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

December 10, 2007
It’s nearly finals time, and parents everywhere are worried for their children, who live so far away at university and are under such stress.
December 7, 2007
I know that on the page “my pud” sounds nasty, but you should see it in person. Better yet, drop by and have a taste.
December 5, 2007
When I enlisted in the Army years ago, I was offered half-a-dozen duty stations for my first posting. I chose Fort Campbell, Kentucky, home of the 101st Airborne Division. The Screaming Eagles were famed for their service in World War II, especially at Bastogne, where General McAuliffe made his famous retort—“Nuts”—to the Germans demanding surrender.
November 28, 2007
My guest today is John Warner, editor of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, a man who once took a chance on a young nobody with a glint in his eye who strode into John’s office one summer afternoon wearing only a jaunty cap plumed with cock’s feathers. That young nobody was…Jonathan Ames. Later, Warner also let me write for the Tendency.
November 26, 2007
No, not the guy standing in front of the toilet door on the charter bus from Michigan State to Daytona who demands you do a JELL-O shot with him before he’ll let you pass and then when you do the shot he adds the stipulation that you also have to show him your hidden tattoo.
November 21, 2007
A couple of weeks ago I called my old friend Frenchy and asked if he’d come for Thanksgiving. It wasn’t a small request, since he lives across the country, so we were all thrilled when he said he’d catch a train and be out to stay with us for a few days.
November 16, 2007
I’ve always liked Adam Gopnik’s writing, but his
November 14, 2007
There was a roundtable here last Friday on creative-writing pedagogy. I hadn’t RSVP’d for the event but agreed to go at the last minute to represent administrator Rory, sick in bed with stomach flu. It would be easy. I’d just smile a lot and pretend I had a goatee.
November 11, 2007
My friend Dan and I grew up together. He and his wife are the godparents of our sons, and they have two children about the same ages.
November 9, 2007
I had thought parents’ night at Starbuck’s kindergarten was for the kids to show us their artwork, which hung around the walls. They’d made enough fruit salad earlier in the day to fill a gigantic punch bowl, and the bananas had gone black. There were also six baby carrots and six celery sticks. It was long after dinner, nearly the kids’ bedtime, and none of the parents touched the food. The kids served themselves neat, perfect portions and stood eating them from paper plates, like small faculty members at an honors banquet.


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