The Education of Oronte Churm

The Education of Oronte Churm

Oronte Churm is the pen name of John Griswold, who teaches in the MFA program at McNeese State University, proudly nestled in Cajun country on the Louisiana Gulf.

September 13, 2011 - 6:00am
Amateurs, novices, and undergraduates who espouse the aesthetic of the infantile: Everything they make must be regarded as art because it came out of them. As a result, Whoopsies are in favor of shunning craft, history, and labor. But a little pablum would hit the spot.
September 9, 2011 - 3:45am
What can be said? Writer Philip Graham, who recently posted a book review here, has a moving story called "8:46" in Numéro Cinq. Click through to have a look. I find I don't have any more to say than what I wrote here a couple of years ago, which I'll re-post below. *** "Of Teaching Melville on 9/12"
September 6, 2011 - 6:00am
The Army ROTC cadets down by the goalposts didn’t look particularly happy their team was winning. After each conversion they had to jog out in BDU pants, t-shirts, and combat boots, make a formation, drop down, and knock out the number of push-ups in the total score. It didn’t help that the home team was running away with it, so there were many push-ups to do, or that the sun and heat were fierce on game day. One lanky cadet fell behind, and his comrades waited in the Front Leaning Rest until he’d finished pumping out his due.
August 29, 2011 - 2:00pm
The start of classes on this campus means tens of thousands more people in town and much social confusion. Foot, bike, skateboard, scooter, and car traffic is both swarming and disorganized enough to be dangerous. That young driver down from Winnetka has been taught she can’t let pedestrians bluff her; those students talking excitedly as they saunter across the street aren’t about to be intimidated by dad’s Matador Red, two-ton, Lexus SUV. It’s the principle of the thing.
August 19, 2011 - 3:45pm
August 4, 2011 - 3:45pm
Today, contributor Okla Elliott interviews writer and poet Kelly Cherry. I'm traveling and will be back in about 10 days. My thanks to both Kelly and Okla. Enjoy! --Churm *** An Embarrassment of Riches by Okla Elliott
August 2, 2011 - 5:17pm
The secret of most writers I know is that if they’re writing (and working at whatever job permits them to write), they don’t have much time to read. During the school year, with a full (adjunct) teaching load, as well as independent-study students, university scholar projects, committee attendance, office hours, e-mail correspondence, professional blogging, manuscript preparation, job searches, and domestic life with children, I often can only look wistfully at books that gape off my shelves like loose dentures.
July 29, 2011 - 5:01pm
Rattlesnake Daddy: A Son’s Search for His Father, by Brent Spencer. The Backwaters Press (2011). $25.00 paper. *** Here I’d like to return briefly to Rattlesnake Daddy, a memoir I reviewed a few days ago.
July 25, 2011 - 3:00pm
The democratizing effect of contemporary publishing, education and especially technology has created an unprecedented age of personal narrative and commentary. Never in human history have individuals been exposed to so many other people’s visions of the world.

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