Jul/Aug 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.

Terry Barr has appeared in such journals as Belle Reve Literary Review, Under the Sun, Red Fez, Red Truck Review, Turk's Head Review, Graze, and Hippocampus and will appear soon in Deep South Magazine. He teaches Creative Nonfiction at Presbyterian College, and lives with his wife and two daughters in Greenville, South Carolina. Regarding "I Believe in Miracles," he says, "I've thought about writing this essay for a long time, probably after a friend of mine remarked to my wife and me something to the effect that if a man kisses another man, he must be gay. I knew that wasn't necessarily so, but what did it mean? So I thought of my and most people's wilder days, those college days. My crowd was fast and loose, and this was the most exciting period of my small-town Alabama life. Even now I think that being straight or gay doesn't lock you into anything. My essay explains what I went through then; it all seems as vivid now as it ever was."

Christopher Bell has been writing and releasing literary and musical works through My Idea of Fun since 2008. His sound projects include Emmett and Mary, Technological Epidemic, C. Scott and the Beltones, and Fine Wives. My Idea of Fun is an art and music collective based out of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. His work has recently been published in the Madison Review, Red Rock Review, Quail Bell Magazine, Gesture, Mobius, and the Commonline Journal, among others. He was also a contributor to Impression of Sound.

Steve Bogdaniec is a writer and teacher at Wright College in Chicago. He has had poetry and short fiction published in numerous journals, most recently Blood Lotus, Silver Birch Press, and One Sentence Poems. Follow him on Twitter! Just kidding... he never posts anything there anyway.

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.

Ann Bond has written a novel, Downpour on the Grand Parade, an excerpt of which was published in the spring edition of the Copperfield Review. She has also appeared in The Innisfree Poetry Journal. She holds a Master's degree in English, has taught both high school English and art, and her experiences painting landscapes and playing the violin with the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra exert a strong influence on her 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.

Barbara Brennan lives in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, where she happily observes nature and black walnut trees. She is also a nurse practitioner and graduate student in the science writing program at Johns Hopkins University.

Ahsan Butt is a writer and essayist. He was born in Toronto, is of Pakistani descent, and currently lives with his wife in Los Angeles. His short-fiction and essays have appeared in The James Franco Review, LitroNY, as well as The Monarch Review, where he is a regular contributor. He is on Twitter at @ahsanb_.

Jared Carter lives in Indiana. His most recent book is Darkened Rooms of Summer: New and Selected Poems (University of Nebraska Press).

Quintin Collins is a writer and editor from the Chicago area. After graduating from DePaul University in 2013, he began working at a digital marketing firm, where he has risen to the role of lead editor. His work has appeared in Eclectica magazine, Digital Papercut, Glass Mountain magazine, and Threshold (now Crook & Folly).

Mark Crimmins was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize, a 2015 Best of the Net Award, and a 2015 Silver Pen Association Write Well Award. His stories have been published in Eclectica, Confrontation, Cha, Split Rock Review, Penmen Review, Trainless Magazine, and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. His flash fictions have been published in Happy, theNewerYork, Flash Frontier, White Rabbit, Columbia online, Tampa Review Online, Eunoia Review, Portland Review, Pif, Gravel, and Kyoto Journal.

Rachel Dacus is a poet and writer whose books include Gods of Water and Air, a collection of poetry, prose, and drama; and the poetry collections Earth Lessons and Femme au Chapeau. Her writing has appeared in Boulevard, Drunken Boat, Prairie Schooner, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and many other journals and anthologies. She has written on topics that span grief, nature, art, travel, and being the daughter of a bipolar rocket scientist during the Cold War. She is at work on a time travel novel about the great Baroque sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. She blogs at Rocket Kids.

Barbara De Franceschi is an Australian poet who lives in the outback mining town of Broken Hill. Besides two collections of poetry, her work has been published widely in Australia, in other countries, on-line and featured on national radio. This year (2015) she is artist in residence at the University Department of Rural Health to introduce creative writing to health science students as a means to enhance communication.

Steve Dehner lives with his family in Forest Grove, Oregon. He has directed short films and videos and has written scripts, marketing copy, print journalism, and blogs. He studied Communications and Theater at Pacific University and did some graduate work in theology. "What a Stone Weighs" is his first published essay.

Marc J. Frazier has been widely published in journals including The Spoon River Poetry Review, ACM, Caveat Lector, Ascent, Permafrost, Plainsongs, Poet Lore, Rhino, The Broome Review, descant, The G W Review, and Evansville Review. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for poetry and the author of The Way Here, a full-length poetry collection, and two chapbooks The Gods of the Grand Resort and After. His second full-length collection, Each Thing Touches, is due out this June from Glass Lyre Press. He has led numerous workshops and participated in poetry readings in the Chicago area for many years.

Keith Gaboury graduated with a MFA in poetry from Emerson College in 2013. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Write From Wrong Online Literary Magazine, Oddball Magazine, Boston Poetry Magazine, Words Apart, and Barely South Review. While spending his days as a preschool teacher, at night he works on a manuscript of science fiction / fantasy-themed poems.

Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, and teacher. This April he took part in Found Poetry Review's PoMoSco project. Recent poems are published or forthcoming in Blue Heron Review, Crab Fat Literary Magazine, Pilgrimage Magazine, West Trade Review, Silver Birch Press' The Great Gatsby Anthology, Indian Summer Quarterly, Blast Furnace, Calliope Magazine, The Bookends Review, Deep Water Literary Journal, Typoetic.us, Yellow Chair Review, The Legendary, Xanadu, and Think Journal. He is a champion of the underdog who often composes to an obscure power pop soundtrack. His first collection, Small Consolations, is due out in Summer 2015 from The Aldrich Press. A chapbook, Memory Marries Desire, will be available from Finishing Line Press this fall.

Courtney Gustafson is a PhD candidate and writing instructor at the University of Massachusetts. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Turk's Head Review, Jackson Hole Review, Sphere, and Misfit Magazine, among others. Both poems published here are from a manuscript called Grief Reaction, which tries (and ultimately fails) to find redemption. Call it a bitter meditation, if you will.

Aaron E. Holst is a charter member of the Third Thursday Poets of Sheridan, Wyoming, and an active member of Wyoming Writers and Wyo Poets. His poetry has appeared in Wyoming Voices, Chaparral Poetry Forum, Distant Horizons, Sandcutters, Off Channel, Emerging Voices, Voices Along the River, Clerestory Poetry Journal, and Open Window Review. He was named the Amy Kitchener Foundation's 2010 Wyoming Senior Poet Laureate. His poem, "Recipe for Dragonfly Chicken," took a first in the 2011 Artists Embassy International Dancing Poetry Festival competition, and he read at the 2011 Festival in San Francisco. "Recipe" also placed third in the National Federation of State Poetry Society's 2011 competition and appeared in NFSPS's June 2012 edition of Encore. His prose has appeared in Open to Interpretation: Intimate Landscape, Open Window Review, Emerging Voices, and Inner Landscapes: Writers Respond to the Art of Virginia Dehn. Brigit, Celtic goddess of fire, poetry, childbirth, and healing, is his loving, supportive Muse.

William Reese Hamilton is a two time Spotlight Author who has been telling his tales of Choroní in Eclectica for the past eight years. He left a career in New York advertising for this fishing village on the coast of Venezuela. And it was here he met the ghost of Juan Pujol Garcia. His stories have appeared in more than 20 publications, including The Paris Review, The North American Review, The Adirondack Review, StoryQuarterly, Puerto del Sol, Review Americana, FRiGG, Night Train, Front Porch, Literary Orphans, and Atticus Review.

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.

Timmy Johnson was born at the Lyster Army Health Clinic in Ft. Rucker, Alabama, and grew up just north of New Orleans in Covington, Louisiana. He works as a pre-excavation surveyist in Durant, Oklahoma, and is a CrossFit addict and proud member of CrossFit 1611 in Silo, Oklahoma. He believes every subsequent publication of his requires a shout out to his paternal grandmother and personal savior, the late, great Donna Rhea Johnson.

Roxie Faulkner Kirk is an emerging fiction writer from Oklahoma, where she lives with her ever-patient husband and family. She teaches GED classes to incarcerated women. This is her first appearance in a literary journal.

Jascha Kessler is a two-time Spotlight Author, an honor he shared in October of 2010 with his late wife Julia. He 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, and a translator's preface in Sophocles, 2 (Univ. of Pennsylvanis Press, 1999). This is his 17th appearance in Eclectica.

Elizabeth Kerper lives in Chicago and recently graduated from DePaul University with a BA in English literature. She is a contributing editor at N/A Literary Magazine, where her work has appeared. She is overly fond of avocados, rainy days, and the second person, and she can generally be found sitting quietly in the corner with her nose stuck in a book.

Miriam N. Kotzin is Professor of English at Drexel University where she teaches creative writing and literature. She is author of a novel, The Real Deal (Brick House Press 2012), a collection of flash fiction, Just Desserts (Star Cloud Press 2010) and four collections of poetry, most recently, The Body's Bride (David Robert Books 2013). Her poetry has received six nominations for a Pushcart Prize and has been published in or is forthcoming in Shenandoah, Boulevard, The Tower Journal, and Valparaiso Poetry Review, among others. She is founding editor of Per Contra and has been a contributing editor of Boulevard since its inception.

E-MailDavid Mathews earned his MA in Writing and Publishing at DePaul University. Recent 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 his poetry also received first place in the Illinois Women's Press Association's 74th Mate E. Palmer Communications Awards. He is a life-long Chicagoan, teaches at Wilbur Wright College, College of Lake County, and is the Acting First Vice President/Program Chair for the Illinois Woman's Press Association (IWPA).

Robert Garner McBrearty has appeared in the Pushcart Prize, North American Review, Missouri Review, Narrative, New England Review, and many other places. His most recent collection of short stories is Let the Birds Drink in Peace, (Conundrum Press), and he has a new novel forthcoming in the fall, The Western Lonesome Society, also from Conundrum Press.

Marjorie Mir is a retired librarian and a member of Poetry Caravan—Westchester, New York, poets who share poetry with residents of care facilities at various venues in the county.

Cameron Murphy is a fourth-year student at the University of Louisville studying an interdisciplinary major including a minor in Creative Writing and concentrations in Philosophy, Sociology, and Theatre Arts. He's been the recipient of three Creative Writing Scholarships at the University of Louisville, was awarded publication in the Actors Theatre of Louisville's New Voices 2011 Anthology, and has published short fiction in UCLA's literary journal, Westwind. He prefers black coffee and springtime.

E-MailJack Murphy lives in Chicago.

Terry Ofner grew up in Iowa not far from the Mississippi River. He holds degrees from the University of Iowa where he attended the undergraduate Iowa Writer's Workshop in poetry. He is the editor for an educational publishing company and has published poems in World Order, 100 Words, and Right Hand Pointing. While his usual output is serious poetry, the occasional humorous piece bubbles up. He is working on his first collection of poems. About "Side Effects," he says, "This haibun—in which the haiku have been replaced with text messages—surprised me. I started out thinking I would lampoon some acquaintances who said they were able to levitate while meditating. Needless to say, Bobby (and Renee) took the story-poem in a direction I had not planned."

Dike Okoro teaches creative writing and English at Northwestern University, Evanston. His poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Witness Magazine, World Literature Today, Pindeldyboz, Hackwriters Magazine, Yellow Medicine Review, and numerous other magazines. He is the editor of several anthologies, including Speaking for the Generations: An Anthology of Contemporary African Short Stories and We Have Crossed Many Rivers: New Poetry from Africa. He received his PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Israel Okwuje writes from Lagos. He is particularly interested in the complexities of human relationships, especially between women and men. His works have appeared in East Jasmine Review, Litro, Saraba, and a host of other literary spaces. In 2015, he was selected for University of Iowa's International Writing Program For Nonfiction.

Ana Ottman is a writer based in Los Angeles. Her stories have appeared in The Rumpus and Uno Kudo, and she is the Associate Fiction Editor for The Nervous Breakdown.

Kirie C. Pedersen holds a M.A. in fiction writing and splits her time between the Transverse Ranges of California and the Olympic Mountain Range of Washington State, where she lives on a saltwater fjord and sleeps in a tent with her husband and cat. Her writing has appeared in Quiddity International literary journal and public radio program, Bluestem Magazine, Eleven Eleven, Chaffey Review, Caper Literary Journal, Avatar Review, Utne Reader, Seven Days, Wisconsin Review, Eclipse, RiverSedge, Alcoholism the National Magazine, Regeneration (Rodale Press), Glossolalia, American Motorcyclist, Folly Magazine, The View from Here, Northwest People, Teachers and Writers, A Gourmet Notebook, r.kv.r.y Quarterly Literary Review, Laurel Review (Greentower Press), Burrow Press Review, South Jersey Underground, Pithead Chapel, Theater Latte Da, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Juked, Foliate Oak, Superstition Review, Hackwriters, The Great American Lit Mag, Agave Magazine, and elsewhere.

Don Pomerantz lives in New York City, where he is a teacher. His poems have appeared in Washington Square, Failbetter, Potomac Review, Eclectica, New Plains Review, Mountain Gazette, SAND, and elsewhere.

E.M. Schorb has published prose poems most recently in Main Street Rag, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Oxford Poetry. His latest collection of prose poems is titled Manhattan Spleen. His novel, A Portable Chaos, is revised after winning the Eric Hoffer Award for Fiction and his Resurgius: A Sixties Sex Comedy is just out.

Lydia Selk is this issue's featured artist. She lives in Washington State with her husband. He gave her a digital camera about 11 years ago. That gift ignited a passion. She tries to capture tiny stories whispered from abandoned and decaying objects, from trees in the forest, or from the back alleys in her hometown.

John Sheehy is a Montana native and the youngest of 11 children. He lives in southern Vermont, where he teaches writing and literature at Marlboro College. His critical and creative nonfiction has appeared in African American Review, Fourth Genre, The Good Men Project, Eclectica, and Potash Hill. "To Thee Do We Cry" is dedicated in loving memory to John's mother, Rita Ann (Schiltz) Sheehy, 1921-2012.

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.

Eric Wilson has published three works of creative nonfiction, each a hybrid of memoir, philosophy, cultural analysis, and literary critcism. They are Keep it Fake (FSG), Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck (FSG), and Against Happiness (FSG). He has also published a memoir, The Mercy of Eternity (Northwestern UP). My work has appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Georgia Review, Oxford American, The New York Times, The LA Times, Salon, and The Chronicle Review. He teaches at Wake Forest University.