Jul/Aug 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.

Carolyn Steele Agosta is a former Eclectica Spotlight Author whose fiction and essays have been published online and in print in the US and Europe. A few of her stories have been developed into radio plays and/or short films. She says, "I wrote 'The Last Time Dad Got Out of Jail' thanks to a writing prompt where the word was 'caregiver.' I'd had the idea for the story for a while but just didn't have the right approach figured out. When I got the writing prompt, it made me think of the girl's reactions to her father in a slightly different light—not just her disgust with his actions, but how the situation had been reversed and she'd become, in many ways, his caregiver. I was able to write the story in one draft and one revision." This story marks Carolyn's fifth appearance in Eclectica.

Serena Alibhai was a Mathematics and Science teacher in an elevated town in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, called Iringa. She now lives and works in Canada. She has been published in Thema, Edifice Wrecked, Thieves Jargon, Bint, Montreal Serai and many more.

Arlene Ang lives in a small town outside Venice, Italy. This is her eighth appearance in Eclectica, and she has also appeared or is forthcoming in Diagram, Forklift Ohio, The Pedestal, Poetry Ireland, Rattle, Smiths Knoll, and Tattoo Highway. She is the author of "The Desecration of Doves" (iUniverse, 2005).

LeAne R. Austin is a freelance writer and photographer. Her work has been published in Pacific NW Inlander, Spokesman Review, Caregiver Magazine, Oregon Herald eForum and other small local presses. She has work pending publication in In The Fray Magazine, Oregon Literary Review and Yen Relish. Her first book, a collection of essays and images for women entitled Rooms Where I Live was published in 2004 by Luminary Group.

Richard M. Bird was born in Essex, England in 1979. He studied Classics and now works at the local University. His poetry has recently been showcased on the Laura Hird website, and he hopes to publish a collection of short stories within the next year.'

Martin Burke is a poet and playwright and the founder of the Kosmos Theatre Group. He was born in Ireland but now lives in Brugge, Belgium. Recent publications include The Other Life and The Lighthouse (FootHills Publishing), The Weave That Binds Us (Inner Circle Publishing), Into History (Arabesques Editions), and Psalms (Default press); the E-books Triptych (Scare Publications), Go (Slow Trains Publications), Winter Journal (Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry), and A Leaping Spark (Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry); and the play Six Scenes From A War (New Theatre Publications, UK). Regarding "Kagekiyo," he says, "Interpretation requires a different exactness than translation does and it will be clear to those familiar with the Noh Theatre that this piece is indeed an 'interpretation' and not a translation. This is part of an on-going project in which the exactness of poetry rather than the strict nature of prose is at work and is so because it is the inherent poetry of Noh that is so appealing to us even if by culture and inclination we are excluded from the natural symbolism of the piece. Even so, interpretation has a validity of its own and as such must also be subject to the strictness of a scrutiny that seeks to understand the note of one language transferred to another. I have retained the original stage directions (for the sake of authenticity) while allowing the text a fluidity that it may not posses in the original. The validity of any play is of course its life upon the stage, yet its life upon the page also possesses a validity that the reader, each reader, makes for her/himself."

Rosemarie Crisafi lives in Wappingers Falls, New York, and works in White Plains for a non-for-profit agency that serves individuals with disabilities. Her poems have appeared in Red River Review, Millers Pond, Canopic Jar, 2River View, Nthposition, Rock Salt Plum Poetry Review, Tin Lustre Mobil, Poems Niederngasse, Astropoetica and Experimental Poetry.com. Other poems are forthcoming in SubtleTea, Wicked Alice Poetry Journal, Ancient Paths, Promise Magazine, and The Carriage House Review.

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."

Cy Dillon lives in the Virginia mountains on a farm that has been in his family for six generations. A veteran college librarian, he is fiction editor of the Nantahala Review and co-editor of Virginia Libraries, which is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Dillon's poetry can be found online in Eclectica, Maverick Magazine, and Red River Review.

Victor Ehikhamenor was born in Edo State, Nigeria, a place rich in folkloric tradition and materials. He earned a BA degree in English and Literature from Bendel State University, Nigeria, and an MS in Technology Management from University of Maryland, University College. He is an artist, writer, photographer, and a poet. Oracle Books published his first collection of poetry and drawings, titled Sordid Rituals, in 2002. Part of this collection was translated to Dutch, which he performed at the MEP World Festival in Dan Hague, Netherlands, in June of 2003. His story "A Passport to Heaven" appeared in the April/May 2005 issue of Eclectica and was nominated for a Caine Prize. He also received a honorable mention in 2003 for his short story "The Supreme Command" from Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation in London. This fall he will be attending the University of Maryland, College Park, having received a fellowship for an MFA in creative writing.

Adam Elgar lives in Bristol, England, where he is a recovering school teacher and part-time optimist. Other work by him can be seen at nthposition and The Argotist.

Vanessa Gebbie is a journalist who has been writing short fiction for a few years. This is her second Eclectica publication. She has been published both in print and on the web, and has had some success in competitive writing. She teaches Creative Writing to residents of a drugs rehab, and founded and edits a specialist ezine for writing by those whose lives have been touched by addiction (tomsvoicemagazine.com). Early in 2006 she was awarded joint first prize in a writing competition judged by Zadie Smith. The prize was a china mug. The real prize was endorsement from an excellent writer. Her work is being broadcast on BBC radio later in 2006, and one of her stories was also selected as the first piece to be distributed on London Underground in the Litro initiative. Married with two sons, she writes at a fuchsia pink desk in her garden shed. For solitude.

Jim Gourley lives in China and maintains a website of his photographs (see link).

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.

Jeff Haas is a technical writer who lives in Atlanta with his beautiful and long-suffering wife. They recently became empty nesters when their lovely and talented daughter graduated from college and landed her first teaching position. Jeff's fiction has appeared in Bewildering Stories, Edifice Wrecked, Opium Magazine, Ruthie’s Club, The Beat, The God Particle, The Pedestal Magazine, Whispers of Wickedness, and Yankee Pot Roast. He's at work on a contemporary novel set in the mythical town of Sugarville, Georgia.

Katherine L. Holmes has appeared in print journals such as The South Dakota Review, Phantasmagoria, WordWrights, The Minnesota Poetry Calendar, Porcupine, Sidewalks, Skyways, and Ice Houses (a Walker Art Center exhibition catalogue), besides many others. Her internet publications include Full Circle, The Front Street Review, Facets, Hamilton Stone Review, Poetry Midwest, Ygdrasil, whimperbang, Eclectica, Avatar, Denver Syntax, and The King's English, where she was nominated for a Pushcart in poetry. When she's not writing, she works with used and rare books. Regarding "Off the Bourgois Track," she says, "This story is from a collection of short stories that I've compiled about women and work. Like the other stories, the temporary work story is to reveal the decisions women are still making. Tasks like those staples were still around some years after the feminist movement and career happiness still doesn't come as easily as deciding something. I wanted to concentrate on a few of a person's more miserable and challenging days in this story."

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.

patrick iberi, who is greatly interested in existentialism, was born in 1976 in Lagos, Nigeria, but now lives in Leicester, UK, where he works as an academic researcher, poet, and freelance journalist. His forthcoming poetry collection is tentatively titled "Echoes of a desolate voice."

Niranjana Iyer is a writer based in Ottawa, Canada. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Smithsonian Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, Smokelong Quarterly, Rain Taxi, and the Asian Review of Books, amongst others.

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.

Joel Leonard Katz was born and brought up in New York City and now lives in Copenhagen. He has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, 1967 and an MA from Copenhagen University, 1996. He is a playwright, writer, song lyricist, vocalist, creative perfumer, and poet of sorts.

Jennie Kaufman writes fiction, essays, and screenplays. "Life Story: Pass" is a combination of the three. Her work has appeared in Phoebe, Slipstream, Primavera, ByLine, and Great Big Magazine and can be found on her website. She published her novel The Ark in 2003 and is currently at work on a more accessible one. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is committed to a life of freelancing.

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.

Ellen Kombiyil is originally from Syracuse, New York. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Pedestal, Wicked Alice, The Hiss Quarterly, and Cezanne's Carrot, among others. She also has a haibun included in the 2005 edition of The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku. She lives in India with her husband and two children.

Dorothee Lang is a German writer and net artist. She is author of Masala Moments, a travel novel about India, and editor of the BluePrintReview, an online journal of unintended prose and poetry. Her work has recently appeared in Mississippi Review, Pindeldyboz, Word Riot, Hobart, and Cautionary Tale, among others. To see some of her latest pieces, visit her virtual gallery at BluePrintReview.

Monika Lange is a naturalized American citizen, a new fiction writer and a former research scientist, with numerous publications in scientific journals. In addition to the harrowing memoir presented here, she has published historical essays, and fragments of her fiction were published in the Autumn and Winter 2001 editions of The Copperfield Review; personal essays appeared in the January 2002 issue of the Reader's Digest's Polish Edition. She was born and raised in Poland, moved to Iran in 1977 and to the US in 1985. She is fluent in Polish, English, Farsi, and French. She has completed two novels and a collection of short stories.

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."

Louis Malloy lives in Nottingham, England. He works as a computer programmer but prefers to write fiction. His short stories have been published in a variety of print magazines and e-zines, including Subway Lit, The Paumanok Review, Aesthetica, Eclectica, Projected Letters, Pindeldyboz, In Posse Review, Southern Cross Review, Buzzwords, Wild Strawberries, Clean Sheets, Prose-Ax, Word Riot, Plum Biscuit, Birmingham Words, Southern Ocean Review, The New Writer, Delivered, Open Wide Magazine, Carve Magazine, The Dublin Quarterly, The Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, and The Modern Review. He has won prizes in The Momaya Short Story Competition and the BBC London Book Fair competition and was a finalist in the Middlesex University Press Literary Prize. Not only a wannabe author, Louis is also a wannabe rock star, writing songs and playing in two of Nottingham's premier bands: Moose Malloy (visit www.moosemalloy.com) and Goose McCoy (visit www.goosemccoy.com).

Michael Collins Morton was born in England and grew up in a suburb near San Francisco. He now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he is working on a novel about a rock'n'roll musician.

LouAnn Shepard Muhm is a poet and teacher from northern Minnesota. Her poems have appeared in Dust & Fire, The Talking Stick, North Coast Review, Lake Country Journal, Red River Review, Poems Niederngasse and CALYX, and she is a recipient of the 2006 Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship in Poetry. Her first chapbook, Dear Immovable, is forthcoming from Pudding House Press.

Wendy Nardi is a writer living in Connecticut. Her fiction, poetry, essays and journalism have appeared in such publications as 360°: Art & Literary Review, High Performance, Dance, and The Boston Globe. She was a staff writer on the Kerouac Romnibus, published by Penguin USA, and a Connecticut Artist Fellow in fiction writing. She teaches at UConn-Stamford and is writing a biographical novel about pianist Kurt Appelbaum. "Benedetti" was written as part of a series of stories exploring different aspects of the creative process. Loosely based on the Michelangelo biography, it explores the destructive impulse that sometimes accompanies creativity.

Stanley M. Noah has a degree from the University of Texas at Dallas and is a member of The Academy of American Poets. The 2006 winner of The Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest, humorous category, he has poems forthcoming in Poetry Nottingham and Main Street Rag.

Onyeka Nwelue was born in Nigeria in 1988. He is the author of a collection of poems, I Will Die When I Want (Hybun Publishers, Lagos: September 2006) and has been published in The Guardian, The Sun, Daily Times, LibBit Magazine, AfroToronto, Wild Goose Poetry Review, New Age, and was part of the recent International Writers Festival in India. His novel The Abyssinian Boy is forthcoming. He is presently a student of English Literature at the University of Manchester, England.

John Pahle, after several peculiar years in publishing, is a high-school English teacher in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Conversations with his freshmen writing students have recently led him to a new understanding of the transcendence of the lowly simile.

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.

Terry P. Rizzuti lives in Estes Park, Colorado. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a degree in English Literature, he is a veteran of the Vietnam War and was awarded a Purple Heart. His primary intention in writing "Bruno" was to represent a common internal conflict—that of good versus evil—experienced by most combat veterans he knows. Rizzuti's work has appeared in War, Literature and the Arts, Greenwood Press, and Unlikely Stories.

Peter Robertson is a Scottish writer who divides his time between Madrid and Buenos Aires. His critical articles have appeared in Spike Magazine and The Buenos Aires Herald, and his translations of two Paul Éluard poems are due to appear in the autumn 2006 issue of The Salt River Review. Rubén Darío (1867-1916), the author of "Thanathopia," was a Nicaraguan author considered to be the father of Spanish modernism.

Larri Ann Rosser is a systems engineer, martial artist, and traveler who writes to help make sense of the world as she encounters it. Her material has appeared in publications such as Technology Today, Highways, Margin, and DFW Poetry Review, and her fiction has been anthologized in Periphery: Southern Revival and Midnight Lullabies.

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

Bridget Smith is a fiction and non-fiction writer who lives in Juneau and Haines, Alaska, with her husband. They have two young adult daughters. Writing credits include Death of an Alaskan Princess (St. Martins Press), a mystery novel; Color in Rain Country, a gardening book; Hunger and Dreams and Our Alaska, anthologies; as well as numerous public radio commentaries. She especially likes to write about moments of altered perception.

Ian Duncan Smith was the Spotlight Author of Eclectica's Winter '06 issue. He also has stories online at Verbsap, Prose Toad, Bewildering Stories, Fiction on the Web, Silverthought, and Surprising Stories. He lives in Wiltshire, England, and produces a weekly podcast show on internet fiction called The Frictionfiction Show. He's written a novel, Tony Blair: The Wilderness Years, out now at Lulu.com. "There Has to Be a Better Balance" was inspired by his upbringing in the great northern English city of Manchester.

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.

Ray Templeton is a Scottish writer and musician living in St. Albans, England. His poetry has appeared in Magma, Iota, and at Poems Niederngasse, The New Verse News, and The Argotist Online. He is a member of the editorial board of Blues & Rhythm Magazine, and his writing on various kinds of music has also appeared in Musical Traditions, Keskidee, and others.

Shubha Venugopal completed her Ph.D. in English from the University of Michigan in 2002, and is now enrolled in the M.F.A. program in fiction at Bennington College. Experiencing literature from both the academic and creative perspectives has been a wonderful experience for her, and she loves being a teacher, scholar and writer. Her fiction and poetry has appeared or will appear in Mslexia (UK), Kalliope, and Women Writers. She works as an assistant professor of English in Pennsylvania and has two beautiful children: a toddler daughter and an infant son.

James Warner was born in the UK and lives in San Francisco. His work has appeared on McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Pindeldyboz, and Monkey Bicycle. He organizes the San Francisco reading series InsideStoryTime. The story "The Master Who Painted Birds" grew out of his long-term obsession with old Chinese landscape paintings.

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.

Grzegorz Wróblewski was born in 1962 in Gdansk, grew up in Warsaw, Poland, and since 1985 has lived in Copenhagen. He has published seven volumes of poetry and a collection of short prose pieces in Poland, two books of poetry, a book of poetic prose and an experimental novel (translations) in Denmark, and selected poems in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Mostar 2002). He is also the author of several plays. His work has been translated into five languages. English translations of his poems have appeared in London Magazine, Poetry London, Magma Poetry, Parameter Magazine, Chicago Review, 3rd bed, Eclectica, Mississippi Review, Jacket Magazine, and in the anthologies Altered State: The New Polish Poetry (Arc Publications, Todmorden, UK 2003) and Carnivorous Boy Carnivorous Bird (Zephyr Press, Brookline, USA 2004).