Everybody's sayin' it: "PhDs are the new MFAs."
Say it ain't so. I'm out of money.
Anybody out there got a PhD in creative writing? Why? Is it sexier? Do you get more dates? Does it make you smarter? Whaaat?

Originally Published: June 20th, 2007

Patricia Smith has been called “a testament to the power of words to change lives.” She is the author of seven books of poetry, including Incendiary Art (2017); Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (2012), which won the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler (2008), a chronicle...

  1. June 20, 2007
     Mark Eleveld

    Morning Patricia,
    There is a piece in Redux called 'Candler' by James Nave, I cheated a little and slipped it in the 'Prose' section, could easily be the start of a good, poetic, novel. He writes in line with Burke...add Carson McCullers, Kerouac of course, even Ian McEwan.

  2. June 20, 2007
     Jonathan

    Don't buy the hype.

  3. June 22, 2007
     Tara Betts

    I outright refuse to get a Ph.D. in creative writing. I'd rather go to get a doctorate in another discipline and just read a great deal without accruing more debt. I second an earlier comment with my own twist, Patricia--don't drink the Kool-Aid.

  4. June 23, 2007
     Rich

    A Ph.D. in creative writing? Negatory. A Ph.D. in English Lit, or Latino studies? Now that's more my speed. I like having options. I don't need to drop a dissertation on writing. People spew that literary caca in the pages of various highbrow literary journals without having to spend the extra money.

  5. June 27, 2007
     C. S. Miranda

    Ph. Ds are so in vogue lately. They suggest a level of intellectual hierarchy that doesn't apply in creative fields. In the arts, Ph.Ds are simply qualitatively different, not hierarchicaly superior. They are by their nature research and objectively oriented degrees. An MFA is a terminal degree because a practicing artist is a creatively engaged agent. (There's no Ph.D. in Culinary Arts. Chefs COOK, they don't TALK about cooking.) Ph. D in Creative Writing? It's a degree in Modern Literature, fundamentally. If I'm an undergrad planning an academic career, maybe I'd skip the MFA and go for the the PhD to increase my awareness on both the consumer and creative end of literature. If you've already got an MFA, or better yet a book, it's a redundant indulgence.