Joe Mackall

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Joe's Blogs

Editor's Notes - Volume 13, Number 1
I donít remember much about being 12 or 13 years old, but I do recall feeling a little restless, maybe even a tad reckless. Just how those feelings manifested themselves over forty years ago, Iíll leave buried, deep in the hazy cave of a dim memory. Now that we at River Teeth are in year thirteen, weíre feeling a bit restless ourselves, maybe even a tad reckless.
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Editor's Notes, Volume 13 Number 2
In the third or fourth year of River Teethís existence, a former undergraduate English professor of mine submitted an essay to us. As I tore open the envelope, I fantasized about how many nasty ways I could reject this guy.
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Tributary: New Online Journal for High School Writers
Tributary is an online journal being launched by the editors of River Teeth: and the English Department at Ashland University for high school creative writers to publish their essays, memoir and other narrative nonfiction.
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Editor's Notes, Volume 14 Number 2
Are there too many memoirs out there? Are too many being written? Is enough, enough? After all, for the last twenty-five years weíve read memoirs on every conceivable subject. Some great, some good, some fair, some poor.
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Editor's Notes, Volume 16, Number 1
We at River Teeth talk a lot about what the journal has meant to us during our first fifteen years. What weíve discovered doesnít surprise us now, but it would have fifteen years ago. Itís the people: the people weíve met, the people weíve published, the people who came of age as creative nonfiction writers reading River Teeth. Itís all pretty damn humbling, to be sure.
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Editor's Notes, Volume 17, Number 1
One day last spring my co-editor, Dan Lehman, and I were emailing back and forth--with me in Ohio and Dan in Taiwan--discussing River Teeth and a writer we were excited to be publishing in this issue. And then Dan said something that knocked me flat: ďHe reminds me of the late Charles Bowden.Ē I had not known about Chuckís death until that second, and I still donít know how I could have missed the news. Chuck Bowden died on August 30, 2014, at the age of sixty-nine. Too damn young. Too damn soon.
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Editor's Notes, Volume 18, Number 1
At the end of the academic year, when students start to lose it over grade pressure and work load, and I begin to wear down and wonder how much longer I can read thousands of pages of student work, I do what every burned-out writing teacher would do--I read.
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Editor's Notes, Volume 19, Number 1
Remembering Brian Doyle and Nancy Mairs
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Editor's Notes 20.2
When my children turned twenty-one, I wrote each of them a letter.... I knew that although my children were still mine and, of course, always would be, they were entering the world as adults; and forevermore I would have to share them with the world in a way that left me excited and proud, but also anxious and wary. This moment in the life of River Teeth feels a bit like that...
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Editor's Notes 21.1
The other day I had occasion to drive through a town named Red Haw, just a few miles from my home in rural Ohio. I live in a small community, but itís a booming metropolis compared to Red Haw, a town of Trump re-election signs, a smattering of houses, a few barns, and a Methodist church. Red Haw is an easy place to ignore, and itís an even easier place to think you know.
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Editor's Notes 22.2
Before writing these editorís notes on a cold Saturday morning in mid-November 2020, I thought back to the words penned in the editorís notes of the previous issue by my friend and co-editor Dan Lehman, with the country and the world in the early days of the pandemic.
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