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Ways of Seeing

Ways of Seeing By Melanie Bryant   |  May 29, 2023
At eighty, my mother is a string of adjectives: slight, slow-moving, stooped. “It comes with the territory,” she says and points to her neck. “I just don’t have the strength to hold my head up anymore.”

The Mansion Game

The Mansion Game By Caitlin Horrocks   |  May 22, 2023
The boundary sign between city and suburb says, “East Grand Rapids: A Better Place to Live,” and maybe it is. As we drive, the houses swell until they are mansions with sweeping green lawns. Of course my four-year-old notices.


Wind By Emily Brisse   |  May 15, 2023
All along the creek trail, the grasses were taller and thicker than we’d ever seen them, the tops brushing our foreheads, even my husband’s, the bottoms obscuring the path, even for the children, their small bodies still so close to the earth...

Trout Lilies

Trout Lilies By Ginny MacDonald   |  May 8, 2023
I want to tell Allie that the trout lilies are up. That wood frogs are chuckling where the marsh marigolds shove their leaves through the mud.

Grief and Its Guesswork

Grief and Its Guesswork By Reneé E. D’Aoust   |  May 5, 2023
Anne Pinkerton’s Were You Close? explores the complexities of grief after the death of her adult sibling, her older brother, David.
Keywords: book review

For My Students

For My Students By Robert Barham   |  May 1, 2023
From Alabama, Tennessee, and Michigan, China, Austria, and Indonesia, they see the world’s grandeur and glory, menace and ruin. They are Nabokovs, Morrisons, O’Connors, Didions.


Gravity By Hanna Saltzman   |  April 24, 2023
My two-month-old wiggles on his tummy on a brightly striped blanket in our little urban backyard, trying to hold his head high while the weight of his rapidly growing brain pulls him to the ground. He is suspended in tension.

Shadow in the Wrack

Shadow in the Wrack By Jodi Paloni   |  April 17, 2023
The morning I found a loon curled in seaweed, breast picked clean, bones laced with foam from the outgoing tide...

Sarah Capdeville Wins River Teeth's 2022 Literary Nonfiction Book Prize

Sarah Capdeville Wins River Teeth's 2022 Literary Nonfiction Book Prize By Jill Christman   |  April 14, 2023
We are delighted to announce that Sarah Capdeville has won the 2022 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize. Her manuscript, Aligning the Glacier's Ghost, will be published by the University of New Mexico Press in spring 2024.


Breadcrumbs By Angela Sucich   |  April 10, 2023
Slim chance the surgeon gives, but like a tiny bird, I look for crumbs. Nurses flit in, check the PICC line, IV tubing. My mother’s a sleeping marionette, strings at rest.

Choose Your Own Adventure. Two Books or Two Books in One?

Choose Your Own Adventure. Two Books or Two Books in One? By Briana Avenia-Tapper   |  April 7, 2023
In Moscow, where I taught English in 2001, Americans were rare. This meant we enjoyed a certain celebrity. I was often the first American my students met. At least, that’s what they told me. But not Yulia. I was Yulia’s second American.
Keywords: book review

We Call Up Danger Only to Send It Away

We Call Up Danger Only to Send It Away By Lindsey Pharr   |  April 3, 2023
He lit a Marlboro and exhaled, smiling down at the gators indulgently, as if each one was his precious, deadly baby. He looked the same way at me, sometimes.

Outline as Structure: Scaffolding in a “Dark Barn”

Outline as Structure: Scaffolding in a “Dark Barn” By Micah Gjeltema   |  March 27, 2023
It is difficult to find an angle of approach when writing about a personal experience, a deeply held belief, an individual revelation. As River Teeth editor Jill Christman likes to say, "Life doesn't come with plot." When telling a

Sweet Remedy

Sweet Remedy By Jeniah Johnson   |  March 27, 2023
I slipped downstairs when the backdoor slammed, her boyfriend gone for the night. "My tummy," I cried running to my mother for a hug. "Stop!" She held up a hand. "Broken glass."

No Longer Strangers

No Longer Strangers By Peter Welch   |  March 20, 2023
I am a “book” with the Human Library and meet Eva, from Ukraine, at a virtual “reading,” along with other curious minds from Greece, Germany, Singapore, Ireland, the U.S. I am humbled that Eva has chosen to Zoom with us...

River Teeth Issue Preview 24.2

River Teeth Issue Preview 24.2 March 19, 2023
River Teeth 24.2 features the writing of Greg Bottoms, Elizabeth Carls, Jim Daniels, Michael Downs, Kathleen Driskell, Renata Golden, Diane Gottlieb, Sydney Lea, Ann Leamon, Leslie Jill Patterson, Julia Purks, Claudia F. Saleeby Savage, Layli Shirani, Jill Talbot, and Melissa Akie Wiley.
Keywords: issue 24.2

Editor's Notes 24.2

Editor's Notes 24.2 By Joe Mackall   |  March 19, 2023
Deep into his first memoir, What I Think I Did, the late Larry Woiwode writes several sentences that define him as a writer, revealing his material, his process, his calling. “I write more daily pages than ever, all background, prelude to my br
Keywords: 24.2

What Do You Want from Nature Writing?

What Do You Want from Nature Writing? By Jeff Darren Muse   |  March 17, 2023
What’s the situation in Conversations? Kumar’s passion for birds. Their biology, their lifeways, how she celebrates diverse species while also highlighting pernicious and ever-growing threats. In terms of plot, her book follows mile after mile of Kumar and her family pursuing eagles and hawks, owls and woodpeckers, whatever resides in or migrates through the American Southwest, especially New Mexico, her adopted state.
Keywords: book review


Accord By Vandana Khanna   |  March 13, 2023
On weekends, my mother would sit me down between her legs in the tight space of our back patio and teach me about control. It was the only free time she had between work and looking after me, my brother, and my sick father.

Just Now

Just Now By Lesley Stanley Roberts   |  March 6, 2023
On a morning when I need you most, the cardinal appears in the dead bush we meant to pull last spring. His round frame hefty, feathers tight to his bobbing body, as if he’s the beating heart of the gray yard.

Paper Boats

Paper Boats By Sara Martin   |  February 27, 2023
It’s Christmas Eve. Grandpa sits between my brother, Jeff, and me in the church pew. Grandpa must see that we’re fading, because as soon as we're seated after singing “Oh Holy Night,” he nods at the bulletin in his hands.

The Green Apple God

The Green Apple God By Tom Fate   |  February 20, 2023
When I arrived at the Stella Maris chapel, orange and blue rays of sunlight flooded through a stained glass window. The warm shafts of color felt like answers to a question I didn’t know how to ask.


Gestures By Jody Keisner   |  February 13, 2023
Amelia folds her hands in her lap, like an elderly man at mass during the homily. They say certain facial expressions and body language are inherited, as if a blueprint for gestures is written on our genes.

Chocolate and Wine

Chocolate and Wine By Beth Alvarado   |  February 10, 2023
In “What Would John Williams Do?”—Williams was the author of the lately renowned novel Stoner—Frank recounts a conversation she had at a cocktail party with another writer who was describing “rampant writerly success. Travel, publication, money.” After this other author’s good fortune with a new book, the author had snagged a top-tier agent who’d sold the next book for a high five-figure advance. This writer, tall and smiling, teeth flashing in the late afternoon sunlight, hoped for six figures. Frank confides to the reader that she wanted to disappear. The only thing she was hoping for? A “handful” of her husband’s Ativans.
Keywords: book review

Death, Grief, and Honey Nut Cheerios

Death, Grief, and Honey Nut Cheerios By Kiely Todd Roska   |  February 6, 2023
6:30 Tuesday morning. My four-year-old daughter sits next to me, scooping spoonfuls of cereal toward her mouth as milk drips onto her bare chest. Emmalani prefers life without clothing.

2021 - Disequilibria by Robert Lunday

2021 - Disequilibria by Robert Lunday February 1, 2023
Winner of the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction PrizeDisequilibria: Meditations on Missingness is a hybrid memoir that recounts the 1982 disappearance of the author's stepfather, James Edward Lewis, a pilot and Vietnam veteran. Recounting his family's

Ode to A Buddhahead Dad

Ode to A Buddhahead Dad By Edward Iwata   |  January 30, 2023
Dad is a chain-smoking, poker-playing, John Wayne-loving carpenter. A blue-collar Baryshnikov who swings hammers with sinewy grace.

Into the Mist

Into the Mist By Ken Martin   |  January 23, 2023
The rain left a fresh scent on the leaves and mist lingered as I walked my dad down the hill to the lakeshore. The ground was moist and the lake cloaked in a whiteout so pure I could hear only the water lapping the shore.


Itch By Alexandra Dane   |  January 16, 2023
I began with the paperbacks. Upside down, by the spine, shook hard, a snow of recipes, bookmarks, cigarette papers, index cards. Searching not for the obvious treasures — jewelry, money, last wills — instead, moments after my grandmother took her last breath, I began to hunt for the sketch.

I Feel As One in Sex But Also

I Feel As One in Sex But Also By Heather Lanier   |  January 9, 2023
Dishes drying, dryer broken, wet T’s strewn over chairs, we let the couch hold us up for one more hour of TV. Why? We want each other’s bodies. Right now—want them the way we’ve had them for twenty years.

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