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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Severed Heads in Tallahassee? Again!

Thanks to David Zaring, a Prawfs alum who's off to Washington and Lee to start teaching, I came across this interesting article about FSU's creative writing program, which is apparently regarded as one of the best in the biz.  The article is a

story about how FSU's young creative writing program has become during the past five years what some believe to be the best in the country, overshadowing the University of Florida's, Florida International University's and even possibly the granddaddy of creative writing programs, the University of Iowa's.  It did it with the help of patent money from the cancer drug Taxol, developed by an FSU scientist; the energy from pontifical mobster writer Mark Winegardner; and support of an established and respected English department. In 1997, U.S. News and World Report ranked creative writing programs. FSU's came in 37th.  In 2007, the National Research Council will publish a new ranking of creative writing programs. FSU unabashedly plans to win that race. While other schools downplay competition among programs, FSU puffs out its chest, plumps up its feathers and struts.  ''What we never were before was a program that could make a legitimate claim of being the best in the country,'' said Winegardner, who recently stepped down as director of the creative writing program after writing The Godfather Returns, a continuation of Mario Puzo's legendary mobster saga. 'I defy you to find a faculty that is better in terms of quality and quantity of awards and publishing. You cannot get any better than FSU.''

Well, I'm happy to see that FSU's writing program is doing so well, and even more, that its publicists have been so successful.  (Note to Dean Weidner: Hire them!) Seriously, this kind of peacockery is a bit unseemly.  (Ed.: But, perhaps, so is a blog with a category entitled "Funky FSU.")  What is cool is how seed money invested wisely can pay off in such a short while.  Are law schools too sluggish to dance as nimbly?  Paul Caron (and his co-author and colleague, Rafael Gely) have written interestingly on that subject, using Moneyball analysis.

In any case, the story about FSU made me laugh; and it then made me wonder how Alafair Burke managed to pump out three crime novels in the last few years while at the same time keeping up her day job as a Hawfstraprawf.  I had hoped Alafair was going to to be at the Junior CrimProf gathering I'll be presenting at later this week at GW being hosted by Orin Kerr, Rachel Barkow (NYU, law), and another Prawfs alum (and my co-author), Jennifer Collins (WFU, law).  But I just realized, to my chagrin, Alafair won't be there.  New Orleans perhaps?  At least there, there will be a discussion on "Blogging: scholarship or distraction?"  I'm waiting to hear from co-bloggers their reactions to that very subject...

P.S.  The title of this post is connected to the lede for the Miami Herald article that DZ provided.

Posted by Administrators on July 27, 2005 at 01:55 AM in Funky FSU | Permalink


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Let's hope the law school is getting its own bit of all that Taxol money.

Posted by: David Zaring | Jul 27, 2005 2:27:51 AM

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