English professor in 'Best American Essays'

Posted: October 3, 2017
Peter Grandbois

Denison University Associate Professor of English Peter Grandbois’s essay “Honor” has been listed as a Notable Essay for 2017. “Honor” first appeared in the North Dakota Quarterly. Of the thousands of essays that are published each year, only about 20 are selected as notable essays. This is the second time an essay by Grandbois was a listed as Notable Essay. His first, “Driving to Puerto Rico,” which first appeared in The Potomac Review, was selected in 2011.

In addition to his work as an author and English professor, Grandbois is a world class fencer — as in sword fighting. In fact, Grandbois has been a member of the U.S. World Championship team, and he coaches men’s and women’s fencing teams at Denison. “Honor” is part of a series of essays in which he explores the Bushido code of the Samurai. “The Bushido Code is: Justice, Courage, Mercy, Courtesy, Honesty, Honor, Loyalty, and Character,” says Grandbois. “I wrote essays that explore the meaning of each of these subjects in terms of the sport of fencing and what it means to grow old.”

Kissing the Lobster,” in which “Honor” appears, is a sequel of sorts to Grandbois’ “The Arsenic Lobster: A Hybrid Memoir,” which chronicled the use of both sport (fencing) and art (writing) as a means from breaking free of the stifling atmosphere of suburban, middle-class life.

In addition, Grandbois’ one-woman show, “The Woman Who Was Me” has been nominated for five New York Innovative Theatre Awards, including “Outstanding Premiere of a New Play” and “Outstanding Solo Performance.” His recent book of poetry, “This House That” won the Brighthorse Books Poetry Prize.

Grandbois’ poems, stories, and essays have appeared in more than 90 magazines and been shortlisted for both the Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays. His plays have been performed in St. Louis, Columbus, Los Angeles, and New York. He is a senior editor at Boulevard magazine and fiction co-editor at Phantom Drift.

Grandbois earned a master of arts from the University of Colorado, a master for fine arts from Bennington College, and a doctorate from the University of Denver.

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