Oct/Nov 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.

E-MailHala Alyan has lived in various parts of the Middle East and the United States. She now resides in Brooklyn, where she is pursuing a doctoral degree.

E-MailSandy Anderson has been published in Weber Studies, Sugarhouse Review, Lucid Moon, and Limberlost Review, among others. In 1978, Ghost Planet Press published her book At the Edge in White Robes, and her chapbook Jeanne Was Once a Player of Pianos, is available through Limberlost Press. Her poetry was recently published in the anthology New Poets of the American West, edited by Lowell Jaeger. Her awards include the Salt Lake City Mayor's Award in Literature in 1997, and the Writers at Work Writing Advocate Award in 1995. She works as a piano teacher and has enjoyed volunteer positions as judging chair for the Piano Federation Festival and Utah Chairman for Music Achievement Program. She has been involved in the literary community since the 1960s, and she is the founder of City Art, the longest-running reading series in Utah. She was the editor of the literary magazine Wasatch Front, which won first place at the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Press Association. She has been artist in residence at several local high schools and given workshops to many different groups, including veterans and the disabled.

E-MailKimberly L. Becker is a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. Words Facing East (WordTech Editions, 2011) is her first book of poetry. Individual poems appear in many journals and anthologies. The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (MD) funded her study of Cherokee language, history, and culture in Cherokee, NC. She was awarded a residency at Hambidge Center. Current projects include adapting Cherokee myths into plays for the Cherokee Youth in Radio Project at the Cherokee Youth Center, also in Cherokee, NC.

Dale Bridges is a fiction writer, essayist, and freelance journalist living in Boulder, Colorado. His writing has appeared in Barrelhouse Magazine, Monkey Puzzle Magazine, Denver Magazine, The Umbrella Factory, Out of the Gutter Magazine, The Crucible, Edit Red, Boulder Weekly, and the Daily Camera, among others. He has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's in literature from the University of Northern Colorado. In 2009 one of his short stories was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has earned awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for his cultural criticism, feature writing, and narrative nonfiction.

Mike Campbell is a first-year MFA student in fiction at Purdue University. He is the editor of Meeting House, an online journal of writing from New England, and his story "88 mph" was included in Microchondria: 42 Short Short Stories Collected by Harvard Book Store.

Philip F. Clark is the author and editor of The Artpoint, which presents the work of emerging and established artists. He recently co-curated the exhibition "Text Me: Word and Image in Visual Art," at The Watchung Arts Center. He has also exhibited his work at The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition and Climate Gallery in New York City. His poems have been published in Assaracus.

Douglas Cole has appeared in The Connecticut River Review, Louisiana Literature, Avatar Review, Cumberland Poetry Review, and Midwest Quarterly. He has also appeared online in The Adirondack Review, Salt River Review, and Avatar Review, among others. He has work forthcoming in the Cortland Review and Underground Voices. The mellifluous tones of his reading voice will soon be heard when a fiction piece of his comes out in Bound Off. He won the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry for a selection of work called, "The Open Ward," and he won a contest for a piece in Tattoo Highway. He lives in Seattle, Washington, and teaches writing and literature at Seattle Central College, where he is the advisor for the literary journal, Corridors.

Jesse Damiani is an MFA candidate in Poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the recipient of the John Mackay Shaw Academy of American Poets Award. His work has appeared or will appear in Fourteen Hills, the minnesota review, Ninth Letter, Pleiades, and The Southeast Review, among others.

Barbara De Franceschi is an Australian poet who lives in Broken Hill, a small mining town in outback New South Wales. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals Australia-wide and also in Ireland, Wales, New Zealand, on line USA, and Switzerland. Her first collection, Lavender Blood, was published in 2004, and a second collection, Strands, will be launched in May 2009. When not writing poetry or committed to family and business, Barbara involves herself in community work. She was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2002 for her achievements in the area of multiculturalism. Barbara is a member of the performance group "The Silver Tongued Ferals" and performs at caravan parks, arts festivals, etc., and has read her poetry live to air on ABC Radio on a number of occasions. She recently co-edited the book From this Broken Hill (see link), and she is running a creative writing workshop at a local hospital for health professionals, trying to ascertain if art and health can work collaboratively to increase skills such as communication and the interpretation of visual thinking.

Michaela A. 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 and small confessions and pebbles of regrets (with Alex Stolis). Although afflicted by writer's block for much of the past three years, she has not entirely given up hope that she will one day finish her full length manuscript, elemental.

Thomas J. Hubschman is a regular contributor to Eclectica's Salon and is the author of two novels (Look at Me Now and Billy Boy), 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). His short stories and non-fiction have been widely published, including on the BBC.

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.

Sheila MacAvoy grew up in New York City and started publishing poetry in high school. She obtained a Law Degree from St. John's University in 1976. The same year, she came to California and worked as a lawyer in a large corporation in Los Angeles. Now retired from the practice of Law, she devotes full time to writing, and looking out the window. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Red Rock Review, Passager, Weber Studies, and many other journals and anthologies. Her prize winning stories have appeared in anthologies published by FISH, a publisher in Durrus, County Cork, Ireland.

Jessica Mack is a painter and illustrator who lives and works in New York City.

Alan Marshfield was born in 1933 in Portsmouth, UK; received a BA in English from King's College, London; and is a retired high school Head of English and a London-based poet, novelist, short story writer and translator. His most recent publication is a Kindle ebook, Murder at Monk Wimborne. Other works include Dragonfly (Oasis), The Elektra Poems (Anvil), Mistress (Anvil) and The Nature of Things (Abraxas). He has published in The Cambridge Review, Delta, The Elek Book of Oriental Verse, Encounters (RKP anthology), Fire, The Greek Anthology, The Journal, The Kenyon Review, Limestone, The Listener, Never Bury Poetry, New Measure, New Poetry 1, The New Statesman, Oasis, Outposts, Oyster, Paperway, Phoenix New Life Poetry, Pink Peace, Poetry Monthly, The Poetry Review, Pulsar, Purple Patch, Quantum Leap, a Sceptre Press Broadsheet, The Spaces of Hope, Stardock, The TransAtlantic Review, The Times Literary Supplement, Thursday Evening Anthology, Tribune, Voice and Verse, and Workshop 3. On the BBC radio he has featured in The Poet's Voice, Poetry Today, and The Five Seasons. On the internet his work has (or will soon have) appeared in AABYE's Baby, Brindin Press, Poetry Porch, Transference, and Cerise. His muses are his beautiful wife, who has created their fine symphony of a garden in NW London, his children, Undine (in Australia) and Crispin (in Cheshire), and their stimulating children, Max Wrenn and Annabelle Marshfield.

Ellen Meister is the author of three novels. Her most recent book, The Other Life (Putnam 2011), appears on several prestigious best fiction lists and is under option with HBO for a television series. She currently edits manuscripts for published and aspiring authors, does public speaking about writing-related issues, and teaches creative writing at Hofstra University. She lives in New York and is at work on her fourth novel, Farewell, Dorothy Parker (Putnam 2013).

Diane Mierzwik recently completed her MFA and was a scholar at the Norman Mailer Writing Colony in Provincetown this summer.

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, "I have a botanical painting that includes a stalk of wild grass gone to seed. Looking at the seedhead one day, I thought, 'That could have been painted with one hair.' I began to think of a fictional Chinese artist with such a brush and then remembered Shen Chou and a print I have of his that includes two of his poems, 'Poet on a Mountaintop' and 'Reading in the Autumn.' And so, Shen Chou's imagined voice and reflections became the poem."

Anthony J. Mohr has appeared in, among other places, The Christian Science Monitor, The Coachella Review, Oracle, River Poets Journal, Word Riot, ZYZZYVA, two Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, three Silver Boomers anthologies, and Workers Write!—Tales from the Courtroom. He has attended the Sirenland Writers Conference and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and he has studied with Bernard Cooper, Tom Jenks, Edan Lepucki, and Jim Shepard. By day he is a judge on the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles.

Dolan Morgan is this issue's Spotlight Author. He lives and writes in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Crispin Oduobuk is the 2008 recipient of the IRN-Africa Outstanding Award in Creative Writing. A finalist in the 2006 Best of the Net, his stories were Notables in the 2006 and 2005 Million Writers Awards. His fiction has appeared in periodicals and anthologies inluding BBC Focus on Africa, Courrier International, Libération, and Of Friends, Money & Gossip (Hodder UK, 2009). Online, his stories can be found at 42Opus, African Writing Online, Eclectica, Gowanus, and other literary sites. He lives in Abuja, Nigeria.

Janice Pariat is a writer based in Shillong, Kolkata, and New Delhi—depending on the weather. Her fiction and poetry have featured in The Caravan magazine, Nether magazine, Barnwood International Poetry Mag, Nth Position, Soundzine, Qarrtsiluni, and Kavikala (an anthology of visual poetry), among others.

Anne Leigh Parrish is the author of the story collection, All The Roads That Lead From Home, (Press 53, 2011). Her work can be found in The Virginia Quarterly Review, Clackamas Literary Review, American Short Fiction, The Pinch, Storyglossia, Knee-Jerk Magazine, Prime Number, r.kv.ry., and twice previously in Eclectica Magazine (October/November 2007 and January/February 2010).

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.

Laura Robbins creates non-traditional mosaics that primarily incorporate cut and fused glass with hand formed ceramics. She also utilizes natural and man-made objects. Her imagery explores spontaneous design, mythical, natural and environmental concepts. Laura’s work can be seen at the new Albuquerque Bio Park Insectarium and as the 2011 Globalquerque Music Festival poster art. She is currently designing work for the new Medical Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Her work is included in private collections. She has completed commissions for residencies, businesses and schools throughout New Mexico and elsewhere, including the Range Cafes, Bosque School, Sandia Prep, Amy Biehl High School and Accion New Mexico. She is currently co-spearheading the multi-panel, seventy-foot-long Placitas Community Mosaic Mural, Protect Our Wildlife Corridors. This project has involved hundreds of community members and seeks to raise awareness of New Mexico's indigenous animals and their need to travel to maintain genetic viability. Laura’s work has been published in books, magazines and newspapers and has received several awards over the past nine years. She received her BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University with an award in Printmaking. She taught in public and private schools from 1984 to 2003. Her home and studio are in the Placitas foothills of Sandia Mountain. She shares a ridgetop with family and friends and neighbors such as hawks, ravens, turkey vultures, rattle- snakes and bull snakes that keep the rattlers away, rabbits, coyotes, lizards, horny toads and beloved wild horses. Bears, cougars, deers and bobcats live nearby. During a wet spring, the hills are covered with yellow flowers.

Ann Starr is the author of Starr Review, the blog review of visual arts and contemporary music. More of her criticism can be found at New Music Box. Before turning to memoir and travel writing, Starr showed widely as a visual artist and lectured about art and medicine at many venues, including the Boston Psychoanalytic Society, Yale Medical School, and Magdalene College Cambridge. "What Won’t Kill You" is a revised chapter from her first (unpublished) book. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Melissa Studdard is the author of the bestselling novel Six Weeks to Yehidah. She is a Book Reviewer At-Large for The National Poetry Review, and a contributing editor for both Tiferet and The Criterion. For Tiferet, she hosts the blogtalk radio program, Tiferet Talk, for which she interviews established and emerging writers and religious and spiritual leaders. In addition to being a writer, editor, and talk show host, she is also a creative writing professor.

Ray Templeton is a former Spotlight Author. A Scottish writer and musician, he lives in St. Albans, England. His writing, including poetry and short fiction among other things, has appeared both in print and on the web, and sometimes even other people sing his songs. Recent work can be found in Eclectica, nthposition, Left Hand Waving, and qarrtsiluni. His e-chapbook The Act Of Finding was published in 2009 by Right Hand Pointing. He is a regular contributor to Musical Traditions and a member of the editorial board of Blues & Rhythm magazine.

Javier Viveros is a Paraguayan computer engineer who has lived in many countries in Africa and Latin America. He has published three books of poetry and three books of short fiction. "JFK Mystery" was a finalist in the Juan Rulfo Tales Prize in 2009. He has appeared in the German Neues Vom Fluss (2010), the Cuban Tales from Paraguay (2011) and the Argentinian The Chongos of Roa Bastos (2011).