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Things to do in the Belly of Despair

Things to do in the Belly of Despair By Kerry Herlihy   |  May 16, 2022
Blow out the candle that burned for his last days. Dump the OxyContin and morphine in the cat litter like the hospice nurse told you to do. Touch his cheekbones that emerged like knives these last few weeks.

Everything You Hold Onto in Your Body Lets Go

Everything You Hold Onto in Your Body Lets Go By Billie Hinton   |  May 9, 2022
In autumn, my massage therapist comes to the barn, plugs in her electric pot to warm the large black stones she regularly returns to the river, whose current removes things bodies hold onto: the ache of arthritic knees, tight pelvises, a woman’s chorus of sharp edges, shrill songs of sore muscles and little heartaches.

Whose Family Is It: Mine or My In-Laws?    

Whose Family Is It: Mine or My In-Laws?      By Carole Mertz   |  May 6, 2022
The themes of Kandel’s memoir are twofold. First, as a young married couple, she and Johan, her husband, must adapt not only to each other’s cultures—she is American, he is Dutch—as well as the unfamiliar cultures of people among whom they live and work in very different parts of the world. Second, she must deal with her inability to understand the personality of her father-in-law, Izaak, and the dominance he exerts over his wife and Kandel’s family.
Keywords: book review

On Turning Forty-Four

On Turning Forty-Four By Kim June Johnson   |  May 2, 2022
This was a particularly hard number for me, and in the back of my mind, I knew it was because the late Nora Ephron, in her book about aging as a woman, wrote about how much she regretted not wearing a bikini the entire year she was twenty-six and suggested to anyone reading that they “go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don't take it off until you're forty-four.”


Tea By Deb Werrlein   |  April 25, 2022
At every lesson, she serves me tea. She steeps it with cardamom and swirls of evaporated milk then pours it steaming into “my” cup—a white ceramic blue-flowered mug—and adds a heaping spoonful of sugar.


Walk By Beatrice Motamedi   |  April 18, 2022
I’m at my desk, playing with the idea of taking the day off, when the phone rings, and shit, it’s the landline, the number I dread, the one on too many contact lists and credit card applications to ditch, and unfortunately it’s in the bedroom, across my office and one hallway away, and even worse, I have to answer it...

The Fawn

The Fawn By Robert Barham   |  April 11, 2022
Hunting was a source of food, the main recreation, and a rite of passage. Everyone hunted. Still, I had a choice. It was dusk, and my father and I sat beside a crop field, plowed over in the fall. We watched from woods that earlier were full of birdsong, canopied by oak, cottonwood, and pecan, when two deer appeared—a doe and its fawn.

Kathryn Winograd

April 9, 2022
A longtime educator and arts advocate, Kathryn Winograd is the author of seven books, including her chapbook, Flying Beneath the Dog Star: Poems From a Pandemic, a semi-finalist for the Finishing Line Press 2020 Open Chapbook Contest, and Slow Arrow:
Keywords: 23-2

Mary Milstead

April 9, 2022
Mary Milstead is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. She has an MFA in Fiction from Portland State University, and her stories and essays have been published in
Keywords: 23-2

River Teeth Issue Preview 23.2

River Teeth Issue Preview 23.2 April 9, 2022
River Teeth 23.2 features the writing of Constance Adler, N.D. Brown, Andre Dubus III, Sophie Ezzell, Suzanne Finney, Steven Harvey, Mary Milstead, Jefferson Slagle, Ira Sukrungruang, Alexandra Teague, and Kathryn Winograd.
Keywords: 23.2 issue

Editor's Notes 23.2

Editor's Notes 23.2 By Mark Neely   |  April 9, 2022
Writing these words, a few days before Thanksgiving and a week shy of my fiftieth birthday, I find myself wondering what the world will look like by the time they appear in print. It will be late winter by then, or early spring, a whole season having

Suzanne Finney

April 9, 2022
Suzanne Finney lives in Michigan. Her writing appears in the Pacific Crest Trailside Reader, Orion Online, and Still Point Arts Quarterly. She is a certified flight instructor for airplanes, seaplanes and hot-air balloons and holds a private pilot ce
Keywords: 23-2

Jefferson Slagle

April 9, 2022
Jefferson Slagle lives in a small town on the Idaho side of the Tetons, where he teaches writing and literature.
Keywords: 23-2

Andre Dubus III

April 9, 2022
Andre Dubus III’s seven books include the New York Times’ bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His most recent novel, Gone So Long, has been named on many “Best Books” lists, incl
Keywords: 23-2

Ira Sukrungruang

April 9, 2022
Ira Sukrungruang is the author of four nonfiction books: This Jade World (2021), Buddha's Dog & Other Meditations (2018), Southside Buddhist (2014), Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy (2010), the short story collection The Melting Season (
Keywords: 23-2

N.D. Brown

April 9, 2022
N.D. Brown is a teacher and writer living in Georgia. His work can be found in North American Review, Tulane Review, Speculative Nonfiction, Heavy Feather Review, among others.
Keywords: 23-2

Alexandra Teague

April 9, 2022
Alexandra Teague is the author of the poetry collections Or What We’ll Call Desire, The Wise and Foolish Builders, and Mortal Geography, and the novel The Principles Behind Flotation. She is also co-editor of the anthology Bullets into Bells: P
Keywords: 23-2

Sophie Ezzell

April 9, 2022
Sophie Ezzell is an Urban Appalachian writer. Her work has been published in Pidgeonholes, Aquifer, Under the Sun, and is forthcoming in The Barely South Review and Hippocampus. Her flash essay “Plastic Flowers” was nominated for a Pushca
Keywords: 23-2

Constance Adler

April 9, 2022
Constance Adler is the author of the memoir My Bayou, New Orleans Through the Eyes of a Lover. Her stories have appeared in Oxford American, Utne Reader, Blackbird, and Peauxdunque Review, among others. She lives near Bayou Saint John in New Orleans.
Keywords: 23-2

Steven Harvey

April 9, 2022
Steven Harvey is the author of a memoir, The Book of Knowledge and Wonder, a book- length essay, Folly Beach, and three collections of personal essays: A Geometry of Lilies, Lost in Translation, and Bound for Shady Grove. He is a founding faculty mem
Keywords: 23-2

Sonnet 29: Word for Word

Sonnet 29: Word for Word By Cyndie Zikmund   |  April 8, 2022
The Fact of Memory is an unusual prose experiment. Using Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 29,” which begins with the famous line, “When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,” the author Aaron Angello takes each word of the sonnet, 114 in total, and uses each word as a springboard for a short ruminative essay.
Keywords: book review

Delicate as a Hummingbird's Heart

Delicate as a Hummingbird's Heart By Noah Davis   |  April 4, 2022
This past Saturday, the fire burning on the north side of the river jumped a ridge and lit another hillside of drought-stricken timber, sending a plume so high that the air turned red with the seared skin of Douglas fir and larch.

The Last Pie

The Last Pie By Jill Quandt   |  March 28, 2022
I take my grandma to the grocery store. While perusing the produce, I mention that it is my father-in-law's birthday. She takes that to mean we are making a pie, and who am I to remind her that she doesn't make pies anymore?


Uprooted By Jamey Temple   |  March 21, 2022
The day Papaw Laster kicked out Mamaw, just before their divorce, our pickup pulled up to their porch. Daddy worked in the bed, stacking and arranging furniture handed to him by Papaw. Mamaw stood silent, looking through boxes as they passed her, thirty-five years of accumulated belongings.

The Writer-on-Writer Memoir

The Writer-on-Writer Memoir By Thomas Larson   |  March 15, 2022
Emerging in the midlife of the ongoing memoir explosion is what is variously called the bibliomemoir, the memoir/biography, or the writer-on-writer memoir.
Keywords: book review

Dandelion Fritters

Dandelion Fritters By Bex Hoffer   |  March 14, 2022
Fingers flower-yellow. I want to make a poem from those words, but as always, line breaks trip me up like wires at ankle-height. Still, yes, my fingertips are tinged yellow, blessed by the blossoms of dandelion suns.

Istalif, Afghanistan, 2004

Istalif, Afghanistan, 2004 By Brandy Bauer   |  March 7, 2022
We picnic by firelight in the bombed-out carapace of a hotel, where a guard in tattered shawls sips tea, cradling his gun. Beyond the balcony, mud homes jut out from the snowy hills.

Reason Enough

Reason Enough By Sherrie Weller   |  February 28, 2022
A friend and I are at happy hour. Icy doubles swim in glasses before us. Recently discovered: We are both adopted. Blooming: An intimacy unwarranted by the length of time we've known each other. I describe growing up with an identical twin, wondering about our birthmother. Ask if she has done a search.

Robert Lunday Wins River Teeth's 2021 Literary Nonfiction Book Prize

Robert Lunday Wins River Teeth's 2021 Literary Nonfiction Book Prize By Jill Christman   |  February 22, 2022
We are delighted to announce that Robert Lunday has won the 2021 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize. Fayettenam: Meditations on Missingness will be published by the University of New Mexico Press in spring 2023. All entries were screened by t


Gratitude By Kathryn Petruccelli   |  February 21, 2022
Spring in a cold place. Which means everything is so heartbreakingly tender—tulips lifting their dusky prom skirts, dandelions twinkling in their green sky.

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