What can I do with an MFA in Poetry?
The most important reason to get an MFA in poetry is to become a better writer. Do you want to be doing the best work you are capable of? Do you want to publish? Is poetry your passion? Do you want to immerse yourself in it for the next two years? Having an MFA in Poetry allows you to teach at the college and graduate level, although usually it is also necessary or preferred for you to have published a book of poems.
The first priority of a good MFA program is to help you reach your potential as a writer. We want to turn out great poets and translators; we believe that helping you fulfill your potential will naturally lead to giving you a better chance in the job market and a better chance at getting published.
How are mentors assigned?
It is our policy to take requests each semester (we ask for three choices) and we try to honor them as best we can. Second year students are more likely to have their requests granted, but it is important to know that we plan carefully and try to match faculty and students with care.
Faculty members accept varying numbers of student advisees. Students also want to know if they will be able to work with our distinguished poets in residence, Jean Valentine and Gerald Stern. These two great poets are at the residencies and will be doing workshops and one-on-one meetings, but they do not take advisees during the mentorship semesters.
In the end we want you to know that our entire faculty is enormously talented and dedicated to teaching. As you get to know them at the residencies, you will be hard-pressed to chose between them.
During the mentorship semesters, to what kind of technology will I need access?
During the mentorship semesters you will need to occasionally email your mentor, but your monthly packets will be sent by mail, unless either you or your mentor is out of the country. You will also be receiving and answering emails from the director concerning evaluations, requests for the next residency, and other business that might come up. Internet access is also required so that students can interact with Drew’s course management system.
Do students live on campus during the ten-day residency periods?
Yes. Part of the experience of the program is the creation of a community of writers who work together and exchange poems and ideas. During the mentorship semester students work on their own so it is important to use the ten-day residencies to really get to know other students and faculty. Also, each day the program begins fairly early and ends late: workshops in the morning, lectures and panels in the afternoon, and readings at night. Students like to gather in the evenings after readings to relax together, or they continue their work by spending time rewriting and preparing for the next day’s workshop. Residencies are intense and tiring, but they help students bond with each other and with faculty, and help them plan for the months of working on their own during the mentorship semester.
Admitted students will receive more detailed information on housing and meals.
What are the advantages to getting my MFA at Drew?
Drew University is committed to a high-quality program emphasizing excellence, community, and diversity. We believe that the core of the program is our outstanding faculty. We are intent on bringing together the best poets, many of whom have won important awards, all of whom are much-published, and all of whom are dedicated teachers.
Drew’s beautiful campus, just west of New York City, makes us an ideal location. Trains from NY’s Penn Station come directly to the town of Madison. Also, we are located very near Newark Airport for those coming from farther away.