Oct/Nov 2004

A Note from the Review Editor

by Kevin McGowin

It's been a stressful and exhausting fall for me and most of the other Eclectica folks, for different reasons—in my case, I've been consumed with my own creative writing, among other things, and am pleased and proud that I've recently completed the first draft of my first book of vignettes, Slender Accidents—in a year in which I wrote well over 200,000 words, published over half of that, and read 214 full-length books cover-to-cover. But after a prodigious output in each quarter for the past year, I've also been a bit burnt out, too. In my opinion it was a poor quarter in terms of newly-published books, at least in terms of the stuff I usually review, Literary Fiction and Social History. We're regrouping for hopefully our strongest issue ever, in April, but the real kudos in this section this issue go to Colleen Mondor, who just cranked.

Submissions to the Reviews Section have also been down. Pick 'em up, we're eclectic! I want a Cookbooks Editor. And someone on poetry, especially.

What are you, personally, reading for "pleasure"? And in 25 words, what's your take? Send your responses to kevinmcgowin@hotmail.com, and the three best go in. I'm reading Berryman's Dream Songs again, Chekhov's stories, and well... no time or energy for much else, save for what I'm reviewing! I'm listening to "Faded from the Winter" by Iron & Wine. I'm wearing a red shirt and blue jeans and have on driving loafers without socks, lol.

And there are always so many people working more or less behind the scenes on the production of a magazine—people who read, give suggestions, whatever—and I mean to acknowledge just a handful of these who helped this time and who continue to do so. Kim Martin, Judith Ferster and Larry Johnson are constants. And thanks to my editor and publisher, Tom Dooley, for still believing in Freedom of the Press.

And we all shine on.

~Kevin McGowin
Birmingham, 1/01/05.


Editors Note: Since this issue was posted, Kevin McGowin's life was tragically cut short. In keeping with his life, the circumstances surrounding Kevin's death were mysterious and controversial and, as such, will not be commented on here. We wish only to express our gratitude for the energy and contributions he brought to Eclectica over the years and to extend our condolences to his parents and anyone else who may be mourning his passing. ~TD


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