Apr/May 2011

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.

Jekwu Anyaegbuna was born and educated in Nigeria. His work has been published or is forthcoming in literary magazines in the United States and the UK including Orbis, Other Poetry, The Journal, Bow-Wow Shop, The Talon Magazine, Dark Lady Poetry, Asinine Poetry, Vox Poetica, Breadcrumb Scabs, Haggard and Halloo, Swink Magazine, and elsewhere. He graduated from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. A chartered accountant, he lives and works in Lagos. He attended the Farafina Trust International Creative Writing Programme taught by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Jekwu hates mosquitoes, but likes mosquito nets, and sometimes wonders whether mosquitoes are domestic or wild animals.

Marc Berman is the chairman of The WFCR Foundation, western New England's NPR radio stations, and a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Originally from Boston, he began writing on airplanes while traveling from his home in western Massachusetts on business trips.

Bob Bradshaw lives in California, a state slowly drifting towards Japan. He is a huge admirer of cherry blossoms and Asian poetry. He looks forward to the docking. Recent work of his can be found at Blue Fifth Review, Orange Room Review, Loch Raven Review, and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore.

R. Joseph Capet is a poet and essayist from the West Coast whose works have appeared in a variety of magazines on both sides of the Pacific, including decomP, Taj Mahal Review, Burning Houses, CrossCurrents, and The Eclectic Muse. His most recent work is forthcoming in Tattoo Highway.

Sara Catterall lives in Ithaca, New York with her family. She grew up in Minneapolis, studied with the Experimental Theater Wing at NYU, served in Peace Corps Senegal, and had a brief career as an academic librarian before quitting to write seriously, have kids, and work as a book indexer. She is revising her second novel. This is her first fiction publication.

Peter Cherches has been writing short prose sequences on the boundary between the prose poem and the short story for 30 years. Previous excerpts from Mr. Deadman, a work in progress, have been featured in Fence Magazine and online at decomP and The Cafe Irreal. He blogs about food and travel.

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.

Jude Goodwin is a poet living in Squamish, BC, Canada. She shares her life with a girl and a dog and works as a web designer, editor, and illustrator. She has published three books, none of them containing poetry. Her poems have appeared in a variety of online and print journals including Eclectica, Burnside Review, CV2, Comstock Review, and A Twist of Malice, a poetry anthology. Jude is founder and co-moderator of The Waters Poetry Workshop and director of the Squamish Writers Group.

Robert Guard attended Ohio University, where he studied poetry writing under Wayne Dodd and Bin Ramke. While at OU, Robert was fortunate to enjoy the influences of prominent visiting writers and writers in residence, including Stanley Plumly, Louise Glück, and Carolyn Kizer. Upon graduation he became an advertising copywriter and has worked in the marketing field for the majority of his career. He has completed two tours of "boot camp" with the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop where he studied with David Baker and Roseanna Warren. Robert's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Argestes, The Chaffin Journal, descant, Eclipse, Nimrod, Zone 3, Quercus Review, Sycamore Review, California Quarterly, Harpur Palate, Milk Money, and numerous other publications. He resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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.

Justin Hamm is originally from the flatlands of central Illinois, but he now lives near Mark Twain territory in Missouri. He is the author of the poetry chapbook Illinois, My Apologies. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Nimrod International Journal, The New York Quarterly, Cream City Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and a host of other publications. Justin earned his MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2005. His most recent project is a free course for creative writers living in and around the small community of Mexico, Missouri.

Jean C. Howard is an award-winning video and performance poet, organizer, producer, and participant in the original development of the internationally-acclaimed, "Poetry Slam." She has poetry published in over one hundred publications, including Harper's Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Spoken Word Revolution, and her own book, Dancing In Your Mother's Skin (Tia Chucha Press). She has performed her poetry on cable, public and network television and at hundreds of venues nationwide, from the Guggenheim's exhibit at Chicago's Field Museum to biker bars. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of Utah Arts Alliance and Brolly Arts, after serving as Director of Chicago's National Poetry Video Festival for eight years.

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).

Alison Iglehart is a third generation Floridian and former coordinator of the Tallahassee Community College Writing Center, now retired. She has had memoirs and literary nonfiction narratives published online and in several Florida magazines and newspapers, particularly in The St Petersburg Times. She says, "I knew when I began writing 'First Drink of the Day' that I would probably have trouble categorizing it in a genre and finding an audience. As it turned out, the piece was too much about alcoholism for film magazines, too much about films for alcoholism magazines, and too much of both for other literary magazines. Then I came upon Eclectica Magazine and decided to give it one more shot at publication."

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.

Dennis Kaplan is a Chicago native, transplanted to Oakland, California, where he writes computer code by day and other things by night. His fiction has appeared in Eclectica, Eureka Literary Magazine, Oxford Magazine, Grue, Nuvein, and Pierian Spring. He and his wife, Sharon, are co-editors of The Workplace Anthology.

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.

Kathleen Kirk blogs about reading, writing, and synchronicity at Wait! I Have a Blog?! and participates at Voice Alpha, dedicated to reading poetry aloud. Her work appears in a variety of print and online journals, including After Hours, Confrontation, Fourth River, Leveler, and Poems & Plays. A former associate editor of Poetry East and co-editor of RHINO Magazine, she is now, by utter chance, poetry editor for Escape Into Life. "Nameless Creek" came during a road trip, bringing comfort and quiet awe. "Juncos" has been around a long time, patient as the birds themselves, or the mud birds, in revision and repair. And "Poem to be Placed in the Middle..." has been aired on Poetry Radio, WGLT (and as an iTunes podcast, therefore), where producer Bruce Bergethon delights in its really long title.

Tracy Koretsky is the author of a 15-time award-winning novel, Ropeless (Present Tense Press: 2005), as well as two others: The Body Of Helen, a backstage drama inspired by modern dancer Martha Graham, and The Novel Of The Century, a romantic comedy about the importance of love, books, and choosing both. A former editor at the online zine, Triplopia, Koretsky's stories, essays, poetry and Japanese-genre work are widely-published with more than 50 awards including several Pushcart nominations. She wrote the afterword for the first anthology of Indian haiku, which will soon be released as an e-book. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Chantarelle's Notebook, Prick of the Spindle, and The Rose and Thorn Journal.

Alice Lowe is a freelance writer in San Diego, California. She has published essays and reviews on the life and work of Virginia Woolf, including the 2010 monograph, Beyond the Icon: Virginia Woolf in Contemporary Fiction. About "Elvis Standing By," she says, "It was one of those experiences that almost wrote itself while it was happening. John is such a colorful character, and his visit was a story that I wanted to tell and knew I would have fun with. Virginia Woolf is there too—not surprisingly, as she permeates every strand of my life." Woolf also appears in her personal essay recently published by Hobart.

Patrick McDermott is a retired senior British diplomat living in Germany who produced a quarry of staccato notes during his 40 years of travel and is now turning those notes into (true) short stories. After retirement he became a management consultant, then Deputy Bursar at the UK's leading Catholic boarding-school. He has been decorated by the Queen for personal services to the Crown and made a Freeman of the City of London.

Robert Aquinas McNally is the author or coauthor of nine books of nonfiction and the author of three poetry chapbooks (with a fourth now looking for a publishing home). His poems have appeared in a long list of anthologies and journals, and three times they have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. A member of the National Association of Science Writers, McNally lives, writes, and wanders in Northern California.

James McV spent more than 20 years in the resort and marina management and development business before sailing away in 2006 on a personal voyage of discovery aboard his 47 foot sloop Location. Originally intent upon sailing around the world, he never quite left the Sea of Cortez, instead spending over three years sailing the coast of Baja and the Mexican Riviera, usually single-handed, visiting the many isolated islands and anchorages and the diverse port cities of western Mexico. He returned to California in 2010 with a comprehensive journal and photo portfolio and a head full of stories. These days James is anchored in Northern California, where he recently took over a new position as Director of Parks & Recreation for a small municipality. He is also working at completing two books inspired by his years of sailing and life on the sea, one a collection of fictional short stories, and the other a memoir of his travels. Reflections of his nautical experiences, as well as works featuring less derring-do, have appeared in Georgetown News-Graphic, Latitude 38, The Log, and Sea Magazine. He was recently interviewed about his sailing experiences and writing by the IWAC Project, and you can read excerpts from his books and other writing on his website.

Marjorie Mir has edited poetry for Monhegan Commons for the past ten years, and, in that capacity, edited an anthology of the poems published there. Her poetry has appeared most frequently in Atlanta Review and Light. In 2000, she was awarded first prize in Atlanta Review's International competition. She lives in Bronxville, New York, where she is a retired librarian and a member of Poetry Caravan, a group of Westchester writers who share poetry with the residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She says, "'Forget-me-nots' arose from missing the garden I took care of before moving from a house to an apartment. One day I felt a sharp pang of loneliness for the smell of onion grass on my hands. 'Dwali...' had a longer germination. I first learned about the festival from a radio broadcast by a Unitarian minister who had been in India during that time and described the floating lights. Some time later I read the story of Ganesha's birth. The poem itself began one morning, half-way between sleep and waking, took hold and grew throughout the day into its present form."

Helena Petkau has an MA in English Literature and is a retired freelance copyeditor.

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.

Hilary Sideris has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, Big City Lit, Brooklyn Review, Cairn, California Quarterly (CQ), The Cape Rock, Cimarron Review, Confrontation, Connecticut Review, The Evansville Review, Flint Hills Review, Front Range Review, Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, Hospital Drive, Lake Effect, Mid-American Review, Mochila Review, Natural Bridge, The Normal School Magazine, RiverSedge, Runes, Salamander, The Same, Sierra Nevada College Review, Southern Humanities Review, Southern Indiana Review, Tightrope, Willow Review, Women's Studies Quarterly, and in the anthologies Pomegranate Seeds: An Anthology of Greek-American Poetry and Token Entry: Poems of the NYC Subway. Her chapbook, The Orange Juice is Over, was published by Finishing Line Press, and her second chapbook, Baby, was published by Pudding House Press.

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

Christine Vovakes lives in northern California. Her poems have been in various publications, including JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), Christian Science Monitor, Boston Literary Magazine, Apple Valley Review, and the Marin Poetry Center Anthology. Her short story won a Patricia Painton Scholarship at the 2005 Paris Writers Workshop. She has also published photos and artiles in The Washington Post, Sacramento Bee, and San Francisco Chronicle.

Sister Elizabeth Wagner lives a monastic life of prayer and solitude at Transfiguration Hermitage in Maine, where she prays, writes, gardens, and enjoys the abundant peaches. She has a BA from Shimer College in Illinois and is completing an MA in theology from St. John's School of Theology in Minnesota. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Willow Review, Capital Weekly, Review for Religious, Church World, Catholic Digest, and Town Line. She has recently won the Willow Review 2011 award for non-fiction.

Marjorie Wallace is a wife and mother of three sons and an adopted daughter from China. She has traveled extensively. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California and has studied writing with Lorraine Babb at the Writer's Studio.

Alice Whittenburg is a writer and web designer who lives in the United States and finds creative inspiration in the Czech Republic. Her fiction has appeared in web and print publications, including Word Riot, Pindeldyboz, 42Opus, Unlikely 2.0, outwardlink, and Pif Magazine. Three of her stories appeared in the anthology, The Return of Kral Majales, Prague's International Literary Renaissance 1990-2010. She is coeditor of The Cafe Irreal, an online magazine of irreal fiction.

Susan Settlemyre Williams is the author of Ashes in Midair (Many Mountains Moving Press, 2008), and a chapbook, Possession (Finishing Line Press, 2007). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals, including Prairie Schooner, Mississippi Review, 42opus, Shenandoah, Sycamore Review and diode. She is book review editor and a literary editor of Blackbird and lives in Richmond, Virginia.

B.J. Yudelson is a former writer for not-for-profit agencies who writes creative nonfiction in Rochester, New York. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Griffin, Jewish Action, The Jewish Georgian, Tiny Lights, and in the anthology Flashlight Memories. She reports that retirement provides opportunities for intriguing travel, most recently an eight-day whitewater canoe trip through the lower canyons of the Rio Grande in Texas.