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). 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

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.
March 20, 2011
Surprised to realize recently that I’ve interviewed some 18 people here, from a Vietnamese IT expert to a US Special Forces chaplain to a former sex worker with a Cambridge degree, I thought it high time I finally got around to interviewing someone I’ve long neglected. Today’s guest teaches writing and literature at a large Midwestern state university and writes under both his real name and a pen name. I welcome myself to the blog. ***
March 5, 2011
Unofficial St. Patrick's Day, 2011.
February 26, 2011
Review by Katya Cummins The Naïve and the Sentimental Novelist (Harvard UP, 2010) is a series of six Charles Eliot Norton Lectures delivered at Harvard in 2009 by Turkish Nobel Prize-winner Orhan Pamuk. Together they're a semi-autobiographical exploration of the art of writing and, perhaps more uniquely, a glimpse into the psychology and art of reading.
February 24, 2011
When I happened to mention in passing to my acquaintance Rory that I was on a long, painful deathwatch for certain of my hopes and ambitions, he swung his booted feet off his desk, jabbed his finger at me and said:
February 17, 2011
Writer Glen Retief grew up in a South African game park during the apartheid era but emigrated to the U.S. in 1994. Before landing in academia he worked as an instructor of homeless HIV-positive substance abusers, a needle exchange advocate, an English as a Second Language teacher, and a teacher of high school students with learning disabilities. He has lived in Cape Town, New York City, Tallahassee, London, Madrid, Guadalajara, and Richmond, Kentucky.

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