I picked up the Nov/Dec 2007 issue of Poets & Writers at B&N today while picking up a copy of Frederick Douglass’s autobiography after losing my previous copy needed for an essay in a history class. They have titled it their ‘MFA’ issue, and have to say that from my first, relatively quick read-through of their MFA articles, and knowing how many of ‘us’ are planning on at least considering the possibility of grad. school, I’d highly recommend this to anyone. It even has a piece written by an MFA student on his experiences in taking a TA position to fund his stay in the program — very interesting indeed.

And really…Iowa? I understand it’s a very prestigious MFA program, but…I have an authentic fear that I’d find myself in the middle of flat nothingness in the middle of the country with nothing to inspire me. Corn? Potatoes? Other stereotypical ‘Iowa-Can’t-Really-Be-That-Boring’ things? But I think the collective articles do a good job focusing on what some people think of as the ‘MFA atmosphere’, and some people think MFA programs ‘churn out’, and then debunking them. The best idea I took from the whole thing, was that writers ad non-writers (are there such things, really?) need to both drop the idea that writing is something alien to other art forms. I’m paraphrasing here, but: “Writing can be taught. I’ve been taught, and I’ve taught others. You can’t teach talent, but you can nurture it.”

Anyway – I think the Writer’s Meetings are my church, if I can say writing and poetry in particular are my religion. I think the creative and (not to sound too sentimental) spiritual drought as of late has either been directly caused or directly strengthened by my missing so many meetings. While I was already feeling a slide back into a creative and productive mood, the meeting definitely brought it all to a boil. Refocusing efforts both on school items and artistic things.

On that note, it’s time to go write that history essay. Again, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing some good friends and artisitc colleagues last Friday, and authentically anticipate the next. Hopefully you’ll be seeing some new work up soon, and, Poetry God willing, maybe even some submissions sent, perhaps even (dare I speak the words?). . .published. Main Street Rag is target #1, for lack of a reason not to have it so.



2 thoughts on “Bits”

  1. Thanks for the great suggestion, Ryan. And it was really great to have you back at the workshop again. There is a synergy that happens whenever we all get together and it is very good. I can’t wait to see what you turn out next.

  2. I agree about that powerful surge….and Ryan put it interms of religion so Ryan is a “backslider” when he doesn’t come (not that I’m the best example of perfect attendance) and “when 2 or 3 are gathered…”

    Ryan, submit!

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