The Fourth River

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Where Neighbors Come Together: Envision Downtown’s Vision for Pittsburgh’s Urban Spaces

By on February 27, 2017

By Alyssa Guelcher, Assistant Editor, The Fourth River   Society often takes a rigid, utilitarian approach to urban space, maximizing the efficiency of each square foot so that it contributes to the overall function of the city. This is perhaps

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Tributaries: “The Smell of Rain”

By on February 22, 2017

By Diane Payne   The two babies, twin sisters, lie next to each other wearing matching pink satin robes and stocking caps. They were alive hours, maybe minutes, maybe not at all. The parents, my neighbors, dressed their daughters for

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Fiction: “American Sweetgum” by Ken Mohnkern

By on February 10, 2017

  I’m too old for tree climbing, but it turns out being aloft is good for thinking and Kate wants me to think. The sun has disappeared behind the horizon, though there’s still a bit of warmth in the sky

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Tributaries: “River Road”

By on February 8, 2017

By Akua Lezli Hope   Long way is the highway short way follows river goes past farm field fringed with timothy Jerusalem artichoke, dames rockets stone steps to the landing shaded by old willow flat sweep below a twist of

Alaina Symanovich

The Fourth River in Best of the Net!

By on February 6, 2017

We are happy to share the news that Queering Nature contributor, Alaina Symanovich, has had her essay, “The M Word,” included in the 2016 Best of the Net anthology!  You can read Alaina’s essay at the above link, or find

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Fiction: “Seed to Full,” by Jolene McIlwain

By on February 3, 2017

Pushcart Nomination from The Fourth River, Issue 13   After you’ve felled the tree and dragged it from the site and hauled it to the mill, one of the first things you do is scale it, measure to find out

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Tributaries: “After Courtrooms”

By on February 1, 2017

By Lauren Claus   Midnight over mountains, our horse runs in directions I never chose; I hated to face the sun so I never let her reach the forest. You can’t see her black skin at night, but note the

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Tributaries: “The Dream”

By on January 25, 2017

By J. Matas   The dream saw you before you woke. The creek. The clear creek leaving the lake. Where it was possible to see a temperature. Where your dream had run in desperation. Your sleep was maudlin. You casted

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Tributaries: “Gulf, Waves”

By on January 18, 2017

By Jack Bedell   Big moon, breeze—my daughter hurries to finish her sentence in the sand before waves climb up the shore like dogs sniffing panéed meat. She wants to spell out the names of all the people she loves,

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Tributaries: Excerpt from “It Begins With the River”

By on January 11, 2017

By Courtney L. Sexton   “There goes Courtney floating down the Delaware/chewing on her underwear/can’t afford another pair/ten days later eaten by a polar bear/and that was the end of her!” I cringe even now when I sing the song