Oct/Nov 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.

Christopher Allen is the 2015 recipient of the Ginosko Literary Journal's award for flash fiction. His work appears in Indiana Review, Night Train, Literary Orphans, Contrary, and over 100 other journals and anthologies. Read his book reviews in PANK, The Lit Pub, Necessary Fiction, and more. A former finalist at Glimmer Train, Allen is also a multiple nominee for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Originally from Tennessee, Allen now splits his time between Munich and Dublin. He blogs and is on the editing team at SmokeLong Quarterly. About "Fred's Massive Sorrow," he says, "This story started in Vienna, Austria, with a passing glance at a large tree atop one of the buildings in the center of the city. It was one of those moments when a story develops in seconds: the weight of that tree and the vision of its roots penetrating every aspect of the tenants' lives like a creeping sadness, a massive sorrow. And because I'm not very good at sorrow without humor, the story—as well as the central character—became Fred's massive sorrow. For me, the story is about (not) understanding one's changing world, but I'm also fine when someone tells me it's about trees."

Ovo Adagha is a Nigerian scholar living in Canada. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction works have appeared in several online and print publications, including One World: A global anthology of short stories, Caine Anthology, African Writing, Eclectica, Angle Journal, Every Writer, Santa Fe Writers Project and The Stockholm Review of Literature. He was a runner up in the 2008 UK Bath Spa University Creative Writing Prize.

Ankush Banerjee is a mental health professional based in Kochi, Kerala. His first collection of poetry, An Essence of Eternity (Sahitya Akademi, Delhi), is scheduled to be published in early January 2016.

Scott Brennan is an artist and writer who has been part of the Miami art scene for over a decade. His paintings and photographs have been shown at the Diana Lowenstein Fine Art Gallery, Luna Star, The Brattleboro Museum of Art, and The Franco Center for the Arts, to name a few. Scott's writing has been featured in a number of magazines, too, including Harvard Review, Smithsonian, The Gettysburg Review, Carolina Quarterly, and elsewhere. Additionally, he has done illustration work for the Boston Modern Orchestra, University of Alaska Press, and the University of Arizona. Scott earned his BA in English from Truman University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Florida.

Michael Creighton is a middle school teacher, poet, and library movement activist who lives in New Delhi. His poetry has appeared in various journals and newspapers including Wasafiri, Pratilipi, Mint Lounge, and the Sunday Oregonian. If you find yourself in Delhi, come visit him at the Deepalaya Community Library Project.

Ben Daitz is one of this issue's Spotlight Author runners up. A physician, writer, and documentary filmmaker, his novel, Delivery, published by the University of New Mexico Press, was named to the Best of the Southwest. He has been a contributing writer for the New York Times and The Atlantic, and his films have been screened and honored by PBS, American Public Television, and numerous festivals. Ben's most recent documentary, The Sun Never Sets, is about the Rio Grande Sun, one of the best small-town newspapers in the country. Among other venues, the film was screened at The Newseum on the National Mall. Ben is a Professor of Medicine at the University of New Mexico.

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.

Chikodili Emelumadu is a sentient being dwelling in the greyness that is London. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Apex Magazine, Luna Station Quarterly, One Throne magazine, Omenana, Sub-Q magazine and African Monsters, an anthology from Fox Spirit books. In 2015 she was nominated for the Shirley Jackson awards for her story "Candy Girl" featured in Apex Magazine. She is working on the ninth incarnation of her novel. Follow her on twitter @chemelumadu.

Stephanie Erdman lives in Southwest Michigan and holds a Master's in English from Indiana University South Bend. She works as a vacuum cleaner technician and spends her nights eyeing the Indiana border with suspicion. She is part of the support staff at 42 Miles Press.

Joel Fry lives in Athens, Alabama. His poetry has appeared in Iodine Poetry Journal, Off the Coast, Stirring, Eclectica, and several other places. He has a blog called Susurrus Waking and is found on Twitter @JoelFry4.

Patrick Goggins is a lawyer and a writer in Hollywood, Florida. He also has very, very good hair. He has been published in SNReview, The Applicant, and in Communication Research Trends. His non-fiction work includes the bestselling Reader's Guide to Reza Aslan's Zealot. An avid musician, he has written over 1,000 songs.

Connor Greer is an undergraduate at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. His work has previously appeared in theNewerYork. He would like to dedicate this piece to his father, on whom it is partially based.

Ruth D. Handel is the author of Tugboat Warrior (Dos Madres Press, 2013), Reading the White Spaces (Finishing Line Press, 2009) and poems in literary journals and anthologies. Her full length manuscript has recently been submitted for publication. She has read her poems throughout the New York metropolitan area, and her work has twice been selected in juried competition for performance at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. Ruth teaches poetry courses at an Adult School, facilitates writing workshops, and manages the Poetry Caravan, a volunteer organization that brings poetry to the community. A retired academic, Ruth feels especially privileged to be able to devote time to poetry writing and teaching. This is her second appearance in Eclectica. She was the Spotlight Author runner-up for the Oct/Nov 2015 issue.

Margaret Holley is one of this issue's Spotlight Author runners up. Her fifth collection of poems is Walking Through the Horizon (University of Arkansas Press). Her work has appeared in Poetry, Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, and many other journals. Former director of Bryn Mawr College’s Creative Writing Program, she now serves as a docent at Winterthur Museum.

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.

Mardean Isaac is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Guardian and other publications. He is seeking a publisher for his first novel, Lucian's Education.

Patricia L. Johnson is one of this issue's Spotlight Author runners-up. Her poetry has appeared in Foliate Oak, Apollo's Lyre, Southern Women's Review, Ars Medica, and other literary journals. She was editor of The Green Tricycle online literary magazine while it was active. For more than ten years she worked as an administrator for, and is presently an active member of, The Internet Writing Workshop. Her collection of flash fiction stories, Destrehan and Other Tales, is available to share as an ebook at Amazon. She is circulating her book of poems, Prism Variation, for publication. About the poems in this issue, she says, "Regarding 'On the North Shore,' I sing with all my heart of this rare olive and yellow bird, which I really saw—no, really. We are often not taken seriously, or in the bigger picture, not seen as who we really are in our honesty. 'Becky's Trilobite'—if something means so much to a friend, it belongs to them. I/we do not need to possess everything we love. This poem is dear to me, and I am so glad it found its very best home in Eclectica. As for 'Ascension Island,' never have I heard so lonely a voice as that of my husband's on the tape he played for me of his last broadcast from Ascension Island. I had to write a poem to get that lonely long distance out of my head." Patricia blogs at @PJPoet.

Judy Kaber lives in Belfast, Maine, taught elementary school for 34 years, and is now retired. She has previously been published in The Maine Times, Poetry International, Nerve House, Thieves Jargon, Eclectica, Off the Coast, and The Comstock Review. She also won the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest in 2009.

David Karraker lives and writes in Portland, Maine. His short fiction has appeared in the South Carolina Review and Puerto del Sol. He co-authored a musical play, The Magnolia Club, which opened the initial season of the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago and was subsequently produced in Denver and in revival at Chicago’s McCormick Place Theater.

Amy Kenyon is a historian and writer-photographer. She is the author of Dreaming Suburbia, a study of Detroit and postwar sub-urbanization (Wayne State University Press) and a first novel, Ford Road (University of Michigan Press). As a writer of fiction and nonfiction, she has published shorter pieces in Belt Magazine, Bright Lights Film Journal, Salon, Cobalt Review, and the Detroit News. Born and raised in Michigan, Amy now lives in London. She has worked as a mental health advocate, a literacy campaigner, and has taught at universities in Leeds and London.

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.

Rudy Koshar lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife of more than 40 years. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous magazines including most recently Prick of the Spindle, Eclectica, Black Heart Magazine, Empty Oaks, Danse Macabre, Red Fez, Revolution House, Turk's Head Review, Guernica, and Montreal Review. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he was also the second place winner in the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Letters & Arts 2013 Fiction Contest. He has written or edited seven books on modern German and European history and teaches in the history department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

David Kunkel received Boston College's Arts Achievement Award for his poetry and fiction. His work has appeared in Bird's Thumb and plain china. He grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and now lives in Wisconsin.

Kiare Ladner grew up in South Africa. As a child she planned to live on a farm, run an orphanage, and be on stage. As an adult she found herself working for academics, with prisoners and on nightshifts. Then in 2012 she received funding towards a Creative Writing Masters. In 2014 she started working on a first collection of short stories as part of a funded Creative Writing PhD. She lives between Aberystwyth, where she teaches, and London, where her love lives.

Joe Mayers recently completed his Ph.D. in literature and creative writing at the University of Utah. His prose has appeared in Alice Blue Review, decomP, DREGINALD, Heavy Feather Review, Juked, and elsewhere. He is from Elsberry, Missouri, and now lives in Kansas City.

E-MailDavid Mathews earned his MA in Writing and Publishing at DePaul University. His work has recently 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 Magazine for The Best of The Net 2014 and received awards from the Illinois Women's Press and the National Federation of Press Women. He is a life-long Chicagoan, and he teaches at Wright College and College of Lake County.

Roger Mensink is this issue's Spotlight Author. Born in Belgium, he grew up in the Netherlands, Seattle, and Orange County, California. He received his MFA from UCLA (in painting) and now lives in Los Angeles. Recent fiction appears in Revolver and Your Impossible Voice and is forthcoming in Literary Orphans.

Jesse Minkert lives in Seattle. In 2008, Wood Works Press published a letterpress collection of his microstories, Shortness of Breath & Other Symptoms. His work has appeared in about 45 journals including the Georgetown Review, Confrontation, Mount Hope, Floating Bridge Review, and Harpur Palate.

Marjorie Mir is a retired librarian living in Bronxville, New York. "Vanishing Perspectives" resulted from a visit to the sky show at the Rose Center Planetarium in Manhattan. The camera pulled back further and further until the Earth was a tiny dot and the narrator said, "That's home."

Don G. Morgan has written all his life, from technical books, columns, and articles, to poetry, short stories, and novels. He has published poetry on the web at www.Baykitty.com, Penman Review, and Lost Coast Review and in some Google+ web magazines.

Gina O'Neill is a writer and graduate of DePaul University, with a degree in English Literature and French. As a new mother, much of her writing focuses on the joys and heartbreaks of raising a child in an unconventional setting. She is working on a chapbook that catalogs her journey through her unexpected pregnancy. She hopes to one day publish her creed, "What to Expect When You Weren't Expecting to Expect," the antithesis to the most poisonous how-to book of our many generations.

Kenneth Pobo has a new book out from Blue Light Press called Bend of Quiet. Forthcoming from Urban Farmhouse Press is a poetry book called Booking Rooms in the Kuiper Belt.

Divya Rajan recently published poems in The Missing Slate, Expound, Berfrois, and After Hours. She works as a chemist in Chicago. Her favorite Plath poem is "Nick and the Candlestick." She enjoys working with juxtapositions and was instantly drawn to the dreamy quality of several of Plath's initial letters to her mother.

Robert Roman was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, taught incarcerated teenagers in Baltimore, Maryland, studied fiction writing at Johns Hopkins and UCLA, and now writes America's favorite hangman puzzles. He has had stories published in the premiere issue of Six Three Whiskey and The Nervous Breakdown.

Vic Sizemore has work published or forthcoming in StoryQuarterly, Southern Humanities Review, storySouth, Connecticut Review, Blue Mesa Review, Sou’wester, PANK Magazine, Silk Road Review, Reed Magazine, Superstition Review, Ghost Town, Atticus Review, Entropy, and elsewhere. Excerpts from his novel Eternity Rowboat are published in Connecticut Review, Portland Review, Prick of the Spindle, Burrow Press Review, Pithead Chapel, Letters, and elsewhere. His fiction has won the New Millennium Writings Award and been nominated for Best American Nonrequired Reading and a Pushcart Prize.

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.

Himali Singh Soin writes looking out of Euclid's window. She likes varieties of distances, map-making, getting lost in cities and in absences, and finding poems forming fronds in fish bowls, dust-ridden inside door-knobs or wilting in wine glasses. Previous poetry has been published in The Penny Dreadful, TFQ Magazine, Quay Journal, 491, Prairie Schooner, Pratilipi, Pyrta, Kritya, ArtSlant, TAKE on Art, and the Bread Loaf School of English Journal, among others. Her poems also feature in a few anthologies: Seamus Heaney's Yellow Nib Poetry in English by Indians is one of them. The poems, "Invisible Poetry" and "Boy of Letters," she says, "were inspired by a summer spent steeped in Calvino's marvelous mind, mapping the everywhere and the nowhere. Thanks to Paul Muldoon for encouraging their waywardness."

Gregory Stephenson grew up in Colorado and Arizona but has lived in Denmark for 40 years. He is the author of numerous articles and six books of literary criticism, including most recently Pilgrims to Elsewhere (Eyecorner Press).

J. Eric Thompson is a freelance writer and slightly embarrassed American from rural Virginia living in New York City. He studied English Literature and Creative Writing at James Madison University, Journalism at NYU, and is now working on several short stories and essays while preparing his first novel for submission. This is his first publication.

Elena Tuparevska was born in Macedonia. She has worked in NGOs, universities, and schools in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. She now lives in Spain.

Roy White has some degrees from the University of Minnesota and lives in Saint Paul with his lovely wife and handsome dog. This is his first proper publication, as distinct from his blog, Lippenheimer. He is now blind, so stained glass, like Georgia, is accessible only through memory.

Steve Vermillion is a fiction writer and humorist living in Northern California. He is a contributing editor at tNY Press. His recent work appears in print and online in a variety of magazines. In 2014 he was nominated for a Best of the Net award in Short Stories, as well as receiving Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train Magazine's Short Story of the Year.

Erin Vogel likes to do a lot of different things, mostly on the Internet. She lives and works in Chicago at a social work nonprofit and writes for the A.V. Club and music site Pop 'stache. She is also a musician and a comedian for pretty much anyone who will listen to her. You can find her jokes and complaints about biking alongside Chicago drivers at @eringejuice.

Margaret Wack is a writer whose work has been published in The Plebian Rag, ditch, and Haggard and Halloo. She lives in Massachusetts.