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.
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.
C.S. Bhagya is pursuing a Masters in English Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. Her work has appeared before in journals like Poor Mojo's Almanac(k), Tongues of the Ocean, Coldnoon: a Quarterly of Travel Poetics, and others.
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.
Peter Bridges was born in New Orleans, raised in Chicago, and studied at Dartmouth and Columbia. He served as an Army enlisted man and was then commissioned as an officer of the U.S. Foreign Service, in which he spent three decades, ending as American ambassador to Somalia. His poems, articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in publications ranging from the Crested Butte Magazine to Notes & Records of the Royal Society of London. Peter's most recent book, Donn Piatt: Gadfly of the Gilded Age, was published by Kent State University Press in September 2012. Of the work in this issue, he says, "These sonnets are part of a series of 'Sonnets from the Elk Mountains' written in and around Crested Butte, Colorado, where I spend winters and summers."
Michael Ceraolo is a 54-year old firefighter/paramedic/poet who has had one full-length book, Euclid Creek from Deep Cleveland Press, and a few shorter-length books published. The poem in this issue is part of the ever-growing work, Euclid Creek Book Two.
Lisa J. Cihlar has been published in The South Dakota Review, Green Mountains Review, In Posse Review, Blackbird, and The Prose-Poem Project. One of her poems was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her chapbook, The Insomniac's House, is available from Dancing Girl Press, and a second chapbook, This is How She Fails, is available from Crisis Chronicles Press. She lives in rural southern Wisconsin. She says of her work in this issue, "This poem was written after a vacation to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Lake Superior lighthouses are favorite places of mine, and I imagine bears everywhere we go in the big woods that cover so much of the U.P. You can just see them climbing the stairs of a lighthouse and contemplating the wide water while sitting on wide furry rumps. The prose poem form lets me explore this surreal daydream."
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.
Gez Devlin skulls the seas around San Francisco. He writes in the left transept of the Tenderloin's St. Boniface Church and frequents Frank's "21 Club" on Turk.
Mary Marie Dixon a visual artist and poet, is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with an MA in theology and an MFA in English creative writing. She has published creative works in various periodicals and a collection of poetry, Eucharist, Enter the Sacred Way (Franciscan University Press, 2008). Her focus is on women's spirituality and the mystics combined with the Great Plains and the spiritual power of nature. She has exhibited her visual work and accompanying poetry in galleries and explores the visual and poetic intersection in her creative life. The poem in this issue was written at an AWP conference during a presentation about Western Literature.
I.O. Echeruo lives and writes in Lagos, Nigeria, and Accra, Ghana. He tells stories for a living. The stories he writes are not lucrative, but he finds them rewarding.
Michael Estabrook is a baby boomer who began getting his poetry published in the late 1980s. Over the years he has published 15 poetry chapbooks, his most recent entitled When the Muse Speaks. His interests include history, art, music, theatre, opera, and his wife, who just happens to be the most beautiful woman he has ever known.
Greg Forshaw lives in York and works for the NHS. A short he co-wrote for the UK Film Council, uncle fran, will be showing at the 2012 Aesthetica Short Film Festival, and his story "Swan" will be published in the Spring 2013 issue of The Reader.
Joel Fry lives in Athens, Alabama. He has had poems published in Poem, Eclectica, Acorn, the Furnace Review, and several other places. He has work forthcoming in Iodine Poetry Journal and Poem. He says, "I wish I could say something definite about how I wrote this poem (beyond the fact that it began as a single memorable sentence, which is how all my poems begin), though I can say that my grandfather was in the United States Navy during World War II, and I've often wanted to write about him. So maybe the line about "those buried at sea" is an allusion to that. I can't remember writing the first draft of this poem to save my life. I never can remember that."
John Grey is an Australian born poet who works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Bryant Poetry Review, Tribeca Poetry Review, and the horror anthology What Fears Become, with work upcoming in Potomac Review, Hurricane Review, and Pinyon. The poem in this issue is inspired by some trips across Ohio and Nebraska.
Penelope Gristelfink is 31 years old, works as a personal trainer, and lives on the Connecticut shoreline. Her freelance work includes hard news and investigative pieces for community weeklies in Philadelphia. She once had a poem published in The Potomac, but under an assumed name. When she was 27, she covered crime and court cases for a daily newspaper in Fairfield County in Connecticut. She graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2005, where she studied women's poetry under Rachel Blau DuPlessis. She is a big fan of The Zodiac Review, Margaret Atwood, Katharine Hepburn, and her best friend in this life, the poet Tamara Oakman.
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.
D.R. James has appeared in various magazines and three chapbooks (from Finishing Line and Pudding House), and his first full-length collection, Since Everything Is All I've Got, was released by March Street Press in 2011. He lives in Holland, Michigan, where he has been teaching writing and literature at Hope College for 25 years.
Jascha Kessler isProfessor 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.
Winnie Khaw graduated cum laude on the Chancellor's List from Chapman University with a BFA in creative writing. During her two years there she presented at the regional and national Sigma Tau Delta English honors society and Honors Program conferences for her creative writing and acted as a category editor in poetry and scriptwriting for the school Honors Journal. She has recently begun looking into writing contests and publication; her work is featured in Palooka Literary Journal, Z-Composition, The Philadelphia Review, and The Daily Satire anthology as well as the Kung Fu Action Theatre podcast. In 2011 she was Chapman University's Creative Writing Program nominee for Association of Writers Journal in the fiction category and for the New York State Summer Writers Institute Scholarship. Winnie is currently attending the creative writing MFA program with an emphasis in poetry at Mills College, but she spends most of her time being silly.
Kathleen Kirk is the author of four poetry chapbooks, most recently Nocturnes (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012). A former Eclectica Spotlight Author, her work has appeared in a variety of other online and print journals, including Arsenic Lobster, Menacing Hedge, and Poetry East. She is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life. Of the work in this issue, she says, "Both these poems look at the moon, which we poets are often told not to mention. I can't help it: I love the moon!"
Hunter Liguore is a Pushcart Prize nominee with a BA in history and MFA in creative writing. Her "anomalous" work has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, New Plains Review, The MacGuffin, Rio Grande Review, Barely South Review, SLAB Literary Review, The Writer's Chronicle, and more.
Bobbi Lurie is the author of three poetry collections: Grief Suite, The Book I Never Read, and Letter from the Lawn. Her fourth collection, the morphine poems, is being published by Otoliths. She says, "I know of no one who has been through more challenges than my 19 year-old son, Noah. I also know of no one who has endured so much with such grace and dignity. My son's volunteer work at 'The Museum of Intolerance' represents, for me, the generosity and selflessness which permeates his being. I honor him."
PD Mallamo is this issue's Spotlight Author. He has lately appeared in Sunstone, decomP, Construction, and Barcelona Review. He holds degrees from BYU and Kansas and lives in Taos, New Mexico.
Jerry McGahan has had short stories in The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, The Antioch Review, The Carolina Review, and other literary journals. A novel, A Condor Brings The Sun, originally published by Sierra Club Books, has been translated and republished in Europe. He made a documentary film in South America featured in the National Geographic film-lecture series and shown on BBC in the "The World Around Us" series. And he paints. Check out his website.
Diane Mierzwik is the author of Weekly Affirmations for Pre-menopausal Women (available from James A. Rock Publishing), Quick and Easy Ways to Connect with Students, and Their Parents and Classroom Record Keeping Made Simple: Tips for the Time-Strapped Teacher (both available from Corwin Press), and Wishes in the Field, a middle grade historical fiction novel available from PublishAmerica. Having recently completed her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction,, she is a regular contributor to EAP: The Magazine and has stories, essays, and poems published in a variety of places.
Jesse Minkert lives in Seattle. He writes short stories, microfiction, novels, and poetry. He served on the board of Seattle's Red Sky Poetry Theatre for several years. He founded and operates the non-profit corporation Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences. His writing has appeared on literary websites, in magazines, anthologies, dance performances, and recordings on radio and CDs. In 2008, Wood Works Press published a collection of Minkert's microstories and poems titled Shortness of Breath & Other Symptoms. His poetry appears or is upcoming in Paper Nautilus, Floating Bridge Review, Harpur Palate, Aunt Chloe, Raven Chronicles, and Naugatuck River Review. Each summer for 16 years, Minkert has taught radio theater techniques to visually impaired teenagers. He says, "I am an urban poet, and 'Another Dusk' is an urban landscape poem, constructed from the sights and sounds of my neighborhood. Seattle crows are famous the world over because of a documentary about how uncannily smart they are. The crows in the documentary were from the University District murder. I keep my eyes on the crows of the Capitol Hill murder, and they keep their eyes on me."
Steve Monger was born and raised in London, England. A young writer and filmmaker, he recently graduated in Contemporary Media Practice at the University of Westminster. He writes a mix of poetry, short stories, and screenplays, and his short film, "Meet Me on the Hill" toured UK film festivals in the first half of 2012. He is working on the early foundations of a novel as well as completing a pilot for a television series.
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.
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.
Hannah Rousselot was born in Paris, France, and has lived in England, France, and the US. She is a junior at Smith College pursuing an English degree and an education license. She says, "This poem is about my father, a journalist for a French newspaper called Liberation. I remember sitting by his side as he read and wondering what could be so fascinating and illuminating about those little black marks.
Deborah Schwartz is a fiction writer and poet living and working in Boston, Massachusetts. Her work appears in various journals and anthologies, including G.W. Review, modern words, Comstock Review, The Printer's Devil Review, and Contemporary American Voices (forthcoming).
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.
Alisa Sniderman grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and now splits her time between Boston and New York. She is a doctoral student in Comparative Literature at Harvard. When taking a break from her dissertation, she enjoys writing creative nonfiction.
Sarah Suzuki is a writer and clinical social worker in Chicago, Illinois. Her debut novel, Imperfect Circles, is due in June 2013. She received her BA in English at Wesleyan University.
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, and his collection of prose poems The Skin Still Feels The Stone by White Knuckle Press in 2011. He is a regular contributor to Musical Traditions and a member of the editorial board of Blues & Rhythm magazine.