“Our present-tense human experience is like a living tree growing by a river. The current in the river is the passing of time. Our individual pasts are like the same tree fallen in the river, drowned now, and disintegrating with surprising speed. We resist time’s flow with our memories and language, with our stories ”   

~ David James Duncan

Issue 25.2

Featuring the writing of Sean Enfield, Robert W. Fieseler, Melody Glenn, Hannibal Hamlin, Jenna Hammerich, Timothy J. Hillegonds, Sarah Minor, Ali Saperstein.

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Cover of River Teeth 25.2

River Teeth is a biannual journal combining the best of creative nonfiction, including narrative reportage, essays, and memoir, with critical essays that explore the impact of nonfiction narrative on the lives of its writers, subjects, and readers.

River Teeth Finds a New Home!

After twenty years at Ashland University in Ohio, River Teeth will now be housed in the Department of English at Ball State University.


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Beautiful Things

River Teeth‘s weekly online magazine, Beautiful Things, features micro-essays (of 250 words or fewer) that look closely to find beauty and meaning in the everyday.

River Teeth Revisited

Here at River Teeth, we love essays. We love reading essays, choosing essays, and writing essays. We love essays that feel urgent, essays we can’t put down, and essays that don’t turn away when the truth gets difficult or slippery.

We also like to think about how the best essays work—and that’s why we have created the online feature: River Teeth Revisited.

Share with us your River Teeth

River Teeth accept submissions of creative nonfiction through Submittable from September 1 to December 1 and January 1 to May 1.

The Book Prize

River Teeth‘s editors conduct a yearly national contest for a book-length manuscript of literary nonfiction in English. All manuscripts are screened by the co-editors of River Teeth. The contest winner receives $1,000 and publication by The University of New Mexico Press.

Beautiful Things: a weekly online magazine of micro-essays
Against Extinction
Against Extinction

Against Extinction

By Eve Maisey
Inside, my mother lives in a tornado of moods. She is the garden, shining like a rainbow of colors that dance beneath the sun. And then she is the mud, sulking into the shadow crevices of her blackened bedroom...



By Emma Baum
After calling eighteen days in a row, I know not to hang up when my mom doesn’t answer after the fourth or fifth ring. Her phone is chronically lost, and I imagine her elbow deep in the living room couch or emptying her overstuffed purse onto the kitchen counter...



By Lina Lau
My kids leave artifacts, fragments of themselves for me to find. Crumpled cheese stick wrappers shoved between couch cushions...

Latest News …

Meet River Teeth’s Spring 2024 Interns

Hello! We are excited to shine light on some of the creative minds and passionate spirits that have been working with us this past spring semester: our interns! From painting the beautiful rocks you might’ve seen at AWP to writing captions for Instagram posts to moving book reviews from our old website to our new website - our interns have been with us through it all and we couldn’t have done it without them. Each intern brings a unique blend of enthusiasm, curiosity, and dedication to our team. They had so much fun interviewing each other for this article, so we hope you enjoy getting a glimpse of them as much as we have loved working with them.

Laura Julier Wins River Teeth’s 2023 Literary Nonfiction Book Prize

We are delighted to announce that Laura Julier has won the 2023 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize. Her manuscript, Off Izaak Walton Road, will be published by the University of New Mexico Press in Spring 2025. Julier will also receive a $1,000 honorarium. All entries were screened by the editors, and our guest judge, Lacy M. Johnson, chose a winner from among the finalists. All of us at River Teeth are grateful to the many writers who submitted their books to the competition this year and to Lacy M. Johnson for sharing her time and expertise to choose the winning manuscript and runner-up.