Saturday, October 09, 2010

dark horses

Seth Abramson, with his annual Poets & Writers rankings of the top creative writing programs in the country, has become something of a kingmaker in the whole CW industry. Some people, like the folks who rush out to buy the US News college rankings every year, actually take these things seriously. My old undergrad alma mater, bless her, has been touting their program's breaking the top 40 of the rankings at the head of every e-mail and brochure I've seen over the past year.

Imagine my surprise then when I came upon Abramson's piece on the Huffington Post, something of an appendix to his latest rankings (see 'em here), on "The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs," and found, by the magic of alphabetization, the MFA program I attended –
Hard to imagine an underrated Ivy, but Campus on the Hill's MFA struggles to stay in the top 10 nationally despite boasting the third-best funding scheme in America -- even if you don't consider the fully-funded one-year lectureship virtually all graduates receive. The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) rates College Town at the Foot of the Hill the top college town in America. Plus, the student-to-faculty ratio is jaw-droppingly good
– cheek by jowl with the program in which I now teach at Our Fair University, described with beautiful concision as "A dark horse among dark horses."

I have no idea what the hell that means, but having studied hard in the long schoolroom of poststructuralist logodaedaly, I'm convinced that it can be made to mean something good. Very good.

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