Oct/Nov 2009

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.

Tamara M. Brenno-Uribarri served as the fiction co-editor for this issue. She received her masters in creative writing and literature theory from Hollins University. She lives in Albuquerque with her husband Dominic and teaches English at the University of New Mexico.

Ann Ang was educated at the National University of Singapore and the University of Pennsylvania. Her ambition is to write a travel novel about the trials and tribulations of a Singapore family abroad on a holiday. She has been published previously in Love Gathers All: the Philippines-Singapore Anthology of Love Poetry (2002) and she currently teaches English and Creative Writing in a high school in Singapore. Eclectica is her first outing in prose. "A Good Mother" is set in Singapore, and she says her aim was "to portray a curious species of mothering (a certain wilful maschocism in Asian families you might say) where a child is badgered by threats, bribes and deprivation into a melancholy fear which passes for brotherly love. Many of the anxieties the child experiences, such as those concerning tests, mama shops, hantus, policemen, country erasers, and so on, are factual or very close to reality, as is the use of Singlish, which I have attempted to capture as much as possible through dialogue and the child's thoughts. I cannot help but feel that the short, clipped phrases that we use say something about an original shutting-up, a fear of being caught up by a large hand in the sky."

Ethan Bernard lives in Queens, New York. His fiction is forthcoming from Denver Quarterly and has appeared in such journals as Pindeldyboz, Word Riot, and Boston Literary Magazine.

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 Mississippi Review, Halfway Down the Stairs, Pedestal Magazine, American Poets Abroad, Chantarelle's Notebook, Lucid Rhythms, and Greensilk Journal.

John Bredin is a writing professor at CUNY's Borough of Manhattan Community College, where he seeks to arouse a love of literature (and the other arts) in his students and empower their capacity for creative, critical, and political expression through writing. A world-changing activist, John is active in the following progressive political groups: the Village Independent Democrats, Politics for a Human Community, and The Network of Spiritual Progressives. His essays and stories have appeared in The Filipino Express, the Hudson Current, Slow Trains, and the Brooklyn Rail. To help support his Bohemian writing dreams, John works as a real estate agent in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan. He says, "I wrote the Michael Jackson essay, composing it in the vortex of the crazy media barrage that followed his death, as an attempt to calmly discover my own personal (and political) meaning in Jackson's music and life. The piece might also be imagined as the beginning of a dialogue—one I'd love to continue should you choose to e-mail me your honest thoughts about it." He wishes to thank his girlfriend Claudia for her constant love and encouragement of his writing.

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 appeared in kaleidowhirl, Lily, Loch Raven Review, Lucid Rhythms, Orange Room Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Rattle, Stirring, Umbrella, 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.

Bill Cole is a school psychologist and adjunct professor of developmental psychology at Farleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. He has previously had his poetry published in Modern Poetry: A New International Anthology and CQ: California Poetry Quarterly. Additionally, his fiction will be appearing in Highlights For Children Magazine in the forthcoming months. He characterizes "Lost Letters" as a fleeting homage to idle idolatry in a geopolitically turbulent year.

Michael Chacko Daniels is a former community worker and clown who grew up in Bombay, India. His past adventures include five years as a Volunteer In Service To America, four as editor/publisher of the New River Free Press of Grand Rapids, MI, and 16 running the Jobs for Homeless Consortium. He lives and works in San Francisco. His writing has appeared in Apollo's Lyre, Cricket Online Review, Denver Syntax, dragonfire, Hackwriters, Indelible Kitchen, Quicksilver, SHALLA Magazine, and The Battered Suitcase. He has published three books: Split in Two (Poetry, 2004), Anything Out of Place Is Dirt (Novel, 2004), and That Damn Romantic Fool (Novel, 2005). He says, "The images in 'Morning in Shantiniketan' come straight out of my experience in 2004 of Shantiniketan, of Bengal, of India, of the cosmos. Shantiniketan (or Santiniketan) means abode (niketan) of peace (shanti). It is a small town in the politically contentious Indian state of West Bengal. Here in the early 1900s, Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore started a progressive school set in a natural environment; his goal was to stimulate joy in learning."

Cy Dillon is a college librarian who lives in on a small farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Co-editor of Virginia Libraries, he also writes a column on open access publishing for College & Undergraduate Libraries.

Brent Fisk is a writer from Bowling Green, Kentucky who has work in recent issues of Greensboro Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, and Boxcar Poetry Review.

Zoë Gabriel is from Europe and lives in Maryland. Her poems have appeared in The Centrifugal Eye, The Rose & Thorn, Oysters & Chocolate, Tales of the Talisman, Illumen, Word Riot, The Commonline Project, Thieves Jargon, GlassFire Magazine, Grasslimb, Poetry Midwest, Southern Ocean Review, Salt River Review, Locust Magazine, Unlikely Stories, AntiMuse, Abyss & Apex, and Cadenza; she has work forthcoming in Goblin Fruit, Tales of the Unanticipated, and Weird Tales. Zoë dyes her hair but is naturally tall. She loves books, languages, spicy food and colorful socks.

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.

Jennifer Greidus lives and writes in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where she is blowing through the monies of dead relations. She urges her remaining, ailing relatives to consult the new tax laws concerning familial inheritances. Regardless of what she says in later television interviews, each of Jennifer's works was made possible by Michael; written for the three, which complete the five; and inspired by Pete, a man too vivid for nonfiction.

John Grey is an Australian born poet and a US resident since the late seventies. He works as a financial systems analyst. He has been recently published in Connecticut Review, Georgetown Review, and Illuminations, with work upcoming in Poetry East, Cape Rock, and the Pinch.

William Reese Hamilton lives in Choroní, a fishing village on the coast of Venezuela, set below a mountainous cloud forest, in a region that produces the finest cacao in the world. His stories have appeared in a number of print and online publications, including The Paris Review, The North American Review, The Adirondack Review, Puerto del Sol, Night Train, and Review Americana.

Niranjana Iyer is a writer from Ontario, Canada, whose work has appeared in The Missouri Review, The Smithsonian Magazine, and SmokeLong Quarterly, amongst other venues. Her blog is called "Brown Paper" (see link).

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.

Tom Kelly lives in New Jersey and is an undergraduate at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He works as a tutor in Georgetown's Writing Center and is a past contributor to Georgetown's Donn B. Murphy One-Acts Festival.

Joe Kovacs lives in Denver, Colorado, where he is a member of the nonprofit Lighthouse Writers Workshop. His travel writing has appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Miami Herald, LiteraryTraveler.com and now, Eclectica.

Jim Krosschell divides his time between Owls Head, Maine, and Newton, Massachusetts. He still consults a bit in science publishing, but has mostly retired and is writing about the wonderful places and people of his adopted state of Maine. His blog keeps him sane when not there. His essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Saranac Review, Contrary, Amarillo Bay, Hobble Creek Review, and others.

Tyler M. Mathis resides in Chapman Quarries, Pennsylvania. "Stung" is his first published work and is dedicated to his ex-girlfriend, who threw the manuscript in the garbage during their breakup.

Mary Meriam has an MFA from Columbia University. Her chapbook, The Countess of Flatbroke (afterword by Lillian Faderman), was published by Modern Metrics. Her poems and essays have appeared in Literary Imagination, The Gay & Lesbian Review, Windy City Times, Rattle, A Prairie Home Companion, and Light Quarterly, among others.

George Moore teaches literature and writing with the University of Colorado, Boulder. His poetry has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, North American Review, Orion, Colorado Review, Nimrod, Meridian, Chelsea, Southern Poetry Review, Southwest Review, Chariton Review, as well as recently in journals in France, Spain, Australia, Canada, Ireland, England and Iceland. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize four times and in 2007 was a finalist for the Richard Snyder Memorial Prize from Ashland Poetry Press. His manuscripts have also been finalists for The National Poetry Series, The Brittingham Poetry Award, and the Anhinga Poetry Prize. His most recent collections are Headhunting (Edwin Mellen, 2002), and an e-Book, All Night Card Game in the Back Room of Time (Pulpbits, 2007). He just returned from an artist residency in Portugal, where he worked with an Austrian painter, Helga Elbl, on a book collaboration. Other projects include a showing of poetry and concept art with the French Canadian artist, Mireille Perron, at Can Serrat, Spain, in 2007; and another with the Scandinavian textile artist, Hrafnhildur SigurÝard—ttir, for an exhibition in Iceland next year.

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), The Evansville Review (University of Evansville), Rattle (online), 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.

Oliver Rice has received the Theodore Roethke Prize and thrice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His poems have appeared widely in journals and anthologies in the United States, as well as Canada, Argentina, England, Austria, Turkey, and India. His book of poems, On Consenting to Be a Man, is offered by Cyberwit, a diversified publishing house in the cultural capital Allahabad, India, and is available on Amazon.

Jennifer Ruden lives and writes in Albuquerque. Since graduating with her MFA ten years ago, she has directed a literacy center, worked at the Native American Scholarship Fund, gotten married, and birthed two children. Some of her writing appears in Nerve, Word Riot, Literary Mama, and Puerto del Sol. She has been writing the same book for a decade and, G-d willing, might finish it one day.

Jan Seale lives in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas and is the author of a textbook on writing, a collection of short stories, a book of essays, and five volumes of poetry. She has also edited a number of books on the environment. Her writing credits include Texas Monthly, Newsday, and The Yale Review. She has received an NEA fellowship in poetry. She says regarding "Stretch, the poem that appears in this issue, "This poem's genesis was something like the mythical snake that swallows its own tail. It began as a poem about my ancestors' agrarian background, and especially my father's early experiences on his family's farm. Then the subject became the metaphor, as I thought about how the cultivation of a field, with all the possibilities of circumstance and chance, was like the making of a poem. And the idea that the poem itself looked literally like ground being farmed was a pleasing discovery that provided the ending."

Gregory Sherl is taking his MFA at Florida Atlantic University. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in New York Quarterly, Gargoyle, The Los Angeles Review, Night Train, Chiron Review, PANK, and elsewhere.

Jill Noel Shreve completed her studies at the University of Texas-Austin with a BA in English and went on to graduate-level study at Dallas Theological Seminary. She just graduated with two masters, one in Media Arts and Communication, and the other in Christian Education. During her stint at DTS, she wrote for the school newspaper, The Jot & Tittle. She also contributed chapters to Wisdom On Friends, Dating and Relationships (Zondervan) and Wisdom On Making Good Decisions (Zondervan). Currently, she's working on her MFA in Memoir at Hunter College in New York City. While at Hunter, she will work on her project titled Fat Girl Skin, a memoir set in rural Texas, a series of vignettes told by a child, recounting intimate encounters between family members and friends showing how enmeshment destroys lives.

Heather Styka is this issue's Spotlight Author. A Chicago poet and singer-songwriter, her poetry has been published in DePaul University's Threshold and Mille Feuille. "On Alicia Ostriker's Theory of the Nature of Intimacy" previously appeared in Threshold. She has won numerous awards for her songwriting, including the songwriting contest at the Big Top Chautauqua, and her music has received airplay from Alaska to Australia. Her latest album, Travel and Teacups, is available on CD Baby and iTunes. The poems featured in this issue are concerned with the relationship between space, environment, and intimacy, particularly in the context of city life. She says, "The approach of winter causes me to spend more time indoors, so autumn is a season of reflection and re-evaluation for me."

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.

Tanya M. Twete resides in Washington with her husband and three children. She was a professional ballet dancer turned psychologist turned mommy and preschool director. She has a random collection of experiences and travels.

Michael VanCalbergh is an undergraduate at DePaul University studying English with a minor in Creative Writing and LGBTQ Studies. He is a special online editor at Fine Lines and was the poetry editor of DePaul's student-run literary journal Threshold. He has poetry appearing in the spring issue of Karamu.

Don Webb has eleven published books ranging from a St. Martin's mystery series to several volumes on occult topics. He teaches on-line creative fiction writing classes for UCLA and High School English at a reform school in rural Texas. The grandfather in his story "The Great White," which has been anthologized since its appearance in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is based on his years of care-taking his own grandfather.

Siobhan Welch lives in Austin, TX where she writes for a travel website and teaches at Austin Community College. She has written for the West Austin News, Pop Matters, and INsite Austin. Her poetry has been published in decomP magazinE and Defenestration Magazine. She graduated from the Creative Writing Program at Florida State.

Sarah Yost teaches reading and writing to seventh grade students in Louisville, Kentucky. Her work has appeared in previous issues of Eclectica, The Orange Room Review, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, and The Loch Raven Review.