Against the Workshop is the first sustained critique of twenty-first century literary production in America under the MFA/creative writing program infrastructure. Since earlier critics like John Aldridge wrote on the subject, the creative writing regime has become vastly more institutionalized. Publishing has changed, but what does it mean for the quality of fiction and poetry? This book brings the subject completely up-to-date, by focusing on fiction and poetry generated during the last decade. The book contrasts the vast amount of sludge with the rare gems, to argue that the creative writing product is a debased one that will not stand the test of time.
Anis Shivani is the author of the story collection, Anatolia and Other Stories, which was longlisted for the Frank O'Connor short story award. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, and frequently reviews books for newspapers and magazines. His work appears in Georgia Review, Southwest Review, Iowa Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Texas Review, Threepenny Review, Boston Review, and elsewhere. He has just finished a novel, and is putting together a book of his interviews with leading literary authors. He studied at Harvard College and lives in Houston, Texas.