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Author Topic: Fulcrum's Self-Love Includes Monday Love  (Read 24873 times)
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Monday Love
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« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2006, 07:02:54 AM »

There are 9 excellent poems in "Fulcrum#5"

Ben Mazer--Divine Rights
Vivek Narayanan--No More Indian Women
Joe Green--My Demented Mother
Landis Everson--Green Homage
Dan Sofaer--Archaeopteryx
Sean Riordain--Freedom
Barbara Matteau--Robbery
George Bilgere--The Fall
Dudley Fitts--The Liturgy of Small Susan

"Fulcrum#5" has a typical batting average of good/bad ratio of poems, but what I found interesting about this list is only 1 of the poets of this list of 9 is a professsor, and 7 are not in academia at all.

The poems by poetry editors in "Fulcrum#5" are uniformly bad; there must be some kind of lesson here.  Pam Brown, the editor at "Jacket" who published Philip Nikolayev, ("Fulcrum" editor), her poem is simply awful, just as an example.  We have poems here by poetry editors of "The New Republic," "Boston Review," "Poetry Review," "Best American Poetry" (published Katia Kapovich, "Fulcrum" editor), "Harvard Review," Random House, and Penguin, and all fail due to either lame 'experimentation' or obscurity.  A lesson, indeed. Why are the best poems always by people who are exiled or dead, and not by editors trading favors?  Why, oh tell me why?

I would like to focus on the prose essays of "Fulcrum#5" however.

"Fulcrum," like any other journal, gives us Ion, Homer, and Socrates in various strengths and guises, but what we mostly get is Ion, the rhapsode who channels Homer; academics who channel their subjects are essentially rhapsodes, winning scholar-points in publish-or-perish fervor.  When Marjorie Perloff writes on Guy Davenport in "Fulcrum#5," for instance, she speaks as Guy Davenport; there is no critical distance whatsoever; the scholar (Perloff) uncritically becomes her subject (Davenport); it is the same as a senseless Ion in a rapture under the spell of Homer.

Channeling as a way of writing poetry (witness how brilliantly Mr. Mazer channels TS Eliot in his "Divine Rights) works because composing poetry is not (overtly) a critical act; the Ion-method works for the poet, but it destroys the scholar.  The 'half-jokily, half-sincere, archaic' is the poetic composition method of the moment (perhaps due to the success of Billy Collins--we've all seen this: talking about Wordsworth or the middle ages in a sincere but joking manner resonates mightily with middlebrow audiences).  If Mr. Mazer gets recognition for "Divine Rights," he'll be off to the races; however sincerity is finally the highest criterion instinctively used in canon judgment, and channeling always has that danger of not seeming sincere.  As I mentioned, however, channeling is disastrous in scholarship, and it's a crime how often it's done.

Davenport (channeled by Perloff) repeats the notion that 'life and art changed' around 1910 due to the genius of Pound and Joyce but that this 'great renaissance went poof because of that awful World War I.'  This oft-repeated legend, which neither Perloff nor Davenport (one assumes) take time to examine, originated in Bloomsbury; it is true that World War I caused Great Britain to suffer materially (in terms of lives and money) more than they'd planned and triggered the end of their Empire (the B. Empire was actually at its peak in 1914) but why does it then have to become this unquestioned truth, when war had always been around (and became far worse in WW II with the first systematic war-time killing of non-soldiers) and garbly prose such as Pound's had always been around? (see Thomas Carlyle)

Davenport (channeled by Perloff) also claims that the modernists were superior to the Romantics because all the Romantics had were silly old ruins, while the modernists discovered cave  paintings.  Ms. Perloff, please google 'cave paintings.'   Matthew Flinders, the British explorer credited with naming 'Australia,' discovered aboriginal cave paintings in 1802.  Ms. Perloff, when you channel, you don't think.  And that's bad.  You don't even google.  That's really bad.


to be continued...
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alan
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« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2006, 11:37:58 AM »

Monday,

I believe you are on to something with your editor theory.  We have Tupelo Press publishing Red Hen's editor and Red Hen publishing Tupelo's editor.  Would these books be noticed by some other disinterested editor or contest judge?  I'm not sure.  And that's book publishers.

You have picked up on the apparent favor-trading of journal editors too.  It seems the lesson might be to get an editorship of a journal (or start your own) or, in the case of someone like Lehman, land a plum gig with an annual anthology that declares who is the best; then hundreds of poets owe you favors, despite the quality of your own writing.

Thank you for your insights into Fulcrum.  The silence of the Night Owl is fascinating.

Your cohort,
"foetry"
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Monday Love
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2006, 08:45:11 AM »

Quote from: "alan"
Monday,

I believe you are on to something with your editor theory.  We have Tupelo Press publishing Red Hen's editor and Red Hen publishing Tupelo's editor.  Would these books be noticed by some other disinterested editor or contest judge?  I'm not sure.  And that's book publishers.

You have picked up on the apparent favor-trading of journal editors too.  It seems the lesson might be to get an editorship of a journal (or start your own) or, in the case of someone like Lehman, land a plum gig with an annual anthology that declares who is the best; then hundreds of poets owe you favors, despite the quality of your own writing.

Thank you for your insights into Fulcrum.  The silence of the Night Owl is fascinating.

Your cohort,
"foetry"



Alan,

Yes, favor-trading is deeply imbedded in Letters.  

The 'professional' or 'academic' atmosphere demands by its very nature 'letters of introduction' by mutual admiration society pundits; for instance "Fulcrum" editor Philip Nikolayev's letter of introduction is "Winner of the Verse Prize;" without that piece of paper, he's nothing, it would just be "Who is this guy?"  But with the Verse Prize, it's "OK, this is a respected poet.  He's on the in."  It was right after the Verse Prize win that "Fulcrum" was born.  You can publish a book and get good reviews.  But today that's almost meaningless.  You need "Winner of the Verse Prize" after your name, just as a professor needs "Ph.D" after his name.  Can you imagine questioning the legitimacy of someone's doctoral degree?  When you ask a poet if they know the judge or the editor of a contest he or she has won, imagine what kind of fear it strikes in them, if they did know the judge or the editor.  For being 'a good poet' is much more difficult to measure; earning a Ph.D. means you have knowledge, you know something about a subject.  But composing poems really has nothing to do with 'knowledge;' it's a far more subjective thing, and it's really sad, because the poet needs "Prize" today next to his name almost more than the scholar needs "Ph.D." next to his name, even though the poet is expected to occupy a realm without objective cred-measure.

The poet needs publications in journals, too.  That's the first step, and favor-trading can really grease the wheels there too, especially if one is an editor-poet.  It's a mating ritual, basically, an exhaustive, lengthy one, with all sorts of rules.  I'm sure nothing in the animal kingdom compares to it.  How someone can still be a poet after this ritual is a mystery in itself.

Another reason this situation is so sad, is that 'love and respect' may indeed exist in the initial stages of favor-trading, but what begins in 'love' ends in the sort of ambition that is very hurtful and sometimes, criminal. And 'love and respect' may be mixed up in the process, to some degree, all along the way.  Because of the complex nature of the material and cred aspect of poetic ambition, and because of its almost ubiquitous nature, it really requires that we talk about it and not cover it up.  If favor-trading is simply 'how it's done,' then we need to examine the process and examine the results, not only in a gossipy way, but critically, aesthetically.  That's why my instinct is to examine everything about "Fulcrum," the content of its aesthetics as well as the connections of its contributors.  It all matters. It's all important.  Social relations are aesthetic relations.  We can no longer compartmentalize.  I really believe Foetry is ushering in the possibility of a new age, a new way of looking at Letters.

You cannot just be a poet.  You need creds.  The creds don't mean you are a good poet; but they mean something more important: that you are a nice enough person to do someone a favor if they do a favor for you. This is vital to civilized life, so one does have to acknowlege this even as one is doing aesthetic and foetic exploration.

Favor-trading is the 'survivor gene' of poetry.  The practice is everywhere since the rise of the writing program because now not only scholars, but writers are favor-trading academics.  And yet Harvard, most prominently, has manufactured author-rep for as long as the US has existed, so the process of academic favor-trading has a tradition as old as this country. This mitigates outrage: it's a tradition, it's always been done.  It's as old as the United States.  Every important modernist poet attended Harvard, including the philosophers who created modernism, whether it's Emerson, the father of Whitman and Nietzschean modernism or William James, Harvard professor who taught Wallace Stevens and Gertrude Stein, or Harvard professor F.O.Matthiessen, who taught Frank O'Hara.  This is not to say there is anything wrong with university culture, per se; but when favor-trading becomes concentrated, rarefied, and centralized, so that letters of introduction begin to serve a chosen few at the exclusion of other voices and trends, the whole matter creates an atmosphere where you are either 'somebody' or 'nobody' depending on whether you have a 'prize' next to your name, and it establishes a code-behavior which has more to do with the specialized circumstance of personal relations than it does with imagination, knowledge, civic duty, or the pursuit of happiness.

MondayLove
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Monday Love
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« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2006, 12:04:19 PM »

The "poetics" section of "Fulcrum#5" is ambitious, and this makes  sense, since "Fulcrm" comes out of Cambride, MA and Harvard has greater historical Critical might than Iowa or the rest of the country, and so this is editorially wise, as "Fulcrum" attempts to become "the best poetry journal ever."  (Memo to eds:  Blurb your next issue, "best poetry journal ever--Foetry.com")  

American Letters in the early 19th century was characterized by Harvard puritans discovering German romanticism, and 200 years later the world according to "Fulcrum" hasn't changed very much.

The dozen or so essays in Fulcrum5 are dominated by the Harvard/German Modernist Line of Poetics: Emerson-Whitman James-Nietzsche-Stevens-Heidegger-Benjamin-Olson-O'Hara, or 'Ewnshaboo,' an Indian word meaning "Climbing tree while dancing and farting."

Emerson's avant-garde band gets trotted out often these days.  OK, we get it already: the writers before 1900 were not "open" and "pluralistic" and "inconsistent" enough for you.  Like rock fans who long for London or LA 1966, the Academy pines for Harvard, 1910.  The Crimson guided its students through the Great War and the Great Modern Crisis and Great Difficult Poetry was produced, and despite the depression and breakdowns, some poets even got laid.  O'Hara cruised the men's rooms at Widener library, driven by Jamesian pragmatism.  Great!  

In truth, it is the personal, more than theory, which illuminates poetry and poetics.  Did TS Eliot hate on Shelley, for instance, reviling Shelley's famous passage which ends "And all the rest, though fair and wise, command/To cold oblivion..." because Eliot found this sentiment philosophically unsound, as he argues in a work published by the Harvard University Press, or was it because Eliot had locked away his wife?  I maintain the latter is closer to the truth, although no academic tome would dare to consider the latter possibility--it would not show proper respect for Mr. Eliot.  But since when was such respect the avenue to truth?  Certainly not in the philosophy of Eliot himself, or any of the "radical" and canonized Moderns.  For all the 'radicalness' of the modernists, actual commentary on them tends to be unquestioning and polite.  

Eliot was an editor, and it is editorial decisions, more than actual writings, which shape a cultural landscape.  This fact is acknowledged implicitly in Pound's major status, which is based, if one looks at the truth of it, on who he knew, or, rather who he "championed."  The 'man who knew everyone' dominates our Letters, for poetics is always trumped by publishing.  

Yet we always discuss 'poetics' as if it were a separate issue.  We busily discuss Frank O'Hara's pragmatism without discussing Frank O'Hara.  We take pains to analyze the "Being" of Heidegger, and yet find it highly embarrassing to even acknowledge the actual 'being' of Heidegger.

The essays in Fulcrum5 earnestly follow this blind path of 'poetics' as if 'poetics' pertained to theory alone.   We get a lot of theory, neatly bound together by the Modernist anti-foundationalism Complaint which has long since dried into an orthodoxy.

Heidegger's ideas are too rarefied to have any impact.  Emerson is too vaguely pluralistic to mean anything to a poet, really.  Modernist poetics is understood intuitively as something which gives the poet the license to indulge in a vague 'freedom' of expression.  Beyond this, what is there?  Merely a lot of qualifying nuance (not only freedom! Necessity!) trapped within the confines of the blind orthodoxy, blind, because for more than a generation it has been an orthodoxy.

We can see one large and subtle shift: Heidegger is replacing Derrida.  The Frenchman made the claim that writing gave birth to speech, but it took a Heidegger to claim that speech generates thought.  "Being" for Heidegger is thing-ish and earthy, or 'blurt & dirt.'  In English departments across the land, the beret of Derrida is being replaced by the baseball cap of Heidegger.

The essays in Fulcrum5 are dominated by Harvard/Germany as far as place and time-wise, 1880-1930, the World War I era.  The reason for this current anglo-american obsession in Letters is not hard to find.  America was a colonial economy until the World War I era, and it was precisely during this period that the US replaced Britain as a world power.  The world is mostly a history of empire, Roman, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and if you are not riding high in one, you are being crushed or estranged by one, and the excitement of US going suddenly way up, and Britain suddenly going way down is a moment in English major, academic history which is yet overflowing with nostalgia, quickened by a profound sense today among intellectuals that the world is entering a phase where all peoples (including intellectuals themselves in the United States and Europe) will be living as 'a colony' in a philistine, multi-national corporate Empire.  So Harvard 1910, and Harvard itself, is a kind of mesmerizing dream, that may yet save those of us looking for poetic meaning and some sort of comfortable poetic reality.

How long are we going to swoon to the phenomenological nursery rhymes of Wallace Stevens?  "Blue" and "seem" and "is" never seemed so profound, but enough already.  Stevens is the most oft-discussed thinker in Fulcrum5, with Olson, Pound, and Heidegger vying for second place.  Even the essay on Valery is by a Wallace Stevens scholar.  Simon Critchley's essay features the following, which rather sums up the whole thrust of Fulcrum5's poetics:

"...description is the revelation of the thing that is neither 'the thing described,' by which I understand the thing-in-itself, Ding an sich in Kant's sense as the hard kernal of material nature; nor is it a 'false facsimile,' a simulacrum like those images that flicker on the wall of Plato's cave.  Rather, it reveals 'an artificial thing that exists in its own seeming.'  The thing is not a haullucination, it is visible through our seeming and yet not the double or replica of our lives.  It is what I called above a real apperance.  As the nameless interlocutor puts it in 'The Man with the Blue Guitar,'

But play, you must,
A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,

A tune upon the blue guitar
Of things exactly as they are. (PM 133)"

Fulcrum5 and most of academia is under the thrall of this minor poet, Wallace Stevens, with his Harvard degree and his jingly/bland/didactic verse.  I predict a revulsion will occur in another generation, where we will wonder why we liked this rather embarrassing stuff, but now Wallace Stevens strides over po-biz, a colossus.

But who invited Raymond Barfield to this party?  That's probably the most interesting question when it comes to Fulcrum5.  Barfield is not an academic, but a physician from Tennessee who specializes in bone marrow transplants for children.  Dr. Barfield contributes the one essay (save one by a retired professor on love conventions in Sir Thomas Wyatt) completely outside 'radical' Harvard/German modernism.  Barfield points out that it is precisely Critchley/Stevens' "real" apperance which Socrates most fears, since poetry which "appears" to be real is dangerous (to thinking) for that very reason.  

One cannot talk "poetics" without coming to terms with Plato.  Few academics bother coming to terms with Plato these days; modernism dismisses Plato without coming to terms with him at all.  Barfield's essay appears out of nowhere on page 393, and its appearance in Fulcrum5 seems like some kind of mistake, for Plato has never been so straightforwardly defended--especially in the shadow of modernist Harvard.  Were the editors charmed by Mr. Barfield's personality?   Do they not realize how much they've insulted their other contributors--by publishing a defense of Plato's views on poetry in a Harvard-based, academic poetry magazine?

The point of Harvard-based, academic poetry magazines is to turn minor Modernist poets, like Wallace Stevens, into major figures, as writers gradually replace scholars in the academy.  

The reason for Harvard-based, academic poetry magazines is to facilitate  hip poet-editors who know their way around the Harvard Lampoon Building, and vanish scholars who have historical depth, like Dr. Raymond Barfield of Memphis, Tennessee.

What are the editors thinking?   Are they trying to undo 100 years of modernism? Are they trying to untune the blue guitar?  There's no editorial commentary in Fulcrum5, so it's hard to tell.  The editors are poets, after all, so what do they know?
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Monday Love
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« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2006, 01:44:20 PM »

The first "Fulcrum" (Number One 2002) begins with these words from 'the editors:'

The hardest thing for poets is to keep on speaking terms with each other.

How prophetic.

They tend to be self-absorbed and alienated by nature.

The selfish twits!

Few have the energy to follow the goings-on in the many regions of the poetry world.

"Goings-on."  What is that Mr. David Lehman up to, anyway?

Contemporary English-language poetry does not know itself well at all.

Since Foetry.com came along, it 'knows' itself a little better, n'est pas?

Moreover, much of the available plethora of political-aesthetic discourse by poets is resignedly tautologous, speaking as it does to the converted and the like-minded.

"Political-aesthetic discourse" (You publish me and I'll publish you)  "Resignedly tautologous" (OK, if you insist.  You publish me and I'll publish you) "The converted and the like-minded" (I have no choice to publish you if you'll publish me")

It typically originates in "circles," which (here in the US, at any rate) are more accurately known as "the poetry camps"--highly institutionalized mutual admiration societies, circumscribed sharply by their politics and aesthetics and complete with resources and influence at the core.

"Circles" (You publish me and I'll publish you)  "Poetry camps" (You publish me and I'll publish you)  "Mutural Admiration societies"  (You publish me and I'll publish you)  "Politics"  (You publish me and I'll publish you) "Aesthetics" (You publish me and I'll publish you) "Resources" (You publish me and I'll publish you)  "Influence" (You publish me and I'll publish you)  "Core" (You publish me and I'll publish you)

The editors were on to something, weren't they?  Now that "Fulcrum" has "arrived," however, it's impossible to imagine this essay,  with its quixotic, combative tone, appearing in "Fulcrum" today.  With its talk of "circles" and "mutual admiration societies" and "politcs," it sounds like the ranting of a neophyte, and the rhetoric is sufficiently vague so that the message is clearly "I desire to play the 'you publish me and I'll publish you' game as well!

The editors of "Fulcrum#1" pretend the issue is one of aesthetics.  With no examples to support their claim, they write, "The poetry camps' time-honored, militant and profusely documented hostility toward each other..." as they conveniently position themselves in what they call "the imaginative space between formalism and experimentalism..."

Well of course, this is the great non-argument, the great cop-out.  All poets occupy that "imaginative space between formalism and experimentalism."  The 'documented' "hostility" between aesthetic "camps" is not the real issue here at all; when has there ever been any "hostility" between aesthetic camps to write home about?  The editors paint a fray which they are conventiently above; the gesture is hollow to the core.  Perhaps a minor magazine and a few obscure poets publish nothing but sonnets, but there is nothing close to "hostility" regarding any of this.

My parenthetical remarks above, as cynical as they are, point to the heart of the matter.  Politics and aesthetics in poetry today is 'who is publishing who.'    This is not to judge those who swim in this reality, but it needs pointing out, and we all need to be more upfront regarding this reality, and not pretend that camps are "aesthetic" or "political," for actual 'political concerns' and actual 'aesthetic concerns' do not drive po-biz today, and until we acknowledge what does drive po-biz, nothing will change, since the 'politics of who publishes who' will naturally chase all other concerns away.  It is difficult to fix, because so many of us are caught in the web.

The editors finally boast in this essay, as way of closing, "We are not a priori 'inclusionist'" and "We like extremists and have no trouble with partisan views" but this is an empty boast, since no establishment journal can foster honest debate as long as that 'debate' (which "Fulcrum" claims to welcome) exposes cracks and hypocrisy within its own establishment status.  This is the dilemma which faces all writers on po-biz today.  One is either a trivial, disgruntled carper from outside, or a hypocrite insider.  This is not to say that aesthetic considerations will never transcend the foetry problem, but until the foetry problem is confronted honestly by insiders, it will not, because a burdened conscience cannot soar with either beauty or truth.

Yes, it is hard for poets to keep on speaking terms with each other.  Quite true.  And the 'goings-on' are hard to follow.  Quite true, again.  And contemporary poetry does not "know itself."  The "Fulcrum" editors make excellent points.

How would Ionesco have put it?  Like this, perhaps:

In English, "The hardest thing for poets is to keep on speaking terms with each other."

In French, "The hardest thing for poets is to keep on speaking terms with each other."

In German, "The hardest thing for poets is to keep on speaking terms with each other."

In Spanish, "The hardest thing for poets is to keep on speaking terms with each other."

In Russian, "The hardest thing for poets is to keep on speaking terms with each other."
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« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2006, 12:57:14 AM »

I just discovered this foetry forum V.2 today while researching a potential lover. Ha! This is the best, most "juicy-est" gossip on the Academic Poetry circuit since sliced bread! Yup, even with the cliche, O my people.

It is nothing new to learn that friends in high places are responsible for the majority of success stories in the entertainment inustry--including writing. Either you write a biography about your truly remarkable life, you sleep with/become good friends with/be a family member of someone in the industry, or you are a genius, by which many have rotted in gutters due to the lack of the former.

To devote a site in whistle blowing the competitions that favor friends and relatives is to be applauded. However, there is just much gossip, ad homenium fallacy and assumption for me to take it seriously. I subscribe to the following rule regarding "poetry contests":

Only participate in the contests which do not charge an entry fee OR
Get nominated by writting remarkable work both inside and outside the academic setting

Word?
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natman
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« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2006, 09:37:27 AM »

Allipoet,

Never date a foet.  S/he'll cheat on you too.

Luv,
Al-e-not-a-poet
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« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2006, 07:48:16 PM »

I'd like to hear more about researching this potential lover.

Which net facts have tipped the scales?

Does this lover still have potential?
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« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2006, 07:47:01 PM »

I was bored as fuck today, so I went back here to the foetry forum to see if anyone read my post.

Alan, you are very right about not dating foets; I knew I shouldn't, but again, I have this boredom problem. I'm lame, I'm working on it using zazen. He was the creep you and many other concerned citizens of the pen claimed him to be.

However, I have tough skin from all the shitty workshops I've sat through at the rip-off schools of writing. Form is emptiness; emptiness is form. You'd bust at the seems, Alan, if you knew who the potential lover was I was researching!

Poetastin': Google and Peoplefinder are the best bets when researching a poetential lover, foet or not. Must find out if the person is a) in denial about his or her  homosexuality b)really into children c) ex con d) dishonored ex military e) serial monogomist f) all the above.

Anyway, I've enjoyed spending time here instead of writing poetry and not sending money to so-called contests. I haven't written a damn poem in two years because it's really the art of angst ridden teens and a handful of clever wordsmiths. I have come to terms with my gullible acceptance into an MFA program and luckily, found a wonderful job teaching English which is more rewarding than the false pride brought about by publishing a book of poetry that my friend judged.  The positive side is it worked out--the waste of money on the MFA turned into a lucky break into teaching college English with a wonderful faculty and student body I actually admire.

Anyway, like I said before, this site is great entertainment and poetry is mostly lame. The spoken word, rap and the music industry is really where it's at if you are a true lyricist seeking fame and fortune.

Alan is the harbinger of TRUTH!
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natman
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« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2006, 09:02:45 PM »

Wow. I really hope 'B' means in the traditional sense. Otherwise, ew...

But if your MFA, sans book, landed you a teaching gig...wasn't your degree worth more than most?

 :wink:
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« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2006, 10:30:46 PM »

If your MFA, sans book, earned you a decent teaching job--i.e., a living wage and health insurance, than it was worth much more than most. There are departments out there, though, that have managed to be hijacked by people who care about actual decent teaching, and they tend to hire based on teaching ability and not bogus foetry qualifications. Or so I've heard. Those programs are mythical to me, but I've heard of them.

By the way, speaking as an honorably discharged veteran with campaign ribbons and achievement awards and acommodation medals, I can attest that   being dishonorably discharged from the military is hardly an indication of bad character. Indeed, an MFA is more indicative of poor character than a dishonarable military discharge.
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« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2006, 04:30:18 PM »

Hello, Briggs Sekens. I admire your courage and ribbons and what they symbolize. You are a hero, I can tell. And I hurt your feelings by listing dis-dis as a stat I check for potential lovers. Your're such a pussy.

Teaching, yes, my dream job. Thanks to my spending 27000 in student loans for an MFA to learn the craft of writing, I can now teach at a community college ranking 47th in the nation in salary. Did you know  I could have made the same ammount and had more vacation time with a BA in education?

The path I took under the guise of faculty members convincing me I was a good writer was a decision I made, no one else. The blame is here in my shitty head. I must not have made this point previously, but, the majority of MFA programs lure suckers like me in, telling them they'll publish, maybe get a book deal, get a teaching assistantship, etc. None of these things acutually bring a stable job, where as a multitude of degrees gaurntee you'll actually be able to eat dinner. I must stress I lucked out. In my state, colleges no longer hire instructors with MFA's, and the trend is starting to continue throughout the south.

The purpose of this posting was to:
1) Question how being dishonorably discharged reflects good character
2) State I love my job, but I could have gotten there at half the price
3) MFA programs in my state are lying liers to 95% of their students. The other 5% actually are brilliant writers and actually rock the house.
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natman
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« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2006, 02:21:42 PM »

Alli, all that is left is for you to do is buddy-up to his wife.
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« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2006, 10:45:30 PM »

Did anyone listen to A Prairie Home Companion tonight, broadcast from NYC? Billy Collins, in addition to reading some poems, played a character in the Guy Noir segment whose family had become filthy rich from starting the MFA programs that have proliferated across the U.S., actually a mafia operation. Hilarious.
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rt is never real life. Wallace Stevens
Bugzita
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« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2006, 12:52:22 PM »

That's hilarious, Tweety,

Thanks for posting here.

Bugz
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ennifer Semple Siegel

One must always question wrongheaded conventional wisdom.
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