Apr/May 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.

Elise Pfau is Eclectica's Design/Art Editor. A 21-year-old artist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she spends most of her time writing music for her solo project Hums, as well as contributing to other local music projects and performing in the band Nice Purse. She is also a photographer with a passion for portraiture and candid photography.

Holly Teresa Baker is a writer from the Midwest living in South Dakota where she serves as the art director for South Dakota Review. Her work has appeared in both print and online publications, such as LIT, Literary Juice, Citron Review, Santa Clara Review, Literary Mama, YOU: An Anthology of Essays Devoted to the Second Person, and others. She says, "The story was inspired when I spent a lonely night in a quiet hotel room, wondering about the lives of my equally quiet neighbors and whether we shared more than just walls."

Nicole Borg is an ex-English teacher whose poetry and prose have appeared in Dust & Fire, The Talking Stick, Off Channel, and Chantarelle's Notebook e-zine. In 2011 she received an honorable mention in the LOFT Mentor Series for Poetry. Nicole is editor of The Green Blade, magazine of the Rural America Writers' Center. She lives in Southeastern Minnesota with her husband and two sons.

Bob Bradshaw is a big fan of the Rolling Stones. Mick may not be gathering moss, but Bob is. He hopes to retire soon to a hammock. Recent work of his can be found at Cha An Asian Literary Journal, Chantarelle's Notebook and Eclectica.

Emily Burke is a senior at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois, and will be attending the University of Illinois this coming fall to study English. She has previously been published in the Young American Poets Anthology (2008 ed.) and Phantasm (2012 and 2013 editions). She enjoys crosswords, Arrested Development, green tea, and hypothetical scenarios.

Vincent Canizaro is a medical editor turned high school teacher in Houston. His work has appeared in a number of literary publications.

Lauren Lundgren Christy was born in Chicago and resides in Albuquerque. She has an MA in Theater Arts from San Francisco State University. The Power: Rise of Lady Macbeth is the second libretto she has written; the first is an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen. She has also written ten previously produced original plays and a CD of ten songs for which she wrote the lyrics. She owns a web and mobile app design business, and she maintains a political thoughts blog. About The Power, she says, "For decades I have been fascinated with the poetry of, and the 'black arts' associated with, Shakespeare's Macbeth. That version of the story was originally meant to flatter King James I, who had written a demonology tract around the same time he translated the bible into English. I borrowed a couple of Shakespeare's images in my lyrics, 'dry as hay,' and 'from nave to chops.' There are probably many of his words mixed in with mine, just as contemporary English mixes so much of his aphorisms and images. In doing research on the Shakespeare play, I learned that the historic couple were more sinned against than sinners, and that their 17-year reign was peaceful, just, and well-received by their subjects. We owe the master's sinister depiction of them to King James' descent from Banquo; Macbeth's downfall and Banquo's triumph were mostly Jacobean politics on Shakespeare's part to legitimize and glorify James' reign. The real King Macbeth and his Queen also restored matrilinear succession, which appeals to my feminist sensibilities, as does writing any dramatic literature with women in the primary roles."

Barbara De Franceschi is an Australian poet who lives in the outback mining town of Broken Hill. Her work has been published widely in Australia, in other countries, and on-line. She has two collections of poetry, Lavender Blood (2004) and Strands (2009). Since 2010 Barbara has been involved with ENRICH (Enhanced Rural Remote Inter-professional Cultural Health), a collaboration between art agencies and health departments to determine if programs such as creative writing can be relevant and beneficial in clinical practices by increasing skills such as observation, interpretation, and communication.

Carla J. Dow was born in Cornwall in 1982. She now lives in Sussex. A writer of both completely made up stories as well as the gritty and often uncomfortable truth of real life, Carla graduated in 2004 from a Journalism Studies BA (hons) with a first class degree and quickly gained her National Certificate Examination from the National Council for the Training of Journalists. She has worked as a senior news reporter and health correspondent for local newspapers and magazines in Berkshire and Hampshire. During the past four years, she has written regularly for a variety of national and regional charity and public sector publications, including the world's largest humanitarian organization, the Red Cross. Her current projects include her first novel (as yet untitled) and a plethora of short stories about people who do not belong.

Shiv Dutta came to North America from India more than 40 years ago when such movement from the third world countries was uncommon. He came for post-graduate studies with the intention of returning at the end of his education, but he never did. He is writing a memoir from which "A Magical Evening" has been adapted. His publications have appeared or will appear in Hippocampus Magazine, Green Hills Literary Lantern, The Evansville Review, Epiphany, The Evergreen Review, Silk Road Review, Pilgrimage Magazine, Front Porch Journal, and other magazines. He has also produced 45 technical papers and two technical books. One of his personal essays has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize this year. By education and training, he is a physicist and computer professional, but his interest in literary writings goes back to his middle school years.

Grant Faulkner is this issue's Spotlight Author. He's the founding editor of 100 Word Story. He strives for his flash fiction to be influenced by the bigness of a novel and for his novels to be influenced by the pointillism of a short short. His writing has appeared in The Southwest Review, Poets & Writers, PANK, Gargoyle, Puerto del Sol, and Word Riot, among others. He was selected for Wigleaf's Top 50 Very Short Fictions in 2011. Regarding "The Filmmaker: Eight Takes," he says, "I wrote this piece after attending a documentary about prostitution in different countries, and then talking to a filmmaker friend who told me a few stories about the crazy, sometimes beautiful, sometimes loutish directors he'd worked with. I'd only written single 100-word pieces previously, so I wanted to string together a series and see where it led."

Grant Flint has been published in Story Quarterly, The Nation, The King's English, Poetry, Weber, The Courtland Review, The Sun, Slow Trains, Northwind, and 37 other print and online journals. He was nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize. His videos on writing have been viewed by 33,000 on You Tube.

Jeremy Freedman is an artist and writer in New York City. His photographs have been exhibited in Europe and the United States and were recently featured in the Monarch Review and Urbanautica. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in Otoliths, The Wilderness House Literary Review, Danse Macabre, Clockwise Cat, and elsewhere.

E-MailTaylor 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.

William Reese Hamilton spent his childhood in North China and the Philippines, where he was captured and imprisoned with his family for over three years in Japanese Internment Camp Number One in Manila. He now lives in Choroní, a fishing village on the coast of Venezuela. His stories have appeared in The Paris Review, The North American Review, The Adirondack Review, Puerto del Sol, Front Porch Journal, Review Americana, FRiGG, and a number of other publications. Harry Barnes, whose arrival in Manila is featured here, is also currently holding forth in "The Chinwangtao Gambit" at StoryQuarterly 45.

Rich Ives has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission, and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation, and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Dublin Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily, and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. In 2011 he received a nomination for The Best of the Web and two nominations for both the Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net. He is the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air magazine. His book of days, Tunneling to the Moon, is being serialized with a work per day appearing for all of 2013 (see link).

Laura Story Johnson is an attorney working in human rights research and advocacy. Born and raised in Iowa, she has lived in New York City, bush Alaska, Mongolia, Boston, west of the Zambezi River in Zambia, and in Austria. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has most recently appeared in apt and Written River. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two children.

Brian Keathley is an M.A. student at the Universtiy of Tennessee in Knoxville, studying Creative Writing in Poetry. After spending several rewarding years as a high school English teacher, he decided to pursue his own creative and academic interests. He also considers himself an amatuer comedy scholar and critic, and he recently presented on Louis C.K. at the PCAACA conference. He is excited about his first publication and feels that "The First Poem I Publish" is a fitting piece in that regard.

Jascha Kessler is Professor Emeritus of Modern English and 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 Translator's Preface in Sophocles, 2 (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1999). He also completed King Solomon's Seal, a collection of "fables" narrated by a rabbi Yaacov ben Yaacov to generations of students at a secluded House of Study high in the Carpathian Mountains between c.1745-1815. It will be published in May 2013 by Xlibris.

B. A. Krishna is an Indian American who lives in the slums of Silicon Valley. Since his dad refused to buy him an MFA degree, he chose to become an engineer. His technical papers have been published in multi-letter acronymed journals such as FMCAD and LNCS, while his satirical pieces have appeared in The Missing Slate, Indian Review, OneTitle Reviews, and Menacing Hedge. He spends his spare time attending classical music concerts, during each of which he unfailingly shouts out, "Give me Free Bird!"

Bobbi Lurie recently published her fourth poetry collection, the morphine poems. She is also the author of Grief Suite, The Book I Never Read, and Letter from the Lawn. This is the second piece she has published about her son in Eclectica; these are very difficult pieces to write because it is not a story but something which is ongoing... a fight, a search... to save her son's remaining sight. They are stories she must tell, though she says there are very few places she feels comfortable publishing them, due to the seriousness of the situation.

Clinton McKay is pursuing Master's degrees in Library Science and Information Science from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. His Bachelor's degrees in Fine Art and Ancient Culture are from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. His work in drawing, printmaking, and conceptual art explores ideas from 20th Century avant-garde movements like Dada, Correspondence art, Fluxus, and Pop, as well as alternative and traditional printmaking processes. His goal as an artist is not to produce objects of fine art, but to experiment with new ideas and materials to create new aesthetic experiences for himself during the work's creation and for the viewer after its completion. All of Clinton's art is about experimenting and experiencing new things and always incorporates elements of traditional printmaking and painting. Paint, like any other liquid, can mix together in an infinite number of ways. Most artists take pride in their ability to determine exactly how their paint will mix and how it will look in the finished painting, but Clinton is much more interested in what will happen if the interaction between colors is left mostly up to chance. To create the paintings featured in this issue of Eclectica, he pulled the un-mixed tube colors of various viscosities across the page with a silkscreen squeegee just to see what would happen. Before moving in his current direction, his work explored concepts from Correspondence Art and Fluxus printmaking as well as technical aspects of etching, silkscreen, and lithography.

Ray Nayler is a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State, posted to Saigon. Over the past decade, he has lived and worked in Moscow, many of the Central Asian republics, and in Afghanistan. Ray has work published or upcoming in the Beloit Poetry Journal, Able Muse, PiF Magazine, and in Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics.

Kelly Nelson lives and writes in Tempe, Arizona. She was recently selected as a finalist for the Tucson Festival of Books literary award for poetry, and she has poems forthcoming in Common Ground Review, Mixed Fruit, Tar River Review, Found Poetry Review, and the Cancer Poetry Project 2 Anthology. She serves on her city's Municipal Arts Commission and teaches Interdisciplinary Studies at Arizona State University.

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.

Oliver Rice has appeared in many journals and anthologies in the United States and abroad. Creekwalker released an interview with him in January, 2010. His book of poems, On Consenting to Be a Man, is published by Cyberwit and available on Amazon. His chapbook, Afterthoughts, Siestas, and his recording of his Institute for Higher Study appeared in Mudlark in December, 2010.

Jeremy Schliewe was born in Grand Haven, Michigan, and lives in Tucson, Arizona. His fiction has appeared in Midwestern Gothic and The Medulla Review.

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.

Ray Templeton is a Scottish writer and musician, living in St. Albans, England. His writing has appeared extensively in print and on the web, and sometimes even other people sing his songs. His e-chapbook The Act Of Finding was published in 2009 by Right Hand Pointing, and his collection of short prose poems was published 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.

Scott Urban has recent work in Bonded by Blood, volumes 4 and 5 (SNM Horror), Tales of Terror and Mayhem (Evil Jester Press), and Beneath the Pretty Lies (Wicked East Press). His most recent poetry chapbook is Alight (Shakin' Outta My Heart Press). After several decades on the Atlantic coast, he now resides among the shadow-shrouded forests of southeastern Ohio, where he works with at-risk youth and intends to make sure his new home is haunted.

Nico Vreeland lives in Boston. He's a cofounder of ChamberFour.com, which posts book reviews and other book-related writing, a podcast, and a lit mag. His fiction, humor, and other writing has appeared in Happy, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Texas Observer, and Publishing Perspectives, among others. About the story "Hide or Don't Exist," he says, "I've always been fascinated with cryptozoology, both for its monsters and for the people who search for them. There are real cryptozoologists whose primary purpose in life is to find these creatures (like Bigfoot) that nobody's ever seen, and that probably don't exist. They get mocked pretty severely, but looking for something you believe in but can't see is a fairly universal human occupation, in my view. The easy parallel is to religion, but I think the more universal comparison is to a search for meaning in one's own life. Just as you can say a skunk ape probably doesn't exist, you can say that your life probably doesn't have any greater meaning. In that way, anybody can have a crisis of faith."

Daniel Wormhoudt has appeared in US and UK journals, including Candelabrum, The Marin Poetry Anthology, Prism, and The Saison Poetry Library, housing the Arts Council Poetry Collection at Southbank Centre, London, England. Both "Moon Sonnet" and "Morning in the Tropics" appeared previously in print in Candalabrum.