Home » Newpages Blog » Students at Risk: A Letter to MFA Programs

Students at Risk: A Letter to MFA Programs

open-minds-quarterlyOpen Minds Quarterly is a publication whose content continually and consistently packs some of the hardest-hitting writing I’ve ever read, with its unabashed focus on the poetry and literature of mental health recovery. The Summer 2014 issue is no exception, with one feature in particular that might well strike a deep chord with many of our readers: “An Open Letter to the MFA” by Hannah Baggott. Written in the epistolary style, Baggott addresses the stresses and pressures MFA students face in their programs. While often told to “take care of yourself first,” Baggott confronts the contradictory nature the expectations of such programs foster. “Our workshop leader last term said you have to be sad to write well. This is the fallacy that you keep perpetuating.” Baggot is “happy” in her program and “would not choose a different path,” but she does offer some advice that if the MFA programs themselves won’t follow, then the individuals in them should seriously consider how to better “take care.”

Spread the word!