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Fear of Poetry

Fear of Poetry By Claudia Monpere   |  June 22, 2020
My beloved friend dying of cancer said she’d been afraid of poetry for too long. I suggested a poetry party. A university lecturer, Susan was inspirational whether she was talking Jane Austen or freshman composition.


Electric By Kathryn Petruccelli   |  June 15, 2020
I try not to give too much power to what some call signs. Sure, when my mother was dying there was that thing with the poem I'd written about lightning, followed by the plane ride I took to her deathbed in the lightning storm . . .

Liz Prato

June 8, 2020
Liz Prato's most recent book, Volcanoes, Palm Trees, and Privilege: Essays on Hawai'i (Overcup Press, 2019), is an Oregon Book Award finalist.
Keywords: 21-2

Rebecca McClanahan

June 8, 2020
Rebecca McClanahan's eleventh book, In the Key of New York City: A Memoir in Essays, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in September 2020.
Keywords: 21-2

Phillip Hurst

June 8, 2020
Phillip Hurst currently lives and writes in Oregon.
Keywords: 21-2

Editor's Notes 21.2

Editor's Notes 21.2 By Jill Christman and Mark Neely   |  June 8, 2020
In the fall of 2018, Joe Mackall and Dan Lehman wrote to us to say that River Teeth needed a new home. They wanted to know whether we would consider joining them on the masthead and making Ball State University the magazine’s institutional headquarters.
Keywords: 21-2

River Teeth Journal Issue 21.2

River Teeth Journal Issue 21.2 June 8, 2020
River Teeth Issue 21.2 features the writing of: Rebecca McClanahan, Phillip Hurst, Wendy Bilen, Mary Grimm, Kevin Honold, Camellia Freeman, Liz Prato, Tim Bascom, Kelle Groom, James Ellenberger, Kelly Fordon, and Nicole Graev Lipson.
Keywords: 21-2

James Ellenberger

June 8, 2020
James Ellenberger was born and raised in Chicora, a small town in western Pennsylvania.
Keywords: 21-2

Kelly Fordon

June 8, 2020
Kelly Fordon's work has appeared in The Florida Review, The Kenyon Review (KRO), Rattle, and various other journals.
Keywords: 21-2

Kelle Groom

June 8, 2020
Kelle Groom is the author of a memoir, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl (Simon & Schuster), a Barnes & Noble Discover selection and New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice.
Keywords: 21-2

Tim Bascom

June 8, 2020
Tim Bascom's newest book, Climbing Lessons, is a collection of 40 brief personal narratives about fathers and sons in his own Midwestern clan.
Keywords: 21-2

Mary Grimm

June 8, 2020
Mary Grimm has had two books published, Left to Themselves (novel) and Stealing Time (story collection).
Keywords: 21-2

Camellia Freeman

June 8, 2020
Camellia Freeman is an essayist living in Seattle.
Keywords: 21-2

Nicole Graev Lipson

June 8, 2020
Nicole Graev Lipson's essays and journalism have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, The Hudson Review, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe Magazine, among other publications.
Keywords: 21-2

Wendy Bilen

June 8, 2020
Wendy Bilen usually has a few productive hours in the middle of the day, in her office, or in a coffee shop, anywhere but home, where her two middle schoolers and her pug can do nothing without her.
Keywords: 21-2

Kevin Honold

June 8, 2020
Kevin Honold was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Keywords: 21-2


Enigma By Jeff Ewing   |  June 8, 2020
My father's face could accommodate almost any emotion but disappointment. There were times it was called for, certainly, but it just couldn't get any purchase. It would pass like a stab of indigestion, visible for only an instant...

Haunted by Sandy Hook

Haunted by Sandy Hook By Joy Gaines-Friedler   |  June 3, 2020
Carol Ann Davis’s collection of nine essays is a memoir, a treatise on aesthetic expression, and a philosophical journey through the aftermath of what was, in 2012, the deadliest school shooting in American history. Her son Willem, seven at the time, was at Hawley Elementary, one mile away from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Keywords: book review


Peaches By Carolyn Rose   |  June 1, 2020
My granddaddy's knotted hands were forever peeling a tangerine, slicing a fig, cracking a native pecan, offering it to someone he loved. Most often, most tenderly, to my grandmother. I imagine him and this day without her . . .

The Perfumed Winds of May

The Perfumed Winds of May By Leanne Ogasawara   |  May 25, 2020
In the Japanese taxonomy of breezes, the perfumed winds blow just before the south-easterly winds of the rainy season, which arrive later in the month. Known as plum rains—so heavy, the downpours are said to knock the ripening plums right off their branches.

Jumping in Leaves

Jumping in Leaves By Joseph Gross   |  May 18, 2020
Somewhere after the turn of the millennium I slid from leaf jumper to leaf raker, and so on this smoky November afternoon I hold down my job for the boy in front of me during what will be his only non-digital hour of the day.

Kevin Honold Wins 2019 River Teeth Book Prize

Kevin Honold Wins 2019 River Teeth Book Prize May 12, 2020
We are thrilled to announce that Kevin Honold is the winner of this year’s River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize. His winning manuscript, The Rock Cycle, will be published by the University of New Mexico Press in Spring 2021.

The Entertainer

The Entertainer By Amber Emanuel   |  May 11, 2020
When my mother sits in front of our antique upright piano, it is almost always Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer." Almost always only the refrain. She never stops moving around the house, except for those moments she slides onto the wooden bench.

Megan Stielstra To Judge the 2020 River Teeth Book Prize

Megan Stielstra To Judge the 2020 River Teeth Book Prize May 11, 2020
We are delighted to announce that acclaimed author, Megan Stielstra will judge the 2020 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize.

Pacing & Tempo Possibilities for Micro Essays: A Beautiful Things Analysis

Pacing & Tempo Possibilities for Micro Essays: A Beautiful Things Analysis By Valerie Weingart   |  May 6, 2020
When writing in compressed forms, it is imperative to consider how much time—how many words, how much “air”—a writer allots to each component of a scene. This consideration is directly related to pacing (or, in musical terms, tempo), and can evoke moods and tones connected to the speaker’s emotional state. By keeping the ideas of tempo, pacing, and focus in mind, a writer can determine which parts of a scene should receive the most attention—conducting readers through to their composition line by line.
Keywords: beautiful things


Cord By Kat Read   |  May 4, 2020
I think the apartment is horrible – the bathroom sink is in the bedroom, the blind in the shower falls down every other day, the sliding closet door skitters out of its track. Everything feels rickety and as though it is about to topple . . .

Scholar’s Sensibility, Poet’s Eye

Scholar’s Sensibility, Poet’s Eye By Robert Root   |  May 1, 2020
Since 1926 the John Burroughs Association has awarded its medal to nature writers, many of whom I’ve heard of (Carson, Eiseley, Zwinger, Leopold, Lopez, and McPhee for starters) and many others I haven’t but might want to look up. Having read both Sightlines and Surfacing, her 2019 collection of essays, I readily include Jamie among those we most need to be reading.
Keywords: book review


Pawpaws By Kelly Zanotti   |  April 27, 2020
Pedro is quiet as we walk, and is still quiet when we stop to rest on a rock where above us pawpaws hang overripe like clean green hearts.

Marco Polo in Missoula

Marco Polo in Missoula By Emily Withnall   |  April 20, 2020
My house is leaky. Wisps of cold air seep in – but my kids remind me this isn't possible, that scientifically the warm air is leaking out. Certainly, there is oxygen flow in this old creaky house but taking a full breath is a privilege I don't use . . .

"Almost Thirty" by Rachel Weaver: A Balancing Act in Narrative Rhythm

By Rebekah Hoffer   |  April 15, 2020
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in writing creative nonfiction is that, when in doubt, sometimes the best way to write about a thing is to write about something else entirely. Rachel Weaver uses this technique to great effect in her essay, "Almost Thirty" (River Teeth, Volume 20, Number 2, Spring 2019)—one of my favorites of the essays I’ve recently read.
Keywords: 20.2

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