Kwaku Darko-Mensah Jnr.

 
Self-Employed
Writer and Artist
Montreal, Canada
Faculty of Arts
2021
 

What are your main responsibilities or activities in your current position?

I write, produce, sing, write grants, and creative direct for personal projects under the alias Kae Sun. I occasionally work on a freelance basis performing the same roles.

How does your current work relate to your graduate degree?

My time in the Creative writing grad program at UBC has given me the discipline and focus I need to complete long-form writing pieces and larger poetry projects. While in the program, I learned to think expansively about my practice and generate hybridized ideas rooted in creative writing.

What do you like and what do you find challenging about your current position?

I love the freedom involved in shaping ideas and communicating them in words. Reading and thinking are essential parts of effective writing practice, and I greatly enjoy this part of my role as a creative writer. This work is financially taxing. It isn't easy to afford life as a full-time writer and creative. The challenge is balancing financial needs and commitments with the freedom required to execute projects that require a lengthy timeline for completion.

Is your current career path as you originally intended?

I started out with a career in music as a singer and songwriter.

What motivated you to pursue graduate work at UBC?

Reading, writing, and research have been lifelong passions of mine. I had wanted to pursue an MFA years ago after my undergraduate studies. At the time, I couldn't afford tuition and wasn't yet eligible for student loans. Thankfully, the opportunity presented itself again, and I was able to enroll at UBC.

What did you enjoy the most about your time as a graduate student at UBC?

I enjoyed being in the company of fellow writers. The staff was incredibly supportive and accommodating.

How did the graduate degree at UBC help you achieve your career and/or personal development goals?

The graduate degree gave me the necessary discipline to stick to a writing schedule, seek out constructive feedback, and work collaboratively with an editor to complete large writing projects.

What key things did you do, or what attitudes or approaches did you have, that contributed to your success?

I was determined and passionate about the craft. I was interested in finding parallels within all my creative pursuits and having them more closely aligned and diffused within an extensive writing practice.

What is your best piece of advice for current graduate students preparing for their future careers?

I advise graduate students to balance personal career goals and serve their communities and the world. I also encourage students to pay attention to the world around them. Be an active listener and be willing to adapt.

,
 

Planning to do a research degree? Use our expert search to find a potential supervisor!