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So, to make a long story short, after screwing-up in school and then getting out into the workforce I have pledged myself to attending an MFA program for Poetry in the Fall of 2010. I attended Skidmore and worked with Carolyn Forche from 2003-2007, leaving their program with a GPA of about 3.4 and an English department GPA of 3.9. I took my GRE last year and was happy, but not overjoyed by my score and am toying with taking the exam again. If I do, I’ll have to make that decision very soon. I have not yet published any work, and have just gotten back into the swing of things with actually producing writing.
I am in the process of writing my letters of intent, collecting my reference letters and putting together a manuscript for admission.
Now where I've gotten stuck is really on looking into the actual programs available. My list so far consists of professor recommendations and some no-brainer reach schools:
I am a resident of Massachusetts, and unfortunately there aren't too many programs in my area aside from UMass. I am not opposed (and, in fact, it would probably be a good thing) to go far away out of state.
I understand that the most important aspect of admission for MFA programs is the manuscript, and even a poor student with some serious skills has a shot at getting into a good program if the work is of quality. This is my priority, right now, and I'm working hard to revise, review and edit my work in preparation.
I'm wondering if anyone has any help or advice concerning the admissions process. Specifically, if there are any balls-to-the-wall awesome programs out there that I may not know about, or any tips that I need to know going into the process.