The Fourth River

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The Fourth River  
Discipline Literary magazine
Language English
Edited by Sheila Squillante
Publication details
Publication history
Autumn 2005 to 2013; Spring 2014 to Present
Frequency Annually
ISSN 1559-310X (print)
1559-3118 (web)
LCCN 2005216427
OCLC no. 62715594

The Fourth River is an American literary magazine with a focus on nature and place-based writing.

History and profile

Established in 2005 by the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the journal is edited by graduate students and Chatham faculty. Publication is annual as a quality paperback and twice monthly in its online format.

The Fourth River takes its name from a subterranean river beneath Pittsburgh, a city famously sited at the confluence of three rivers: Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio. The fourth river, unseen yet indispensable to the city’s riverine ecosystem, is actually an aquifer geologists call the "Wisconsin Glacial Flow". Founding editor and poet Jeffrey Thomson wrote in first issue that the genesis of The Fourth River is the idea that “between and beneath the visible framework of the human world and the built environment, there exist deeper currents of force and meaning supporting the very structure of that world". The journal also takes inspiration from Rachel Carson, the biologist, zoologist, and nature writer who is one of Chatham's most notable alumnae.


Executive Editor: Sheryl St. Germain

Editor-in-Chief: Sheila Squillante

Managing Editor: Corey Florindi

Fiction Editor: Marc Nieson

Nonfiction Editor: Sheila Squillante

Poetry Editor: Heather McNaugher

Past contributors

Contributors to the journal include:

External links