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

November 7, 2007
Inner Station (AP)
November 2, 2007
October 29, 2007
Doesn’t have to be the Chancellor. Could be. Drives a Beemer. Big smile, pants are too tight at the waist, too long at the heels. Afraid to go to the optometrist for a checkup, has noticed each of his eyes sees a different quality of light. His right one sees warm tones, happy days; his left sees cold, bluish. Found an alumni donor in Hong Kong who’s got five mil for the endowment if presented an acrylic trophy at a dinner. Remember to get the trophy laser-etched with a picture of the donor’s college. Remember to make the evil eye smile at the reception.
October 26, 2007
Two weeks ago we went to see The Tempest at the University of Illinois’ Krannert Center f or the Performing Arts. It was one of the most amazing aesthetic experiences I’ve ever had. Two previous posts on this can be found here and here.
October 19, 2007
October 17, 2007
My friend Chip wants to be my life coach. He said those words. When I asked what he meant, he said he has the objectivity to help me make important decisions—mostly writing- and career-related—that will “get you where you want to be.” I rarely put good advice to use, let alone that of a guy who orders three entrees when he goes to IHOP so he can be sure he’s not missing out on something.
October 15, 2007
Last Thursday I was already worn out by early afternoon, and when I had let my last class go, I listened to Mrs. Churm’s message in disbelief. If I remembered, she said, we had theater tickets, and not in town, but at the University of Illinois’ Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. I hadn’t remembered.
October 13, 2007
One of my own professors said that when he retired he was going to put on his jammies and spend the rest of his life watching Bergman on DVD. That doesn’t sound crazy to me, though I might throw in a really good library and an endless supply of crisp refrigerated pickles.
October 10, 2007
A big perk of writing for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency has been meeting people like today’s guest, Roy Kesey. Roy and I became pen pals through our dispatches for the Tendency, if pen pal is still a valid name for what happens instantaneously and online.

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