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The Pragmatic and Unimaginative Shall Inherit the Earth

Late this June, I’m starting an MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco. People ask: poetry? Fiction? (Just this week, a colleague persisted: “no, tell the truth! You write fiction, don’t you?” To which a friend once responded, “you write great fiction, Karen–I’ve read your grants.”)

For anyone who missed my last 100 articles and two books (actually, that would be quite a few of you, but never mind), I write non-fiction (a term right up there with “horseless carriage,” but that’s a rant for another day). And courtesy of Ruth Seid, I know I’ve made a good choice (although I should add writers that choose their genres like parents choose their children):

Life of Verse Is Not as Long, Study Says

Nonfiction writers outlive poets by six years, literary researcher finds.

By Sandra Murillo
Times Staff Writer

April 23 2004

From Ernest Hemingway to Sylvia Plath and Virginia Wolff, the literary world has long had its share of tortured, depressed souls. But poets, says one San Bernardino psychology professor, die younger than playwrights and nonfiction writers.

The complete article can be viewed at:,1,1600439.story

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