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The Ladder Tree

The Ladder Tree By Beth Taylor   |  December 7, 2015
Hand-built, smoothed gray with age, the stubby ladder rests against the old apple tree, its gnarled bark accepting the still, hopeful embrace of the rails and rungs once climbed by a child when this tree by its stone wall watched over a field of corn, or was it cows, instead of this fervent jungle – green vines wrapping bushes and spindly trees, sprung from seeds blown down by wind-flung torrents of rain, and allowed to grow, unchecked by the farmer, father of that child, both now long gone, their spirits left behind, lurking in nature’s veils that canopy the path, dappling sun into shade as we walk on a summer's day, wondering: what child, living how, climbed to pick, or to see, so long ago; and accepting, as we wander, our own graying but patient embrace.

A Wildly Funny Life Story -- I, Too, Admire Your Shoes!

A Wildly Funny Life Story -- I, Too, Admire Your Shoes! By Glen Retief   |  December 1, 2015
"I want to write the moral history of the men of my generation," wrote Flaubert to his friend Mademoiselle Leroyer in 1864, talking of what would become his semi-autobiographical novel, Sentimental Education....Substitute women for men, memoir for novel, feminism for nineteenth-century bohemianism, and place our young-to-middle-aged protagonist in a green miniskirt in a Sun Belt college town. There you have, more or less, the themes and plot of Debra Monroe's new memoir, My Unsentimental Education, which updates Flaubert's novel for our own suburban, gender-redefining times.

Linda on the Beach

Linda on the Beach By Denise Duhamel and Julie Marie Wade   |  November 30, 2015
We don’t know her, the woman who grins and waves as we wander north along Hollywood sand, bedsheets for yoga class billowing in our hands. But maybe, I think, we do know her from somewhere, and it’s not in our nature to be rude, so we wave, too. Linda is flapping like the lifeguard’s flag. Linda is talking about her lost keys, about her husband in the hospital, about the Marriott that won’t take her back now. We look at each other to acknowledge Linda is crazy, possibly homeless.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter By Dorothy Rice   |  November 23, 2015
What was that feeling last night, of chasing a thread of thought from sleep to wakefulness, back into sleep again, not quite sure at any moment whether I was fully awake

Stephen Benz

November 20, 2015
Along with two books of travel essays—Guatemalan Journey (University of Texas Press) and Green Dreams: Travels in Central America (Lonely Planet)—Stephen Benz has published essays in Creative Nonfiction, TriQuarterly, Los Angeles Review, and other journals. Two of his essays have been selected for the Best American Travel Writing series. Formerly a writer for Tropic, the Sunday magazine of the Miami Herald, he now teaches professional writing at the University of New Mexico and is on the faculty of the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference.
Keywords: 17-1

Jill Christman

November 20, 2015
Jill Christman is the author of Darkroom: A Family Exposure (AWP Award Series in Creative Nonfiction winner), Borrowed Babies: Apprenticing for Motherhood (Shebooks 2014), and essays in magazines and journals such as Brevity, Fourth Genre, Iron Horse Literary Review, Literary Mama, Oprah Magazine, and Brain, Child. She teaches creative nonfiction writing in Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program and at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she lives with her husband, writer Mark Neely, and their two children.
Keywords: 17-1, 19-2

Karen Dietrich

November 20, 2015
Karen Dietrich is the author of The Girl Factory (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013). Her writing has appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, The Bellingham Review, Specter, and elsewhere.
Keywords: 17-1

Tom Fate

November 20, 2015
Tom Fate is the author of five books of nonfiction, including Beyond the White Noise, a collection of essays, Steady and Trembling, a spiritual memoir, and Cabin Fever, a nature memoir. A regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune, his essays have appeared in The Boston Globe, Orion, Iowa Review, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, and many other journals and anthologies, and they have often aired on National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio. He teaches creative writing at College of DuPage in Chicago.
Keywords: 17-1, 19-2

Kerry Folan

November 20, 2015
Kerry Folan's work has appeared in The Washington Post, Hippocampus, and The Butter, among other publications. She is currently a second-year MFA candidate in creative nonfiction at George Mason University.
Keywords: 17-1

Robert Long Foreman

November 20, 2015
Robert Long Foreman is from Wheeling, West Virginia. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared most recently in Copper Nickel, Redivider, Booth, The Utne Reader, Fourth Genre, and the 2014 Pushcart anthology. He is The Cossack Review’s Fiction Editor, and he teaches creative writing and literature at Rhode Island College.
Keywords: 17-1

Shannon Huffman Polson

November 20, 2015
Shannon Huffman Polson is the author of North of Hope: A Daughter’s Arctic Journey as well as essays in Cirque Journal, High Country News, Alaska and Seattle magazines, Huffington Post, and Ruminate Magazine, where her work was given honorable mention in the 2015 VanderMey Prize for Nonfiction. Her current project about mythology, community, and pathfinding is based on her experience as one of the Army’s first women attack helicopter pilots.
Keywords: 17-1

Shanley Jacobs

November 20, 2015
Shanley Jacobs’ poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in Blackbird, Gulf Coast, The Helen Burns Poetry Anthology: Best New Voices from the Academy of American Poets University & College Prizes (1998-2009), and Tampa Review. She is a recipient of a Catherine and Joan Byrne Academy of American Poets Prize, a fellowship to Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a 2014 AWP Intro Journals Project Award in Nonfiction. She is an MFA candidate at the University of San Francisco and has her MFA in Poetry from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Keywords: 17-1

Catalina Ouyang

November 20, 2015
Catalina Ouyang is a visual artist and writer based in St. Louis, where she and her partner enjoy unimaginably cheap rent. She was the recipient of the 2015 CURA Prize for her short story “Third Sister.” Her visual work has been exhibited in St. Louis, Los Angeles, Annapolis, and Florence. She received her BFA in Sculpture from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2015.
Keywords: 17-1

Katherine Robb

November 20, 2015
Katherine Robb is a writer and attorney. Her writing has been published in Blue Fifth Review, Gray’s Sporting Journal, the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal, Hobart (online), Jenny, Tincture Journal, New York University Annual Survey of American Law, and Taconic Press. She recently finished her first novel.
Keywords: 17-1

Nathan Thornburgh

November 20, 2015
Nathan Thornburgh is a former musician, former traveling salesman, and former foreign correspondent with TIME Magazine. He is currently co-founder and CEO of Roads & Kingdoms (voted American's Best Travel Journalism site by the Society of American Travel Writers).
Keywords: 17-1

Joe Wilkins

November 20, 2015
Joe Wilkins is the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, winner of a 2014 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, and two previous books of poetry, Notes from the Journey Westward and Killing the Murnion Dogs.
Keywords: 17-1, 18-1

Here's What Happens

Here's What Happens By Catherine Klatzker   |  November 16, 2015
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU’RE WAITING FOR MORE TEST RESULTS FOR THE SUSPICIOUS SHADOW ON YOUR HUSBAND’S CHEST X-RAY: You give money to homeless people who say they want food. You stick around to talk to them when they seem lonely. You allow those drivers in traffic who are in such a rush to cut in ahead of you. You admit it’s not death that makes you shrivel into yourself and brings up those old whimpering voices pleading for safety; it’s dread of that conversation, of giving permission to one’s life partner to take that journey alone, without you.

Volume 17 Number 1

Volume 17 Number 1 November 9, 2015
featuring the writing of Stephen Benz, Jill Christman, Karen Dietrich, Tom Fate, Kerry Folan, Robert Long Foreman, Shannon Huffman Polson, Shanley Jacobs, Catalina Ouyang, Katherine Robb, Nathan Thornburgh, and Joe Wilkins.
Keywords: 17-1

In Perilous Times

In Perilous Times By Tami Mohamed Brown   |  November 9, 2015
The Frank Lloyd Wright calendar hangs askew on your cubicle wall, the citrus skylights of July turning right angles into August in an attempt to create unity on a Tuesday morning when you’re wearing stripes and your socks don’t match. Your feet rest on a coil of cords that tangle dangerously under the desk and your coffee cup sits too close to the keyboard without a cover. You shoot a rubber band at a window not meant to open. It’s eleven in the morning and you’ve already eaten lunch. These are signs that we are living in perilous times.

Something Sweet

Something Sweet By Andrea Fisk Rotterman   |  November 2, 2015
I walk the farm of my childhood in search of the sugar maple. I want to trace the brown bark, slide my fingers down its furrows, roll its needle leaf points between my fingers. Beside me, Belle, my dad’s foxhound, holds her noble head high. She catches a scent, shifts into the prairie grass. I wear a light jacket. It’s early April. Forty degrees. Cold north air is losing ground to the surge of warmer southern currents. The sugar maple stands on a ridge alongside the old tobacco barn.

Loosen Up

Loosen Up By Kate Hopper   |  November 1, 2015
A couple of months ago, I curled up in chair in the corner of my living room to begin reading Dinty Moore's latest book, Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy: Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love, and Cannibals. The book, as you can probably guess from the title, is a writing guide in the form of an advice column. In it Moore fields tongue-in-cheek questions from 20 contemporary essayists on topics such as grammar, the writing life, why so many writers write about writing, and how to recapture the humor of a cocktail party story without having to get drunk again.

Editor's Notes, Volume 17, Number 1

Editor's Notes, Volume 17, Number 1 By Joe Mackall   |  October 30, 2015
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: “He reminds me of the late Charles Bowden.” I had not known about Chuck’s death until that second, and I still don’t 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.

For the Birds

For the Birds By Anjoli Roy   |  October 26, 2015
Birds keep getting lost in my living room. It’s my fault, for leaving the doors open. For answering the knock of valley wind so strong it rips posters off the walls, comes pounding, shaking our wood-framed house with big fists, demanding to be let in. When they come, they’re puffed up in aerial flight, thinking they’ve found a new throughway from the construction site next door to the chicken coop on the other side of our house, only to thump-thump-thump their clavicle-breaking thump against ocean-view windows that just stand there, rude as a closed door.


Cold By Kate Hopper   |  October 19, 2015
On the hottest days in San Vicente, I sit on the front porch of my host family’s house, sweat dripping from under my arms, dust turning to mud on my salt-streaked legs. I watch the heat shimmer up from the dirt road, dissolving into blue sky. On these days, I long for snow, hunger after the numbing cold of January in Minnesota.


Mercy By Lisa K. Buchanan   |  October 12, 2015
The Italian museum had a gory multitude of blood-streaked Jesuses. But in one immense painting, he was flanked by two anonymous thieves--palms nailed, faces obscured, genitals exposed, legs cudgeled by a guard to speed their deaths. In the crowded gallery, I tried to ignore the pointy elbows of audio-tourists, the smells of cranky feet, the eye-splitting camera flash of a stealth rule-breaker--until a museum guard in brass buttons and crisp trousers stood accusingly before me.

Podcast Interview with Glen Stout & Jeremy Collins

Podcast Interview with Glen Stout & Jeremy Collins By Matt Tullis   |  October 12, 2015
This episode of Gangrey: The Podcast features Glen Stout, long form editor of SB Nation and Jeremy Collins who was featured in this year's Best American Sports Writing.


Ripple By Magin LaSov Gregg   |  October 5, 2015
On a rusted railroad bridge overlooking Ohio’s Rocky River, I stand with my father beneath an ocean blue sky and listen to the water’s murmur. My father removes his glasses and points to a large rock beside the lower bank. "That’s Big Rock," he says. I know Big Rock from a story he has told me, a strand of his story now interwoven with mine. I know my father, as a boy, stood on Big Rock, while neighborhood boys stood across from him, on a narrow cliff ledge, and hurled rocks at him.

An Inner Exuberance

An Inner Exuberance By Thomas Larson   |  October 1, 2015
With this review, River Teeth begins an occasional series of essays on nonfiction books we believe deserve to be read, whether again or for the first time. We are calling it "Neglected Nonfiction Classics." One of the most poignant, absorbing autobiographical memoirs I’ve ever read is this gem from 1943, The Little Locksmith.

Podcast Interview with Kim Cross and Karen Bender

Podcast Interview with Kim Cross and Karen Bender By Matt Tullis   |  September 30, 2015
On this episode of Gangrey: The Podcast, Matt Tullis talks with Kim Cross, author of What Stands In a Storm: Three Days in the Worst Superstorm To Hit the South's Tornado Alley; and with fiction writer Karen Bender, author of the short story collection Refund, which is long-listed for a National Book Award. In "Required Reading," Dave Stark offers his thoughts on J.R. Moehringer’s The Tender Bar.

Resting Place

Resting Place By Kate Levin   |  September 28, 2015
When we arrive at daycare, I step out of the car and close my door gently, hoping not to startle my son awake. As I open the back door to retrieve him from his car seat, I see the bird.

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