River Styx began in the early 1970s when a group of poets and musicians began reading and jamming together in various St. Louis apartments. The first issue of River Styx magazine, printed on a lithographic press and hand-collated, hit the streets a few years later in 1975. Both the magazine and the following readings were characterized by energy, accessibility, humor, wit, and a spirit of inclusiveness.
River Styx cultivates the literary arts in St. Louis and beyond through its magazine and community programs.
Since 1975, River Styx has published an international, award-winning magazine of poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, and art. Work first published in its pages has been included in many editions of The Best American Poetry, Best New Poets, New Stories from the South, and Pushcart Prize anthologies. The magazine has consistently been one of the first to publish some of the most important writers of our time, from US Poets Laureate (Howard Nemerov, Mona Van Duyn, Rita Dove, Robert Hass, and Ted Kooser), to Pulitzer Prize winners (Yusef Komunyakaa, Stephen Dunn, and Ted Kooser), to National Book Award winners (Marilyn Hacker, Howard Nemerov, Lisel Mueller, Lucille Clifton, and Robert Hass), to Nobel Laureates (Derek Walcott and Czeslaw Milosz). The magazine publishes bi-annually, hosts a monthly reading series, and sponsors annual contests for poetry and microfiction. More information on River Styx can be found on the Magazine page. You can also subscribe to the magazine and find samples from each issue on our Archive page.
The River Styx Reading Series has had several homes over the past twenty years. After its beginning in Duff’s restaurant, which closed in 2013, the series moved to the Tavern of Fine Arts until it closed in 2016. The series now finds a home in the Contemporary Art Museum.
As a local arts nonprofit, River Styx is also committed to its community. We strive to share the joys and educational merits of creative writing in the St. Louis area. You can learn more about our local outreach at the Workshop & Outreach page.
River Styx holds several events throughout the year, including a reading series on the third Monday of the month. The Literary Feast is a fundraiser held in May.