MFA Roundtable w. Erica Dawson & Leah Hampton

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MFA Roundtable w. Erica Dawson & Leah Hampton

Erica Dawson is the author of When Rap Spoke Straight to God, The Small Blades Hurt, and Big-Eyed Afraid. Her work has appeared in three editions of Best American PoetryThe Believer, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other journals and anthologies. She is an associate professor of English and Writing at University of Tampa, where she directs the low-residency MFA program.

Leah Hampton is a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers and Editor in Chief of Bat City Review. Her work has appeared in Ecotone, storySouth, Appalachian Heritage, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and elsewhere. Her first book, Bodies, will be released by Henry Holt in 2020. 

Discussed In This Episode

The MFA Industrial Complex. Should you get an MFA? Low-residency vs. full-time residency. Making sense of funding. The threat of rejection. Will an MFA help you get your book published? Cultural and socioeconomic diversity in MFA culture. What you want, but also what you need. What’s the average age of an MFA student? Community. The most important aspects of the application. Writing sample dos and don’ts. “Going where the love is.” Magic. Should you go into student loan debt? What can I do with an MFA? Networking.  

Recommended Reading

“MFA by the Numbers,” Amy Brady
Grad Café

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Thank you to WMFA patrons Megan Brawley, Jack Cheng, Jonathan Cottrell, André Gallant, Nicky Gonzalez, Donna Hidock, Katie Karlson, Rachel Gordon Loube, Grace Pickering, Giulia Pink, and Trivia NYC for supporting this episode. Become a patron. 

Courtney