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

January 26, 2011
Poet and writing program administrator Steve Davenport talks about poetry and lyrics—and co-writes a song or two—with indie musician Bruce “Bruiser” Rummenie.  
January 24, 2011
I first met Erika Dreifus through her blog ,Practicing Writing, and e-newsletter, The Practicing Writer, both excellent resources on the craft and business of writing. In fact, my nonfiction book contract was the result of a query I made after reading a listing in her “Monday Morning Markets/Jobs/Opportunities.”
January 20, 2011
Please plan to tune in here February 2nd to the 5th for a series of podcasts on literary topics by big-time poets and writers, as well as multiple chances each day to win free books and other prizes!
January 16, 2011
A German book publisher, having read my essays at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and no doubt hearing of my growing fame on the North American continent, wrote this week to ask if he could include something of mine in a new transatlantic magazine that will focus on “essays, short stories, photography and a small section of in-depth journalism.” Luxbooks (their site in translation by Google,
December 22, 2010
December 11, 2010
Soulful Russian folk songs would not have been out of place on our drive last week across the unending frozen landscape of the Midwest. My friend Mike Finke, a Slavic scholar, and I were headed for the 2010 International Chekhov Conference at The Ohio State University, after all.
December 1, 2010
If there’s one thing blogging regularly for years has made obvious to me, it’s that the mind roams restless as a spirit on the landscape of time. When I have reason to look for something I wrote here previously I can rarely tell, before I find it, when it was posted. I’m often wrong by years; it seems certain I was thinking those particular thoughts during the Eisenhower administration, not the Nixon.
November 24, 2010
Depending on your point of view, I either did something rash in accepting an invitation to participate in The Ohio State University’s International Chekhov Conference, “Chekhov on Stage and Page,” or else I’m living the dream. As you know if you’ve read this blog a while, Chekhov is important to me, and I often use his stories in my classes.


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