Advisory Board Member, Gay, Finalist for National Book Award


Above: Poet, Professor, and Natural Bridge Advisory Board Member. Ross Gay.


Natural Bridge is happy to announce the success of one of our advisory board, Ross Gay. His newest poetry collection, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, is a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award.

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is a sustained meditation on that which goes away—loved ones, the seasons, the earth as we know it—that tries to find solace in the processes of the garden and the orchard. That is, this is a book that studies the wisdom of the garden and orchard, those places where all—death, sorrow, loss—is converted into what might, with patience, nourish us.



National Book Award Nominated Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude

Steven Schreiner Celebrates New Collection, “Belly”

Červená Barva Press is pleased to announce the publication of Belly by Steven Schreiner.Belly

STEVEN SCHREINER is the author of the collection Too Soon to Leave and the chapbook Imposing Presence, and co-author with Allison Cundiff of In Short, a Memory of the Other on a Good Day. His poems have appeared in many magazines, including Poetry, Image, Colorado Review, River Styx and December, and numerous anthologies. He is the recipient of fellowships from the VCCA, Tall Rock Retreat, and The National Writers Voice of the YMCA. He teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and is the founding editor of Natural Bridge, a journal of contemporary literature.

Cover art: Ethan Shaltout and Steven Schreiner

Belly is a sequence of confessions. It is a quiet yet intense journey into the deepest wells of a maturing heart. Schreiner writes movingly about the painful transience of love and loss, the forces of memory and childhood, delineated by the revision of seasons and the symbolism of flowers as death, as remembrance. Belly reconciles the permanence of family in all its anguish and grief with the consciousness and inevitability of what supremely makes us human: forgiveness.

—Rewa Zeinati

Steven Schreiner reaches his summit in this remarkably vivid, darkly truthful, and often heartbreaking book of memories, losses and longings, the work of experience.

—Edward Hirsch

Order online:

Belly by Steven Schreiner                                                           Order by mail: Add $4.00 Shipping

$17.00, 80 pages, paper                                                             Send check or money order payable to:

ISBN: 978-0-9861111-8-1                                                        Červená Barva Press

Publication Date: September, 2015                                            P.O. Box 440357,

Gloria Mindock, Editor & Publisher                                       W. Somerville, MA 02144-3222


See Natural Bridge at the St. Louis Small Press Expo

The St. Louis Small Press Expo

Over 60 publishing projects from around the midwest, including literary mags, comics, publishers, and more.

Saturday, September 26th, 11:00-5:00

St. Louis Public Library – Central Branch
1301 Olive St
St. Louis, MO 63103

Make sure to stop by the Natural Bridge table to chat with our Managing Editor, Dusty Freund.

2015 Pushcart Nominations

Announcing our 2015 Pushcart Nominations!!!  Good luck writers.

Our nominations in fiction are:

1) “Drift” by Cynthia Dockrell
2) “Casket” by Yasser El-Sayed
3) “Pie” by Leslie Johnson

And our nominations for poetry are:

1) “Williamsburg” by Mark Hage
2) “Crash Centre” by David McLoghlin
3) “More Honored in the Breach: A Note to Ghost, Absent” by Gaylord Brewer

This past year Natural Bridge accepted 82 pieces of work (fiction, poetry, creative essay, and translation), from 65 different authors, to appear in Issue #31 and Issue #32. We sent in the best of the best (out of thousands of submissions last year)! Winners are usually publicized in April

Natural Bridge 2014 Pushcart Nominations

Natural Bridge is proud to present our nominations for next year’s Pushcart Prize (Best of the Small Presses) : “Erosion” by Jaimee Wriston Colbert, “Hurricane Machine” by Kim Bradley, “The Gatecrasher of Hyboria” by Ron Austin, “Charity: a memoir” by L.E. Kimball, “Summer Almanac” by Joe Betz, and “Absence of Elephants” by Walter Bargen. Congratulations and best of luck to all our nominees!

Now Accepting Submissions Online

Natural Bridge is now accepting submissions for Issue #32 online through Submittable.

Call for Submissions
Veterans in Iraq and Afghanistan

Natural Bridge, a journal of contemporary literature, published by the University of Missouri–St. Louis, seeks stories, poems, and essays for a special section in Issue 32 that will chronicle the American soldier’s experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We welcome well-written and original combat stories, but are especially interested in stories, poems, and essays that explore unexpected incidents and curious behavior that happens on the sidelines of war.  The remainder of Issue 32 will feature stories, poems, and essays on any topic.

Please use our electronic submission system, found at, or send hard copies to Natural Bridge, University of Missouri-St. Louis, One University Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63121.  Deadline for Issue #32 is March 1, 2014.  Issue #32 will be out in Fall 2014. Contributors receive 2 copies and a one year subscription.

There is a $3.00 charge for non-subscribers to submit online. This is not a reading fee, but helps maintain the submission service and website. This fee is waived for current subscribers. Save this fee by subscribing now.

Please be sure to read our General Guidelines before submitting.

Issue 29 Available Now!

Natural Bridge Issue 29 is edited by Mary Troy and continues Natural Bridge‘s tradition of featuring the best new work from emerging and established writers, including a new three-part interview with Meghan Daum.

From the introduction:

My job as editor of Natural Bridge, a journal of contemporary literature, consists mainly of providing oversight or advice to the other UMSL MFA faculty members who take their turns as guest editors and select work for the book we put out twice a year. I also have the privilege of working with our managing editor, invariably a talented MFA student with a bent toward publishing who does all the real work. I also oversee other of our talented and hard working MFA students, the advanced ones, who serve as assistant editors, readers of all the work submitted. Sometimes, as we did for this issue, we allow MA students to join in the selection process, and they make the job that much more stimulating. Oversight of all those listed above is easy, is fun, is uplifting. But every fourth semester, I’m given more fun, for it is then I have the privilege of serving as guest editor, and, along with the assistant editors, I read and sort and select from good work submitted by talented and emerging writers. This book, number 29, is not the result of call for a themed issue, but when I look at what we accepted, I see a theme has emerged: Ways we navigate through ourselves to a relative safety. Broad, yes, but not less fascinating for that.

Continue reading the introduction.