Oronte

John Griswold, who uses the pen name Oronte Churm at Inside Higher Ed and elsewhere, was born in Vietnam and raised in coal country in Southern Illinois. His stories, poems, and essays have appeared in War, Literature and the Arts; Brevity; Natural Bridge;  and Ninth Letter. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, listed as notable in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009, and included in The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 3 (WW Norton).

His most recent book is a collection of essays, Pirates You Don't Know, and Other Adventures in the Examined Life (University of Georgia Press 2014), now available for pre-order. He is also the author of a novel, A Democracy of Ghosts, and a nonfiction book, Herrin: The Brief History of an Infamous American City.

He teaches in the MFA program at McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

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Most Recent Articles

June 1, 2011
N says that G, a dental tech, cast her gold fillings, which she still has 31 years later, good as new. G was a craftsman. When he worked on her bridge appliance he inlaid his name in it, as required by law. But that was long ago, and the dental tech who works for her current dentist engraved his name in her partial and left it a mess. His name the roughness her tongue rubs against and is made constantly sore by.
May 31, 2011
I made that up, I guess, but why not? I love reading journals, diaries, and notebooks, especially of writers I admire. Virginia Woolf, from A Writer's Diary: Being Extracts From The Diary of Virginia Woolf, edited by Leonard Woolf:
May 27, 2011
Ever notice how hard it is sometimes to tell the difference between mastery and a con?
May 20, 2011
Be sure to file your students' final grades today by noon, Central Standard Time, as the online system will lock you out after that point, and the Rapture will occur sometime Saturday.
May 14, 2011
Tim Peters, who graduated from here a couple of years ago, was a philosophy major, as I recall. When he took one of my classes I saw instantly he could also write like hell.
May 10, 2011
“I’m not a communist,” I said cryptically to a class the other day after I’d come in and sat down. I stopped talking as if I intended to leave it there and began to take roll silently. “But…?” a sharp young guy said. His peers seemed ready to let such an odd declaration go by without comment.
April 23, 2011
On Pain of Speech: Fantasies of the First Order and the Literary Rant, by Dina Al-Kassim. University of California Press (2010). $34.95 paperback, $15.40 Kindle. *** Review by Okla Elliott
April 18, 2011
In “The Fact Behind the Facts, or, How You Can Get It All Right and Still Get It All Wrong,” Philip Gerard, Chair of the Department of Creative Writing at UNC-Wilmington, tells the story of his first front-page byline. As a cub reporter he investigated an incident where a boy had pulled his girlfriend from a car fire and saved her life. Years later Gerard was still pleased when a guy in a bar asked if he’d written that car-fire piece.
April 9, 2011
You’re going to want to keep your eye on Scott McClanahan, since he’s a terrific writer and a little sly. Who knows where this all will end?
March 22, 2011
My friend Neil Verma is a Harper Fellow and Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Humanities at the University of Chicago, where he teaches a sequence of classes in media aesthetics for undergraduates.

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