Monmouth / Academics / Faculty Profile

David C. Wright

Academic Biography:
A lifelong Illinoisan, I've studied and written poetry about this region since college, pursuing graduate study in American literature and critical theory before completing a degree in creative writing. My primary interests as a scholar focus on how poets write about and engage with the communities they value, and this in turn grows from and feeds my own creative work. Music, art, and theology also find their way into my poems.

Selected Research and/or Creative Work:

The Small Books of Bach (Wipf & Stock, 2014)

A Liturgy for Stones (Cascadia, 2003)


Poems have appeared in places such as 32 Poems, Image, Ecotone, Poetry East, Quiddity, Verse Daily, Books & Culture, Sou'wester, Tahoma Literary Review and many others, including anthologies such as A Cappella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry (U of Iowa P, 2003) and In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare (U of Iowa P, 2005).

Selected Invited Readings/Workshops

Windhover Writers Festival, University of Mary Hardin Baylor, Feb. 2017

Bluffton University, Bluffton, OH, Oct. 2016

Idyllwild Arts Academy, Idyllwild, CA, Apr. 2016

Fresno Pacific University, Fresno, CA, Jan. 2016

Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, Harrisonburg, VA, June 2015

“One Poet, One Poem,” Fallout Urban Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN, Apr. 2015

Selected Scholarship & Criticism

Entry on Scott Cairns. Dictionary of Literary Biography: Twenty-First-Century American Poets, Third Series. Vol. 380. Gale, 2017.

"On Terrance Hayes’s 'When the Neighbors Fight.'" Voltage Poetry ( 21 April 2014.

"Over 11 Ways to Revise Work You Thought Too Wonderful or Awful to Revisit Again." Poets' Quarterly. ( 16 January 2014

"Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Creative Writing Classroom" Poets' Quarterly 1 October 2012 (

"Poets, Witnesses, and Community: The Christian Reader and Denise Levertov's and Carolyn Forché's Communities of Witness." The Strategic Smorgasbord of Postmodernity: Literature and the Christian Critic. Ed. Deborah Bowen. Cambridge Scholars Publications: Cambridge, UK. 2007.

Review of In the Middle of the Middle West: Literary Non-Fiction from the Heartland, by Becky Bradway. Another Chicago Magazine 44/45 (2005): 215-17.

"Poetry, Prayer, and Parable: The Playful Provocations of Scott Cairns' Philokalia. Books & Culture 6 Oct. 2003.

"The Power and Pettiness of Poets: Poetry's Very Human Century." The Avatar Review (Summer 2003).

"The Beloved, Ambivalent Community: Mennonite Poets and the Postmodern Church." Mennonite Quarterly Review 76.4 (2003). 511-518.

"Assembling Community: A Conversation with Carolyn Forché." The Nimble Spirit Review (August 2001). Reprinted on Modern American Poetry, University of Illinois.(

"Modernism and Region: Illinois Poetry and the Modern." The Midwest Quarterly 34.2 (1998). 215-227.

"Community, Theology, and Mennonite Poetics in the Work of Jeff Gundy." Mennonite Quarterly Review 72.4 (1998). 625-38. Reprinted in Migrant Muses: Mennonite/sWriting in the U.S. Eds. Ervin Beck and John D. Roth. Goshen, IN: Mennonite Historical Society, 1998. 145-58.

Selected Conference Presentations/Panels

“Teaching Dave Etter.” A Celebration of the Life and Work of Dave Etter. 23 Oct. 2015. Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL

“Grading Poetry: Pros and Cons,” Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, 8-11 April 2015, Minneapolis, MN

“Sin Boldly!: Writing Spiritual Poetry.” Winter Wheat: The MidAmerican Review Festival of Writing, 11-13 Nov. 2014, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH

“The Subversive Spirit: Poetry Writing from the Edge of Faith,” Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, 26 Feb -1Mar. 2014, Seattle, WA

Panelist. "Just Passing Through: The Pros and Cons of the Visiting Professor Position." 2010 AWP Conference. Denver, CO. 7-11 April 2010.

"An Excursive Approach to Teaching Creative Writing" with Nicole Mazzarella, Ryan Hodgen, and Kristina Sedjo. English Articulation Conference. University of Illinois, Urbana, IL. 16-17 April 2008.|

'We Do the Poem in Different Voices': A Participatory Pedagogy for "The Waste Land." Illinois Philological Association. University of Illinois—Springfield. 13-14 April 2007.

Courses Taught:
ENGL 110 Composition and Argument
ENGL 210 Creative Writing
ENGL 224 American Survey I
ENGL 310 Advanced Creative Writing
INTG 101 Intro to Liberal Arts (ILA)
ENGL 180 Introduction to Literature: Special Topics
ENGL 349 Harlem Renaissance to the Black Arts Movement
ENGL 400 Senior Seminar

B. A. Millikin University 1988
M. A. Truman State University 1991
M. F. A. Ashland University 2011
A.B. D. Loyola University--Chicago

Contact Info:
Office: Rm 206 Mellinger Learning Ctr