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

September 24, 2007
EXT. BENCH NEAR STUDENT CENTER - DAY A PROF eats his lunch from a Styrofoam bowl. Enter his acquaintance, who also works for the university but is a NON-PROF.
September 20, 2007
Crazy Larry, the struggling actor, is in a commercial run of a good play, which got him signed recently with a big talent agency. They told him to do two things immediately: Pay hundreds (again) for a (different) headshot, and enroll in an acting school.
September 18, 2007
But this ain’t science.
September 17, 2007
My wife and I have opened part of our home as an inn for wayward academics.
September 15, 2007
My wife and I are opening part of our home as an inn for wayward academics, to help make ends meet. Earlier posts on this topic can be read here:Part 1, Part 2, andPart 3.***
September 7, 2007
Today I welcome guest blogger Glen, a chum of the Churms from way back. He has done what I have so far failed to do—taken a ride on the tenure track—and I’m fascinated to see where it leads. --Oronte***
September 4, 2007
My father holding me, Saigon, 1963.  
August 31, 2007
Crazy Larry is in his first Equity play, and we were talking about the similarities between acting and teaching. I asked if he knew the term “corpsing,” which I’d heard on the special features of a DVD for Ricky Gervais’s series The Extras. It means to laugh inappropriately while shooting a scene, and Gervais, who’s known for doing it constantly (and hilariously), describes it as a sort of physical affliction beyond one’s control, a tension in the muscles that builds on itself and ruins take after take.
August 27, 2007
Hello. I am currently out of the office and am unable to take your calls, e-mails, text messages, instant messages, faxes, wires, smoke signals, or cave paintings.
August 17, 2007
A few days before the start of some semesters, I suddenly realize the call to teach has left me, the way breath leaves the lungs. All those who profess for a living—clergy, lawyers, this guy—must feel deflated now and then too.

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