But if they do nothing else, the top MFA programs are places where the best literary minds can gather, support, and challenge each other. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.
In the face of an increasingly distracted and pressed-for-time audience, and when one wonders what purpose writers have amid such cultural chaos, a program like Iowa's, at the least, can be damn good encouragement.
The faculty is of truly stellar quality, including the world-famous novelists E. Doctorow, Breyten Breytenbach, Zadie Smith, Junot Diaz, Mary Gaitskill, and Jonathan Safran Foer, as well as the equally distinguished poets Sharon Olds, Anne Carson, Charles Simic, and John Ashberry.
The literary journal The Michener Center for Writers hosts an MFA in Writing Program on the University of Texas campus in Austin.
It can also be seen by virtue of the simple fact that if you asked someone in the street to name a creative writing program, this is undoubtedly the one they would mention first (and probably last).
The program is also home to The Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan is a two-year residency program.
Therefore, when it comes to ranking MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree programs in creative writing (a concept which varies from school to school, but may comprise poetry, literature, genre fiction, playwriting, screenwriting, and non-fiction), the process of ranking threatens to sink into a slough of subjectivity.
Nevertheless, the desire to compare — to sort wheat from chaff — persists in this area of academic life, as elsewhere.
And, in fact, there is a surprising degree of consensus about at least some of the programs which belong on any list of the top 10.
There is little doubt that the University of Iowa’s Program in Creative Writing (more commonly known as the Iowa Writers’ Workshop), which is a two-year residency program, is the premier graduate creative writing program in the country.