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Best American Essays Notables 2015

Best American Essays Notables 2015 September 22, 2015
Congratulations to this year's BAE Notables, originally published in River Teeth!

Hawk

Hawk By Claudia Geagan   |  September 21, 2015
Alone, I stare down the wide notch behind my house where the mountain to the east rolls inward to the west, and the western mountain rolls inward to the east till at last the two converge. A thousand feet below, a ground fog grays the Piedmont, but the sun has risen quite high and the thermals bend the spring-green hardwoods. These are worn mountains, the last mounds of the Southern Appalachians.

Podcast Interview with Tyler Cabot

Podcast Interview with Tyler Cabot By Matt Tullis   |  September 16, 2015
This week's episode features Tyler Cabot, an articles editor for Esquire Classic, which now includes access to every issue Esquire has ever published. Cabot talks about finding new ways to tell and sell stories. Plus, host Matt Tullis shares his nonfiction narrative "The Ghosts I Run With." And in Required Reading, freelance writer D. Rossi tells us why we should all read Brian Ives’ piece “How Bruce Springsteen Got His Groove Back."

Dress Up

Dress Up By Peter Witte   |  September 14, 2015
We were having drinks at a friend's house when my two-year-old entered the room, pantless, sans diaper. Whenever his older sister and her friends played dress up, he'd get silly and play dress down. But this time he was red-faced and crying. I excused myself, brought him to the other room.

Duet

Duet By Gail Folkins   |  September 7, 2015
On a dirt road behind a Midwest farmhouse, John and I walk between last year's corn stalks and the soybeans to come. Although spring appeared in the form of a printed milestone on the calendar, the wind clips and scatters spoken words.

Here's One for the Bookstores

Here's One for the Bookstores By Samantha Schoech   |  September 1, 2015
Each writer in Days Like This responded to the prompt, “My _________ From Hell.” Each essay or story, in turn, depicts the epiphany that comes in the midst of a day from hell. Or a job from hell. Or a girlfriend, an amputation, an acne problem from hell so severe that it drives you to snort heroin in your father’s basement. This, fill in the blank, was the absolute worst. And this is where the writer ended up, afterwards.

Conference Speakers' Essays Appear in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies

Conference Speakers' Essays Appear in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies September 1, 2015
Steven Harvey, Ana Maria Spagna, and Sarah M. Wells's essays related to their presentations at the River Teeth Nonfiction Conference are included in the current issue of Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies.

August Garden

August Garden By Gloria Nixon-John   |  August 31, 2015
My August garden has changed overnight, like a middle-aged woman looking into a mirror, asking, When did that happen, or how did this happen so soon?

Leaving Our Mark

Leaving Our Mark By Matthew Young   |  August 24, 2015
In the weeks before we end our active service in the Marine Corps my roommate, Caleb, and I slug Wild Turkey in our barracks room, and then decide to celebrate our impending freedom by burning down the thirty-foot-high diving platform a mile away off Christianitos Road.

The Killer Bee

The Killer Bee By Eric LeMay   |  August 17, 2015
My dad took me to pick it up in an empty school parking lot, at night, like a drug deal.

Podcast Interview with Nathan Thornburgh and David Caswell

Podcast Interview with Nathan Thornburgh and David Caswell By Matt Tullis   |  August 12, 2015
This week's episode has three segments, starting with Nathan Thornburgh, a chief editor and publisher of the website roadsandkingdoms.com. Thornburgh talks about his story "The Root of All Things," which will appear in the fall issue of River Teeth. Matt also chats with David Caswell about his Structured Stories news database, and recommends some "Required Reading."

Stay With Me Awhile

Stay With Me Awhile By Gina Williams   |  August 10, 2015
When Pete at last called Helen to request a visit, she said yes with both reluctance and anticipation. They hadn't seen one another since her diagnosis. Pete was her last boyfriend and because she was terminal, would always be the final man in her life, the only remaining thread of sexuality, desire. She seemed angry he'd waited so long to call. "I know he's just afraid of…..you know, it being difficult," she said. "But hell, I am too."

What's Left from the End Times

What's Left from the End Times By Elizabeth Raby   |  August 4, 2015
To begin her new book, Joni Tevis, the author of the equally unusual, The Wet Collection, quotes the Midwestern novelist, Sherwood Anderson, in an epigraph: “Just say in big letters, ‘The World is on Fire.’ That will make ’em look up.” So she does and so do we.

The Smell of Old Books

The Smell of Old Books By Pia Ghosh Roy   |  August 3, 2015
There was a row of shops where the flyovers now swirl and swoop. The shops were cubes of tin and plywood on a strip of pavement in heaving, humid Calcutta. They stood under gulmohar trees; fire-red petals with shade as cool as coconut water. In this shade, on low wicker stools, sat the men who owned these shops, playing cards, passing time. They were gatekeepers of old books.

House Call

House Call By Andrew Bomback   |  July 27, 2015
I never learned the cat's name, although Tom mentioned it when I visited him in his apartment. "Don’t mind Mr. Something," he said of the cat whose name was Mr. some other word. Tom lived just five minutes away from my house, and his wife said his legs were so swollen that it would require a 911 call to get him to my office. This was the only house call I’ve ever made. A year later, Tom was hospitalized with sepsis.

White

White By Jennifer Bowen Hicks   |  July 20, 2015
We no longer remember the sound of birdsong or the feel of dry pavement beneath our feet, but we walk to school anyway because school is the place we're meant to walk to on Tuesday mornings. Temperatures register -23 below zero if you don’t count the wind chill, and I always count the wind chill.

Crush

Crush By Abby Frucht   |  July 13, 2015
When I was married I crushed on another man. He played a pan flute while riding his bike past the reservoir and I stepped into his path feeling reckless one evening on one of my walks. Our groping shouldn't have lead to anything more. But I was wearing a coat that had just one button, a suede coat with bright scarves I'd sewn to the hem via uneven stitches, and when we spun to the ground the scarves tangled around us, the trail aglow with crushed mulberries, my babies damp in their beds in the house down the road where their dad sat reading.

Guppy

Guppy By Kavitha Yaga Buggana   |  July 6, 2015
Under a sky of half-moon and stars, my husband, my son, and I sit crouched near the small pond in our garden. Moss undulates in the water. A moist breeze hints at the monsoon that will soon descend on our city in South India. My son has fourteen orange- and coffee-colored guppy-fish swimming in a thin plastic bag. He is waiting to empty the little, translucent creatures into the garden pond.

River Teeth Nonfiction Book Prize Open for Submissions

River Teeth Nonfiction Book Prize Open for Submissions July 2, 2015
River Teeth is pleased to announce that Andre Dubus III will serve as the final judge for the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize. Submissions will be accepted until October 15, 2015.

Climbing the High Ridges and Stumbling

Climbing the High Ridges and Stumbling By Jeff Muse   |  July 1, 2015
I should be clear: I think writing well is terribly hard work, and I admire anyone who endures it. Me, I’ve yet to publish a book of any kind, and I don’t teach writing or literature at any college or university, so maybe you’d just as soon stop reading right here. After all, I’m hardly a professional book reviewer. But because I’m a professional educator, an environmental educator, I do know this: it all comes down to creating an authentic experience.

Trash Collection Day

Trash Collection Day By Melissa Grunow   |  June 29, 2015
Every Friday morning in the summer I would sit on the carpet in front of the giant picture window facing the street and watch the trash collectors empty cans and toss bags into their giant truck. The window opened low to the floor, so I could sit cross-legged with my nose just above the sill, my eyes and forehead barely visible to the road stretched in front of me.

What I Made

What I Made By Brad A. Modlin   |  June 22, 2015
I want to be a man who pays each bill the day it arrives. I want to be a man who knows the precise location of every object in his backpack. I want to be a man who knows about carpentry.

Podcast Interview with Michael Graff

Podcast Interview with Michael Graff By Matt Tullis   |  June 17, 2015
Female skydivers, street races, and more in this edition of Gangrey the Podcast. Matt Tullis talks with Michael Graff, the editor of Charlotte Magazine and freelance writer for SB Nation Longform, Washingtonian Magazine, and Politico.

October Moon on Lake

October Moon on Lake By Sydney Lea   |  June 15, 2015
I have seen too many such moon-rises in seven decades to write a poem about this one. But isn’t that what I’ve always done? Perhaps, yet I won’t write it, with its reference to Selena or to some familiar musical standard--"That Old Devil Moon,” say--or whatever. To imagine such allusions is to feel self-contempt, as if I had written about butterflies as tokens of fragility.

Turning the Tables: How One Woman Put Food in Its Place

Turning the Tables: How One Woman Put Food in Its Place By Polly Moore   |  June 10, 2015
Andie Mitchell is a “foodie.” She is a serious, hard-core “foodie,” a fact that comes through in delicious, descriptive detail on virtually every page of her 232-page memoir, It Was Me All Along.

His Pockets

His Pockets By Deborah Nedelman   |  June 8, 2015
At four he is an earnest collector. He keeps his secrets in his pockets and leaves them for me in the laundry basket. As I unroll the cuffs of his too-long-yet pants, sand dribbles out, a clump of mud caking the cloth. Even if all is quiet, I remain cautious. Experience has taught me to turn the pant legs out to see if anything moves. Has he captured some critter and forgotten it there? Using my thumbs, I push the fabric inside out. I’m careful to do this over a container.

Podcast Interview with Mike Wilson

Podcast Interview with Mike Wilson By Matt Tullis   |  June 8, 2015
Mike Wilson is finishing up his first few months as the new editor of the Dallas Morning News. He's also worked as an editor for ESPN and the St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay Times, fostering talented writers and reporters like Ben Montgomery, Michale Kruse, Kelley Benham French, and Pulitzer Prize winner Lane GeGregory.

River Teeth Conference Presentations Available Online

River Teeth Conference Presentations Available Online June 5, 2015
Around 80 nonfiction writers gathered at the Ashland University campus in Ashland, Ohio, May 29-31 for the 4th annual River Teeth Nonfiction Conference, featuring Cheryl Strayed and Jerald Walker.

Summer Night

Summer Night By Jill Gerard   |  June 1, 2015
On warm August nights, I take out my contacts and go outside, find a spot to lie down, and look up through the basket of live oak branches.

Inheritance

Inheritance By Beth Howard   |  May 25, 2015
My father loved a good roaring fire and attended the ones he built with great reverence, as if viewing a cremation. But, after all, he knew his wood. In his 70s, dad bought a gas-powered log splitter and would perch on a stump for hours, loading one log after another, pulling the lever to engage the iron wedge, which descended with a crushing force to split the logs.

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