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July 17, 2007



You've got a typo there: it's not h-o-b-b-y - it's s-o-l-e- -p-r-o-p-i-e-t-o-r-s-h-i-p. Not that an MFA is needed for either.

Not sure you can measure an art school's success except by maybe word on the street, and that could lag dangerously. Publications may have more to do with the recruits and that depends mostly on faculty, I think. Then again, one's fellow students can be more important than faculty so maybe publications could be a measure. Chicken or egg.

Richard Grayson

The Brooklyn College MFA was invaluable for me, both in terms of the time it gave me and the people I met there who became friends and mentors. But it was a very different time, with different attitudes hard to comprehend by young writers and would-be writers today. What my classmates and I worried most about was selling out. I fretted that my first book was being published by a commercial publisher rather than a small press, worrying that people would think badly of me.

I'm currently a faculty member at an art school considered one of the best in the country, but of course all I do is try to do is help teach young animators, photographers, sculptors, etc. how to write a coherent argumentative essay and distinguish between "it's" and "its," and I force them to read Sophocles, Dante, Shakespeare, Voltaire and Virginia Woolf. Some of my former students when I taught there in the late 1970s/early 1980s I do know about from seeing their gallery shows reviewed, and the school has lots of really famous graduates -- and dropouts. Like a lot of creative writing MFA programs, it can be a very nurturing place.

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