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Ritual By Kelly Morse   |  July 7, 2014
Most nights I nurse my four-month-old daughter to sleep. The internet connection is terrible in our bedroom, the light thrown by the little green glass lamp not enough to read by, so I end up sitting in the semi-dark, looking across the bed to the window, or down upon the face of my baby in her steady, drowsy pleasure. The first couple of months, I listened to the dry rattle that preceded the radiator's strange atonal song. I watched ice crawl up the sill, watched storms fling themselves across the prairie, flapping tree limbs across the neighbor's outside light.

Steven Harvey--The Humble Essayist--Joins RT Staff

Steven Harvey--The Humble Essayist--Joins RT Staff July 4, 2014
River Teeth is pleased to welcome Steven Harvey as the most recent addition to our editorial staff as Senior Editor. Today, Steve has launched his new website, The Humble Essayist, devoted to the essay and the reflective memoir.

The Inner World of Caregiving

The Inner World of Caregiving By Jennifer Ochstein   |  July 1, 2014
If caregiving was a compass and sainthood was at zero degrees north, The Fifth Season would orient us due south.


Bolt By Jason Schwartzman   |  June 30, 2014
You couldn’t go where you wanted so you settled for walking the George Washington Bridge, no one’s favorite. It is a fixture You couldn’t go where you wanted so you settled for walking the George Washington Bridge, no one’s favorite. It is a fixture though, speared deep into rock on both sides of the river. It seems so solid, the bridge, so much of itself, one color, of the sky on a forgettable day—solid. On the pedestrian overpass, not in the cars, you hear the cars, and they sound like old men in a sick ward, wheezing, coughing, insides unsettled, towing the tonnage of themselves. The bridge bears all their weight, a servant of transience, of betweens, ruled by its little gains and losses.

Going Long, It's Tense, Research, Getting Connected, Reflection, Naming and more from #RTNC2014

Going Long, It's Tense, Research, Getting Connected, Reflection, Naming and more from #RTNC2014 June 27, 2014
Snippets, snapshots, and video from the River Teeth Nonfiction Conference


Peaches By Elizabeth Paul   |  June 23, 2014
The peach's soft flesh is so barely protected by its thin and fuzzy skin that I think it can't possibly be serious, but rather a jubilant sunburst, radiant and unworried in the brief noon of its summered existence, simply satisfied with the bright sweetness of its being.

My Father's Shoes

My Father's Shoes By Marcia Aldrich   |  June 16, 2014
The day my father died, my husband and I drove in the bright, tilted light of autumn, past farms, pastures, and ponds, finally arriving at the orchard. We parked the car, picked up two half-bushel bags to fill, and walked up the trail of powdered dust, fine as confectioner’s sugar, that led to the grove. That’s when I noticed them—my father’s shoes on my husband’s feet.

The Teacups

The Teacups By Pamela Rothbard   |  June 9, 2014
At the boardwalk, everything is past its prime: sweating hot dogs, mashed bags of cotton candy, melting ice cream. The workers move by rote--lifting and lowering the gate, pulling up on harnesses, scanning tickets. I slump in line. My daughter presses her whole body against the bars that separate us and the ride. As we board the teacups, the song, “Hey Mickey,” blares. It takes me back to college, to crazy humbling love with a boy named Mickey, to being on my own for the first time.


Patterns By Luanne Castle   |  June 2, 2014
I wouldn't be here if my father hadn't sent me in his place. Under the insistent fluorescents and amid the smell of machine grease, a small forklift truck operates to the left, and ahead of me, a couple of men in overalls finger the cigarette packs in their pockets as they chat. At the window, a man in a dirty welder’s cap looks up from his clipboard. I explain that I have come to look at scrap metal. Small things, cast offs. Junk yard trash. This isn't my kind of place. I like silk blouses and almond orchards in full bloom.

Growing the Soil and the Soul: On Richard Gilbert's SHEPHERD

Growing the Soil and the Soul: On Richard Gilbert's SHEPHERD By Thomas Larson   |  June 1, 2014
Sometimes a memoir, spilling into the ken of autobiography, must grapple with an author’s lifelong enigma—his book’s story, the story. As we read, we feel this cyclonic summing-up, the best chance after the life (or as far as the life has got) to say what, in particular, shaped that life’s core meaning. Perhaps the revelation is that we don’t get another go-round (obvious but important), that we never knew the storm was gathering while it happened (as much good as bad), and that the life we thought we lived was not exactly the one we did live (the new self the memoir discloses to its surprised narrator). Such is the case with Richard Gilbert’s book, Shepherd.


Cologne By Dawn S. Davies   |  May 26, 2014
Not too long ago I was in a crowded public place, trying to slip past people without touching them, when I caught a whiff of the same cologne my ex-husband wore while we were married. I would have thought it would sicken me, revisiting this scent of something so long dead, shoveled down into the underground of memory, the way we bury regret and sadness in order to keep on moving through life. But this cologne?

Why We're Here: Third Annual River Teeth Nonfiction Conference

Why We're Here: Third Annual River Teeth Nonfiction Conference By Sarah Wells   |  May 22, 2014
For as intimate and vulnerable as the writing process is, the process of sending my work out into the world for possible publication feels like the most distant and impersonal interaction there is between writer and reader. And yet, what is publishing our words except engaging in a broader conversation, contributing one voice to a river of voices?

The Necklace

The Necklace By Elizabeth Gaucher   |  May 19, 2014
In the 1970s, a necklace dangled long and lonely over our Kick the Can circle at the end of the street. Legend had it that a neighborhood boy had flung it, swung his arm like some cartoon pitcher and released the chain into the blue. It had been a soaring serpent, a dragon scraping the moon with its wings. Children who witnessed the moment were different from the rest of us. They said the chain streamlined, then widened and descended, its pendant dragging it back to earth in a sudden turnabout.

River Teeth Essay Selected for Reprint in Best American Essays Two Years in a Row

River Teeth Essay Selected for Reprint in Best American Essays Two Years in a Row May 13, 2014
Congratulations to Chris Offutt, whose essay "Someone Else" from River Teeth Volume 15, Number 1 will be reprinted in The Best American Essays 2014.


Dust By Sarah Evans   |  May 12, 2014
Who knew this sign of decay, of finality, of that to which we return, could also be so beautiful, so graceful, so lively as it floats in the sliver of sunlight that punctures the slit between my bedroom curtains?


Wrinkles By Georgie Hunt   |  May 5, 2014
I was just talking to my grandmother on the phone. Oftentimes when we speak, she apologizes to me for the scratchiness of her voice. She says she has a cold that refuses to go away. I know this is just how her voice sounds now after the stroke.


Bells By Jessica Jacobs   |  April 28, 2014
After a month alone in this New Mexico canyon, five miles from the nearest neighbor with no electricity and no reception, the cabin’s last inhabitant began hearing things. I wonder if I will, too.

Book Contest News

Book Contest News April 24, 2014
After a one-year hiatus, the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize Series returns in full force, with a new publisher and a series judge.

Podcast Interview with Jackie Valley

Podcast Interview with Jackie Valley By Matt Tullis   |  April 24, 2014
Jackie Valley is a reporter at the Las Vegas Sun. Just about one year ago, she published a seven-part series called “Grace Through Grief.” The series followed Arturo Martinez and his two young sons as they dealt with the brutal murder of their wife and daughter, their mother and sister.


Baptism By Martha Park   |  April 21, 2014
I’ve watched my father baptize dozens of babies. After sprinkling a little water on the baby’s head, Dad carried the baby up and down the aisles of the church, pausing to let the people on each pew lean forward and meet this new member of their family. Dad didn’t baptize me. Two of his old seminary buddies did it. Dad told me if I get married he won’t perform my wedding ceremony either. There are moments, he says, when he gets to sit back and cry. When I was a child, though...

Podcast Interview with Eva Holland

Podcast Interview with Eva Holland By Matt Tullis   |  April 17, 2014
Eva Holland's story "Chasing Alexander Supertramp" looks at the increasing number of people who make the pilgrimage to the bus where Christopher McCandless of Into the Wild Fame died. The hike to that bus includes a dangerous crossing of the Teklanika River in Alaska, and continues to strand hikers on a regular basis, and sometimes claim lives.


Driftwood By Sonja Livingston   |  April 14, 2014
I’ve taken to collecting driftwood along the river. This is because I don’t have Cable TV and therefore lack better vices, but also because I can’t get enough of the way bits of tree wash up along the banks of Mud Island in spring, everything taken in by the river north of Memphis pushed along and carried south—clumps of stubborn snow and fishing lures and broken kites, but it’s the driftwood I stop for, carrying pieces home in my arms or in bags when I think to bring one along for the purpose.

Podcast Interview with Ben Montgomery

Podcast Interview with Ben Montgomery By Matt Tullis   |  April 9, 2014
In this podcast, Matt Tullis talks with Ben Montgomery, enterprise reporter at the Tampa Bay Times and the author of Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail.

RTNC Conference $50 Discount Extended

April 9, 2014
Writers who missed the early registration discount deadline can still take advantage of the $50 discount by registering before April 15.


Canary By David Frey   |  April 7, 2014
A month later it might have been a tulip poplar leaf in a dying burst of brilliance on the driveway. (Nature’s last green is sometimes gold.) But it was August, so I pointed—“Look, a goldfinch”—even though it looked nothing like one and upon closer inspection certainly wasn’t. But how did a canary end up here, a driveway to a house on a hill in a forest? How long did it think it could avoid the hawks that prowl these woods, this bird, so unwary we could nearly touch it?
Keywords: beautiful things  |   1 comments

Sometimes Distant Sounds

Sometimes Distant Sounds By Marsha McGregor   |  March 31, 2014
There are times I rock on my porch in this battered chair, listening to life going on in the distance and long to be a part of it. A band playing on the green, the crack of a bat followed by whistles and cheers – even the traffic shushing by can make me wonder why I’m not going anywhere.
Keywords: beautiful things  |   2 comments

Young Widower by John W. Evans Now Available

Young Widower by John W. Evans Now Available March 13, 2014
Now available from the University of Nebraska Press: Young Widower by John W. Evans, winner of the 2013 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize

Podcast Interview with Wil S. Hylton

Podcast Interview with Wil S. Hylton By Matt Tullis   |  March 13, 2014
Wil S. Hylton is the author of Vanished, about the modern-day search for one American bomber that crashed over the Pacific Islands during World War II. He is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, and his work has been featured in Harpers, GQ, Esquire and Rolling Stone, among many others magazines.


Carrot By Michelle Webster-Hein   |  February 28, 2014
Tonight I peeled and chopped carrots for dinner, tossed them with oil and thyme, oven-roasted them. The simpler the ingredient, the more miraculous it seems to me. A carrot. What must that have been like, on first discovery?


Nightwalk By Michelle Webster-Hein   |  February 27, 2014
I read a story once about a woman who gives herself over to the night. She encounters no one, just sneaks outside, surveys the dark desert, and comes back changed.

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