Jul/Aug 2008

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.

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.

Grace Andreacchi was born and raised in New York City but has lived on the far side of the great ocean for many years--sometimes in Paris, sometimes Berlin, and nowadays in London. Works include the novels Give my Heart Ease, which received the New American Writing Award, and Music for Glass Orchestra, and the play Vegetable Medley (New York and Boston). Stories and poetry appear in both on-line and print journals. Her work can be viewed on her website.

Norman Ball is a Virginia-based writer and Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in Prairie Home Companion, Rattle, Main Street Rag, Epicenter, Identity Theory, and others.

A. Igoni Barrett is the author of one book, a collection of short stories titled From Caves of Rotten Teeth (a story from this collection emerged winner of the 2005 BBC World Service short story competition). His short fiction has been published in Eclectica, Guernica, Mississippi Crow, Istanbul Literary Review, and Stickman Review. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria, where he works as an editor with Farafina Magazine.

Greta Bolger is a writer and entrepreneur from the heart of Michigan. She has published poetry in The Red Cedar Review and other small journals and recently published an essay, "Homing Instinct," in Third Coast. Regarding her poem "Engineering," she says, "A merchant marine I met at a poetry conference told me about how blanched celery is grown, and the poem took off from there."

Bob Bradshaw is a programmer living in Redwood City, CA. He is a big fan of the Rolling Stones. Recent work of his can be found at Tattoo Highway, Slow Trains, Boston Literary Magazine, Mannequin Envy, Poems Niederngasse, Blue Fifth Review, Orange RoomæReview, Apple Valley Review, and Cha.

Eric Braun recently appeared in Minnesota Monthly as the winner of the 2007 Tamarack Award and has appeared or is forthcoming in Third Coast Magazine, The Stickman Review, The Adirondack Review, and The Green Mountains Review. He works as a nonfiction book editor in Minneapolis, where he lives with his wife and two sons. The story he has up on Stickman right now is about the same character as the story in this issue--when she is ten years old--and her dad. He has completed a collection of linked stories about Janie and her friends.

Antonia Clark works for a medical software company in Burlington, Vermont. She has taught college-level creative writing and is currently co-administrator of an online poetry forum, The Waters. Her poems have recently appeared in kaleidowhirl, Lily, Loch Raven Review, Lucid Rhythms, Orange Room Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Rattle, Stirring, and elsewhere. She loves French travel, food, and wine, and plays French cafe music on a sparkly purple accordion. Toni invites poets to visit The Waters, home of 77 Sunset Beach, where members go to write a poem a day for seven days.

Amanda Latrenta Crane has her MFA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University and is an instructor of English and Creative Writing at both the secondary and higher education levels. She is the author of the chapbook, Barbiecue, which is a contemporary spin on the voice of the Barbie doll. She has poems published in numerous journals, including Barbaric Yawp, Chronogram, Mid-America Poetry Review, Poetry Motel, The Paterson Literary Review, and Word Riot. She is at work on her new manuscript, Sin Eater.

Merle Drown is the author of stories, essays, plays, reviews, and two novels: Plowing Up A Snake (The Dial Press) and The Suburbs Of Heaven (Soho Press, 2000, trade paperback Berkley Press, 2001). He edited Meteor in the Madhouse, the posthumous novellas of Leon Forrest, published by Northwestern University Press in 2001. Barnes and Noble chose The Suburbs of Heaven for its Discover Great New Writers series. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the NH Arts Council and teaches in Southern NH U's MFA program. Pieces from his collection-in-progress, Shrunken Heads, miniature portraits of the famous among us, or Balzac in a Nutshell, have or will appear in Amoskeag, Meetinghouse, Night Train, The Kenyon Review, Rumble, Sub-Lit, Word Riot, Bound Off, JMSS, and 971 Menu.

Michael Estabrook has published a few chapbooks and appeared in some terrific poetry magazines, but he knows he is only as good as his next poem, and like a surfer looking for that perfect wave, he is a poet prowling for that perfect poem. Right now he is looking for that perfect poem in his wife, who just happens to be the most beautiful woman he has ever known.

Brent A. Fisk has appeared in over 150 magazines in the last four years, including Prairie Schooner, Rattle, and Southern Poetry Review. Last year he won the Willow Award from Willow Review, the Sam Ragan Prize from Crucible, and he received one of two honorable mentions in Boulevard's Emerging Poets Contest.

Joan Rene Goldberg recently reconnected with her need to write poetry after a hiatus. She hopes to keep writing. She is originally from Brooklyn, New York, but resided in northern California after living in Zurich, Switzerland, with her husband and children. Presently she lives in Northern Florida.

Taylor Graham has appeared many times in Eclectica and also in International Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, The New York Quarterly, Poetry International, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere, and she's included in the anthology, California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University, 2004). Her book, The Downstairs Dance Floor (Texas Review Press, 2006), was awarded the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. Her current project is Walking with Elihu, poems on the American peace activist Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith.

John Grey has been published recently in Agni, Worcester Review, South Carolina Review, and The Pedestal, with work upcoming in Poetry East and Cape Rock.

James Grinwis lives in Florence, MA, and edits Bateau, a new letterpress journal. He has work out or forthcoming in Clackamas, Sleepingfish, Crazyhorse, Sou'wester, Poetry International, and others.

John Grochalski has appeared in Avenue, The Lilliput Review, The New Yinzer, The Blue Collar Review, The Deep Cleveland Junkmail Oracle, The ARTvoice, Modern Drunkard Magazine, The American Dissident, The New Yinzer, Words-Myth, My Favorite Bullet, and The Main Street Rag. His short fiction has appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and his column The Lost Yinzer appears quarterly in The New Yinzer. His book of poems, The Noose Doesn't Get Any Looser After You Punch Out, is coming out via Six Gallery Press in 2008.

Kevin Guilfoile is a co-authoer, along with John Warner, of the #1 bestseller My First Presidentiary, A Scrapbook by George W. Bush. His award-winning debut Cast of Shadows was named one of the Best Books of 2005 by the Chicago Tribune and the Kansas City Star. His second novel will be published next year by Alfred A. Knopf.

Mary Hamilton lives in Chicago, where she writes short stories and co-hosts the short-fiction reading series, QUICKIES! Also known as m.lady, she is fond of cupcakes, unicorns, Clipse, and Theodore Huxtable. In her spare time, she stares out the window, draws pictures of robots, and practices the dance moves she learns from watching Randy Jackson presents: America's Best Dance Crew. Previous work has been published by or is forthcoming in Word Riot, Pindeldyboz, Rumble, Featherproof Books, and Minima.

William Reese Hamilton lives in Choroni, a fishing village on the coast of Venezuela, butted up against a mountainous cloud forest, in a region that produces the finest cacao in the world. His stories have appeared in The Paris Review, The North American Review, Puerto del Sol, Night Train Magazine, Eclectica Magazine, Review Americana, In Posse Review, Adirondack Review, Scrivener Creative Review, Steel City Review, Loch Raven Review, Vestal Review, Temenos, The MacGuffin, Taj Mahal Review, Ink Pot/Lit Pot, Smokelong Quarterly, and elsewhere. He has found his paradise and is studying it, warts and all.

Tania Hershman is a former science journalist who grew up in London and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Her stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, published in Cafe Irreal, the Hiss Quarterly, Front&Centre, Vestal Review, Steel City Review, Creating Reality, Entelechy Review, the Steel City Review, Riptide, the Ranfurly Revew, Magazine Minima, SouthWord and Transmission, and Riffing on Strings, an anthology of fiction inspired by String Theory. Tania is founder and editor of The Short Review, a site dedicated to reviewing short story collections and anthologies. Her own story collection, The White Road and Other Stories, will be published by Salt in October, 2008.

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.

Cicily Janus has appeared in or will appear in Underground Voices, Aesthetica, Del Sol Review, Writers Post Journal, Whirligigzine, and Perspectives Magazine. She is also an assistant editor for Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens: A Literary Magazine of the Absurd and Surreal. Two novels, working titles Burden of Betrayal and Awaiting Exile, are in progress. A chapbook, The Pencil Pusher's Prose, will be coming out in 2008 from Scintillating Publications. She writes a popular blog, Writing About You When Youre Not Paying Attention, and she's been featured in an interview regarding her writing life on Designyourwritinglife.com and on a podcast with author Paul A. Toth.

Ellen Kombiyil is originally from Syracuse, New York. Her poetry has recently appeared in 2river, The Dead Mule, Eclectica, MiPOesias, The New Verse News, and Polluto, among others. She lives in India with her husband and two children.

Kathryn Koromilas is a freelance writer.

Darby Larson has appeared online at McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Monkeybicycle, Pindeldyboz, Smokelong Quarterly, 3am Magazine, Word Riot, Eclectica, In Posse Review, and elsewhere. His fiction has appeared in print in Opium Magazine (#1, #3, & #6), .ISM Quaterly, and Greatest Uncommon Denominator, where his short story "Electroencephalography" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Northern California.

Joshua C.F. McComas is a 24-year old native of Grant County, KY. He is a 2006 graduate of Georgetown College in Georgetown, KY, where he received a BA in English Literature. When not writing, he works as a temporary administrative assistant at a non-profit in Lexington, KY. "Ten at a Time" is his first published story, drawn from personal experience as a former employee.

Andie Miller is a writer who lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including River Teeth, Gobshite Quarterly, and African Writing. She is the winner of the 2006 Mondi Shanduka Award for creative journalism and is currently at work on a collection of stories on walking.

Micah Nathan is the author of the best-selling novel Gods of Aberdeen (Simon & Schuster, 2005). He has written for Boston Globe Magazine, sold a horror screenplay, and his short fiction has been a finalist for the Tobias Wolff Award. Novels #2 and #3 are forthcoming.

LeeAnn Pickrell is this issue's Spotlight Author. She lives in Oakland, California, with her fabulous cat Henry and works as a freelance editor. Originally from Dallas, she received an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. LeeAnn writes both poetry and prose and has completed two novels. In 2004, one of her poems was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poem "On the Equinox" won third place in a contest sponsored by Ghost Road Press and appears in its anthology, Open Window III. Her work has appeared in various journals, including the Atlanta Review, SoMa Literary Review, Slant, Red River Review, Pinyon, Driftwood, Birmingham Poetry Review, Full Circle, Red Wheelbarrow, Santa Barbara Review, Northern Contours, Exquisite Reaction, Potpourri: A Journal of the Literary Arts, and Walrus. She has poetry forthcoming in 34th Parallel. For the past couple of years, LeeAnn has focused solely on writing poetry. She says it connects her present moments with the past and the future. A poem "opens time."

Don Pomerantz lives in New York City, where he teaches special education, but he has spent considerable time in Western New England. His poems have appeared in Stylus Poetry Journal, Common Ground Review, Houston Literary Review, and Bakers Dozen Review.

Gilbert Wesley Purdy has published poetry, prose and translation in many journals, paper and electronic, including: Jacket Magazine, Poetry International (San Diego State University), The Georgia Review (University of Georgia), Grand Street, SLANT (University of Central Arkansas), Consciousness Literature and the Arts (University of Wales, Aberystwyth), Orbis (UK), Eclectica, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Links to his work online and to a selected bibliography of his work in paper venues appear at his Hyperlinked Online Bibliography.

Andrew Riutta was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He now lives in Grand Traverse County. His first full-length poetry collection, Cigarette Butts and Lilacs, published by Modern English Tanka Press, was released this year.

Nic Sebastian hails from Arlington, Virginia. She has two sons and travels widely. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Lily, The Adroitly Placed Word, The Dead Mule, Mannequin Envy, Poems Niederngasse, Avatar Review, and elsewhere. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale.

Ann Skealives in Australia. She is the author of Ted Hughes: The Poetic Quest (UNE Press, Australia).

Maryanne Stahl lives betwixt the ghosts and the sea in Savannah, Georgia, and teaches English and Creative Writing at Savannah Arts Academy. She is also an artist, gardener, meditator, and sometime duck tender. She has published a variety of stories, essays, and poetry as well as two novels, Forgive the Moon and The Opposite Shore. She is procrastinating work on a third by writing a blog.

Ray Templeton is a former Spotlight Author. A Scottish writer and musician living in St. Albans, England, his poetry, short fiction, writings on music, etc., have appeared in a wide range of both print and online journals, including Magma, Iota, Eclectica, Poems Niederngasse, Thieves Jargon, The New Verse News, The Argotist, Musical Traditions, and Antithesis Common. He is a member of the editorial board of Blues & Rhythm Magazine.

Eric Thurschwell thinks torture is fun, but that doesn't mean it should be legal.

Sara Toruno is the Poetry Review Editor for Boxcar Poetry and is an adjunct English Instructor at San Jose City College. She graduated in June from the University of California, Riverside, with an MFA in Creative Writing. Her poetry has been published in The CommonLine Project (January 2008), Ginosko (Spring 2007), Temenos (2006 and 2007), Monday Night (2004 and 2005), Perigee (an online publication for the arts), Artistic Rights, and in the Pride Literary Supplement at California State University, San Marcos. She says, "I got the idea to start recording my dreams in a journal from reading Kerouak's Book of Dreams, and so I've composed a series of poems based on dreams as well as fictional characters. "Window 5: Dream 1" is based on one of those dreams.

John Warner is a co-authoer, along with Kevin Guilfoile, of the #1 bestseller My First Presidentiary, A Scrapbook by George W. Bush. He writes fiction, humor, and non-fiction, and is the author of, most recently, a satirical guide to winning the White House, So You Want to Be President? He previously published Fondling Your Muse: A Book of Advice from a Published Author to a Writerly Aspirant. He is the creative director of TOW Books ("The Official Warner" Books) in partnership with F+W Publications. In his spare time, teaches at Clemson University.

Kajsa Wiberg is a freelance writer, translator, and horse trainer. Her stories have appeared in The River Walk Journal, Long Story Short, Prose Toad, Chick Lit Review, Flash Shot, and Insolent Rudder. She is a script reader for Blue Cat Screenplay. She lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, where she's at work on her second novel.