Jul/Aug 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.

Ali Al Saeed is the author of four books, the novel QuixotiQ (2004), the short story collection Moments (2006), the poetry book Sad Man Dancing (2009) and the collection of non-fiction writings The Randomist (2014). He's the recipient of the Bahrain Outstanding Book of the Year Award (2005). Last year, he became the first Bahraini selected for the prestigious writing residency, the International Writing Program, at the University of Iowa. His work has appeared in numerous publications both in print and online, including Arabesques Review, FACT Bahrain, and Rolling Stone Middle East. He is the founder of the Elham Art Collective and MuseLand Records and launched the annual Elham Arts Festival (2008-2010) and MuseLand Music Festival (2014). Over the span of 15 years, he worked as a journalist, features writer, magazine editor and creative copywriter in advertising. He lives in Isa Town. He says, "I wrote this piece during my IWP writing residency in Iowa City last year. I had been reading a lot of dirty realism and going through a difficult breakup at the time. This was the result. The story was read to the public at the famous Prairie Lights bookstore."

RK Biswas is the author of Culling Mynahs and Crows, published by Lifi Publications, India. Two collections of her short stories are forthcoming from Authorspress India and Lifi Publications, India. Prior to this, her prose and poetry were published across the globe, in print and online journals and anthologies. Notably, Per Contra (USA), Eclectica (USA), The Paumanok Review (USA), Markings (Scotland, UK), Crannog (Ireland), Stony Thursday (Ireland), The Little Magazine (India), Etchings (Australia), Mascara Literary Review (Australia), Mobius (USA), and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (Hong Kong), to name a few. In 2012 she won first prize in the Anam Cara Writer's Retreat Short Story Competition. Her poem "Cleavage" was longlisted in the Bridport Poetry Prize 2006 and was also a finalist in the 2010 Aesthetica Creative Arts Contest, UK. In 2007, her story, "Ahalya's Valhalla," was among Story South's Million Writers notable stories. Her poem "Bones" was nominated for a 2010 Pushcart by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. She was one among ten Indian poets featured in an exclusive anthology edited by Jayant Mahapatra, published by Nirala Publications. She has participated in poetry and literary festivals in India and abroad.

Peter Bridges received degrees from Dartmouth and Columbia and spent three decades in the Foreign Service, roaming the world by water and by air. Kent State University published his memoir of service as ambassador to Somalia, and his biographies of two 19th century Americans, an antislavery Ohioan and a racist Virginian. His shorter work has appeared in Eclectica, California Literary Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.

Kevin Brown is a Professor at Lee University. He has published two books of poetry—A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, Snake Nation Press) and Exit Lines (Plain View Press, 2009)—and two chapbooks: Abecedarium (Finishing Line Press, 2011) and Holy Days: Poems (winner of Split Oak Press Chapbook Contest, 2011). He also has a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again (Wipf and Stock, 2012), and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels (Kennesaw State University Press, 2012). He received his MFA from Murray State University.

Maryann Corbett grew up in McLean, Virginia, and now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, and works for the Minnesota Legislature. She is the author of two chapbooks and three books of poetry. Her poems, essays, reviews, and translations have appeared in a wide variety of anthologies and journals, including Barrow Street, Southwest Review, Verse Daily, and American Life in Poetry. She has been a several-time Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee; a finalist for the 2009 Morton Marr Prize, the 2010 Best of the Net anthology, and the 2011 Able Muse Book Prize; and a winner of the Lyric Memorial Award, the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize, and the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award.

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.

Gary Dop is one of this issue's Spotlight Runners-Up. He grew up throughout Germany and the United States, and he now lives with his wife and three daughters in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he is an English professor at Randolph College. Dop writes for the stage, screen, and page, and his work has appeared recently in Prairie Schooner, Agni, Rattle, and New Letters, among others. His first collection of poetry, Father, Child, Water, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press.

Reid Douglass is an MFA student in Fiction at Vanderbilt University. He served as an Ingram Commons Writer in Residence, a creative writing instructor, and a fiction and music editor at the Nashville Review. He was awarded the 2014 Guy Goffe Means Prize for Fiction.

Jeff Ewing has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Crazyhorse, Southwest Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal, among others, He lives in Sacramento, California, with his wife and daughter.

Anne Fox copyedits Write Angles, newsletter of the California Writers Club, Berkeley Branch, and was longtime copyeditor of community newspaper, the MacArthur Metro. She co-copyedited the CWC Write On! story contest chapbook and copyedits for writers of fiction and nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in a number of print and online publications.

Jim Gish was raised in Western Kentucky in the relentless forge of the Southern Baptist church. The writers who have most influenced him include Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Reynolds Price, and Joyce Carol Oates. He has published in such literary venues as Litchfield Review, Rain Crow and Phoebe. He is working on a novel entitled At the Edge of Hymns, a Kentucky novel about a teenage minister charged with murdering his African American girlfriend in Kentucy, circa 1966. The story "Alice" was inspired partly by a Tom T. Hall song entitled "Pay No Attention to Alice. She's Drunk All the Time." Also his wife's parents had a friend named Ruthie who was a lot like Alice.

John Givens lives in Ireland and teaches fiction writing at the Irish Writers' Centre in Dublin. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Korea, got his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, studied art and language in Kyoto for four years, and worked in Tokyo as a writer and editor for eight years. Givens' novels are Sons of the Pioneers, HBJ; A Friend in the Police (republished as an e-book by Concord E Press), and Living Alone, Atheneum. A short story collection, The Plum Rains, was published in Ireland by The Liffey Press. Over the past few years about 20 of Givens' short stories have appeared in literary journals in Asia, Europe, and the US, including previously in Eclectica.

Jude Goodwin is a former Spotlight Author. She lives in Squamish, British Columbia, with a dog and a cat (the daughter has flown) and shares her all her heart with her wife, Carol. Jude works as a web designer, editor, and illustrator. She has published three books, none of them containing poetry (but one has been republished in Polish and German). Her poems have appeared in a variety of online and print journals and anthologies. Jude is founder and co-moderator of The Waters Poetry Workshop (online) and former director of the Squamish Writers Group.

Michelle Shappell Harris lived for a year in Paris, eleven years in Gabon, Africa, and seven years in Nice, France. She and her husband have two children and now make Fort Wayne, Indiana, their home. Michelle coordinates low-cost translation services for a non-profit and will be starting her MFA at Ashland University this summer. She is delighted to have her first publication in Eclectica.

GD Hazelwood calls California home, but has lived and worked in 11 countries since 2012. He wrote "Philosophy of Simplicity" on a crumbling wooden pier in the gulf of Thailand, near the Cambodian border, and edited it from an isolated beach on Nicaragua's pacific coast. He is the founder and editor of The Roaming Review, a literary travel journal. This is his first publication.

Paul Holler is a writer of short stories and an occasional journalist on literary topics. His previous works have appeared in Southern Cross Review, Copperfield Review, Critique Magazine, Bookslut, Skylark, Conversations with Jay Parini, and Portraits De L'Escrivain En Biographe. His current project is a series of short stories about the life of Aesop, several of which have been published on line at Southern Cross Review.

Oliver and Henry Holt are a father and son from the United States Civil War era.

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.

Edward Irons is an American and a long-term resident of Asia. He writes on China, Southeast Asia, religion, and spirituality. He is a graduate of the Bennington Writers' Workshop.

D. M. Jerman was born in the dawn of a western Pennsylvania spring to a secretary and a salesman. She has been published online and in print on three continents. As a strictly short form writer, she enjoys the formal writing of triolet, haiku, and tanka. Once a month she updates a blog of writing and visuals.

Siel Ju has two poetry chapbooks coming out in 2014: Feelings Are Chemicals in Transit from Dancing Girl Press, and Might Club from Horse Less Press. Her poems and stories appear in Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, The Missouri Review, ZYZZYVA, Hobart, LIT, and other places. She lives and writes in Los Angeles; more of her work can be found on her website.

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).

Patrick Kindig is a graduate student in Indiana University's Department of English. His poems have recently appeared in Identity Theory, Isthmus, the Jabberwock Review, and the Found Poetry Review.

Mark Magoon writes poetry, short stories, and secret songs for his dog. His poetry can be found in print in After Hours and Midwestern Gothic, and on the web at DIALOGIST, Ghost Ocean Magazine, and The Nervous Breakdown. His creative nonfiction piece, Chef!Chef!Chef!, can be found at Burrow Press Review. His work has been shared at The Poetry Foundation, as part of The Midwestern Gothic Summer Reading Series in Milwaukee, and as part of The Marble Room Reading Series in Chicago. His first book of poetry, The Upper Peninsula Misses You, is forthcoming from ELJ Publications in 2015. Magoon earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He lives in the Windy City with a wife far too pretty.

Jalina Mhyana is one of this issue's Spotlight Runners-Up. A poet and author of the memoir The Architecture of Longing, she studies Renaissance Art at Oxford University and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College. Jalina is the author of two books of poetry, the latest shortlisted by Pudding House Press. She has recently been awarded a Dr. Sue Holman History of Art Travel Grant from Oxford University, enabling her to travel to Vienna, Munich, and Zurich to conduct research on Breverl and other paper-based talismans of Renaissance-era Bavaria. Her poetry and creative nonfiction have been published in many journals, most recently Identity Theory.

Marjorie Mir is a retired librarian living in Bronxville, NY. She is a member of Poetry Caravan, a group of Westchester County writers who share poetry with residents of local care facilities. Her poem, "The Visitors," is drawn from specific memories of a neighborhood where almost every house contained children who spilled out into the street at any opportunity.

Jack Murphy is a writer and teacher in Chicago. You can buy his chapbook, My Apartment in Chicago, at his website.

Alex Norcia is a writer living in Brooklyn. He blogs at The Rumpus, and his fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Word Riot, Slant, and HTMLGiant, among others.

David Oestreich is the author of the chapbook Cosmophagy, forthcoming from Folded Word in 2015. His poems have previously appeared in Eclectica as well as Chagrin River Review, Ruminate, and Second Nature Journal. He lives in Ohio with his wife and three children.

Robert Okaji lives in Texas. His work has appeared in Boston Review, Extract(s), Clade Song, Vayavya, Prime Number Magazine, Aubade Rising, and Middle Grey, among others. He blogs at O at the Edges.

Andrew Schenker is a writer interested in hybrid and cross-generic works. A longtime film critic, his writing has appeared in numerous outlets, including the Village Voice, Artforum, Time Out New York, Slant Magazine, Variety, Cineaste, Film Comment, and Little White Lies. He is the reviews editor for The Destroyer.

Joanell Serra is a writer and a Marriage and Family Therapist, living in the San Francisco Bay area. She works as a therapist and mentor to youth in difficult circumstances, including foster care and the juvenile justice system. The seeds for "Poppy's Got Priors" are found in the powerful stories of the youth she serves. A novel, short story writer, and playwright, Serra was a recent winner of a short play contest hosted by the Redwood Writers Branch of the California Writers Club. Presently deep at work on a novel, Serra has been published in various magazines. She is thrilled to be included as an Eclectica writer.

Danny Earl Simmons is an Oregonian and a proud graduate of Corvallis High School. He is a friend of the Linn-Benton Community College Poetry Club and an active member of Albany Civic Theater. His poems have appeared in a variety of journals such as The Pedestal Magazine, Prism Review, Off the Coast, IthacaLit, and Fifth Wednesday Journal.

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.

Piers Michael Smith is working on some short fiction set mostly in the Middle East. He divides his time between Thailand and Kuwait, where he works as a teacher at the Gulf University for Science and Technology.

Mary Thaler recently obtained her PhD in Oceanography at Laval University. She lives in Quebec City, a short distance from the real island, Ile d'Orleans, which inspired this story. Her fiction has appeared in literary journals such as Prairie Fire, Qwerty, Anamesa, and THIS Magazine.

Don Thompson is this issue's Spotlight Author. He has been publishing poetry for a long time, but hasn't published any fiction since the seventies. Vanitas had been stuck in the trunk for a few years along with some unpublished novels. He submitted it to Eclectica on a whim, together with some poems, simply because he noticed the novella tab in Submittable. Most recent titles: Local Color, a book-length narrative poem, and Keeping an Eye on the Stones, prose poems. Another collection of prose poems, Nietzsche Wept, is on Finishing Line's list for later this year.

Melissa Tombro is an Associate Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY, in New York City, where she teaches writing. In addition to teaching, she volunteers for the New York Writers Coalition, where she runs writing workshops for at-risk and underserved populations. She lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, with her husband Matt and their dog Lily.