Why We're Here: 2nd Annual River Teeth Conference


May 17, 2013

Why We're Here: 2nd Annual River Teeth Conference

I’ve been staring at my bookshelf in my office for the last few minutes, spotting the spines of friends on paperbacks and hardcovers—Harvey, Root, McClanahan, Edelman, Sanders, Hopper, Huber, Cowser, Christman—and so many others whose heartbeats for the story that had to be told have quickened my own pulse.  This weekend brings many of these writers together in one friendly little town to have a conversation about story.  Their words are sure to ignite my spirit and enliven my desire to get the story I need to tell down on paper in its truest and most artistic form.

Near the end of Grace Notes, Brian Doyle says, “...after fifty years, I am absolutely sure what I am supposed to do: sense stories, catch some by their brilliant tails as they rocket by, carve and sculpt them into arrows, and fire them into the hearts of as many people as I can reach on this bruised and blessed planet. That’s all. That’s enough.”

We who gather here in Ashland, Ohio this weekend all care deeply about our stories, our arrows, what David James Duncan allowed us to inherit as our namesake—our river teeth, those “hard, cross-grained whorls of human experience that remain inexplicably lodged in us, long after the straight-grained narrative material that housed them has washed away. …the knots of experience that once tapped into our heartwood, and now defy the passing of time.” 

That has been for the last fifteen years and will continue to be what River Teeth is all about—finding and feeling the live pulse of new literature.

We’re thrilled you’re here with us.


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