By Shannon Sankey, for The Fourth River Cornelius Eady is the author of eight poetry collections, including Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets; The Gathering of
By Beth Royce, Assistant Editor, The Fourth River Joseph Bathanti is the author of ten books of poetry, three novels, a book of short fiction and two books of nonfiction. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, at 23 he moved to
By Michael Bennett for The Fourth River I had the pleasure of conversing with Adriana E. Ramirez, who visited Chatham for our event, “Dialogues: Writing in Divided Times.” Ramirez is a world-renowned performance poet, and her nonfiction novella Dead
By Beth Royce, Assistant Editor, The Fourth River Ann Pancake writes of Appalachia. Originally from Romney, West Virginia, Pancake’s characters often find their place in a similar climate. She is an accomplished writer in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction,
Your eyes go bright, green as creosote. “This here’s a good placement. Lots of surface area. Solid rock.” Tap-tap. “Now this…” Tock-tock.
“Hollow,” I mutter.
Nuts, cams, anchors: Sport climbing’s one thing. This’ll be my first trad lead.
I called you family last night. It felt like venturing onto nothing slab—open hands and groping feet. Those first few moves are always about keeping it together. Lunch pools and roils in the basin of my stomach.
I start the climb. I place protection and anchor into the deep part of the crack. I breathe in, lungs stretching with cold, desert air. Breathe out.
A red-tail hawk streaks by, slinging its dagger of a shadow over Joshua trees and low scrub, disappearing into sunlight. Empty my chest again, only to fill it and flush it. Fill it and flush it. That is how it works. That is how everything works.
But, a person could get lost in that cycle, never move again. So, tock-tock. Tock.
I adjudicate, place gear, move. Will the rock give way when I trust it? Will you?
Post-MFA, Lora Rivera worked as a literary agent, children’s biographer, and crepe maker. Today, she develops online trainings for child welfare professionals and serves as senior editor of a community-driven climbing anthology. She is Asian-Indian, queer, and happily partnered. Forthcoming or recently published works appear in journals such as Reckoning, Flock, Gravel, FLAPPERHOUSE, and The Chattahoochee Review. Learn more at www.lorarivera.com.
By Matty Layne Glasgow The trees are queer magic, just look at them. Branches arch to sky like soft-wristed arms, hands twirl overhead doing the leafshutter in the evening breeze. I watch you girdle a willow on the river’s
By nv baker Her house is what could be called a cottage, but that’s not a regional term, not a colloquialism. Her home is an old adobe. Old, corrugated roof casting blindness in the sun, roof tin peeling backwards