This guy is rapidly becoming the most famous Creative Writing student the world has ever known. Makes the whole MFA vs. New York City discussion seem a little unambitious.
Creative-writing MFA student to co-host the Oscars
Although most of the world knows Hathaway and Franco as talented young actors who can move from blockbusters to indie films and back again, book geeks know that Franco has a literary side.
Franco enrolled in Columbia University’s prestigious creative-writing MFA program in 2008; three credits shy of his degree, he stepped away from classes to film Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours.”
MFA vs. NYC: America now has two distinct literary cultures. Which one will last?
In his 2009 book, The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing, Mark McGurl describes how American fiction has become inseparable from its institutional context—the university—as particularly embodied in the writing workshop. The book is remarkable in many respects, not least for McGurl’s suggestive readings of a host of major American writers, not just Flannery O’Connor and Raymond Carver, the compact form and ashamed contents of whose work have made them program icons, but also verbally expansive writer-professors like Nabokov and Joyce Carol Oates. In terms of the intellectual history of the writing workshop, The Program Era marks a turning point after which the MFA program comes to seem somehow different than it had previously seemed. It feels, reading McGurl, as if the MFA beast has at last been offered a look in the mirror, and may finally come to know itself as it is.