjoyed this quite a bit, but lots of my colleagues in my M.A. program would probably take issue with this: "While programs in English literature have withered in the last 25 years, because of a useless competition of various critical approaches, and also probably an exhaustion of the material, writing programs have burgeoned."

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