Jul/Aug 2012

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.

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.

David Ewald is Eclectica's Nonfiction Editor. A previous contributor, his work has also appeared in Metazen, BULL: Men's Fiction, Denver Syntax, The Chimaera, Spork Press, and Halfway Down the Stairs, among other publications. He is the author of the novel He Who Shall Remain Shameless, and his chapbook Markson's Pier (written with Stuart Ross) was published in Volume XI of Essays & Fictions.

Anne Leigh Parrish is Eclectica's Fiction Editor. Her debut short story collection, All The Roads That Lead From Home, was published last year by Press 53 and won the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal for best short story fiction. More of her work can be found in previous issues of Eclectica, The Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, The Pinch, PANK, Prime Number, and Clackamas Literary Review, among other publications.

Mike Spice is Eclectica's Travel Editor. He has a B.Sc. in literature and two master's degrees in business. He has lived all over the USA, as well as in Poland and the United Arab Emirates. He loves to travel and write and to read the accounts of his fellow travelers. He also translates literary works from Polish to English. He has been published in Modern Haiku and Eclectica, and he was the English editor of the book Gdansk: Spirit of the City.

Ruth Ann Baumann lives in Richmond, Virginia, but will be starting her MFA at the University of Memphis in the fall. She has poems in The Dirty Napkin, WordRiot, and Toad, as well as forthcoming work in Kill Author and PANK. She can't stop writing Rapunzel poems.

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William Cashman lives on an island 32 miles out, in upper Lake Michigan, where he works as director for the local historical society, edits the local magazine, does CAD work for local contractors, and enjoys every minute of his life. Despite this being his ninth published story, he is still trying to figure out how to stay on point and in character for longer works.

Alicia Cole lives in Lawrenceville, Georgia, with her photographer husband, their cat Hatshepsut, and a growing number of fish. An educator who enjoys birdwatching, divination, and listening to the wind, she is persuing post-graduate studies in gifted and twice-gifted education. Her fiction and poetry, predominantly dealing with speculative and/or queer themes, have appeared or are forthcoming in multiple print and online journals, including Clutching at Straws, Goblin Fruit, Eternal Haunted Summer, Paper Crow, Star*Line, Phantom Kangaroo, Aoife's Kiss, This Great Society, and Lodestar Quarterly. Regarding the piece in this issue: "The poem was birthed by chance inspiration, glimpsed on the side of the titled road. I'm lucky I was in the passenger seat!"

A B Datta lives in Bombay, India. His work has recently appeared in Softblow.

Nandini Dhar has appeared or is forthcoming in Prick of the Spindle, lingerpost, Palooka, Existere, PANK, Pear Noir, Southern Humanities Review, and SOFTBLOW. Her work has also been featured in the anthology The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Writing. A Pushcart nominee, Nandini grew up in Kolkata, India. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she is a Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Literature at University of Texas at Austin.

Richard Dragan is an Assistant Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College / CUNY where he teaches creative non-fiction, writing, and journalism. He is working on publishing his short story collection that contains "The Builder of Invisible Bridges," and he has started a new novel. He lives with his wife and two young daughters in New York City.

John Dutterer is a poet and short story writer above all, but he also enjoys periodic phases of being a visual artist. His work has appeared in Maintenant 5 & 6, Em.me Magazine, Dear Sir, Perigee, Hardbrackets, and many others. John lives with his wife and children in Maryland, a small, crowded, humid little state that he nonetheless likes very much.

Joel Fry lives in Athens, Alabama. His poetry has appeared in several publications, including Eclectica. Often he writes from the perspective of a hermit. Though he does not remember exactly when he wrote the first draft of "Car Horn," the poem certainly was written in the spirit of solitude. It was originally written in first person.

Bosley Gravel is an eclectic hack writer who was born in the Midwest and came of age in Texas and southern New Mexico. He writes in a variety of genres. His fiction focuses on the absurdly tragic and the tragically absurd. He likes good black coffee, nightmares, Billie Holiday, and that hour just before the sun comes up.

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 Princeton, New Jersey.

Jascha Kessler is Professor Emeritus of Modern English & American 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, and Bulgarian, several of which have won major prizes. In 1989, his translation of Sándor Rákos' Catullan Games won the Translation Award from the National Translation Center (Marlboro Press). His latest volume of fiction, Siren Songs & Classical Illusions: 50 Stories, appeared in December of 1992. He served as Arts Commissioner for the City of Santa Monica 1990-1996 and won a Fellowship in Fiction Writing for 1993-1994 from the California Arts Council. His recent works include a translation of King Oedipus, with a Translatorís Preface in Sophocles, 2 (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1999). He recently completed a 625-page book of fables, told by an ancient hermit to students up in Carpathian Mountains from 1745 to 1812. The book is called King Solomon's Seal, and it is looking for a bold publisher.

Julia Braun Kessler recently passed away. She was a former Spotlight author and a long-time contributor to Eclectica, and she will be sorely missed. A journalist with credits that included publications like Travel & Leisure, Family Circle, Geo, and many others, she was also the author of four novels: Presumption, The Third Sister, Jane Austen's Charlotte and the forthcoming Mary Crawford. These novels are now available on ebook. 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.

Will Lasky has appeared in the Ampersand Review. He has additionally written on film and on politics for a variety of blogs and publications. He recently returned to NYC from Lithuania, where he worked as the Eurasia Coordinator for CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation, advocating for basic human freedoms in the former Soviet Union. He is seeking representation for two young adult novels.

Michelle McMullin is part-time writer and full-time student who recently graduated from Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. Surviving her Mormon up-bringing in Happy Valley makes for interesting scar-tissue, which Michelle continues to excavate as a form of cheap therapy, and as a way to give voice to the tapestry of villains, vigilantes, and virgins who are her ancestors. In the fall she will transplant those deep Utah roots to the Pacific Northwest where she will pursue a master's degree at Western Washington University.

Corey Don Mingura completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Central Oklahoma in May 2011. His works of fiction, poetry, and poetry analysis have appeared or are forthcoming in The Acentos Review, The Writing Disorder, Westview, The Simms Review, Red Lightbulbs, and The Scissortale Review. He serves as an editor for Dead Bison Press and as an associate poetry editor for Arcadia. Mingura is a Mexican-American native of Hollis, Oklahoma, who now resides in Edmond, Oklahoma.

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. "A Lost Language" was prompted by a gift of peaches from a friend.

Esame Okwoche is a documentary filmmaker who lives in London with her husband and children. She is working on a collection of short stories titled The Beautiful Ones Are Here.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. For more information, including his essay "Magic, Illusion and Other Realities" and a complete bibliography, please visit his website.

Christine Potter is a poet, writer, and internet DJ who lives in an old house on a creek with two spoiled tomcats and her husband, Ken, an organist/choir director. For years, she was head moderator at The Alsop Review's Gazebo online poetry workshop, but she's been in recovery from that for quite some time now. In 2006, she published her first collection of poetry, Zero Degrees At First Light, on David Robert Books. She has a new book of poems, Sheltering In Place, due out in March 2013 from Cherry Grove Collections. Her radio show, Cocktails with Chris, which has almost nothing to do with poetry, but lots to do with rock and roll and classic cocktails, can be heard Thursdays at 4 PM Eastern time (US) on Area 24 Radio. About the poems in this issue, Chris says, "'Watching Tornadoes' was inspired by the idiocy of people who stand dumb-founded with their cell phones out as tornadoes approach them. I have read credible news stories about traffic jams around tornadoes caused by this sort of foolhardiness. My husband, an Indiana ex-pat, is often in the position of placing or receiving phone calls about storms that missed (or didn't quite miss) friends and family. As a life-long resident of the Hudson River Valley, I'm fascinated by this sort of drama—but even our weather is getting much less gentle lately. Truth be told, I also wanted to write a poem that used the word 'shit' twice in it and had a lot of sneaky rhymes around that particular expletive. 'My Grandfather, At Work Building Indian Point' is about something else powerful that has always scared and fascinated me: radioactivity. I was a child of the 50's and '60's, taught to duck and cover, and I really wanted to believe in The Friendly Atom. But I also woke up at night terrified of The Bomb, even though my beloved Gaga (what I called my grandpa) was one of the engineers who put up Indian Point 1, on the Hudson River, north of NYC."

Ken Poyner has published during the last 40 years perhaps 300 poems and stories in 60 or so venues, with his latest chapbook being Sciences, Social. He is currently working on a series of poems he might entitle Having Your Robot and Eating Him, Too if his wife lets him. She seldom likes his titles. Work for the summer of 2011 is coming out in PANK, Asimov's Science Fiction, Fear of Monkeys, Full of Crow, A Clockwise Cat, Alice Blue, Blue Fifth Review, and here and there.

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.

Ann Skea lives in Australia. She is the author of Ted Hughes: The Poetic Quest (UNE Press, Australia) and has been contributing reviews to Eclectica Magazine since our very first issue back in October of 1996.

Pat Smith was born in La Rochelle, France, and raised in Middletown, Ohio. He received his MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. His play Driving Around the House (1985) has been produced in theaters around the U.S. and is published by New Rivers Press. His poems have been published in Psychic Meatloaf, Haggard, The Brooklyner and Halloo and will be soon in Apeiron Review and The Bakery. He curates poetry events for the Brooklyn Reading Works at Park Slope's Old Stone House. A former writer and editor at Time, Smith is a communications director for a New York City public labor union. He lives in Brooklyn, where his blue-eyed babies are grown and soon to leave him.

Alexandra Smyth lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is a receptionist by day, MFA in Creative Writing candidate at the City College of New York by night. When she's not writing poems or answering the phone, she can be found biking around Brooklyn or hanging out with her black cat, Bandini. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Alarmist, Decades Review, Granny Smith Magazine, Neon Literary Journal, The Smoking Poet, Specter Magazine, and This Zine Will Change Your Life.

Emma Sovich is a Baltimore native who now lives in Alabama and edits Black Warrior Review. She has poems in or forthcoming from Gargoyle, Conte, [PANK], and Broadsided, among others.

Anna Spencer was born in New Zealand and grew up in Essex, Great Britain, since the age of two. She has now lived in Cambodia for three years and has no intention of living anywhere else. She loves words and the clear promise of five am on her balcony. She also loves steaming bowls of noodle soup. "Retreat" is a very personal recount of a loss of someone extremely special.

Rae Spencer is a writer and veterinarian living in Virginia. Her poetry has been published in print and online, receiving Pushcart Prize nominations in 2009, 2010, and 2011, and a Best of the Net nomination in 2011.

Don Thompson has been publishing poetry since the early sixties. Most recent chapbooks are Been There, Done That and Turning Sixty from March Street Press, Sittin' on Grace Slick's Stoop, available from Pudding House, Where We Live from University of Wisconsin (Parallel Press), Everything Barren Will Be Blessed by Pinyon Publishing, and Backroads, which won the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize. He and his wife live on her family's cotton farm in the southern San Joaquin Valley.

Natasha Watts is an undergraduate at Brigham Young University, where she studies English, Arabic, music, and the art of incorporating avocado into every meal. Her writing and photography have been featured in Novus Scriptor and Inscape magazines. She currently works as an editor at BYU Independent Study, a writing tutor at Tutor.com, and a super secret ghostwriter for a young adult fantasy book series. She dreams of someday owning a bar that serves only cookies and milk.

Milena Wieczorek was born in Rybnik, southern Poland, in 1960. A graduate in English from the University of Gdansk, she is a language teacher by profesion. In Poland she has so far published six collections of poetry, her work often being featured on Polish radio and television. Some of her work has already appeared in English and German translation. Together with her husband, Kirk West, she has also translated the great 19th century Polish poet, Cyprian Norwid, and the stories of Anton Chekhov.

Matthew Wollin is a writer and award-winning filmmaker based in New York City. He has written for numerous publications, including The Awl and kill author. His films have shown in the Brooklyn Film Festival and the Columbus International Film and Video Festival. He attended Williams College.

G. K. Wuori is the author of over 100 stories published throughout the world in the U.S., Japan, India, Germany, Spain, Algeria, Ireland, and Brazil. A Pushcart Prize winner and recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, his work has appeared in such journals as The Gettysburg Review, The Missouri Review, The Barcelona Review, Shenandoah, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, StoryQuarterly, The Massachusetts Review, Mad Hatters Review, TriQuarterly, The Battered Suitcase, and Eclectica. His story collection, Nude In Tub, was a New Voices Award Nominee by the Quality Paperback Book Club and his novel, An American Outrage, was Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year in fiction. His most recent publication is the novella, Now That I'm Ready To Tell You Everything. He is Associate Editor of the literary journal Kippis and lives in DeKalb, Illinois, where he writes a monthly column called "Cold Iron."