How Old is Too Old for a Traditional MFA Program?
As a group, you have proven to be such a wonderful source of knowledge (see, for instance, the recents posts on prose poetry and reading Dickens) that I am going to turn to you once again for your wisdom and advice.
An anonymous reader recently left this comment:
I have a question. What age is too old for a traditional MFA program? Everybody seems to be in their 20s. I’m currently in an excellent low-res program for what is but I crave a more full-time program that more mimics the life of a student, and I’m 46, only now discovering creative writing after a lifetime in journalism.
Back when I was applying to (low-res) programs, low-res definitely had the reputation for appealing more to the older set, those more likely to have careers and family commitments that made it seem very difficult, if not impossible, to consider the range of possible programs across the country that the recently-out-of-college set favored. But just as it’s true that the more recent grads are also turning to low-res programs (there were many in my program as the semesters went on), I know of older students who have decided to go the traditional, “full-res” route. What about the rest of you? Any comments to offer our anonymous colleague?
By the way, since we’re speaking of MFA programs, I should probably point out that Poets & Writers has just added a searchable MA/MFA/PhD program database to its site as well as a feature listing literary journals associated with MFA programs. I don’t really want to get into the new set of rankings the magazine has also published, but I will say that based on what I’ve read so far about the methodology behind it, I’m really not sure how useful these rankings are.