Since it's out there, I might as well throw a penny in the fountain. The whole Seth Abramson thing: I'd like to drop a big, steaming pile of I don't care on this. Would I have considered using such a consulting service when I was applying to grad school? Absolutely not. Do I think others should? Absolutely not. Do I care if some people do choose to use this service? Absolutely not. As far as larger comments on the nature of the MFA go, I think anyone who has done any amount of reserach on the degree knows what they are and are not good for (are not good for: guaranteeing jobs, "turning you into a writer"; are good for: conversation starters at parties, time to read and write, meeting agreeable and not-so-agreeable folks, coasters).
I don't think I've ever said it on here, but I really dig reading lit mag reviews. Especially now that I'm removed from the treasure trove of back issues we had in the Hollins grad lounge. There, I could page through pretty much any journal I wanted to get my hands on, though it may have been outdated, at least it was something. Now I'm left to peruse websites for research, read the litmag reviews, and (*gasp*) subscribe to journals. The above link has reviews of 2 lit mags that I had poems in (BPJ and NYQ). It's interesting to read these. I can't help but think: I know you read my poem, so why didn't you say anything about it? Do you think it was a mistake it was in there? Was it just so bland that it didn't bear mentioning? Simply my egomaniac-neurosis on the loose...
A tangentially related question: how do people feel about sending work to places where you've already published in the past? I haven't done this yet, but with a new submission season almost upon us, I've been thinking about sending some work to places I've enjoyed showing up in. Are there any rules I don't know about in this respect? A certain amount of time one should wait from last appearance to re-submission? Educate me, blogosphere.
Killer opening-line of the moment:
"The woman who taught me to curse first gave me She-Ra dolls."
--from "In Praise of Lies" by James Allen Hall
(Now You're the Enemy, University of Arkansas Press, 2008)
Anna Sutton reads poems!