Oct/Nov 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.

Gilbert Wesley Purdy has been Eclectica's Review Editor since October of 2013. He first appeared in the magazine as a contributor a decade before that. He has published poetry, prose, and translation in many journals, paper, and electronic, including Jacket Magazine, Poetry International, The Georgia Review, Grand Street, SLANT, The Evansville Review, Rattle (online), Consciousness Literature and the Arts, Orbis, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. He has published numerous books, including Mind Dance (poetry); Kafka in Richmond (Novel); Edward de Vere was Shakespeare: at long last the proof; and Henry David Thoreau and Two Other Autistic Lives: before the diagnosis existed. He has just released Edward de Vere's Retainer Thomas Churchyard: the Man Who Was Falstaff. Links to his work online and to a selected bibliography of his work in paper venues appear at his Hyperlinked Online Bibliography.

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.

Candace Butler is an MFA candidate at Antioch University of Los Angeles. She is a writer and artist residing in her hometown of Sugar Grove, Virginia, a small rural town in the mountains of Appalachia. She holds dear her family and the beautiful Jefferson National Forest that adjoins her backyard.

Jared Carter lives in Indiana. His fifth book is A Dance in the Street from Wind Publications in Kentucky. His sixth, Darkened Rooms of Summer: New and Selected Poems, is forthcoming in 2014 from the University of Nebraska Press.

Karissa Chen is a runner up for this issue's Spotlight Author. A writer living in New Jersey, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including The Good Men Project, Necessary Fiction, Pindeldyboz, and All About Skin: An Anthology of Short Fiction by Award-Winning Women Writers of Color. She is also the author of the chapbook Of Birds and Lovers (Corgi Snorkel Press). She was a recipient of the diFilipis-Rosselli Scholarship at the Napa Valley Writers Conference in 2011 and a VONA/Voices fellow. She also serves as the fiction and poetry editor at Hyphen magazine. "The Testimony of Jayce B." was based upon a wish she once made in her early 20s after a hard break-up, that people could just be born knowing their soulmates. Little did she realize how complicated that would turn out when she began working on this story, nearly a decade later.

Lainey S. Cronk is a runner up for this issue's Spotlight Author. She lives among immense oaks and winding roads in Northern California, where her work at an after-school program keeps her lively and inspired. She has worked at word-craft as a public relations writer, a freelance copyeditor, and a volunteer for non-profits, in addition to her on-going pursuit of poems. She has previously had poetry published in Quicksilver and Spectrum.

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.

Jennifer Dunn grew up in Washington, DC, but has recently relocated to Saint Louis after a five year stint in Southern California. Her work appears in Night Train Magazine and The Los Angeles Review, and she has been honored in the Million Writers Award, storySouth's Best of the Net. She is a graduate of the MFA program at Brown University and is seeking publication for her debut novel, What If It's Empty.

Chielozona Eze was born and raised in Nigeria. He earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy from St. Joseph's Major Seminary, Ikot Ekpene, Nigeria, MFA (Fiction), PhD in philosophy and literature from Purdue University, West Lafayette, U.S.. He is associate professor of Postcolonial and Anglophone African literature at Northeastern Illinois University. He considers himself a poet and philosopher.

Jon Fried was an Eclectica Spotlight author in 2003. Not long after, he began work on a series of novels based on the lives of some of the colorful characters in his family tree. With the first done and research begun on the second, he recently returned to short stories. His journalism has appeared in The New York Times and short fiction in Third Bed, Beehive, Pierogi Press, Pindeledyboz, and Lamination Colony. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, musician Deena Shoshkes, with whom he has made many albums under the name The Cucumbers.

Avital Gad-Cykman has appeared in The Literary Review, Glimmer Train, McSweeney's, Prism International, Other Voices, Michigan Quarterly Review, Stand Magazine, and other magazines. She has also been featured in anthologies such as Sex for America, Politically Inspired Fiction (Harper/Collins 01/2008) Stumbling and Raging, Politically Inspired Fiction Anthology (McAdam/Cage), You Have Time for This Anthology (Ooligan Press), and The Flash (Disease Press), among others. She is a four-time Pushcart prize nominee for fiction and the winner of Margaret Atwood Studies magazine prize. Her story collections, Light Reflection over Blues and Perfect for This World, were finalists for Iowa Fiction award. She was born and raised in Israel and now resides in Brazil.

Stuart Gelzer is this issue's Spotlight Author. He grew up in West Africa and India. He's been a screenwriter, a film editor, and a high school drama teacher, but these days he's mostly writing novels. He's also a singer specializing in folk music from the Republic of Georgia, and he's got some stories. "The Watermelon Hunters" comes from a book-length memoir in progress, about music and adventure in post-Soviet Georgia. Other excerpts from that memoir have appeared in Hippocampus.

Ryan Hibbett is an Instructor of English at Northern Illinois University, where he specializes in 20th-century British Literature. In addition to publishing poetry (Atlanta Review, Potomac Review, et al.), he publishes articles on both postwar English poetry (Contemporary Literature, Twentieth-century Literature, et al.) and popular music (Popular Music and Society, Journal of Popular Music Studies), and records experimental music under the name Gutta Percha. All of his work seems, in one way or another, to explore the relationship between high art and popular culture.

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.

Dennis Kaplan credits his current story to the fact that he had recently replaced his turntable and was once again able to play his old albums from the Incredible String Band. He 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.

Jascha Kessler has published eight 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 Sandor Rakos' Catullan Games won the Translation Award from the National Translation Center (Marlboro Press). Siren Songs & Classical Illusions: 63 Fables, revised with a preface was published as an eBook from McPherson & Company in 2013. Also available in 2013, King Solomon's Seal: 75+ Fables. He served as Arts Commissioner for the City of Santa Monica 1990-1996, and he won a Fellowship in Fiction Writing for 1993-1994 from the California Arts Council. His recent works include a translation of King Oedipus, and a translator's preface in Sophocles, 2 (Univ. of Pennsylvanis Press, 1999).

Caroline Kepnes is a native Cape Codder now living in Los Angeles. Her story "This is a Jellyfish Eating a Barracuda", originally published in Eclectica, was a finalist in Sundress Publications' Best of the Net in 2011. Her fiction has most recently appeared in Fried Chicken and Coffee, Necessary Fiction, The Subterranean Quarterly, and Two Serious Ladies. She is writing a novel for Alloy Entertainment that will be published in 2014. And she's submitting her directorial debut short film Miles Away to various festivals. When she was 13, she won an honorable mention in Sassy Magazine's Fabulous Fiction Contest; they gave her a typewriter and, well, off she went.

Judith Ann Levison was a logger's daughter, born and raised in coastal Maine. She holds degrees from Mount Holyoke College (BA), Hollins University (MFA), and Drexel University (MLS). Since her marriage, she has resided in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where for one year, she served as their first woman Poet Laureate. Her poems have appeared in Agni, California Quarterly, Evansville Review, Hollins Critic, New Millennium Review, The New Yorker, Portland Review, and many others, and she has two chapbooks: Oak Leaves (2012) and Sand Cradle (2013).

David Mathews is a life-long Chicagoan who recently graduated from DePaul University's graduate program in Writing & Publishing (MAWP), where he studied with Richard Jones. Before that, he attended Northeastern Illinois University, where he studied with formalist poet Debra Bruce. His work appears in the current issue of After Hours.

Paula McGrath is enrolled in the MFA program in University College, Dublin, where she also teaches undergraduate Creative Writing. She recently signed with The Book Bureau Literary Agency, and her novel, Michaelangelos, is under submission. She has published in Eclectica, mslexia, Necessary Fiction, ROPES Galway, The Ofi Press, and others. She blogs and tweets. About "Yehudit," she says, "This story comes from the novel-in-stories I'm working on for my MFA thesis (and beyond...), provisionally entitled No One's From Chicago. Several of the characters in "Yehudit" appear in other stories, most of which center around the the theme of immigration.

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. About the poems in this issue, she says, "'The Birth of Mary' was inspired by a visit to The Cloisters Museum in upper Manhattan. I was drawn to the naturalness and ease in the figure of Ann and to the tenderness, blurred a little by fatigue, of her expression looking down at the baby lying beside her. It stayed with me for a few days afterward and then reshaped itself into the poem. 'Go Gently' began with the connection between the word 'lethal' and the River Lethe. It moved from there to the differences between the ancient Greeks' and ancient Celts' conceptions of the afterlife."

Amanda Petrona is a writer of poetry, essays, fiction, and screenplays. She was born in New Orleans and spent 12 years in Europe working first as a photo model and then as artist-in-residence at the Opera de Lille. Her mentor was Peter Rice, engineer of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, who inspired her to design a kinetic/acoustic décor for grand orchestra, operetta, and small, jazz concerts. She also studied theater and stage craft with Humbert Camerlo of the Opera de Paris. Her book of poetry, Gathering Together, was published by Handshake Editions/Atelier 2. Her poetry has also appeared in Crippled Warlords: Poetry Special published by Ins & Outs of Amsterdam. In the 1980s she returned to the United States where her work was shown at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans. She is also a performance artist and sang with King Nino and the Slave Girls at the Jazz Fest in New Orleans. "Gypsy Wind," an excerpt from her in-progress memoir Unresolved, was inspired by a nature writing course at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond during the 1990s. She is now a recovering writing teacher and lives on a wilderness sanctuary near New Orleans where she protects the indigenous wildlife and is planning to start a perma-culture farm. She is also working on a novelized version of her screenplay, The Adventures of a Continental Yat.

Tripp Reade comes equipped with an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. He builds sturdy prose in his Durham, North Carolina, workshop, placing examples in venues such as Tin House, Paste, and Fourteen Hills. The miniature appearing in this issue of Eclectica arose from a feeling that the scholarly abstract as a vehicle for comedy and pathos has been hitherto overlooked.

Beate Sigriddaughter lives and writes in Silver City, New Mexico. Her work has received three Pushcart Prize nominations. She has also established the Glass Woman Prize to honor passionate women's voices. Currently she is working on a novel called Tango. "Annette and Florian" will eventually become part of a novel called 70% Off: Money.

Rebeka Singer writes and works in her native Providence, Rhode Island. She received her MFA in Creative Fiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in May 2012. Prior, she received her BA in English and Classics from Wellesley College.

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.

Gregory Stephenson grew up in Colorado and Arizona but has lived in Denmark for 40 years. He is the author of six books of literary criticism as well as numerous articles and reviews. He teaches at the University of Copenhagen.

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.

An Tran is an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte. His fiction and nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Gargoyle Magazine, The Carolina Quarterly, The Good Men Project, Sententia: The Journal, Big Lucks, The Kartika Review, and elsewhere. He lives and curates the Waterbear Reading Series in Arlington, Virginia. "The Grinning Man" was inspired by two fascinating cases in the history of American UFO encounters: the well-known 1955 Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter in Kentucky and the little-known 1966 New Jersey encounter with the Grinning Man.

Christian Quaresma is a poet and artist from Toronto. He is the author of the architecturally inspired poetry chapbook Chimera. His poems have been or will be published by The Flying Walrus and The Quilliad.

Mihir Vatsa is a poet from Jharkhand. He won the fifth Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize in India. His poems appear in The Island Review, UCity Review, The Four Quarters Magazine, and Eclectica, among other places. He lives and studies in New Delhi.

Teresa White grew up in Seattle, an atmosphere she reports encouraged her writing. She wrote her first short story at age nine and began writing poetry at fourteen. She occasionally dabbles in watercolor painting and guitar. Her second collection of poetry, Gardenias for a Beast, received a positive endorsement from Billy Collins and was nominated for the Pulitzer in 2007. Her work has appeared in Disquieting Muses, Stirring, Rattle, In the Arms of Words, Poems for Disaster Relief, Arabesque, Floating Bridge Review, and The Best of the Melic Review.

Ramsay Wise is an Instructor of Film Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has a PhD from the University of Missouri. His fiction has appeared in Spinning Jenny and Bathtub Gin. He enjoys Tom Waits, coaching Tee Ball, and a well-assembled sandwich.

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 Eclectica, The Gettysburg Review, The Missouri Review, The Barcelona Review, Shenandoah, The Kenyon Review, StoryQuarterly, The Massachusetts Review, TriQuarterly, and Five Points. His most recent book is the novella, Now That I'm Ready To Tell You Everything (Vagabondage Press), and a new novella titled Infidelity will be published late this winter by Main Street Rag Publishing. He is associate editor of the literary journal Kippis and lives in DeKalb, Illinois. About the story in this issue, he writes, "We often we hear of a troubled marriage ending in a tragic murder-suicide, so I suppose it's only natural that at some point a marriage would end with a murder-murder. At least I think that's how this ends. Maybe one of them survived. Maybe both."