Apr/May 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.

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.

Nicole Borg is editor of the Green Blade, magazine of the Rural America Writers Center. Her poetry has appeared in Lake Region Review, The Talking Stick, Lost Lake Folk Opera, and Nodin Poetry Anthology 2015. In 2014, she received an Individual Artist grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council. She lives in Wabasha, Minnesota, with her husband and two sons.

Rus Bowden is former managing editor for the IBPC, former poetry blogger, former car salesperson, former background artist, father of four grown kids, and a man in love. Since leaving work in 2013, he has taken up photography. His first publication was for National Geographic's news blog. You can find his work at The National Geographic Your Shot site.

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.

Warren Buchanan is a Bay Area writer with a So Cal bent. He is a freelance writer/editor and part-time lecturer of Screenplay at the college level who writes short fiction, flash, novels and screenplays. He got his MFA from Saint Mary's College and a BA in Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount. His mother is very proud of him. His work has been featured on Stanley the Whale and Hobart Pulp, and he is working on his first novel, Mr. Kamikaze.

Chikodili Emelumadu is a writer, journalist and broadcaster based in London who blogs and is working on her debut novel. Her work has previously appeared in Luna Station Quarterly, Apex magazine, and Omenana. This is her second story for Eclectica.

Noah Engel lives in New York City. He received his BFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts, in Film and Television Production with a Minor in Performance Studies. He is a young writer, filmmaker, and musician. His poetry has been featured before in Eclectica. More work and info can be found on his website.

Leah Erickson has had work published in many magazines and journals, including The Saint Ann's Review, Eclectica, The Coachella Review, The Fabulist, and Pantheon Magazine. Her first novel The Gilded Lynx will be published in the spring by Kraken Press. She is at work on a second.

John Grabski writes poetry and fiction from a farm in New York. His work is forthcoming at Foliate Oak Literary Magazine and Cyclamens and Swords. He is hard at work on his first collection titled Into the Vertex. You can find him on Twitter at @GrabskiJohn. He says, "I was moved to write 'Lost to Lewy Body' when the world lost Robin Williams. I wanted to shine a light on the viciousness of the disease and perhaps in some small way raise awareness."

Linda Griffin is a lifelong resident of San Diego California and has a B.A. from San Diego State University and an MLS from UCLA. She has retired after a career as a librarian for the San Diego Public Library to spend more time on her writing. She has had fiction published in the San Diego State University literary magazine, The Phoenix, San Diego Writers' Monthly, and Short Story America. "When Carol Left Me" is included in the anthology, Short Story America, Vol. 2, and four stories have received honorable mention in the Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction contests.

Michael R. Hassler is married to his best friend. Of "I Find Myself at 7:00," he writes, "I remember thinking while watching the media's gleeful and exuberant coverage of black people behaving badly, 'Oh my God! The kids are all going to wake up soon and see this stuff... where are the grown-up responsible adults who can explain what this is? Put this into some kind of context? Oh. Wait...'"

Jason Lee Helm hails from Iowa. He has a Masters in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and is an Adjunct Assistant Writing Professor at Pratt Institute, where he teaches Junior Studio and a self-designed course called Social Science Fiction. Jason's short stories have been published in Birds of Lace and Lumina Presses, among others. He is querying his first novel, Dictator of the World, a dystopian political satire that takes place on a deadly reality TV show. Jason reads all over NY and lives in Brooklyn with his husband and two cats. "Goodbye, Kate Shelly" is part of a collection of short stories loosely based on experiences that occurred during his childhood in southern Iowa.

Beth Hogan is Communications Director for an education non-profit, and she splits her time between Washington, DC, and Beverly, Massachussets, where she has been a member of a writing group for many years. Beth has been published in Gone Soft Magazine and River Walk Journal, and has been nominated for a storySouth Million Writers Award.

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.

Alex Keegan began writing seriously in 1992, publishing five mystery novels before switching to serious short fiction. He has been published widely in print and on the web and been awarded more than a dozen first prizes for his fiction as well as three Bridport Prizes. Born in Wales with an Irish mother, he now lives and writes in Newbury, England, where he lives with his second wife and two teenage children. These are his 25th and 26th pieces and 14th appearance in Eclectica. He runs a tough internet writing school called "Boot Camp Keegan," many of the alumnus of which have appeared in Eclectica as well, individually and as part of a feature dedicated to raising money for needy children.

Jascha Kessler has published ten 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, a translator's preface in Sophocles, 2 (Univ. of Pennsylvanis Press, 1999), and King Solomon's Seal: 80 Fables (xLibris, 2013).

Rudy Koshar teaches modern European history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Eclectica, Guernica, Montreal Review, Red Fez, Turk's Head Review, Open Road Review, Black Heart Magazine, Revolution House, and numerous other magazines. He was the second-place winner of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters 2013 Fiction Contest and the recipient of Guggenheim and other fellowships.

Robert Marshall is a writer and a visual artist who has exhibited widely in both Europe and the United States at venues such as Richard Anderson Fine Arts, the Peter Kilchmann Gallerie in Zurich, the Köln Art Fair, White Columns, and the Brooklyn Museum. He is a recipient of fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2002, he developed and was for three years the director of Prose in General, a reading series at Art in General that focused on the intersection of fiction and the visual arts. His novel, A Separate Reality, was released in 2006 by Carroll & Graf and was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award for Debut Fiction. In its review of A Separate Reality, The Washington Post called it "as good an encapsulation of adolescence as you’re likely to read." His work has also appeared in Salon, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Ping Pong, The Alembic, apt, Event, DUCTS, Stickman Review, Blithe House Quarterly, The Coe Review, Foliate Oak, and numerous other publications, including the anthologies Queer 13 and Afterwords. In 2007, his investigative feature, "The Dark Legacy of Carlos Castaneda," was chosen for "Best of Salon."

David Mathews earned his MA in Writing and Publishing at DePaul University. His work has appeared in Eclectica Magazine, After Hours, CHEAP POP, One Sentence Poems, OMNI Reboot, Word Riot, Silver Birch Press, and Midwestern Gothic. His poetry was nominated by Eclectica for The Best of The Net 2014, and he also received first place in the Illinois Women's Press Association's Mate E. Palmer Communications Awards. He is a life-long Chicagoan, and he teaches at Wright College and College of Lake County.

Sarah McPherson graduated from DePaul University in 2014. She has since moved back to her hometown, where she works in Parks and Recreation. Outside of work she enjoys writing about the facets of small town life along the Miami River.

Marjorie Mir is a member of Poetry Caravan, a group of writers who share poetry with residents of care-giving facilities in Westchester County, New York. The poem, "Passing Odysseus on the Way," was prompted by a recent reading of Why Homer Matters by Adam Nicolson, which, in turn, led her to Robert Fagles' translation of The Odyssey. It interested me to bring forward as narrator a character who is alluded to but doesn't appear in Homer's epic.

Ranjani Murali has an MFA in Poetry from George Mason University, where she taught creative writing workshops, English, and composition. Her poetry, nonfiction, and translations have appeared in Word Riot, Pratilipi, Phoebe, Cricket Online Review, Kartika Review, and elsewhere. She won the 2014 Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize and has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center and the Vermont Studio Center. She works for the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, a nonprofit that promotes safe schools and learning spaces for LGBTQ and allied students in schools across Illinois.

Veena Muthuraman likes to travel and write the odd short story based in Ayyanarpatti, a place reminiscent of where her roots lie. She lives in Edinburgh, UK.

David Oestreich is the author of the chapbook Cosmophagy, forthcoming from Folded Word. His poems have appeared in various online and print venues, including Ruminate, Chagrin River Review, Lilliput Review, and Eclectica. He lives in Northwest Ohio with his wife and three children.

Kenneth Pobo has two books forthcoming: Bend of Quiet from Blue Light Press and Booking Rooms in the Kuiper Belt from Urban Farmhouse Press. He teaches creative writing and English at Widener University in Pennsylvania. The poems in this issue are from an ekphrastic collection he's working on. His Twitter address is @KenPobo.

Don Pomerantz lives and teaches in New York City. His poems have appeared in Washington Square, Failbetter, Potomac Review, previously in Eclectica, New Plains Review, Euphony, and elsewhere.

Christine Potter is a writer, poet, and internet broadcaster who lives in the lower Hudson River Valley with two spoiled tom cats and her organist/choir director husband. Her two books of poetry are Zero Degrees at First Light (2006) and Sheltering In Place (2013). Area 24 is a free form radio station she runs with a fellow group of music obsessives. About her work, she says, "'Sunset, Far From The City' was written during the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and my across-the-street neighbor (who makes really gorgeous contemporary dance) really is named Art. 'Unforgetting' is about my mother, of course, and how hard she works to stay part of the conversation at ninety-one. I started to write fiction as well as poetry a few years ago, and realized the connection between creating narrative and dementia as soon as I thought hard about it."

Jessy Randall is a librarian at Colorado College. Her collection of Mother Goose prose poems, There Was an Old Woman, is forthcoming from Unicorn Press this year. Regarding her poem in this issue, she says, "For the past few summers, my family has gotten together with another family, grownups who have known each other for over 20 years and kids who have known each other since they were born. Last summer, one of us asked this poem's title question as we cleaned up the beach paraphernalia. I no longer remember who it was, but I definitely remember that there were a lot of shovels."

V.K. Reiter has published nine novels, translated French novels for publication in the U.S., including Maryse Condé's Tree of Life and five of Daniel Odier's Delacorta series. She has ghost-written three films and served as a freelance editor on several bestselling books. While living in France, she wrote and translated narration for documentary films, wrote English subtitles for French films, was a reader, editor and translator for Les Editions Robert Laffont, and spent five interesting years as editor and consultant to Maurice Girodias, publisher of The Olympia Press both in Paris and New York. She worked as a consultant, script writer, and editor for Michel Thomas, owner of the Michel Thomas Language Centers and publisher of the Michel Thomas Language System. She has a new novel in progress, The Memoirs of Sister Warren Lecroix Falconer, and is also compiling a series of nonfiction pieces, the first of which, "Their Graces," appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of Eclectica Magazine, and the second, "An Afternoon With Salvador Dali," in its Winter 2012 issue. An article, "My Girodias," is available on the SmokeSignalsMag website. Her essay, "Transport," won the X.J. Kennedy Writing Award and was published in the Summer-Autumn issue of Rosebud Magazine. She lives in New York.

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, Eclectica, Off the Coast, IthacaLit, and Fifth Wednesday Journal. He says, "This poem ("A Lovely Emaciation") was inspired by the epigram at the beginning. Mike Hipson is a young man I met at the Linn-Benton Community College poetry club. This line is in a poem he wrote and it stuck with me. I asked him if he'd be OK with me using that line as inspiration for a poem of my own. He said he'd be honored. So this poem came out!"

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.

Jill Stegman is a retired high school teacher from the Central Coast of California. She has short stories published in such literary journals as Isotope, Literary Mama, North Atlantic Review, RE:AL, South Dakota Review, and Storyglossia. She has an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Pacific University, Oregon. This is her first published piece of nonfiction. She's looking for a publisher for her novel, The Time of Leaving, (find out more on her website). She says, "When I Knew" was written about one year after my husband's suicide, when I had sufficiently digested the impact, but I could still narrate the inconceivable horror of that day. As a writer, I felt that I had casually moved characters around like pawns without really understanding what I was putting them through. Now I have a new perspective. I knew it was pretty raw, but I felt it was destined for publication. I'm very happy Eclectica accepted it."

Heather Steinmann holds an MFA from Minnesota State University Moorhead, and is ABD in the English department at North Dakota State University, where she teaches writing. Her work appears or will appear in Up the Staircase Quarterly, *82 Review, Red Weather, and the Fargo TedX poetry broadside series.

Robert Joe Stout is a former Spotlight Author runner-up. He is a journalist, fiction writer, and poet whose most recent book is Hidden Dangers, Mexico on the Brink of Disaster. His poetry and fiction appear in The Cape Rock, Two-Thirds North, and Prick of the Spindle, among other magazines and journals. He lives in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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.

Melissa Wiley has published lyric essays in Prick of the Spindle, Menacing Hedge, Beetroot Journal, Tin House Open Bar, and elsewhere. Come daylight savings, she falls backward more easily than she springs forward.

Jennifer Van Orman Yurges is a writer and painter. A previous contributor to Eclectica Magazine, she is a graduate of the Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA program in Southern Maine. Her work has been also been published in the Ward 6 Review and The Orange Room Review. She lives in Hallowell, Maine, with her husband and twin daughters. She has a blog that she is not great at updating.