In the keynote address of the second annual River Teeth Nonfiction Conference, Scott Russell Sanders encouraged the audience of over eighty to write about where they are. "Your place probably needs your art," he said, adding, "We only take care of what we love." With those words, Sanders launched the writers in the audience into a weekend of nurturing their craft through panels on research, reflection, reporting, shaping narrative, and more, so that we might all be better equipped and inspired to write about the things and places we love.
There was a joyful and welcoming spirit that penetrated the entire weekend, from the generosity of over a dozen presenters, to the community of writers sharing their projects over turkey sandwiches and chocolate layer cake, to the availability and willingness to serve exhibited in the undergraduate interns. The weekend was a success; as one participant put it, "The generous nature of the faculty members is this conference's great strength. They take the teaching and manuscript consultations seriously. They eat meals with the students and go out of their way to ask about the students' work, progress, and questions. They genuinely care. I hope they realize how important (and rare) this is." We are grateful for our friends and colleagues who embrace and [End Page vii] embody this spirit of generosity, and for the writers who came to Ashland for a full weekend to participate in this nonfiction writer party.
Next year's conference will take place May 30 through June 1 and will feature Philip Gerard and Brenda Miller along with a dozen or so other presenters. Keep watch on the website and social media for updates. We might be a smidgen biased, but yeah, we think it's the best show in town.
River Teeth had much to celebrate this spring leading up to the conference. Two essays from Volume 13, Number 2, were selected for reprint in Best American Essays 2013 by guest editor Cheryl Strayed. Jon Kerstetter's "Triage" and Steven Harvey's "The Book of Knowledge" will both appear in the anthology due out this fall. We're particularly proud of these two essayists, who share River Teeth's roots at Ashland University: Jon Kerstetter is an alumnus of the low-residency MFA program at Ashland, and Steven Harvey is one of our founding faculty members in the same program.
Andre Dubus III's essay, "Writing and Publishing a Memoir: What in the Hell Have I Done?" from Volume 14, Number 1, won a Pushcart Prize and will be reprinted in Pushcart Prize XXXVIII: Best of the Small Presses.
River Teeth will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary with a reading this spring at the AWP Conference in Seattle.
With all of this good news, we should also share that the River Teeth Book Prize is taking a one-year hiatus while we look for a new home for the series.
Now, hurry on into this issue of River Teeth.
Thanks as always for sharing with us your river teeth . . .