Jul/Aug 2005

From the Editors

From Tom Dooley, Fiction Editor

Welcome to another full issue. As always, I'm excited about the fiction and poetry we were blessed to receive this go 'round, and as always, the rest of the issue is just as exciting. Paul Sampson continues to make the Nonfiction section one of the strongest on the web, and Colleen Mondor has stepped in and stepped up her efforts to keep the Review section on the map as well. Also in the Review section, Elizabeth Glixman has joined Eclectica's staff as our Interview Editor. This issue, Elizabeth brings us two very insightful conversations with two equally insightful authors. Mike Spice presents a Travel section that takes us across three continents, and Spotlight Author Lisa Ohlen Harris provides a closer look at the Middle East. In the Salon, our panel of opiners are back. Stanley Jenkins has two pieces building off his entry last issue. These pieces, taken together with all his writings over the years in this magazine, are approaching a level of chronicle, of comprehensiveness and beauty, as to demand a book. Stanley writes both directly and indirectly, sometimes joyfully and sometimes mournfully, about the connections and disconnections in this country—between the past and the present, between geographic regions, between socio-economic and cultural factions. His is the kind of writing in which people can get lost and simultaneously find themselves.

My own Salon piece, still under construction at this writing, suffered an odd setback at the last minute. It was originally titled "What I Wish John Kerry Would Say to the American People," and I had put together a piece where Senator Kerry had had a few beers, watched Game Seven of the NBA Playoffs, and stayed up late to write down everything he felt like getting off his chest. Then I happened to visit Kerry's website, wanting to see how closely I had approximated his syntax. He had just posted the speech he gave prior to President Bush's June 28th national address on the Iraq War. The title: "The Speech the President Should Give." I was simultaneously delighted and dismayed to find that just as I was looking to put words in Kerry's mouth, he was looking to do the same for George Bush. Compelled to go back to the drawing board, at least for a little bit, I will add my new and improved essay in a few days.

Switching gears, I'd like to talk about some of the things former and current contributors are up to. D. Harlan Wilson just published Pseudo-City, a novel from Raw Dog Screaming Press. Colleen Mondor is a regular contributor to two other online sites: Baseball DIY and Bookslut. Roderick MacLean has a novel out called Tropic/of/Cubicle. And Peter Markus' novel, The Singing Fish, has received critical acclaim, notably at nypress.com. There are no doubt many other things going on, and I'd like to know about them. If you know of other recent successes by Eclectica alums, please drop me a line.

Finally, and sadly for our readers, my lovely bride Julie King has stepped down as of this issue to focus her attention on other obligations. If it wasn't for Julie's tolerance of the hours I put into the magazine as a whole, let alone the brilliance and hard work she has contributed as the Poetry Editor, Eclectica would not have lasted into this, its ninth year. She's had a good run and will be missed. I thank her for all that she has done and hope the time this decision will free up will enable her to do great things with her own writing.

Thanks for reading and enjoy.


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