Publisher’s description: The Fourth River is the literary journal of Chatham University’s MFA Program. We feature creative writing that explores the relationship between humans and their environments, both natural and built, urban, rural, or wild. We are looking for writing that is richly situated at the confluence of place, space, and identity—or that reflects upon or makes use of landscape and place in new ways.
The Fourth River takes its name from a subterranean river beneath Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a city famously sited at the confluence of three rivers: Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio. This fourth river, unseen yet indispensable to the city’s riverine ecosystem, is actually an aquifer geologists call the “Wisconsin Glacial Flow.” The Fourth River literary journal grew up from 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.