Here's the third and final post detailing the graduate faculty writers of color teaching in MA, MFA, and PhD programs in states Texas to Wyoming. As before, if I've missed anyone whose permanent faculty at in a graduate creative writing program, please let me know and I'll add them in. These posts are largely meant to help us all have a better perspective of what's out there, who's teaching where, and where you might go if you're hoping to work with a creative writing mentor who is also POC.Read More
This post continues our project of identifying who is teaching where when it comes to permanent creative writing faculty in MA, MFA, and PhD programs across the United States. As noted earlier, there's a good chance I've missed a few people (and possibly programs) -- please feel free to notify me if there are any glaring errors or omissions. This is intended as a snapshot of the current state of things (as of June 2017) -- people do move around and programs will hire more POC creative writing faculty, but at the very least we can get a glimpse of what's going on -- and hopefully this will be a good resource for anyone considering doing graduate work in creative writing.Read More
I think a big challenge for many writers considering an MFA or a PhD is trying to figure out where to go and who to study with. Often a young writer of color does not have easy access to information about programs or faculty who might be a good fit. Given the sheer number of possible programs, finding potential faculty mentors of color can be exhausting and discouraging. In an effort to remedy this in some small way, I've spent the last few weeks researching graduate creative writing programs, trying to build a snapshot of who is teaching where, and what genres are being covered in different programs.Read More
The desire to seek out a mentor is an old one. One of the classic tropes in Tang dynasty poetry is the scholar-official's unsuccessful attempt to visit a recluse, often with the intent to discuss poetry and/or enlightenment. In most of these cases, the seeker's encounter with absence becomes the occasion for relaying a conversation that never takes place. Rather than viewing such missed encounters with disappointment, the tone of these poems tends toward a strange peaceful reverie in the poet's momentary brush with enlightenment (see Paula S. Varsano's excellent critical piece on this tradition). Somehow in not finding the hermit, the seeker finds something else awakened and revealed in the awaiting silence.
For most of us, the failure to find the mentor we are seeking rarely translates into an epiphany about what we are trying to do or become as writers. Instead, silence sometimes begets more silence. Absence, further absence. The missing mentor leaves a void that cannot be adequately or satisfactorily filled with the surrounding white noise of the world.Read More