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.

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Most Recent Articles

October 17, 2008
I know: I’m the one who chose to write, and to complain about the problems inherent in one’s own choices is tiresome. Hemingway says it more colorfully in his memoirs, A Moveable Feast, when he upbraids himself for getting discouraged (and hungry, supposedly) as an apprentice writer in the early days in Paris. “Outside on the rue de l’Odeon I was disgusted with myself for having complained about things. I was doing what I did of my own free will…. You God damn complainer. You dirty phony saint and martyr,” he says.
October 15, 2008
I wrote a while back about my feeling that the complexity of technology is accelerating so rapidly that we can’t even understand how little we understand about it anymore, so I was interested to read this essay by John C. Orr over at The Kenyon Review, called “Back to the Future: The Continuing Appeal of The Education of Henry Adams.” (The book for which this blog is named.)
October 10, 2008
Today I’m pleased to post an interview with Ron Tanner, President of the Board of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), the professional organization for creative writers around the world. Ron is a writer and teacher of writing, as you might expect, whose work has appeared in journals such as New Letters, Iowa Review, Massachusetts Review, and Story Quarterly and in the anthologies Best of the West (W.W. Norton & Company, 1991), The Pushcart Prize XIV (Pushcart Press, 1990), and 20 Under 30 (Scribner, 1986).
October 4, 2008
I was in a diner in a nearby town recently, the kind of place where The Beatles on my t-shirt were a band of suspicious foreigners. The dry-rotting building had multiple levels filled with Naugahyde booths and tables with mismatched chairs. It’s known for pie.
October 2, 2008
Our friends at Featherproof Books, one of the most innovative new presses going, have a grand deal for you: They've made one of
September 25, 2008
An adjunct's sabbatical, that is, which means I'll be staying in the teaching harness until I drop but taking a few days off from this blog to make a revision deadline for my book.
September 19, 2008
We went to a lecture last night by Leonard S. Marcus, author, critic, and children’s book historian, who’d told a group in an earlier session with quiet amusement that “independent scholar” finally offered a title for what he’d been doing all along. His books include a biography of Margaret Wise Brown (author of Goodnight Moon) and most recently Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children's Literature.
September 17, 2008
I have something in the new issue of Brevity, the premiere online journal of concise literary nonfiction, if you're interested.
September 12, 2008
The fall semester was only two weeks old, and we’d already worked through Irving, Hawthorne, and Poe. But my students and I didn’t know each other well yet, and I was aware when I assigned Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” that the add/drop date hadn’t passed.
September 9, 2008
The Large Hadron Collider at CERN will fire up Wednesday morning, though “it might take a month or two to ramp up the proton energies to five trillion electron v

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