Just back from Seaside, Oregon where I’ve spent the last ten days attending writing workshops, craft lectures, and faculty readings at Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program. Hadn’t even unpacked when, while scrolling through ten days worth of tweets, I came across this buzz-killing link by Willow Springs (a cool literary mag, though its name sounds like a porn star’s nom de guerre). The article it references came out more than three months ago, but what the hell– a strong dose of “shut the fuck up and write” is always good for this MFAer’s soul. <—[“soul” is too abstract, a cliche. Concretize the image? kthnxbai]
via The Village Voice:
Are Creative Writing MFAs a “Ponzi Scheme”?
By Foster Kamer
A Master of Fine Arts in creative writing in America is a curious piece of paper, one that says something about the person holding it — mostly, that they survived an MFA program without killing themselves, which apparently isn’t easy — and also, in some circles, acts as a certification that the MFAs holder is a writer of a specific, high regard. But as the debate as to whether or not an undergraduate degree is losing its value in America rages on, the question as to whether or not post-graduate writing degrees are actually worth anything — in fiscal amounts, craft, or otherwise — remains a lesser-asked inquiry, because only people who think they can become writers actually give a shit. But it’s a question that remains, no less.
So, is it?