Jan/Feb 2015

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.

Bowen Astrop is a figment of his own mismanaged imagination. While his body is rumored to inhabit space in Atlanta, Georgia, his mind can often be found on the road or in the clouds. If you should see him, pretend you don't. We don't want him thinking he's real.

William "Mack" Basham is from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Greta Bolger is a writer and visual artist who lives in Northern Michigan, a stunning and peaceful place everyone should visit at least once in their lives. She has published poetry and prose in several online and print publications, including The Chimaera; Juice Box; Eclectica; Short, Fast and Deadly; Snakeskin; Contemporary Haibun Online; and others.

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.

Jeff Burt has work in Thrice Fiction, Typehouse, Storm Cellar, and Dirty Chai, as well as others. He won the 2011 SuRaa short fiction award. He says the piece "Rent" came out of two experiences: "My parents never owned a home while I was growing up, and we moved every three years or so, and then I moved ten more times between the age of 18 and thirty. Secondly, when I watch men and women who own their own homes, they have a mastery of tools and fix-its I could never achieve being a renter. So not only did it make me disconnected from a neighborhood, it made me disconnected from—and paranoid of—common household problems and fixes."

Douglas Cole has had work in The Chicago Quarterly Review, Red Rock Review, and Midwest Quarterly. More of his work is available online in The Adirondack Review, Salt River Review, and Avatar Review, as well as a recorded story in Bound Off. He has published two poetry collections, Interstate with Night Ballet Press, and Western Dream with Finishing Line Press, as well as a novella called Ghost with Blue Cubicle Press. He is the winner of several awards, including the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry, the Best of Poetry Award from Clapboard House, First Prize in the "Picture Worth 500 Words" from Tattoo Highway, as well as an honorable mention from Glimmer Train. He was also recently the featured poet in Poetry Quarterly. He is currently on the faculty at Seattle Central College.

Caralyn Davis works as a freelance writer/editor in the healthcare and technology transfer sectors. Her fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Word Riot, The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, Superstition Review, Monkeybicycle, Killing the Buddha, and other journals. She is a member of Asheville, North Carolina's Flatiron Writers, and her "faves" include cat acrobatics and the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. She can be found on Twitter: @CaralynDavis. Regarding "Color Blind," she says, "I read all the magazines mentioned in the piece, so I was worried about animals dying and thinking about potential connections when I found out my mother has her own angel (his name is Stephen Smith, a distant dead cousin). I also really like cats. This story is how it mixed together in my brain."

Noah Engel lives in New York City. He is a recent graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts, where he received a BFA in Film and Television Production and a Minor in Performance Studies. He is a young writer, filmmaker, and singer songwriter.

Marc J. Frazier has been widely published in journals including The Spoon River Poetry Review, ACM, Caveat Lector, Slant, Permafrost, Plainsongs, Poet Lore, Rhino, The Broome Review, descant, and The G W Review. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for poetry. His book The Way Here and his chapbook The Gods of the Grand Resort are available on Amazon. His second chapbook, After, is available at www.finishinglinepress.com. His second full-length collection titled Each Thing Touches is forthcoming from Glass Lyre Press in 2015. "November 2013" is really about the loss of someone you love, who becomes all the someones you have loved. The setting is Thanksgiving in Wisconsin. "Little Gods" is about the unrecognized power that children have. "California" is about the dream of such a land in the heart of someone from a landlocked space. He says, "I grew up in Northwest Illinois and didn't see an ocean until I was quite old. We used to swim in gravel pits filled with water. I also had a very strict upbringing. 'California' represented the freedom, bright color, and lassitude that my landscape (including interior) lacked." "Little Gods" and "California" were recently published as part of his chapbook After.

Joel Fry lives in Athens, Alabama. His poetry has previously appeared in Eclectica, Off the Coast, Iodine Poetry Journal, Poem, and several other places. His poem "A Day on the Farm" is based in memories of days spent at his grandparents' farm. The poem is a mythologizing of dusk on the farm, with the tree in the first line representing a kind of World Tree or a Tree of Life. The person the speaker is speaking to is a higher self. Joel has a blog called Susurrus Waking.

Gloria Garfunkel has a Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard University. She was a psychotherapist for 30 years and has since been a writer with over 50 publications, including stories in Eclectica Magazine, Thrice Fiction, Blue Five Notebook, and Literary Orphans. She is working on a collection of her stories.

William Reese Hamilton set his story "Smoke" in New York City, where he was once an ad man. He left Madison Avenue for a fishing village on the coast of Venezuela, to write what he wishes. For those new to the twists and turns in the relationship of Charlie Frank and Fé Bonatti, earlier stories can be found in Atticus Review ("Awe"), FRiGG Magazine ("Sans Merci"), Literary Orphans ("Glyphs") and The Linnet's Wings ("Artist at Work"). He is a long-time friend and fan of Eclectica Magazine.

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.

Stanley Jenkins has appeared in Amelia, 32 Pages, The Blue Moon Review, CrossConnect, and the Oyster Boy Review. A former Spotlight Author, Stanley has been a regular contributor to Eclectica's Salon and holds the record for greatest number of appearances in our issues. He lives and works in Michigan, his home state.

Judy Kaber was born in Brooklyn, New York, grew up on Long Island, and moved to Maine over 40 years ago. She currently lives in Belfast, Maine. Judy taught elementary school for 34 years and is recently retired. Her poems have been published in a number of journals, both print and electronic, including The Guardian, Off the Coast, and most recently, The Comstock Review. In 2009 she won the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest. In 2011, she also won the Larry Kramer Memorial Chapbook Contest.

Jascha Kessler is a two-time Spotlight Author, an honor he shared in October of 2010 with his late wife Julia. He 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). This is his 16th appearance in Eclectica.

Jennifer Lunden won a Pushcart Prize for her essay, "The Butterfly Effect," which was first published in Creative Nonfiction and later anthologized in True Stories, Well Told: From the First 20 Years of Creative Nonfiction Magazine. A two-time Maine Literary Awards finalist, her nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Orion, River Teeth, and the Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine; "Killing Things," a work of flash fiction, appeared in Wigleaf; and her poems have been published in Poetry Canada Review, Zephyr, and The Café Review.

PD Mallamo is a former Spotlight Author. He has also appeared in Lana Turner, Sunstone, Barcelona Review, Granta, decomP, Construction, Conte, Otoliths, and the anthology Fire In The Pasture. He has degrees from BYU and the University of Kansas, and he lives with his family in Lawrence.

David Mathews earned his MA in Writing and Publishing at DePaul University, where he studied under Richard Jones. HIs work has appeared in Eclectica Magazine, After Hours, CHEAP POP, One Sentence Poems, OMNI Reboot, Word Riot, and Midwestern Gothic. He is a life-long Chicagoan, and he currently teaches at Wright College and College of Lake County.

Jillian Merrifield is a graduate of DePaul University's MA in Writing and Publishing program. She teaches composition at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. Her work has previously appeared in the Curbside Splendor E-zine, Midwestern Gothic, and NEAT.

Sam Mills lives near Asheville, North Carolina. His action-adventure novel, The Money Tree, is available as a Kindle through his website.

Gary Moshimer hasn't told us about himself.

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 enjoys Community Theater. His poems have appeared in a variety of journals such as The Pedestal Magazine, Prism Review, Off the Coast, Eclectica, and Fifth Wednesday Journal. He says "The Red-Handled Hatchet" is him pretending to be William Carlos Williams, while "Darts" is a poem that came to him after having to remind himself that there is more than one kind of dart in the world.

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.

Jonathan Starke is a former bodybuilder and boxer. He really digs vagabond travel and is often missing the Golden (80s) and Attitude (90s) eras of professional wrestling. He is the founding editor of a literary magazine for the underdog called Palooka and serves as a writing coach at jonathanstarke.com. His essays and stories have appeared in The Sun, Missouri Review, Threepenny Review, North American Review, and Brevity, among others. You might find him watching old boxing matches on a Sunday evening. You might not.

Melvin Sterne teaches writing and literature at the American University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He earned his Ph.D. in English from Florida State University. He has published one novel (Zara, Ink Brush Press) and one short story collection (The Number You Have Reached, Lamar University Press) in addition to more than 30 individual short stories, poems, and essays. He is an avid traveler and often writes out of his experiences. "Tiger Hunting" was written in India after an excursion to Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. He reports, "Even when you're sitting on an elephant, a tiger looks big when you see one in the wild."

Karen Tesdahl is a graduate of the school of DAAP at the University of Cincinnati. Some of her interests are nature, science, and sustainable living. Karen discovered her love of writing when she was still an elementary school student. One special teacher changed her life by helping her overcome a reading disability, and then predicted that she would become a writer. One of her articles (a non-fiction piece) has been published, "The Gift of the Three Sisters," in Skipping Stones Magazine.

Steve Vermillion lives in Northern California. His recent work appears in print and online, including The NewerYork, The Morning News, Bicycle Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Black Heart, and Metazen. He has also been nominated for a 2014 Best of the Net award in Short Stories.

John Ladd Zorn, Jr. is the son of a waitress and a long-time LAPD homicide detective. He teaches in various capacities and is the author of the short stories "Booze, Voodoo, and Ex-Lovers," "Whale Song," and "Like the Walls of Jericho," which have appeared in the Southern California anthologies Inlandia and Phantom Seeds, "Flesh of My Flesh" in The Speculative Edge, "Nature of the Beast" in Down in the Dirt magazine's online and print editions. His poems are featured in Nth Position (London), and "Floyd County Moonshine." The short story "The Waitress With the Beautiful Body" appears in the August issue of Hello Horror (online). He is seeking a publisher for his novel Internal Combustion about a Disneyland Goofy who becomes a gun runner, and is editing his second book, Maineiac, drawn from his experience working on a lobster boat in Maine. Mr. Zorn is a Mensa member and former Jeopardy! Champion.