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

June 19, 2007
I was plucked by McSweeney’s Internet Tendency from gray anonymity and propelled onto the glamorous stage of Internet pseudonymity , where I first caught the eyes of the just-as-astute editors at Inside Higher Ed. As a result, I became, as you know, the very first personal valet to IHE founding editor Doug Lederman.
June 16, 2007
Today is the annual worldwide celebration of Leopold Bloom’s adventures around Dublin in 1904. So set down your ashplant, hoist a Guinness, and check out:
June 11, 2007
We finished reading for the AP exam in Louisville on Saturday, and I’m home now. But before I left, I sat down with Jim Barkus, Chief AP Reader for Literature and Composition, and Professor of English at Baylor University, to ask a few questions.
June 8, 2007
June 7, 2007
June 6, 2007
June 3, 2007
May 31, 2007
No, not with childcare; I have that under control. When Mrs. Churm left Sunday for the NAFSA conference in the Twin Cities, which will last a week, I blew my bosun’s whistle to call my two little boys away from the window, where they were sadly waving goodbye to their mother. They fell in. I blew it again, and they snapped to attention. “Rule One!” I said. “Daddy’s number-one job is to keep us safe!” Starbuck shouted. His little brother, Wolfie, said, “Bye,” and started biting my cell phone. “Rule Two!” I said. “Daddies always win,” Starbuck shouted.
May 31, 2007
Near the end of each semester a student inevitably asks, “Why is literature always about bad stuff?” Even if we’re not reading, say, Titus Andronicus (dismemberment, cannibalism, it’s got it all), cummings (“his rectum wickedly to tease / by means of skilfully applied / bayonets roasted hot with heat”), or Erdrich’s “Red Convertible” (suicide, students suspect, maybe), it’s a fair enough question. Do you know a literary work in which everything turns out great?

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