Jump to content
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt

I have an MA in poetry. Do I stand a chance against other applicants of the Ivy/ivy adjacent schools?


Recommended Posts

Hello. I'm a creative writer. I have a chapbook and some other small pubs/awards, but my interest in literary criticism is fairly new. I'm a little warn out from workshop and I think a PhD in lit could make me a stronger candidate for the job market. I'm particularly interested in ecocriticism and Joseph Conrad, maybe sprinkle in a little Cormac McCarthy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not quitting creative writing, but I think now I want to be both a scholar and a writer. 

Most of my recommendations are going to be from creative writing profs. They have phds, but in creative writing. One of them has published a few articles on Conrad though, in nice journals. 

I think SUNY Buffalo and Connecticut may be good fits for me because they seem to offer some fluidity between lit and creative writing, but I'd still be enticed to give the ivy leagues a shot. 

Do you guys think if my WS were good enough I'd stand a chance?

Edited by LordQuas
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Make sure you want to commit. Also maybe look into programs that specifically have creative components or an emphasis in writing (there are a few, UCSC for one). 

On the Ivy note, sure it's definitely possible, everything is about fit and having the basic grades, letters, SoP, and writing sample there isn't anything specifically that excludes you. I would say though, that in my searching, none of the Ivy schools are good fits for ecocrit people. Maybe finding a Conrad or McCarty person though that will then allow you to do ecocrit work on those authors is the best way to pitch yourself and find good people to work with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, LordQuas said:

ecocriticism

I am not familiar with the creative writing side of this, but if you would like top schools that are strong in ecocriticism, this list is super helpful! https://www.asle.org/join-our-community/students/graduate-students/where-to-study/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a creative writer too––with no higher training or background in English, just an aptitude for it. I have a BA in Linguistics from a non-Ivy but somewhat good private university and an MFA from a non-prestigious school (I mentioned this in our DMs!). Obviously I didn't get into any Ivy's/Ivy-adjacent schools but I got into places with great fits for me in the long run; ultimately I want to teach creative writing at the college level & also keep writing in my PhD but didn't want to do a Rhet/Comp PhD and also wanted to deepen my literary ability at the same time. Amherst and Buffalo are both great schools for me to pursue this! But I do think my lack of preparation (either a BA or MA in the field) hurt me for some of the more competitive schools, like Penn and UChicago. Or maybe it's a crap shoot. Have you taken the English Subject GRE? I wonder if that could boost your stats and demonstrate your preparedness. 

Your recs will be fine (my profs were 1 lit PhD, 1 rhet/comp PhD, and one MFA), but I think the biggest thing to think about is your writing sample, and how you demonstrate your critical ability ––what kind of writing did you do in your creative MA? Did you write any seminar papers? I truly believe my writing sample is what pulled me through my lack of English/lit crit background and got me into two places; a POI at Buffalo mentioned it specifically to me in a recent email. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are also some programs that are open to less “traditional” literary projects, where your PhD can absolutely be paired with CW if you wish it to; like I believe USC and Denver have some element of creative writing in their programs (I think USC’s is a PhD in creative writing but it essentially entails what you’ve mentioned). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.