David C. Wright

Associate Professor, English

Room 206 Mellinger Teaching Learning Center 309-457-2331 Fall 2019 on sabbatical View my resume Visit my website


A lifelong Illinoisan, I’ve studied and written poetry about this region since college. At Truman State University and Loyola University–Chicago, I did graduate study in American literature and critical theory, and after teaching in Central Illinois and in the Chicago area, I completed an MFA in creative writing at Ashland University in Ohio.


My primary interests as a scholar focus on how poets write about and engage with the communities they value. I have published scholarship, essays, and reviews in places like The Midwest Quarterly, Mennonite Quarterly Review, and Dictionary of Literary Biography, among others.

The Midwestern landscape and its communities also play an important role in my poetry. My work has appeared in 32 Poems, Image, Ecotone, Poetry East, Hobart, Verse Daily, Books & Culture, Sou’wester, Tahoma Literary Review, and The Academy of American Poets, among others, including textbooks such as The Ekphrastic Writer (McFarland, 2020) and 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). I’ve published three full-length poetry collections, including Local Talent (Purple Flag/Virtual Artists Collective, 2019). Here is a video reading of the title poem from this collection. 


B. A. – English, Millikin (Illinois) University, 1988

M. A. – English, Truman State (Missouri) University, 1991

M. F. A. – Creative Writing/Poetry, Ashland (Ohio) University, 2011

A.B.D. – American Literature/Critical Theory, Loyola University Chicago

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 288: Intro to Scholarly and LIterary Editing & Publishing
  • INTG 326: Self Made Men?
  • ENGL 349: Contemporary American Poetry
  • ENGL 349: Harlem Renaissance to the Black Arts Movement
  • ENGL 400: Senior Sem: Modernism & Beyond
  • ENGL 301: Creative Non Fiction

Selected Work

Poetry Collections

Local Talent. Virtual Artist’s Collective/Purple Flag. Chicago, 2019.

The Small Books of Bach. Wipf & Stock. Eugene, OR: 2014.

A Liturgy for Stones. Cascadia, Telford, PA: 2003.

“Writing (and the teaching of it) is not primarily about being ushered into a profession. It is about being opened to the pleasures and difficulties of living faithfully in the world though language.” from “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Creative Writing Classroom” in Poets’ Quarterly (Fall 2012)

– David Wright