Oct/Nov 2010

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.

Farah Mehreen Ahmad is a postgraduate student of Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She is a social worker, writer, freelance researcher, translator and interpreter. She has worked in the development sector focusing on gender, education, health and economy, engaging in research, management, training, advocacy and strategic social communication. Previously, she has worked at BRAC University teaching critical thinking and writing to undergraduate students and leading a creative writing project. She also taught for Medabikash—a program which provides candidates for national board examinations (SSC and HSC) from economically marginalized families with crash writing courses. As a freelance researcher and writer, she uses poetry, fiction, and essays as tools to talk about "shadow citizens," mostly addressing gender, sexuality, children, and identity issues. She is particularly interested in the usage of the bodies of the marginalized as "sites" of violence, sexual abuse, socio-cultural verticality, identity and class politics, and hypocrisy. She is a guest columnist for PopAnthro's "Herstory-Womyn's Studies" column. She is also the General Secretary for Shimanto, a new and emerging non-profit organization that will provide legal aid and human rights education to marginalized populations. She is an active member of Drishtipat, an activist network, and is also a member of its Writers' Collective. Born Bangladeshi, she has lived and schooled in three countries, traveled to many more, and is waiting to be able to cater to an insatiable wanderlust.

Gay Baines lives in East Aurora, New York, and is a member of the Roycroft Wordsmiths. She has a B.A. in English from Russell Sage College and has done graduate work at Syracuse University and SUNY-Buffalo. She won the National Writers Union Poetry Prize in 1991, Honorable Mention in the Ruth Cable Memorial Poetry Contest in 1996, and the 2008 Mary Roelofs Stott Award for poetry, as well as other prizes. Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in over 50 literary journals, including 13th Moon, The Baltimore Review, Bayou, Cimarron Review, Confluence, Confrontation, Controlled Burn, Dislocate, Eclipse, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Louisiana Literature, Nimrod International Journal, Oregon East, Phoebe, The Pinch, Poet Lore, Quiddity Literary Journal, RE:AL, Rosebud, Slipstream, South Carolina Review, The Texas Review, Verdad, Westview, Whiskey Island, Willow Review, Wisconsin Review, and Zone 3. Regarding her work in this issue, she says, "There really is a blue kayak, and my yoga teacher says the poem is really yogic."

Mary Kathryn Bessinger is an actor, author, and office worker living in Brooklyn. This is her publishing debut.

Rose Black lives by the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Oakland, California. With the help of their Mountain Dogs, Basho and Dante, she and her husband operate Renaissance Stone, a studio and supply source for stone sculptors. Some of the places Rose's poetry has appeared are Ninth Letter, Oregon East, Poet Lore, RiverSedge, Runes, Soundings East, South Carolina Review, and Spillway. She is Associate Editor of the Marin Poetry Center Anthology.

Jerry Budinski is a retired engineer now free to engage in his dream pastime, writing fiction. His short stories have been published in Eclectica, Quantum Muse, Paumanok Review, Writers' Post Journal, and many other publications. Two works were nominated for Story South's best on-line stories of 2005. He says his inspirations may come from history, travel, weird science or just things that warp out from the daily news. He lives high on a hill in Western New York with his wife of forty years in the home of a West Highland Terrier named Hildy.

g. martinez cabrera lives in San Francisco with his wife and her cat. His short fiction was featured on the public radio show Voices and has appeared in The Externalist, Verbsap, Cantarraville, The Broome Review, Drunken Boat, and the current edition of Segue. He holds degrees from Columbia and from the Harvard Divinity School, where he spent three years thinking about lofty things. Since then, he tries to write some lofty and some not-so-lofty things down so others can see how lofty he sometimes is. When he’s not writing or spending time with said wife and animal, he tortures young people with learning.

Don Capone has appeared in Edgar Literary Magazine, Word Riot, READ Magazine, Thieves Jargon, as well as the anthologies See You Next Tuesday; Skive Quarterly 6; The Ampersand volume 4; Ten Modern Short Stories 2010; and Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction, which he also edited, and which was a finalist in the 2006 USA Book News awards. His comic novel, Into the Sunset, is available both in print and e-book versions. He works in publishing as a designer of children's novelty books.

Andrew Coburn lives in Andover, Massachusetts. He has written 12 novels, three of which have been made into French films. His work has been translated into 13 languages. This is his fourth appearance in Eclectica.

S.L. Corsua resides in Metro Manila, Philippines. Born in a hot Asian country (where she lives for the storms of the rainy season), she moved from the province to the big city, spent an eternity in college, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and a Juris Doctor degree in Law. Working in a litigation firm has, curiously, not deadened her right-brain hemisphere. She still writes, crossing over from prose to poetry, her poems ranging from Pinoy-inspired to sci-fi mash-up. Regarding her work in this issue, she says, "'Gilon-Gilon' refers to the bangus (milkfish) harvest in Dagupan City, in the Province of Pangasinan, Philippines. Calmay is a riverside section of said city (which is the bangus capital of the country). In Calmay, the family business is all about managing prawn farms and fishponds filled with bangus (occasionally with smaller fish like sapsap and freshwater eel)."

Michael Crane has had more than 350 poems and short stories published in major Australian literary journals, including Meanjin, Overland, and Southerly, and newspapers including The Age, The Australian, The Brisbane Courier Mail, and The Sydney Morning Herald. He organizes Poetry Idol for the Melbourne Writers Festival and edits the annual literary magazine, Paradise Anthology.

Chase Dearinger is an MFA candidate at the University of Central Oklahoma and the fiction editor of Arcadia, a literary journal. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Short Story America, Grey Sparrow Journal, Sugar Mule, and Cooweescoowee. He has three nieces.

Richard Dragan teaches writing and journalism at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York. After getting his MFA, he published extensively as a journalist. He has finished a collection of short stories and is working on a new novel which continues, like much of his creative and scholarly work, to explore the connections between science and story. An avid classical guitarist, he lives with his family in New York City.

John M. Edwards has traveled worldwidely (five continents plus), with stunts ranging from surviving a ferry sinking in Thailand to being stuck in a military coup in Fiji. His work has appeared in such magazines as CNN Traveller, Missouri Review, Salon.com, Grand Tour, Islands, Escape, Endless Vacation, Conde Nast Traveler, International Living, Emerging Markets, Literal Latté, Coffee Journal, Lilliput Review, Poetry Motel, Artdirect, Verge, Slab, Stellar, Trips, Big World, Vagabondish, Glimpse, BootsnAll, Hack Writers, Road Junky, Richmond Review, Borderlines, ForeWord, Go Nomad, North Dakota Quarterly, Michigan Quarterly Review, and North American Review. He recently won a NATJA (North American Travel Journalists Association) Award, a TANEC (Transitions Abroad Narrative Essay Contest) Award, a Road Junky Hell Trips Award, a Bradt Independent on Sunday Award, and three Solas Awards (sponsored by Travelers’ Tales). He lives in New York City’s "Hell's Kitchen," where you can eat ethnic every night with lost souls from Danté's Inferno. His future bestsellers, Move and Fluid Borders, have not yet been released. His new work-in-progress, Dubya Dubya Deux, is about a time traveler. He is editor-in-chief of the upcoming Rotten Vacations.

Matthias B. Freese is a retired psychotherapist and English teacher and the author of The i Tetralogy, a Holocaust novel, winner of the Allbooks Review Editor's Choice Award, and Down to a Sunless Sea, a collection of short fiction, finalist in the Indie Excellence Book Award. "Of No Use" is a story from his collection, Working through the Holocaust, being readied for publication. As the title suggests, he is working through different aspects of the Holocaust, in this case referencing life in a death camp. Another story from the collection, "Away" was published at Pulp City, and "Archipelago" appeared in Subtletea.

Michaela Gabriel lives in Vienna, Austria, where she works as an English teacher for adults and a translator. She has been published in English, German, Italian, and Polish, both online and in print, and is the author of two and a half chapbooks: apples for adam: the secret meanings of greek letters, small confessions, and pebbles of regrets (with Alex Stolis). Although afflicted by writer's block for a while now, she has not entirely given up hope that she will one day finish her full length manuscript, elemental.

Gloria Garfunkel is a clinical psychologist at Lahey Clinic outside Boston, with a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her creative writing has appeared in Natural Bridge, Six Sentences, and as a chapter in "A Perilous Calling." As a daughter of two Auschwitz survivors, her parents' stories often mingle with hers as they do in "Pig Girl."

Stephen Germic teaches writing and literature at Rocky Mountain College in Montana. He is the author of American Green (Lexington Books, 2001), and his poetry has appeared in Westview, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, and The Cape Rock. He spends his summers in northern Michigan near Lake Superior.

Guiseppe Getto is a Zen Buddhist, poet, and Ph.D. candidate in Rhetoric and Writing at Michigan State University. He enjoys reading and writing poetry in many modes and genres, from the folksy lines of Philip Levine to the more languagey poetry of James Galvin to shooting and editing digital video. His work can be found in The Santa Clara Review, Redactions, Slant, and Reed. He is still trying to figure out where his own style fits within the increasingly divergent conversation that is contemporary American poetry.

Emily Grosholz is Professor of Philosophy, African American Studies, and English, a member of the Center for Fundamental Theory / Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos, and a Fellow of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, at the Pennsylvania State University. Poems she has written for Cinda Agnew Musters, Sarah Glazer, Roberta Caplan, her husband Robert Edwards, Hourya Sinaceur, Farhad Ostovani, Karine Chemla, Rémi Brague, and François and Françoise De Gandt; her translations of and essays about the poems of Yves Bonnefoy; her reviews of work by Anne Stevenson, Robert Wells, Dick Davis, Farhad Ostovani and Lucie Vines Bonnefoy; and her "Letter from Paris" (from 2005, without photos!) have appeared over the years (or are forthcoming) in Hudson Review, Sewanee Review, American Arts Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Massachusetts Review, Kairos, L'Esprit Créateur, and Raritan. She collaborated on a small book with Farhad Ostovani, Feuilles / Leaves (William Blake & Co., 2009), and her recent book Representation and Productive Ambiguity in Mathematics and the Sciences (Oxford UP, 2007) treats the ideas of Henk Bos, Karine Chemla, François De Gandt, and Hourya Sinaceur. She also edited a collection of essays, The Legacy of Simone de Beauvoir (Oxford UP, 2006). The reason she was looking for beads can be found in "On Necklaces," Best American Essays 2008 (Adam Gopnik and Robert Atwan, eds., Houghton Mifflin).

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.

Lauren Henley is a first year MFA student at Pacific University of Oregon and a former Spotlight Author. Her poems have also appeared in White Pelican Review and are forthcoming in Electric Velocipede and Hayden's Ferry Review. Lauren is part of a spoken word music project called Carry The Fire, and in her free time she substitutes in special education. In the future she plans to teach creative writing at the college level, buy a yurt and some land, and travel. You can access Lauren's spoken word project (featuring drummer and composer Jonathan Maule) by clicking on the link provided.

Vasyl Holoborodko is a Ukrainian poet from Lugansk. In 1965 he was expelled from the university for his "anti-Soviet" views and refusal to cooperate with KGB. For the twenty following years, his poetry was banned. Vasyl worked as a miner, builder, and farmer. In 1988, however, the political weather changed and Holoborodko published several collections of poetry and was able to resume his university studies. His work has been translated into English, Portuguese, Polish, German, and many other languages. Vasyl became laureat of Shevchenko Prize, the highest national literary award in Ukraine. "My word is not fiery," he says. "Bees and butterflies swarm in my poems, but I can swear that they embrace the whole of Ukraine."

Thomas J. Hubschman is a regular contributor to Eclectica's Salon and is the author of four novels (Look at Me Now, Billy Boy, Space Ark, and Leffingwell's Planet), a short story collection (The Jew's Wife & Other Stories), and two anthologies of writing from the so-called Third World (The Best of Gowanus: New Writing from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean and The Best of Gowanus II: More New Writing from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean).

Talha Jalal is a professional researcher, currently compiling a concordance of the Masnavi of Rumi. He used to be an artist, but somehow has lost the stamina to paint. Besides reading Persian literature and trying to write about International affairs, he occasionally daydreams about being a President, a famous painter, and a scholar—all in a days work. Regarding the piece in this issue, he says, "This essay is inspired by the ideas of Dr. S Nomanul Haq, a scholar, whom I have had the honor of knowing as a humble student."

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.

Richard Jespers hails from Wichita, Kansas, holds a graduate degree in English from Texas Tech University, and now lives in Lubbock, Texas. Stories most recently receiving honors can be found in Boulevard ("My Long Playing Records" was a 2008 Pushcart nominee), Blackbird ("Basketball Is Not a Drug" was anthologized in Dzanc Book's Best of the Web 2008), and The Ledge, where "Engineer" was published as an award winner early in 2009. In the same year, he was awarded a two-month residency at Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, where he worked on a novel. Amarillo Bay, Gihon River Review, and Mochila Review have also published his stories in 2010. Regarding "Tales of the Millerettes," he says, "Many of my stories begin with a significant event in my life, one that engenders a great passion—though, to others, such an event might seem quite mundane. When I was fourteen, I saw West Side Story with some friends at the Miller Theatre in Wichita, Kansas. Unfortunately, because of teenage hijinks, my little clique decided to leave before it was over (the only fire was the one stoked by our hormones). I never saw the end of the film, until when, years later, WSS came out on VHS. As for the theatre, I loved how the floors of the third balcony creaked as I found a wooden seat that would come down with a whack. I loved the vertigo I experienced as I peered over the edge. I loved the huge screen, upon which I saw greats like The Shaggy Dog, Twenty Thousand Leagues Beneath The Sea, and a host of films in Cinerama, including It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The Miller was where I first held hands with a girl, and years later, when I heard that it had been torn down to construct a parking lot for a bank that could afford such a demolition (for it was made of grand materials, as the story attests), I was saddened. I decided to write a fictionalized history of the Miller Theatre and wrote the Wichita Public Library for more information. Reference librarian Michelle Enke was kind enough to send me what she could find about the Miller's beginning, as well as its demise, and I took it from there. The story took me five years to write and two years to place."

Aseem Kaul lives in Minneapolis, where he is Assistant Professor of Strategy at the University of Minnesota. Aseem's poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, Rhino, Rattle and nthposition, among others, and a collection of his short fiction, etudes, was published in 2009.

Jascha Kessler shares this issue's Spotlight with his wife, Julia Braun Kessler. He is a Professor of English and Modern Literature at UCLA. He has published seven books of his poetry and fiction as well as six volumes of translations of poetry and fiction from Hungarian, Persian, Serbian, and Bulgarian.

Julia Braun Kessler shares this issue's Spotlight with her husband, Jascha Kessler. She is a long-time journalist with credits that include publications like Travel & Leisure, Family Circle, Geo, and many others. She is the author of four novels: Presumption, The Third Sister, Jane Austen's Charlotte and the forthcoming Mary Crawford. The piece in this issue's Spotlight is the latest of her memoir pieces, which have appeared in various magazines in recent years, among them Eclectica, Midstream, and California Literary Review.

Lior Klirs lives in Nashville, Tennessee, teaches high school English at a public school, and has had stories previously published in Kerem and The New Vilna Review.

Dmytro Kremin is a renowned Ukrainian poet, essayist, journalist, and translator. Born in Village Sukha in the Carpathians, he studied phililogy at Uzhgorod University, "receiving goddesses and muses, painting surrealist pictures in watercolor and gouache, and preparing to his mission of powering the alternative, non-conformist artery of Ukrainian literature." Kremin fought, often with his freedom at stake, against the government-imposed Russianisation of Ukraine. He has been awarded the Shevchenko Prize, the highest national literary award in Ukraine, and his work has been widely published in Ukraine and abroad, including in London Literary Magazine, Prism, and Hayden's Ferry Review.

Svetlana Lavochkina was born and educated in Ukraine and currently resides in Leipzig, Germany. In 1980, Svetlana's grandmother used all her considerable power of persuasion to get her enrolled into the only school in a Ukrainian town with depth-in English learning. She swore to the peevish headmaster that Svetlana would love English and be an assiduous pupil. Svetlana now teaches English; co-edits A Long and Winding Road, a generational anthology; and translates Ukrainian poetry. Her fiction was shortlisted for the 2010 Million Writers' Award, published in Eclectica, Chamber Four Fiction Anthology, The Literary Review, Chapman (Scotland), in the In Our Own Words Anthology, and is forthcoming in Mad Hatters' Review. And she has a novel in the oven. Regarding the translations in this issue, she says, "Translating Ukrainian poetry is hugely satisfying, nourishing, and humbling. I feel like a servant of two masters, a messenger and witness of the two very different language spirits at work—Ukrainian and English—honored to be initiated into the minute details of their verbal wardrobe, allowed to peek over their shoulders at their letters, and there is a lot of secrets they have to share. Ukrainian images in English costumes: in Holoborodko's 'Disaster,' delicate, fragile, skulking into our mind on tiptoe; in Kremin's 'Lost Manuscript,' attacking the reader with their symphonic, gunpowder force—a rejuvenating infusion to the mature body of the English language."

David McAleavey teaches literature and creative writing at George Washington University in DC. His fifth and most recent book is Huge Haiku (Chax Press, Tucson, 2005). His poems have appeared in many journals, including Poetry, Ploughshares, and The Georgia Review. He has poems online at Ascent, Foliate Oak, Innisfree, and Divine Dirt Quarterly, forthcoming at Epoch, Denver Quarterly, Poetry Northwest, Connecticut Review, Pedestal Magazine, Poet Lore, Chiron Review, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

Michael K. Meyers lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife Janet D (the best writer he knows) and Beau, a brown Chesapeake Bay Retriever (the best dog). He teaches in the graduate writing program of The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, as does the above mentioned Janet D. Once he was a medical illustrator, painter, performance artist, and shoe salesman. His writing appears in Quick Fiction, Work Riot, Nano, Bound Off, Chicago Noir, Chelsea, Fiction, The New Yorker, and is forthcoming in The 2nd Hand Journal, 2River, and Required Journal. His audio works can he heard in Fringe, 2River, Mad Hatters Review, and forthcoming in Drunken Boat. His videos can be viewed on the 9th Letter website as well as on his own.

Joe Mills hasn't told us anything about himself.

Elvedin Nezirovic was born in 1976 in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has written two books of poetry: The Abyss (2002) and The Beast from the Hotel Room (2009). He is working as a radio reporter for Radio X and also for Radio Free Europe. His poems have been translated into German and Italian and published in many literary magazines in the region of ex-Yugoslavia. His short story "The Candle for Alfons Berber" was one of the three main laureates for the "Zija Dizdarevic" award (Fojnica, Bosnia and Herzegovina) in 2009.

Ikeogu Oke has been published in the United States, United Kingdom, Nigeria, and India since 1988. He has two poetry collections, Where I Was Born (2003) and Salutes Without Guns (2009) to his credit, the latter of which was on the long list for the 2010 edition of the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature.

Jim Parks hasn't told us anything about himself.

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.

Penelope Schott hasn't told us anything about herself.

Ernest Bazanye Sempebwa is a Ugandan writer and a survivor of Ugandan education. His piece in this issue is based on a true experience. He says, "Fortunately, corporal punishment is not legal in Ugandan schools any more, though a lot of school administrators look the other way.

Alex Shishin is a professor at a private university in Japan. Originally from San Francisco, he has published fiction, non-fiction, and photography in Japan, North America and Europe. Journals that have published his fiction include Kyoto Journal, The East, Prairie Schooner, InterText, 42opus, and recently, LITnIMAGE. "Booger Eater Mon Amour" is his second story in Eclectica. His anthologized short stories are "Mr. Eggplant Goes Home" in Student Body: Stories About Students and Professors (University of Wisconsin Press) and "Shades" in The Broken Bridge: Fiction from Expatriates in Literary Japan (Stone Bridge Press). His most recent print book, available through online distributors, is Rossiya: Voices from the Brezhnev Era, a Russian-American memoir of a train odyssey around the USSR and Poland. Smashwords has published two e-books by Alex: The Bridge of Dreams and Predators: Two Short Novels and Nippon 2357: A Utopian Ecological Tale.

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

Ed Southern hasn't told us anything about himself.

Laura Madeline Wiseman is a doctoral candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she teaches English. She is the author of three chapbooks: My Imaginary (Dancing Girl Press, 2010), Ghost Girl (Pudding House, 2010), and Branding Girls, forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has appeared in Margie, Permafrost, and The Spoon River Poetry Review, and prose in Blackbird, Arts & Letters, and 13th Moon. She has received an Academy of American Poets Award and five Pushcart Prize nominations. The poem "Proposed: The Conjugal Tongue" explores Matilda Fletcher's second marriage to Rev. William Albert Wiseman, founder of the Methodist Church in Des Moines, Iowa, a church that began as a tent, turned into a wooden building, and finally was rebuilt in brick in the late 1800s. The church still stands today and is currently being renovated. She says, "As they were my ancestors (great-great-great-grandparents), I find it fascinating that their livelihood was made of words." The poem "Picking for Silver at the Matilda Fletcher Mine" is inspired by the Matilda Fletcher Mine in the Democrat Mountains in Colorado. Many geological reports detail the load of particular veins in the mine. A 1884 Colorado newspaper ran a story about a cave in, though no one was hurt.

Abbas Zaidi is a Pakistani writer and journalist based in Brunei Darussalam, where he teaches English. His short stories have appeared, inter alia, in New York Press, Exquisite Corpse, New Partisan, Eclectica, Salt River Review, Best of GOWANUS, and The Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies. He is a Review Editor for The Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies, and Asian Editor of GOWANUS. He has recently completed a PhD in socioligistics.