My hope is that this list eventually becomes unwieldy and unnecessary as more and more MFA programs come to accept students based on the quality and craft of their writing alone, no matter how speculative or “genre” it may be.
Update: I appeared on episode 365 of WIRED’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast to talk about the reception of speculative fiction at MFA programs, along with Chandler Klang Smith (Columbia MFA grad, creative writing teacher at Sackett Street Writers Workshop, Catapult, and Sarah Lawrence College, and author of The Sky is Yours) and John Kessel, (co-founder and director of the North Carolina State University MFA and author of The Moon and the Other).
I’ve been meaning to post this one for a while. A few months back, my friend Lia Ryerson sent this drawing of me out of the blue, and I just love it.
I’ve always, always been fascinated by illustrations and caricatures of real people—and it’s still on my half-existent NYC bucket list to get one done in Central Park one summer. In the meantime, Lia’s interpretation of my hair as spaghetti wrapped around a fork and a spoon is exactly what I needed.
This image is part of a series of “Anatomical Deviant” drawings Lia has done as an amuse bouche for her novel-in-progress, Bear Left, which is about a man named Nancy Critter who wakes up one morning to find that his two front teeth have grown overnight to reach below his chin. The drawing series includes me and my “pasghetti” hair, but also someone with a mushroom for a nose, someone with a boat for a mouth, and someone with camels for ears. Lia is an MFA creative writing student at The New School and is always up to something really cool, both in her life and in her writing. Keep an eye out!