Apr/May 2006

Tom Dooley co-founded Eclectica in 1996 and serves as its Managing Editor. In the 12 years between earning a BA in English literature from the University of Chicago and a MPA in municipal management from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he taught middle and high school English in Alaska, Arizona, and Wisconsin, amassing fond memories, dubious experiences, and debt. Two careers post-teaching later, he now creates spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides for the man by day, edits Eclectica by night, and feels very grateful for the blessings he has received—chief among them being married to the sweetest gal and the best poet he knows. He and said gal reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with enough rescued lapdogs to field a diminutive Iditarod racing team and the empty-nest echoes of two amazing Haitian-American children who have flown the coop.

Paul Sampson is Eclectica's Nonfiction and Miscellany Editor and has been a regular contributor to the Salon. A professional writer and editor for many years, he worked until recently for a mammoth corporation. He has since been downsized, although he remains the same height and weight as formerly. Some of his essays and poems have been published in Image, The Alsop Review, The 2River View, Illya's Honey, The Sulphur River Literary Review, the British publication World Wide Writers II, and the anthology Best Texas Writing (Rancho Loco Press). He lives on the outskirts of a small town east of Dallas, Texas.

Colleen Mondor is Eclectica's Review Editor. She also reviews for Bookslut, the Voices of NOLA, and Booklist. Short story excerpts from her novel on Alaskan aviation have recently appeared in failbetter and Storyglossia. She maintains a daily blog on all things literary (and sometimes not) at her site, Chasingray.com.

Elizabeth P. Glixman is Eclectica's Interview Editor. Her fiction and poetry have appeared online and in print in Wicked Alice, In Posse Review, 3 A.M. Magazine, Tough Times Companion, a publication of The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Her Circle Ezine, Frigg, and Velvet Avalanche, an anthology of erotic poetry. Besides Eclectica, her author interviews, articles, book reviews, and creative non-fiction pieces have appeared in The Pedestal Magazine, Whole Life Times, Spirit of Change, Hadassah Magazine, and the anthologies Chocolate for A Woman's Soul II and Cup of Comfort For Women. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks: A White Girl Lynching (Pudding House Publications, 2008), Cowboy Writes a Letter & Other Love Poems (Pudding House Publications, 2010), and The Wonder of It All (Alternating Current, 2012). Elizabeth's story, "Mother's Bony Behind," was chosen one of the notable online stories of 2006 by the Million Writers Award. Elizabeth is an animal lover, and she has a blog devoted to shelter animals, especially those at kill shelters.

Jennifer Finstrom has been the Poetry Editor of Eclectica since the fall issue of 2005. This is her final issue in that capacity. A former Spotlight Author, she teaches in the First-Year Writing Program, tutors in writing, and facilitates writing groups at DePaul University. Recent publications include Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Escape Into Life, Gingerbread House Literary Magazine, and NEAT. For Silver Birch Press, she has work appearing in The Great Gatsby Anthology, the Alice in Wonderland Anthology, and in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks.

Pamela Mackey is Eclectica's Copy Editor. She teaches English at a community college in central New York. Earlier in her career, she wrote feature stories for newspapers, including The New York Times. Even earlier, she was a researcher and editor in the magazine industry, holding staff positions at LOOK and Saturday Review magazines. She writes poetry and is the mother of a gifted young novelist.

Mike Spice is Eclectica's Travel Editor. He is working on a Master's Degree in International Business at the University of Wollongong in Dubai. His poetry and prose have appeared previously in Eclectica and Modern Haiku.

Arlene Ang lives in Venice, Italy where she edits the Italian edition of Niederngasse. Her poetry has recently been published in Persephone's Moon, Stride, Dublin Quarterly, Avatar Review, Tattoo Highway, Envoi, The Pedestal, Smiths Knoll, flashquake, Triplopia, and Ghoti Magazine. Three of her poems have been nominated for the 2006 Pushcart Prize anthology. Her first full collection of poetry, "The Desecration of Doves" is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

J. Kelley Anderson is a fan of comic books, John Milton, tattoos, pulp detective novels, herpetology, folklore, video games, and all things sci-fi and fantasy. Growing up, he wanted to be either a ninja or a maple tree. These aspirations led him to teach college English. He lives in central Ohio, and his work has appeared in 14 Hills, Mosaic, Mind Flights, Absent Willow Review, and elsewhere. His novel, Casting Shadows, is tentatively slated for a January 2012 release.

Nnorom Azuonye is a poet, interviewer, dramatist and writer of fiction and non­fiction. Author of Letter To God and Other Poems (2003) and The Bridge Selection: Poems For The Road (2005), he is the Founder and Administrator of Sentinel Poetry Movement—The International Community of Poets since 2002. His poems, short fiction, essays and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming in several international journals, anthologies and websites, notably Drumvoices Revue, Voices In Wartime, Eclectica Magazine, Orbis, Agenda, Flair, Keystone, and For The Love of God (2004), among others.

Tabitha D. Bast is this issue's Spotlight Author. She is expecting her first and, she believes, last child. She lives in the North of England in Leeds, a horrendous, over-populated, grim and poverty-stricken town of which she's strangely sentimental and proud. She recently finished her novel "Crossed Bones," a tale of contemporary piracy during the Peak Oil Crisis. It's the fourth one she's written, but she says, "I am either shy or lazy because it's the first I've even begun to promote as publishable." She wants to see an otter this year.

Robert James Berry lives and writes in Auckland, New Zealand. His work has been published widely. Seamark, his third collection, appeared in late 2005 (Ginninderra Press: Canberra, ACT, Australia).

Timothy Bradford has appeared in Bombay Gin, Diagram, Forward, H_NGM_N, JBooks, No Tell Motel, Poems & Plays, Runes, and Terminus. He is the author of the introductory text for Sadhus, a photography book on the ascetics of South Asia published by Cuerpos Pintados in 2003, and his novella-in-progress, based on the history of the Vélodrome d'Hiver in Paris, garnered the support of the Koret Foundation's Young Writer on Jewish Themes Award for 2004-2005. In the fall of 2005, he was a writer-in-residence and visiting lecturer at Stanford University.

Bob Bradshaw is a programmer living in Redwood City, CA. He is a huge fan of the Rolling Stones. Previous work of his can be found at Paumanok Review, Slow Trains, Red River Review, Poems Niederngasse and flashquake, among other publications.

Brad Bostian teaches writing and is the Chair of Developmental English at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC. He's working on two novels and has a collection of poetry ready to send out. He writes poetry reviews at Forpoetry.com and hopes that when his kids are a bit older, he can write more. A former Spotlight Author, this is his eighth appearance in Eclectica.

Sam Byfield is a 24 year old Australian teaching in China. This year, he has been published in The Pedestal Magazine, Stirring, and Verse Libre Quarterly. An editorial assistant at Lily Lit Review and an administrator at The Critical Poet, he has a Masters Degree from the Australian National University in International Relations and Strategy and blogs on his China experiences at www.sambyfield.com.

Erie Chapman edits the National Literary Review and heads a charitable foundation in Nashville, Tennessee. His poetry has been published in various journals including Millers Pond and The Aurora Review. He has composed music for three CDs and two documentary films, and one of his songs was recently published by Curb Records. He also recently published a play, Who Loves Judas, which will be produced this fall in Nashville. About "Scattered Snowflakes," he says, "The beginnings of this poem came to me at dawn one morning. I was sitting in my daughter's kitchen in Boston when a handfull of snowflakes scattered by the window in that furtive and uncertain way they do when their aren't very many of them. They seemed to me like a search party come to learn if it was safe for the rest of the army to attack. I found myself thinking of the ancient poets and playwrites. The snowflakes no longer seemed like soldiers, they were now Greeks, Romans, campers searching the woods."

Hauquan Chau says: "Originally from Canada, I have been living in Japan now for almost ten years, everywhere from rural ricefield villages to cement jungles. When I am not teaching, I indulge in writing with no particular consequence."

Brian Clements edits Firewheel Editions and its magazine, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics. He also coordinates the MFA in Professional Writing at Western Connecticut State University.

Nadine Darling is broke-ass and sick with love. She lives in Winthrop, Massachusetts, with a foxy Irishman and a calm/submissive Corgi.

Barbara De Franceschi lives with her husband in Broken Hill (where she was born), a small mining town in outback Australia, where they own and operate an earthmoving business and have a grown-up family of three sons and two daughters. She recently launched her first collection of poems, titled Lavender Blood.In 2002 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community especially in the area of multiculturalism. Barbara joined the Broken Hill Writer's Forum in 2000 when she started to take her writing seriously. Since then she has had her poems and short stories published in literary journals and magazines throughout Australia, including Famous Reporter, Centoria, The Bunyip, Poetrix, The Tablet and Yellow Moon, in which her poem titled "Dust Storm" won first prize in the nature poetry section (to be published in July 2003). She has also read her poetry on radio live to air. She describes her poetry as "immediately accessible."

Diana Dominguez received her Ph.D. in Medieval Irish Literature (with a feminist focus) from Texas Tech University. She is an Assistant Professor of English at The University of Texas-Brownsville/Texas Southmost College, where she teaches primarily ancient to medieval literature and women's literature. Her research and creative writing activities focus on giving "voice" to characters and historical people usually overlooked or forgotten by traditional history or current news reports. She says, "This poem ("Bearing Witness") is an especially heart-felt one for me; it was inspired by a news report I watched several weeks ago about the genocide in Darfur, followed by a personal essay I read from someone who had spent time in the refugee camps with women like the one in my poem. What particularly struck me was when this writer talked about how the donkeys were dying and that every morning, both children and donkeys were being buried. I felt it was a story that needed to be told." Diana would also like to make readers aware of Women for Women (www.womenforwomen.org), an international organization specifically geared to help women gain education and a skill for economic survival in several afflicted areas in the world (Nigeria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Kosovo, etc.). The organization matches donors with a "sister" from one of these countries it serves on a personal basis, and these sisters then share letters and the donor sponsors her sister's educational and economical development, usually for a year, through a monthly donation of $27.00. The result, Diana feels, is "an understanding of each other that cannot be equaled in any other way."

Peggy Duffy has published short stories and essays in numerous publications, including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Smokelong Quarterly, Octavo, Drexel Online Journal, Three Candles, Pierian Springs, So To Speak, Literary Mama, Brevity, and Main Street Rag. Her fiction was recognized by the Virginia Commission for the Arts as a finalist in the Individual Artist Fellowship program for literary artists. Her short story, "First Thing in the Morning," was selected by storySouth for the Million Writers Award, Notable Online Short Stories for 2004, and two of her stories were selected by storySouth as Notable Online Short Stories for 2003.

Ali Fahmy has appeared previously in Eclectica and has also online in Pindeldyboz, Exquisite Corpse, Identity Theory, and Hobart. He's lived in Sweden (his birthplace), Egypt, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota. He now lives in Los Angeles. A graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, he enjoys surfing and Scrabble. "The Roadhouse" is a false story populated by true characters and represents one person's impressions of the freaky eastern Pennsylvania countryside.

Phoebe Kate Foster lives on the coast of North Carolina in a house with a 160,000-acre backyard, courtesy of the Croatan National Forest. Her prose and poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, selected for several anthologies, and is forthcoming or has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Half-Drunk Muse, Arabesques International Journal, Ghoti Magazine, Summerset Review, Carve, Slow Trains, Carve, Spillway Review, Electric Acorn and others, including Eclectica (v7n3 and v5n1). She is assistant editor at The Dead Mule, a Southern literary ezine, and has completed two short story collections. She's also at work on a novel. ("Who isn't?" she asks.)

Lyn Fox is a travel and spirituality writer living in the Canadian wilderness. The phrase "philosophical adventure" describes both his writing and his life as an avid world-trekker with a master's degree in philosophy and spirituality.

Michaela A. Gabriel lives in Vienna, Austria, where she assists adults in acquiring computer and English skills and gets together with the muse as often as possible. She has been published in English, German, Italian, and Polish, both online and in print, most recently in Loch Raven Review, Underground Window, The Hiss Quarterly, MindFire, and Niederngasse's Erotica Supplement. Her first chapbook, "apples for adam," was published by FootHills Publishing in January 2005. When she is not writing, she is reading, listening to music, watching movies, blogging, communicating with friends, playing tennis or travelling—usually several of these at the same time. "Nigel is Fuming," the poem in this issue, is actually part of a series, co-written with Arlene Ang, that started with some tongue-in-cheek comments about the name Nigel at an online poetry workshop.

Robert Gray owns Fresh Eyes Now LLC, a consulting company that offers a frontline bookseller's perspective to publishers and authors interested in dramatically expanding their readership. He worked as a bookseller and buyer for the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT from 1992 to 2005, and was named the store's first Master Bookseller in 2000. He is also the author of Fresh Eyes: A Bookseller's Journal, a publishing industry blog. Gray's written work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Publishers Weekly, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Tin House, and Cimarron Review. He earned an MFA in Writing & Literature from Bennington College in 2003. He is currently working on a book about reading and readers from a bookseller's perspective.

Richard Grayson is the author of the short story collections With Hitler in New York, Lincoln's Doctor's Dog, I Survived Caracas Traffic, The Silicon Valley Diet, Highly Irregular Stories and I Brake for Delmore Schwartz. Two new collections, Dear Brain (Dis-Press, Athens, GA) and And to Think That He Kissed Him on Lorimer Street (Dumbo Books, Brooklyn, NY) will be published this year. A retired teacher and lawyer, he has recently moved back to New York.

Michelle Hartman is allowed to wander the grounds at the Fort Worth Home for the Terminally Bewildered. She likes Craft Day and loves the taste of paste. She has been published in several journals which you have to be on Prozac to receive.

Amy Hoff-MacKay-Jones has been writing travel articles for several years, the last few published in Coffee Times. She has traveled extensively throughout the US and now lives in Hawai'i. She writes a travel column that runs in six different publications.

Thomas J. Hubschman is a regular contributor to Eclectica's Salon, the author of the novel Billy Boy (Savvy Press), and the publisher of Gowanus, an ezine for authors in and from the so-called Third World. He is also editor of The Best of Gowanus: New Writing from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean (Gowanus Books). His short stories, articles and reviews have appeared in The Blue Moon Review, Morpo Review, New York Press, on the BBC World Service and in numerous other print and online publications.

Michael Hulme lives in Norwich, England, and edits Norwich-based creative writing magazine nr1. He has a first class diploma in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, and his work has been broadcast on BBC Radio, performed on stage, and published in various magazines including Ink Pot, Aesthetica, and Strange Horizons. He is completing a British Arts Council "Escalator" scheme, given to promising young writers. He is particularly grateful to the Arts Council for their use of the word "young."

Stanley Jenkins has appeared in Amelia, 32 Pages, The Blue Moon Review, CrossConnect, and the Oyster Boy Review. A former Spotlight Author, Stanley is a regular contributor to Eclectica's Salon and holds the record for greatest number of appearances in our issues. He lives and works in Queens, New York.

Anju Kanumalla holds a day job in the pharmaceutical industry as a medical writer, which allows her to feed her addiction to yarn and science books. Much of her other work can be found at Two-Penny Words. She is also a contributor at The Bitter Quill.

Deborah P. Kolodji works in information technology to fund her poetry obsessions and to pay for her children's ever-increasing college tuition. She is a member of the Haiku Society of America and the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Her work has appeared in Modern Haiku, Frogpond, bottle rockets, The Heron's Nest, Electica, FireWeed, The Red Moon Anthology, Gin Bender Review, Strange Horizons, Star*Line, St. Anthony Messenger Magazine, and many other places, both on and off the web. She is one of four winners of the 2004-2005 Virgil Hutton Haiku Memorial Award Chapbook Contest for her winning manuscript, Seaside Moon, published by Saki Press. Kolodji is one of 17 haiku poets included in The New Resonance 4: Emerging Voices in English Language Haiku by Red Moon Press. She moderates the Yahoo e-list CinquainPoets, and is the Editor of Amaze: The Cinquain Journal.

Don Mager has published some two hundred and fifty original poems and translations from Czech and German over the last thirty years, including two books: To Track The Wounded On (1986) and Glosses (1995).

Scott Malby received an email a few months ago. He feels it says it all: "There is nothing about you that is even remotely interesting. Most people who read what you write would agree."

Selene Moore was born in Canada, brought up in England, and now lives in the backwoods of Japan, where she plays taiko drums and teaches English as part of the JET Programme. Teaching leaves her with plenty of spare time to indulge in snowboarding and Japanese food. Music, art, and writing keep her sane. Her paintings have been sold through "bold art gallery," Galway, Ireland.

Crispin Oduobuk lives in Abuja, Nigeria. He's been published in BBC Focus on Africa, Genevieve, some other journals and a few anthologies. Online his work has been published by 42 Opus, Gowanus, East of the Web, Eclectica, Ken*Again, Spoiled Ink and others.

John Palcewski has enjoyed an eclectic career as a publishing house copywriter, wire service photojournalist, magazine editor, music/drama critic, literary novelist, and fine arts photographer. His work appears in the literary and academic press as well as in a substantial number of online publications. He lives in a vineyard’s villa near the village of Forio on Ischia, a volcanic island in the bay of Naples, in southern Italy. A former Spotlight Author, this is John's fourth appearance in Eclectica.

Patricia Parkinson lives in Langley, British Columbia, with her husband and two kids. She is working on her first novel, a Nancy Drew meets prozac and has great sex while solving crimes mystery. She is very happy.

Gilbert Wesley Purdy has published poetry, prose and translation in many journals, paper and electronic, including: The Georgia Review (University of Georgia); Jacket Magazine (Australia); Poetry International (San Diego State University); Grand Street; the Valparaiso Poetry Review (University of Valparaiso); The Pedestal Magazine; SLANT (University of Central Arkansas); Orbis (UK), and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. His Hyperlinked Online Bibliography appears in the pages of The Catalyzer Journal.

Jonathan Redhorse is a student at the University of Denver and shelves books for a living. He will more than likely attend Brown University in the Fall of 2006 for Graduate School purposes. As a hobby, he often regales small crowds of strangers with his dry repartee. He is also quite clumsy.

Wayne Scheer lives with his wife in Atlanta. After twenty-five years of teaching writing and literature in college, he is trying to follow his own advice and write. A Pushcart Prize nominee, his stories have appeared in such varied publications as The Christian Science Monitor, Sex and Laughter, The Pedestal, Flash Me Magazine, Cezanne's Carrot, The Binnacle and The Better Drink.

Ann and David Skealive in Australia. Ann is the author of Ted Hughes: The Poetic Quest (UNE Press, Australia).

Gary Sloan lives in Ruston, Louisiana, where he was an English professor at Louisiana Tech University until he retired in 1999. In retirement, he has written informal essays for various freethought publications (Skeptic, Free Inquiry, Skeptical Inquirer, American Atheist, et al.) and sundry websites. He is a frequent contributor to the editorial pages of the Shreveport Times and the Monroe News-Star. In Skeptic magazine, he published an article about his experiences as the local epistolary Beelzebub. The essay is titled "The Bible Belting of America." This is Gary's tenth appearance in Eclectica.

Bruce Stirling appears in Opium, Thieves Jargon, Defenestration, Bewildering Stories, and Twisted Tongue.

Don Stitt is an actor, comedian, and playwright who has been featured on Broadway, TV, and in films. His musical Roscoe can be perused online and his children's musical A Kid's Summer Night's Dream is being produced this summer in Minnesota.

Alex Stolislives in Minneapolis and has appeared in Eclectica twice before.

Belinda Subraman edits Gypsymag.com, which features art, reviews, interviews, flash fiction, poetry, and news in the literary arts and independent music scene. Her own poetry is appearing in print journals, online magazines and podcasts around the world. Belinda is a contributing artist and show host for Gypsy Art Show and Music of the Universe on BZOO Radio. She is also hosting a new independent show called Life On Earth which explores the passion behind various, often unusual lifestyles.

Jeff Tannen has stories currently appearing in MARY, Rhapsoidia, Word Riot, and Café Irreal and a few soon to appear in Porcupine, The Red Hills Review, and The Adirondack Review. He is a writing center coordinator in Fresno, California.

David A. Taylor has appeared in magazines, reviews and anthologies, including Prairie Schooner, Eclectica’s Best Fiction, Potomac Review, Rio Grande Review, Village Voice, and Outside. His book Ginseng, the Divine Root is being published by Algonquin Books. He writes that when he stepped aboard the Atlantic City bus at New York's Port Authority, he immediately felt the desperation of his fellow passengers, even though he wasn't going there to gamble. It was somehow quintessentially American. Atlantic City has a shivering vibe all its own.

James Warner was born in the UK and lives in San Francisco. His work has appeared on McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Pindeldyboz online, and Monkey Bicycle. He organizes the San Francisco reading series InsideStoryTime. He says, "Usually each partner in a relationship has a different fantasy about where he or she ideally wants to live, which could be what 'Return to Tannu Uriankhai' is really about, unless Tuva is here just a metaphor for any inexplicable relationship-destroying obsession? Apologies to the people of Tuva, a place I would actually like to go..."

Martha Graham Wiseman has appeared in Many Mountains Moving, Standards, Clackamas Literary Review, Karamu, Eclipse, and Poetry East. Her prize-winning story "Double Vision" was published as a chapbook in 2004 by White Eagle Coffee Store Press. She has also published work on Marcel Proust and translations from the French. She teaches at Skidmore College.

Leslie Wolter is an English Instructor and Co-Director of the Writing Resource Center at McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois. Her work has been published in LitBits, Ascent Aspirations, Viva Barista, and a soon-to-be released anthology entitled Teaching With Joy.