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

April 25, 2007
When I was accepted to grad school, I had a big problem: In order to get my fellowship, I’d have to teach. I’d always been terrified of public speaking. As an undergrad I talked my Speech-Comm TA into letting me write papers instead of making required speeches. (Convincing him took rhetorical skill, right?)
April 23, 2007
For those who don't know, I write somewhat regular dispatches for McSweeney's Internet Tendency. There's a new one up today. The earlier ones are all here.
April 20, 2007
It’s old news that many libraries suffer for lack of money. After September 11th, Hinterland’s investment portfolio tanked with the rest of the economy, and the state cut funds across the board. Some of that is coming back, but years of budget shortfalls and inflation have had their effect.
April 19, 2007
Some of you have written to ask how I, a writing teacher, feel about the creative writing connection in the Virginia Tech killings. I have many things to say but want to be very careful not to use this disaster to point fingers or advance a cause.
April 17, 2007
Our deepest sympathies go to those at Virginia Tech and their families. Violence on any campus is an attack on our own learning communities and a betrayal of the underlying hope that education represents. Please join us in offering condolences. 
April 13, 2007
This is the second interview in a series. Two years ago I had an e-mail from another adjunct on campus. He wanted to audit a creative-writing class I was teaching, and I said if he could stand it, I could too.
April 10, 2007
Robert Olen Butler’s recent writing-advice book, From Where You Dream, warns of the difficulties of being a literary artist instead of, say, a basketball player:
April 8, 2007
My wife and I will soon open part of our home as Churm House, an inn for wayward academics.
April 3, 2007
We have a brilliant young scholar friend whose critical mind won’t rest. Last summer he performed a Marxist critique of Thomas the Tank Engine while our kids watched the videos at our feet. (“’They’re the really useful crew?’” he said as the theme song began. “It’s a lesson in class identity. Relations of production!”) He’s also written about James Bond and told me how Bond’s capitalist fetish for commodities went hand-in-hand with an empire’s “license to kill.”
April 2, 2007

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