Derek Mong

Antioch College
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:46 - Why Major in English?

Play segment

Partial Transcript: “I majored in English because that was kind of what I hoped to do. I wanted to kind of like leave something behind as a human being on the earth who you know had some facility with the language he was born to speak or born into speaking more accurately.”

Segment Synopsis: Derek talks about his introduction to Denison and its faculty through the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop. He had been interested in English and writing for a long time.

Keywords: Articles; Cartoons; Comics; Denison University; Imaginative Writing; Johnathan R. Reynolds; Johnathan R. Reynolds Young Writers Workshop; Journalism; Literary Writing; Photographer; Photography; Writer; Writing; Young Writers Workshop

Subjects: Denison University; English; English Major; Photography; Writer; Writing; Young Writers Program

00:01:56 - Experience at Denison University

Play segment

Partial Transcript: “I continue to have just the most fond feelings possible for the English department at Denison.”

Segment Synopsis: Derek reviews the impact the faculty had on him at his time at Denison. He reflects fondly on the lasting impression of Dr. Ann Townsend’s class “Love and Death in American Poetry.”

Keywords: Ann Townsend; Carl Phillips; Contemporary American Poetry; David Baker; Dennis Read; Dissertation; Dunbar Scholarship; Emily Dickenson; English Department; Faculty; Formative Experience; Fred Porcheddu; From the Devotions; Johnathan R. Reynolds; Linda Krumholz; Lisa McDonnell; Love Death and the Changing of the Seasons; Love and Death in American Poetry; Male Poets; Marilyn Hackers; Patriarchism; Poetry; Rapunzel; Seductions; Writing; Writing Workshops

Subjects: Ann Townsend; Denison University; English Department; Faculty; Poetry; Professors; Writing

00:04:28 - Post-Graduation Plans

Play segment

Partial Transcript: “I knew where I was headed and I knew it meant literary production. But the much harder step of like how to support a family, pay your rent, with that as an important part of life that kind of came a little later and perhaps is still a work in progress.”

Segment Synopsis: Derek talks about the Graduate School application process the fall before his graduation from Denison University. He went from Denison University to University of Michigan and then onto applying for faculty positions at universities teaching creative writing.

Keywords: Admissions; Applications; Ash; Creative Writing; Directors of Creative Writing; Dormitory; Faculty; Graduate Program; Jobs; Literary Production; Literature; MFA Programs; Master of Fine Arts; Ohio State; Phone Calls; Poetry; Roommate; Teaching; University of Michigan; Voicemail; Writer; Writing

Subjects: Applications; Creative Writing; Graduate School; MFA; Master of Fine Arts; Poetry; Teaching; University of Michigan

00:07:21 - Graduate School

Play segment

Partial Transcript: "I was headed towards a Creative Writing program. I had very good knowledge of contemporary American poetry. "

Segment Synopsis: Derek talks about his experience moving into graduate school from Denison University.

Keywords: Aesthetic; American Poetry; Contemporary American Poetry; Contemporary Poetry; Creative Writing; English; Lyrical; Poetry; Undergraduate

Subjects: Creative Writing; Denison University; English; English Major; Graduate School; Poetry; Undergraduate

00:09:00 - Career Path

Play segment

Partial Transcript: "This is mostly a sort of narrative of the highs and lows of higher education over the last really six years."

Segment Synopsis: Derek reviews his journey from Denison to Graduate School. He held several teaching positions, fellowships and won several awards. He had a book published and just finished his dissertation at Stanford University.

Keywords: Awards; Bay Area; Book; Children; Critic; Dissertation; Economic Crisis; Fatherhood; Fellowships; Graduate Program; Higher Education; Historical Depth; Journals; MFA; Master of Fine Arts; Palo Alto; Poetry; Portland; Publication; Russian; Russian Literature; San Francisco; Scholar; Stanford University; Stock market; Teaching; Tenure; Tenure Track Position; University of Louisville; University of Michigan; University of Wisconsin; Williams College; Writing

Subjects: Awards; Fellowships; Graduate Programs; Graduate School; Journals; Master of Fine Arts; Publication; Stanford University; Teaching; Tenure Track Position; University of Michigan; Writing

00:15:15 - Interviews

Play segment

Partial Transcript: "The positions that I've interviewed for, up until this, point have been creative writing jobs. So they ask you about your writing. They ask you what is of interest to you. They ask you what your current projects are. They want to know that you're going to continue to produce..."

Segment Synopsis: Derek talks about the kinds of questions he was asked in job interviews and how his graduate programs prepared him for those interviews.

Keywords: Academic Jobs; African American Literature; American Renaissance; Americanist; Application; Breadth; Collaboration; Conference; Contemporary American Poetry; Creative Work; Current Projects; Diversity; Edgar Allen Poe; Emily Dickinson; Faculty; Graduate School; Herman Melville; Interest; MLA; MLP; Modern Language Association; Modern Language Program; New Courses; Oral Exam; Original Work; Pedagogy; Poetry; Preparedness; Produce; Questions; Research; Scholarship; Skype Interview; Stanford University; Students; Teaching Styles; Victorian Poetry; Walt Whitman; Writing

Subjects: Academic Jobs; Application; Collaboration; Graduate School; Interviews; Pedagogy; Poetry; Questions; Teaching; Writing

00:20:25 - Definition of Literature

Play segment

Partial Transcript: “A verbal expression of the challenges of being a human being with a limited series of... with a limited life span on a planet that’s in a certain state of decay… a way to sort of inspire...”

Segment Synopsis: Derek draws on various writers and thinkers to help him formulate his definition of literature.

Keywords: Barack Obama; Beauty; Discover; Empathy; Experiential; Fiction; Fictional Characters; Gender; Instructive; Interviews; Literature; Marilyn Robinson; Race; Socio-Economic Class

Subjects: Beauty; Empathy; Fiction; Literature

00:24:29 - Reading Habits and Interests

Play segment

Partial Transcript: "Right now, you know, reading is dependent upon time and dependent upon circumstance and it changes drastically."

Segment Synopsis: Derek talks about his changing reading habits. He talks about some of the books he is currently reading and some of his favorite writers to read.

Keywords: Dan Albergotti; Deborah Landau; Emily Dickinson; Fiction; Gettysburg Review; History; Holocaust; Journalism; Matthew Harvey; Millennial Teeth; Non-Fiction; Novel; Novella; Novels; Peter Balakian; Poetry; Prose; Pulitzer Prize; Reading; Review; Short Novels; Short Story; Sonnets; Soviet Literature; Syllabics; The Blood Lands; The Bridge of San Luis Rey; The Uses of the Body; Thornton Wilder; Timothy Snyder; Walt Whitman

Subjects: Fiction; Novel; Novella; Novels; Poetry; Reading; Short Novels; Short Story

00:28:19 - Reading Habits and Other People

Play segment

Partial Transcript: "My wife and I will pass books back and forth."

Segment Synopsis: Derek talks about the impact others in his life have on his reading habits. The reading his does with his wife and his son both have significant influence over his current reading endeavors.

Keywords: Ballad Meter; Children; Legos; Manuscript; Maxim Amelin; Moscow; Narrative; Nikita Khrushchev; Parody Poem; Peter the Great; Poetry; Robert Frost; Robert Frost in Russia; Shel Silverstein; Son; The Joys of Science; The Kenyon Review; The Science Verse; Translate

Subjects: Manuscript; Narrative; Poetry; Reading; Translation

00:32:17 - Advice to English Majors

Play segment

Partial Transcript: "Look at as many options as one can for employment that don't necessarily fit a track."

Segment Synopsis: Derek’s advice for English majors involves reading outside your field. He finds a wider knowledge of literature can be beneficial when engaging in dialogue with other scholars. Challenging yourself to things you wouldn’t otherwise do and taking class you wouldn’t otherwise take is also beneficial. Derek also offers career advice for English majors, especially ones who wish to be writers.

Keywords: Advice; Bernadette Meyer; Blank Verse; Capitalism; Capitalist System; Creative Writing; Critical; Dramatist; Economic Value; Elizabethan; Fiction; Field; Funding; Graduate School; Hermeticism; John Dryden; John Milton; Masters of Fine Arts; Narrative; Nathanial Mackey; Poet; Poetry; Professor; Range; Read; Roland Green; Sacrifices; Ted Berrigan; Universities; Writer

Subjects: Advice; Career; Creative Writing; Dramatist; English Major; Fiction; Graduate School; Narrative; Poet; Poetry; Prose; Reading; Writer