Jan/Feb 2013

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.

Victor Alao has appeared in Sentinel Nigeria, The Colored Lens, and Jungle Jim. From time to time, he writes on The Heavenly Press blog as the Chief Spokesperson for the Heavenly Host. There are no exceptions to the things he would read. He loves Supernatural and has given up on Chelsea F.C.

Gavin Austin has run more than 20 ultra marathons. His work has appeared in Catalyst and Spectrum. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Antonia Clark works for a medical software company in Vermont and co-administers an online poetry workshop, The Waters. Her poems have appeared in Anderbo, Apparatus, The Cortland Review, Eclectica, The Pedestal Magazine, Rattle, Softblow, and elsewhere. She is the author of a chapbook, Smoke and Mirrors, to be published by Finishing Line Press in 2013. A full-length poetry collection, Chameleon Moon, will be published by David Robert Books. Toni loves French picnics and plays French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.

g c cunningham is a UCLA graduate who lives in Los Angeles, sometimes working in film post-production. He also spends time in Birmingham, Alabama, his state of origin. His fiction has been printed in Denver Quarterly, Fiction International, Portland Review, and upcoming in Bat City Review, The Texas Review, and Cutbank. Online, pieces can be read at Potomac Review, Fringe, and McSweeney's. "Exciting Times, Jim" is a memory piece with an experimental voice, about which g c says, "I think there are so many ways of using voices for fun, or effects, or to refocus perspective. But, of course, one woman's post-modern is another woman's "meh.'"

Benjamin H. DeVries would love to hear from you about this story. If you're interested in seeing more of his work, click on the website link.

Lou Gaglia is the author of Poor Advice, which will be published by Aqueous Books in early 2014. His stories have appeared in The Cortland Review, JMWW, Rose & Thorn Journal, Prick of the Spindle, Stirring, and others. A long-time New York City resident, Lou now lives and teaches in upstate New York. This story, part of a novel in progress, was inspired in part by his love for his two old neighborhoods, and for the Brooklyn Bridge.

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.

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. She's included in the anthologies Villanelles (Everyman's Library, 2012) and California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University, 2004). Her book The Downstairs Dance Floor was awarded the Robert Philips Poetry Chapbook Prize, and she's a finalist in Poets & Writers' California Writers Exchange.

Christine Hoffmann teaches writing and communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her scholarly and creative work is published or forthcoming in Make Magazine, College Literature, The CEA Critic, and Slayage: the Journal of the Whedon Studies Association. She blogs about literature, language and teaching on TECHStyle, Georgia Tech's digital pedagogy blog.

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.

Bharat Iyer is 21 years old and lives in New Delhi. He is studying for his BA in English Literature at the University of Delhi.

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.

Mathew Joseph lives in Bangalore, a city perpetually teetering on the edge. He wishes for longer attention spans and a home in the hills, both tantalizingly beyond his reach. His poems have won prizes at writing competitions. They have since appeared in two anthologies, Timescapes and Songbook published by Unisun Publications.

Thomas Kearnes is a 36-year-old author originally from East Texas but currently living north of Houston. Besides Eclectica, his fiction has appeared in Ampersand, Night Train, A cappella Zoo, Storyglossia, PANK, wigleaf, Knee-Jerk, 3 AM Review, Word Riot, and elsewhere. He has two collections debuting next year: Pretend I'm Not Here from Musa Publishing and Promiscuous from JMS Books. A two-time Puschart Prize nominee, he has attended three drug rehabs and is an Eagle Scout. He runs like a girl. Regarding "Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control," he says, "This story is one of several I have based on my fellow patients from an in-patient drug rehab/psych hospital that I attended from late April to mid-July. I fell in love with both of the men on whom I based characters in this story. And no, this is not the only time I've written about them. But that's one of the 'magical' aspects of stroytelling, no? You get to raise the dead, allow them the second lives they often would not allow themselves. But since you are the sole interpreter, the sole spokesperson, you must present them with care, compassion, love—and then cut their throats. Of course, the last throat you cut is often your own."

Paula McGrath is enrolled in the MFA program in University College, Dublin, where she is concentrating on a second novel, Michaelangelos. Her completed novel, Peter Peter, is under submission. She has work published in The Ofi Press and The Toucan Online. She blogs and tweets.

Natalidita Ningthoukhongjam is a graduate of Delhi University. She's currently attempting to locate the logical connection between her past and plausible future; poetry is her last refuge. The poem "it was snowing, inexplicably" examines Western pop culture's invasion into a tiny corner of the world that is still undecided as to whether it should give in, or sit out.

David Oestreich lives in Northwest Ohio with his wife and three children. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Chagrin River Review, Tar River Poetry, Lilliput Review, and Ruminate.

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.

Nahid Rachlin attended the Columbia University MFA program on a Doubleday-Columbia Fellowship and then went on to complete the Stanford University MFA program on a Stegner Fellowship. Her publications include a memoir, Persion Girls (Penguin), four novels—Jumping Over Fire (City Lights), Foreigner (W.W. Norton), Married to a Stranger (E.P.Dutton-City Lights), and The Heart's Desire (City Lights)—and a collection of short stories, Veils (City Lights). Her individual short stories have appeared in more than 50 magazines, including The Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Redbook, and Shenandoah. One of her stories was adopted by Symphony Space, Selected Shorts, and was aired on NPR. Her work has received favorable reviews in major magazines and newspapers and has been translated into Portuguese, Polish, Dutch, Arabic, and Persian. She has written reviews and essays for the New York Times, Newsday, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. Other awards and grants she has received include Bennet Cerf Award, PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. She has been interviewed in magazines such as Poets & Writers and AWP Writers Chronicle. For more please go to her website.

Matthew Ross recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he specialized in 20th Century American War Fiction. He has written forthcoming pieces for Stephen Crane Studies and Warscapes magazine and is currently lecturing full-time at Georgia Southwestern State University.

Jonathan Sapers is a freelance writer and editor in New York. This is his 12th published short story; his fiction has also appeared in Confrontation, Pank, Northwest Review, and Short Story America among others. He has completed a novel, titled Ghost Road, set in a fictional version of the town at the far end of the highway described in this story. He is also working on a collection of stories to be titled Segues, and a second novel, Serafina. When not writing fiction, he writes regularly about education issues for TC Today and Scholastic Administrator, and irregularly, about other stuff for his blog.

Steven Schutzman is a former Spotlight Author (v12n2). He has published his fiction and plays in many other literary journals, including The Pushcart Prize, Triquarterly, The Alaska Quarterly Review, Night Train, Post Road, Third Coast, Poems&Plays, Gargoyle and Sand, and many others. Two books of his are newly available at amazon.com: the novella A Bride At Every Funeral, A Corpse At Every Wedding, and Where Things Are: The Selected Shorter Plays of Steven Schutzman. He is the winner of six Maryland State Arts Council Individual Grant Awards for his writing. The first chapter of "Pablo, Pablito" was published by Painted Bride Quarterly under the title "Pablo and the Frogs." You can read more of Steven's work at his website.

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 Forever" is his third 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 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.

Katie Steele is a resident of Evanston, Illinois, and a student at Chicago Academy for the Arts, where she has been studying poetry and fiction for the past two and a half years. She is thrilled to appear in Eclectica for the first time and would like to thank her classmates and her teachers, Tasha Marren and Nick Roux, for all their assistance throughout the revision process.

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.

Christina Thatcher is an American graduate of the Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing MA program at Cardiff University. While studying, she fell in love with Wales and now runs creative writing workshops for at-risk youth and vulnerable community members across the Valleys. Her poetry has recently been published in The London Magazine, Neon Literary Magazine, and The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, among others, and is forthcoming in Dream Catcher Magazine. To learn more about her work please visit her website.

Mihir Vatsa is from Hazaribagh, where he works in the field of environment and heritage conservation with an NGO, and currently lives in New Delhi for his post-graduation in English from Delhi University. His poems and writings have appeared in and forthcoming from Muse India, Pyrta, The Legendary, Red River Review, Four Quarters Magazine, The Rusty Nail, Ephemera, and UCity Review, among others. He serves as the Managing Editor of Vayavya. About the poem "Elephants," he says, "Hazaribagh is a plateau-town in India once famous for its pleasant climate and forests. However, the increase in mining activities, mostly for coal, has resulted in a gradual elevation in the average temperature of the town as well as destruction of its excellent forest cover. 1947 is the year when India got its independence from the British colonial rule."

Shannon Connor Winward is a Delaware author of speculative poetry and fiction. Her writing has appeared in various genre and literary venues, including Strange Horizons, Flash Fiction Online, Pedestal Magazine, This Modern Writer [Pank Magazine], The Vestal Review, Jabberwocky, and Hip Mama Zine. She is a Rhysling Award nominee and winner of the Delaware Literary Connection's 2012 prize for short prose.