Jan/Feb 2014


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.


Kathleen Chaffin is Eclectica's Copy Editor. She was born and raised in New York City. Her work has appeared in The Melic Review, The Iconoclast, poetrynow, Poetry Tonight, The Chachalaca Review, Mefisto, Octavo, and Rattle. She was the co-founder of Zeugma, an on-line workshop for poets, and the Managing Editor of The Melic Review.


Ovo Adagha is a Nigerian writer. His work has appeared in several online and print publications, including One World: A global anthology of short stories, Caine Anthology, African Writing, CMD Journal, and Every Writer. He was a runner up in the 2008 Bath Spa University Creative Writing Competition. He lives and works as a doctoral researcher in Alberta. His story in this issue was inspired by the emotive undertones of the immigrant experience.


Stephanie Austin has appeared in print in Fiction, The Fiddlehead, the South Dakota Review, Washington Square Review, and online at Specter, fwriction: review, Necessary Fiction, and Prime Number. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in the New England Review's Digital Series "Secret Americas" and at Used Furniture Review. She teaches creative writing at Phoenix College.


Joe Bardin is a writer and communications strategist. His work has appeared in Burrow Press Review, Phoenix Magazine, Toad Suck Review, Dignified Devil, Phoenix New Times, the Arizona Republic, and the futurist magazine, Immortal Life, among others. His plays have been performed and read at Theatre Artists Studio (Phoenix), and his new short play, How to Quit Writing, will be performed at the Herberger Theater in May. Joe operates a copywriting and ghostwriting firm called Relativity Writing.


Bob Bradshaw is a big fan of the Rolling Stones and easy times. Mick may not be gathering moss, but Bob is. Bob hopes to retire to a hammock soon. His work can be found at Cha, Eclectica, Pedestal, Stirring, Rose and Thorn, and many other publications.


Peter Bridges studied at Dartmouth and Columbia, served as an Army private, and retired from government service as the American ambassador to Somalia. His shorter work has appeared in publications ranging from the California Literary Review to Notes & Records of the Royal Society of London. Kent State University Press published his memoir of Somalia and the biographies of two once famous Americans, John Moncure Daniel and Donn Piatt. He recently self-published a volume of a hundred "Sonnets from the Elk Mountains," and has just completed an historical novel about a Dartmouth professor sent to Italy as a secret Union agent during the Civil War. "March in Rome" was written during one of the many spring months he spent in Rome and on the summits of the Apennines.


Randall Brown teaches at Rosemont College's MFA Program. He's the author of the award-winning collection Mad to Live, and his work appears in The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Flash Fiction and Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction. He blogs regularly at FlashFiction.Net and is the founder of Matter Press.


David Comfort has published five nonfiction trade titles: three from Simon & Schuster; one from Kensington; the latest, An Insiderís Guide to Book Publishing, from Writers Digest Books (Dec. 2013). He is a Pushcart Fiction Prize nominee and a finalist for the Faulkner Award, Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren, America's Best, Narrative, Glimmer Train, Helicon Nine, and Heekin Graywolf Fellowship. His current short fiction appears in The Evergreen Review, Cortland Review, Scholars & Rogues, and Inkwell. "The Greatest Story Never Told" is taken from his 2013 self-published novel, The Reborn Bible 2.0, The 2nd Coming Gospel of the American Rapture.


J.R. Dawson worked as a playwright in Chicago before turning to short fiction. She is writing a young adult trilogy with the man she will marry this summer.


Howard Richard Debs received a University of Colorado Poetry Prize at age nineteen. After devoting the past 50 years to a career in advertising and marketing communications, with recognitions including a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Educational Press Association of America, he has recently resumed his literary pursuits, and his latest work appears or is forthcoming in The Germ, Calliope, Big River Poetry Review, Jewish Currents, Poetica Magazine, and Misfitmagazine. He lives in sunny South Florida with his wife of 48 years, where they spend considerable time spoiling their four grandchildren. The essay "Vindicating Holocaust Poetry" is about preserving memory and truth through artistic endeavor. Debs concurs with Dr. Anna Ornstein, Lecturer in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Co-Director of the International Center for the Study of Psychoanalytic Self-Psychology, and a Holocaust survivor herself, who has stated, "It is my conviction that survival of any historical event can be assured only when such events become transformed into various forms of art."


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.


Michael DeVault began his professional writing career in 2001, when he wrote features for a local magazine. Over the last 12 years, he has covered some of the biggest stories in recent history, including Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon disaster. He has written four novels, including 2010's The Patriot Joe Morton, which was first runner up for a Faulkner Medal. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Lindenwood University and lives in Monroe, Louisiana, with his daughter, four cats, and an attention-demanding green cheek conure named Oliver.


Chikodili Emelumadu is a journalist, blogger, and broadcaster. After three years working as a producer/presenter for the BBC World Service, she quit to write full-time. When she is not honing her craft, she is a general dogsbody to a toddler. She has been published in Running Out of Ink magazine and has a blog called Igbophilia. "Jermyn" appeared to her just as she was drifting off in the wee hours of the morning. She typed more than 2000 words of the story on her phone before the dog let her be.


Michael Fertik lives in Palo Alto, California, where by day he is the CEO and Founder of Reputation.com. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Sometimes he wonders if he should have pursued an MFA. One of his favorite books is Moby Dick. He writes fiction and non-fiction, which can be found around the web.


Lou Gaglia teaches middle and high school English and is a long-time T'ai Chi Ch'uan practitioner. His fiction has appeared recently in Cobalt Review, FRiGG, Hawai'i Review, Eclectica, and Waccamaw. Poor Advice, his first story collection, will be available soon from Aqueous Books, and his short story "Hands" was runner-up for storySouth's 2013 Million Writers Award. He lives in upstate New York and loves upstate New York.


Jude Goodwin is a former Spotlight Author. She lives in Squamish, British Columbia, sharing her life with a girl and a dog, and works as a web designer, editor, and illustrator. She has published three books, none of them containing poetry. Her poems have appeared in a variety of online and print journals, including Burnside Review, CV2, Comstock Review, and A Twist of Malice, a poetry anthology. Jude is founder and co-moderator of The Waters Poetry Workshop and director of the Squamish Writers Group.


William Reese Hamilton spent four years in the US Army, serving in Germany as a counter-intelligence agent and Romanian interrogator in roughly the same period and capacity as his character, Mihai. He now lives in Choroní, a colonial village on the coast of Venezuela, once the home of World War II's most successful double agent, Juan Pujol Garcia, code named Garbo. A frequent contributor to Eclectica and former Spotlight Author, Hamilton's stories have been published in a number of publications, including The Paris Review, The North American Review, The Adirondack Review, StoryQuarterly, Puerto del Sol, Front Porch Journal, Review Americana, FRiGG, and most recently Atticus Review and Literary Orphans.


Jenny Hayes lives in Seattle, Washington. Her fiction has appeared in The Northville Review, Penduline Press, Unshod Quills, Printer's Devil Review, and in the beer-themed anthology A Six Pack of Stories. She read "Like I Was Waiting" at the Seattle Lit Crawl in October, 2013, as part of the "Three Jennys Walk Into A Bar" reading."


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.


Lucas Jacob has appeared in a few dozen journals, including Southwest Review and Evansville Review, and is forthcoming in various others, including Chautauqua and Barrow Street. A native of Chicago, where much of his family still lives, he has spent his adult life (post-Master's degree) as an itinerant high school teacher and administrator in various of these United States and in Budapest, Hungary, where he had the privilege of being a Fulbright teaching fellow. He now lives, teaches, and writes in Fort Worth, Texas. Of "Declaring Victory," it is worth noting with gratitude that the poem grew out of a writing-prompt game Jacob plays with the poet Faith Padgett, whom he thanks for her role in forcing him to write new things when he could easily spend his every waking hour reading and responding to his students' work.


Rachel Joseph has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and a PhD in Drama from Stanford University. She is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Trinity University. Her book project, Screened Stages: Representations of Theatre Within Cinema, analyzes filmic representations of stages, theatre, theatricality, and performance as they have occurred throughout the history of cinema. Her chapter on Charles Chaplin is in Refocusing Chaplin from Scarecrow Press. She has two plays and short story forthcoming from Scissors & Spackle, Petrichor Machine, and Prime Number Magazine. Most recently she directed her play The Screen Dreams of Buster Keaton at the Overtime Theater in San Antonio, Texas. Other produced plays include And This Before Leaving, The Message, and Blurred.


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 Pennsylvania Press, 1999).


Cheryl Diane Kidder has a B.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Her work, nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize, has appeared or is forthcoming in Able Muse, CutThroat Journal of the Arts, Weber—The Contemporary West, Pembroke Magazine, decomP Magazine, Tinge Magazine, Brevity Magazine, Brain,Child, Identity Theory, In Posse Review, and elsewhere. This is her second appearance in Eclectica, the first being "Deal" in the Jul/Aug 2005 issue.


Kathleen Kirk is a former Spotlight Author. She has published five poetry chapbooks, including Nocturnes (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in a variety of online and print journals, including Arsenic Lobster, Blood Lotus, blossombones, Menacing Hedge, and Poetry East. She is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life. The poems in this issue come from a set of poems inspired by the life and work of sculptor Camille Claudel. "Wounded Niobid" will be performed in Claudel, a dance-theatre-music-poetry collaboration, by Columbus Dance Theatre, Columbus, Ohio, January 24-25, 2014. That poem and "The Wave" are included in Interior Sculpture: Poems in the Voice of Camille Claudel, a chapbook newly released by Dancing Girl Press.


Laurence Klavan won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the novel, Mrs. White, written under a pseudonym. His novels, The Cutting Room and The Shooting Script, were published by Ballantine Books. His graphic novels, City of Spies and Brain Camp, co-written with Susan Kim, were published by First Second Books at Macmillan, and their Young Adult series, Wasteland, has just been published by Harper Collins. His short work has been published or is forthcoming in such print and online journals as The Alaska Quarterly, Conjunctions, The Literary Review, Gargoyle, Louisville Review, Natural Bridge, Failbetter, Pank, Stickman Review, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Albedo One, Cafe Irreal, Morpheus Tales, and a collection will be published in 2014 by Chizine Publications. He received two Drama Desk nominations for the book and lyrics of "Bed and Sofa," the musical produced by the Vineyard Theater in New York and the Finborough Theater in London in 2011. His one-act, "The Summer Sublet," is included in Best American Short Plays 2000-2001.


Will Lasky lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he is fond of long walks, bodega sandwiches, and pining for the past. He works a day job in Manhattan that keeps him out of doors a lot, although he'd rather be writing full time. He's traveled extensively, likes Chopin mazurkas, rundown people's beaches, and movies about cops, con men, detectives and spies called back for one final job. Pet him if you wish, but be warned, he's a licker.


Cam Lay is an MFA candidate at the University of Kansas and working simultaneously on a collection of short stories and a novel. Prior to returning to graduate school, Cam worked for a decade in marketing, technology, and publishing in the New York City area. "The Mandolin Player" was partially inspired by a very short (and very talented) accordionist Cam used to see playing every morning in the subway tunnels beneath Bryant Park.


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. Recent work appears in After Hours and Midwestern Gothic.


Lynn Mundell earned her MFA in Creative Writing from American University. Her essays have been published in The Sun and The San Jose Mercury News. She is co-founder of 100wordstory.org.


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.


Carolyn Stice is this issue's Spotlight Author. She is working on her PhD in Creative Writing at UT Knoxville, where she is managing editor for their graduate literary magazine Grist. She has a particular interest in female poets, especially those who deal with the landscape of the body. Her work has appeared in journals such as Cutthroat, Painted Bride Quarterly, Stirrings, and China Grove, and is forthcoming in Booth, Permafrost, and So To Speak: A Feminist Literary Journal.


Eleanor Talbot lives in Johannesburg. She has been published here and there.


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.


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.