Chatham News

MFA program to host release party for eighth edition of its literary journal, The Fourth River on Sept. 23

By: Peter Oresick, Editor and Associate Director, MFA in Creative Writing Program (Low-Residency)
September 13, 2011

(September 13, 2011) … Chatham will celebrate the release of its eighth issue of The Fourth River at a free public reception in Chatham University’s Mellon Board Room at its Shadyside Campus on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. The Fourth River is a literary journal produced by Chatham University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. The program, named among the top five most unique/innovative programs in the country by THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY, is widely known for its environmental focus and emphasis on place-based writing.

The Fourth River is no exception—this issue showcases poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from regional and national writers who reflect upon landscape as culture, and culture as landscape. “A flesh begins as grass,” says Dayton Literary Peace Prize recipient Brad Kessler, in his interview about his memoir Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese.

Kessler is joined by 2010 Drue Heinz Literature Prize winner Tina May Hall, 2009 Pushcart nominee Jeffrey C. Alfier, 2010 Gertrude Press Chapbook finalist M.L. Brown, and former Harvard University professor Lisa Heiserman Perkins, among many other authors writing about place.
The evening will include readers from the current issue, door prizes, and a wine reception.

About the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Chatham University’s dynamic MFA focusing on nature, environment, and travel writing is the premier graduate program for nurturing creative writers interested in the environmental imagination and place-based writing. The program is inspired by the work of Chatham alumna, Rachel Carson, a creative writer whose work demonstrates both lyricism and social conscience. The heart of the program—nature, environmental, and travel writing—honors Carson’s legacy, but expands the interpretation of environment to include any place-based writing and all genres-poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction-shaped by human relationship with place. For more information about Chatham’s MFA programs call 412-365-1190 or visit

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit .