Apr/May 2006

From the Editors

From Tom Dooley, Fiction Editor

Rather than talk about what's in this issue, which I feel speaks for itself, I'd like to say hats off to members of the Eclectica family for their many recent individual successes. Here's a few:

Colleen Mondor's short story, "Our Missing Airman," is going up in the Spring issue of Failbetter. It's a short short excerpt from her book on Alaska flying, which is now in the hands of an agent. She also hopes folks will continue to check out the Voices of New Orleans site, where they can read in depth reviews there on NOLA books and also commentary from folks on the ground and links to news stories about the city.

Victor Ehikhamenor is an accomplished visual artist, as can be seen on his website, and we're hoping to feature his artwork in a future issue. We nominated his story "Passport to Heaven" for The Caine Prize, which recognizes the best African fiction with $15,000 cash. "Heaven" was also named a Notable Story of 2005 by storySouth's Million Writer's Award, joining Constance Squires' "Writ in Water" and Roderick Leyland's "Are You Lonesome Tonight," our other two Notables this time around.

Other Eclectica folks with Million Writers Notable stories (from other publications) include Paul Silverman, Dennis Must, Steven J. Dines, Ali Fahmy, Daniel A. Olivas, Peter Markus, Elizabeth Glixman, Liliana V. Blum and Toshiya Kamei, Anjana Basu, Miriam Kotzin, Tim Millas, Hazera Forth, Avital Gad-Cykman, Mark Budman, Christopher Orlet, Caroline Kepnes, and Crispin Oduobuk. Congratulations to all of them, and to the other Notable Story authors, many of whom we hope to see in Eclectica someday. And a special congratulations to Anjana Basu, whose story "The Black Tongue," published in Thomas Hubschman's Gowanus, made the top ten. And a big hand for our twenty other Million Writer nominees. As luck would have it, the judges didn't smile on us this year the way they have in the past, but I know that we had as good a bunch of stories as we ever have, and I'm grateful to have every one of those stories as part of the Eclectica canon. The next Best Fiction anthology is going to be a doozy!

Paul Sampson is participating in a panel discussion on trends in contemporary poetry at a literary fest in Dallas the same weekend this issue is being posted. He's also having a publishing party for his forthcoming book, a collection of poems called Dirge In A Resolutely Major Key. It will be issued by Unicorn Press, and Paul reports he will be reading from it and trying to get people to buy it.

My lovely wife Julie is completing her MFA at Queens University of Charlotte this summer. Congrats, sweetheart, and good work.

Speaking of good, Peter Markus book, Good Brothers, is being reissued by Calimari Press.

Two poems by Oswald LeWinter that appeared in our July/August 2003 issue are receiving some very special recognition. "Dear John" has been chosen for an anthology of anti-war poems in India and is being translated into Hindi, while the Turkish poet Tugrul Tanyol has called "Recollections in Turmoil" a masterpiece. It will be among a group he is translating into Turkish that will appear in the leading literary magazine in Turkey in May.

Carolyn Agosta's story, "Coming to My Senses," published in the April/May 2003 issue, was adapted last year by an independent filmmaker from Indianapolis named Chad Richards (website: www.cinemaverick.net).

Rattan Mann has put out the word that his emails have been blocked by the Norwegian Writer's Union because he "sometimes lambast(s) Norwegian racism." We wish him good luck in what sounds like another battle for free speech.

Daniel Brenner recently won the 2006 Fence Modern Poets Series, and his book The Stupefying Flashbulbs is coming out next month from FenceBooks.

John O'Toole's collection of short stories, Beer and Confessions, was recently published in paperback by StoneGarden.net.

Charles Yu's story "Florence" from the July/August 2005 issue is going to be included in his debut short story collection, which will be published in September by Harcourt as a trade paperback under their Harvest imprint.

Ian Duncan Smith's podcast show, "In Search of the First Commuter, a live investigation into people on the move - Where are we going? Why are we going there?" is now available for you to hear at frictionfiction.libsyn.com and all good podcatchers can get it free at www.podcastpickle.com page 11355.

Dennis Kaplan and bride are putting together an anthology of fiction from the workplace. See more info and a call for submissions here.

After a lengthy legal battle, CE Chaffin and his wife Kathleen have reportedly regained their dog, who had been kidnapped by a renegade maid (it's a long story!), and they have returned to the United States.

Corey Mesler has published a new novel. More details to come.

Congratulations to D. Harlan Wilson, who recently took over as editor-in-chief for The Dream People: A Journal of Bizarro Literature at www.dreampeople.org.

And finally, rumor has it that a producer has asked Caroline Kepnes to adapt her story "Delete Forever," which appeared in the January/February 2006 issue, into a short film.

That's all I know about at the moment, but it's probably not everything there is to know. I look forward to reporting further developments—keep those updates coming, and enjoy this new issue, which is chock full of more great stuff.