As an M.F.A. preparing to graduate in three months, facing the prospect of finding decent work in an economy sliding in to depression, it is logical that I should be concerned with jobs and how they might effect my writing. And as someone who has chosen to eschew the academic life, and perhaps words like eschew, too, the kind of job I will be looking for is an unsolved issue that weighs on me.
The article “Jobs of the Poets” by Michael Gottlieb from the new issue of Jacket lays out a lot of questions and concerns that poets have about their place in society, and I think its well worth reading through its 15 pages, escpecially if your funding is soon coming to an end. I personally feel that more poets, especially yound ones, need to leave behind the seeming “security” of academia and the vacuity of college towns and go somewhere more connected and surrounded by the social life of our times, whatever form of that you may find and connect with. Grad life is a life on hold, and teaching a static activity in which you must go back to the beginning each semester with another wave of students. Though I feel rewarded by teaching, it is not the kind of reward I am looking for in my life now.
Just some of my own thoughts. Check out the article.