Creative Writing Ph.D.s

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Creative Writing Ph.D.s

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Out 29, 2009, 9:01am

Are you doing a doctorate in creative writing? Do you already have an MFA? Having fun yet? Grading more papers than generating new work? Where are you?

I'm in my final semester (month!) of coursework and can't wait to start reading for comps. To me, the whole point of a Ph.D. *is* the independent reading for specific purposes.

I did two years at Warren Wilson, then two more at the University of New Orleans (where I earned my MFA). Before that, I did my B.A. in English and creative writing at Georgia State, which is where I am now.

I grade more papers than I generate new work. However, I did publish my first book (This Pagan Heaven, Pecan Grove P) this summer and am not worried about whether/how quickly I can generate new work for the dissertation. We have a heavy teaching/service load here, but not having to schedule courses on top of teaching will free up a lot more time. Knowing that I've finished an MFA thesis and a book does much to stave off writers' block.

I wouldn't call it fun just yet. The fun part starts next semester. I'm grateful for the chance to fill in some gaps in my reading and to hone my teaching practice. I do think my combination of degrees and experience (journalism) will make me a good candidate on the job market, such as it is. If I don't get a job teaching writing, I'll do what I need to do to pay the bills and keep writing.