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  • Department of English

    Monmouth University's Department of English gives students the opportunity to study literature, writing, and rhetoric in a supportive and engaging intellectual community of faculty and peers. English majors and minors are encouraged to pursue their interests under the direction of dedicated and accomplished faculty mentors both inside and outside the classroom, and can choose from a range of programs and courses offerings in the areas of literature, creative writing and professional writing. Students will enhance their close reading and analytical skills as they encounter the pleasures and possibilities found in reading literary works of aesthetic and cultural value. A major or minor in English enables students to develop critical awareness that prepares them for careers in the areas of teaching, law, business, publishing, writing, and administration, and most importantly, lays the foundation for a lifelong engagement with the versatility, power, and beauty of language.

  • Alena Graedon 17/FA

    Meet Alena Graedon


    The Department of English at Monmouth University is excited to introduce Alena Graedon, assistant professor and author of  the 2014 breakout novel, The Word Exchange . Widely and positively reviewed, The Word Exchange centers around a single night when a lexicographer (dictionary maker) goes missing from his office at the last North American dictionary.  The missing lexicographer's daughter, Anana and her colleague, Bart embark upon solving this head-scratching mystery. Kirkus Reviews  describes Professor Graedon's novel as a "wildly ambitious, darkly intellectual and inventive thriller about the intersection of language, technology and meaning." The New York Times raves: "Graedon makes you wring your hands for her heroine-and tremble for the future of the English language." The Word Exchange  was named a best book of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews , chosen as a New York Times  Editor's Choice, and a Paperback Row pic.

    Professor Graedon regularly teaches creative writing courses, particularly fiction, as well as general education literature and composition, has developed a first-year seminar titled "True Crime."  This fall semester, she is teaching a short story class and a graduate Craft of Writing seminar.  Professor Graedon enjoys helping students to figure out how they want to write and to shape what they are writing and talking about; she enjoys discussing literature with other intelligent minds.  Professor Graedon is currently working on drafts of her second and third novels, and a short story collection.  Her second novel will focus on a 30-something woman protagonist having a difficult experience during the backdrop of the 2016 presidential election cycle. Monmouth is privileged to have her as a member of our community!