The Poems Out Loud blog of W. W. Norton has just posted my take on the whole kerfluffle over MFA rankings. Here's an excerpt from "Mistakes We Knew We Were Making: Life Outside the Poets and Writers ‘Top 50 MFA Programs’"...
An MFA program is just the funnel. It’s a transport of bulk resources, pre-vintage, readying you for future pours. For some the funnel is an expensive tool, monogrammed, sides pitched for maximum efficiency. For some the funnel has as many kinks in its tubing as a beer bong. Either way, the funnel is just a preparatory stage; if it makes it on the label at all, it is in the fine print of “Distributed by…”
Your degree does not describe who you are as a writer. If it does, that’s not a good thing. So why all this hoopla and indexing? Why do people keep gilding the funnel?
Read the rest of the essay here.