There’s a new M.F.A. program on the scene with a new twist. The College of New Rochelle has launched a new M.F.A. with concentrations in fiction and nonfiction (sorry poets) and a focus on “literary citizenship.” According to Talk of the Sound, this focus is dealt with in "literature electives [that] stress themes of social integration of classes, races, religions, and lifestyles."
In last weekend's New York Times Book Review, Timothy Aubry reviewed Eric Bennett’s book Workshops of Empire, a book which, according to Aubry, offers "an understanding of how Cold War politics helped to create the aesthetic standards that continue to rule over writing workshops today.” But, he says, "despite Bennett’s misgivings about creative-writing workshops, his book is itself a convincing argument in their favor."
This past week, AWP published a podcast of the panel PW sponsored at last year’s AWP conference in Minneapolis, featuring staffers from PW, Riverhead, Coffee House, The National Book Foundation, and Graywolf discussing ‘The Other Track: M.F.A.s in the Book Business.' The discussion was full of tips for writers looking for careers in publishing.
Last week, we neglected to cover the winners of Poets & Writers annual awards for editors and organizations. Viking head Paul Slovak, the founders of VIDA, and the poets behind Undocupoets all took honors.
Also, in fun news, this year’s annual award for bad sex in fiction went to former Smiths front man Morrissey. Read his debut novel List of the Lost for what not to do if you want to write well about sex.