Thinking back over the past year made us realize how blessed St. Louis is with literary endeavors. The St. Louis County Library has the Buzz Westfall series; the St. Louis Public Library brings in a host of authors; Left Bank Books has an admirably author-packed schedule that even spills over into other venues; universities and various other bookstores play host to authors throughout the year. In a very crowded field, the tip of our cap goes to River Styx magazine's reading series. Thirty years strong, River Styx has refined the evening reading itself into an art form. The main series of established writers provides a constant gauge of the health of the living word, while the Hungry Young Poets series provides a prognosis of what the future health of the word shall be. And three times a year (give or take), an issue of River Styx hits the streets, providing a case study and a document of St. Louis' literary endeavors. That three-dimensional view of the word is a valuable, sometimes-overlooked resourcedon't take it for granted this year.