Jan/Feb 2016

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.

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.

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.

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.

Betsy Boyd is a Texas-born fiction writer and journalist based in Baltimore, Maryland. An essayist/blogger for the Huffington Post, she occasionally writes memoir about her family life with toddler twins and a husband 20 years her senior. She is the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council award, an Elliot Coleman Writing Fellowship, a James A. Michener Fellowship, and residencies through Fundación Valparaíso, the Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Betsy's fiction has been published most recently in Sententia, Shenandoah, and Loch Raven Review. Her short story "Scarecrow" received a Pushcart Prize. She is a faculty member in the Creative Writing and Publishing Arts MFA program at the University of Baltimore and serves as editor-in-chief of Baltimore STYLE Magazine.

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.

Cindy Carlson grew up in the snow belt of western New York, and, when not traveling and birding with her husband, has spent most of her adult life along the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. After a long career in youth development, publishing in several professional journals, she is spending retirement with her first writing love, creative nonfiction. Her work, which mostly documents her travel (mis)adventures, has appeared in Birding, The Quotable, Litro NY, damselfly press, and Lowestoft Chronicle.

Leslie Chivers is a novelist and short story writer. He has spent the past ten-plus years working in communications and marketing and is a board member of his local Writers' Guild and the Art Mentorship Society. Chivers' fascination with pop culture and stance against censorship—as well as his collection of "banned books"—has greatly influenced his writing and hobby of collecting rare first print, first edition books. Many of his stories explore themes of privilege and lost youth, disdain, and despair. His short story, "The Heir of New York," is a prelude to his novel, The Heir of Nothing in Particular.

Rebekah Curry was born in Iowa, grew up in Kansas, and used to be in Texas, but isn't anymore. Her chapbook Unreal Republics is available from Finishing Line Press, and her work has also appeared in journals including Antiphon, Mezzo Cammin, and Blue Lyra Review.

Ben Daitz is 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.

Hannah Edwards is one of this issue's Spotlight runners up. In her spare time, she is a teaching assistant at a local children's theatre in North Carolina. Recently, she and her girlfriend used 3D scanning and modeling to construct authentic Greek drama masks for productions of Oedipus and Seven Against Thebes.

David Flynn has been reporter for a daily newspaper, editor of a commercial magazine, and teacher. His literary publications total more than one hundred and eighty. He posts a new story and poem every month on his writing blog. "The Handover" is fiction based on a period when he was in Hong Kong for the actual event.

Matthew Gellman has poems appearing or forthcoming in DIALOGIST, Lambda Literary, Word Riot, Gravel, and Two Peach, among other publications. He is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets prize and is an MFA candidate at Columbia University.

Tal Halpern is an author, illustrator, and animator. His multimedia work has been featured in numerous venues both on-line and off, including Sundance Film Festival Web, Iowa Review Web, Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe (ZKM), Cortland Review, Center for Book Arts (NYC) and Turbulence.org.

Cindy Bousquet Harris is a poet and a licensed marriage and family therapist. Her poetry has appeared online and in print journals, including The San Diego Poetry Annual, Spectrum Magazine (U.C. Santa Barbara), Indiana Voice Journal, and Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing. Cindy's had the pleasure of reading at the Claremont Library and at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice, CA. She lives in southern California with her husband and their children.

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.

Alan Ireland is an English-born retired journalist in Palmerston North, New Zealand. He lived in Japan between 1962 and 1972 and has visited the country three times since then. His poems have appeared in literary magazines in England, the United States, Japan, and New Zealand.

Stanley Jenkins is a former Spotlight Author and longtime contributor to Eclectica. He has been published widely in electronic magazines, print journals, and anthologies, including The Best Creative Non-Fiction, Vol 2 (W.W. Norton, 2008). He is the author of A City on a Hill (Outpost19, 2013).

Minnie Joung has published short fiction in journals such as the Atticus Review and Crack the Spine. She is at work on a novel titled The Mathematical Handbook for Scientists and Engineers. When she is not writing, she advises social enterprise focused on addressing hunger, education, and homelessness.

Jascha Kessler has published nine 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 Sándor Rákos's Catullan Games won the Translation Award from the National Translation Center (Marlboro Press, Marlboro, VT). His latest volume of fiction, Siren Songs & Classical Illusions: 50 Stories, appeared in December of 1992. His latest work is a translation of King Oedipus, with a Translator's Preface, in Sophocles, 2 (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press). In 1999, he published a novel, Rapid Transit: 1948—An Unsentimental Education. Other works include Collected Poems, a revised edition of his first stories, An Egyptian Bondage, Christmas Carols & Other Plays, Tataga's Children: Fairytales from the Serbian of Grozdana Olujic, Traveling Light: Selected Poems of Kirsti Simonsuuri (translated from the Finnish), and Our Bearings at Sea: A Novel in Poems, translated from the Hungarian of Ottó Orbán. All seven books are available from Xlibris Corporation.

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). A fifth volume, Debris Field, is scheduled for publication by David Robert Books in January 2017. Her poetry 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.

Marie Massey is an award winning artist whose work accompanies the poetry in this issue. She studied Fine Art at the California College of Arts and Crafts, UC Santa Barbara, UC Berkeley and at the Loveland Academy of Art as well as with many well known contemporary artists. In the year 2000, after an international career in marketing and business development, Marie devoted herself to painting and teaching full-time. Marie is represented by select galleries across the US including Strouse & Strouse Gallery in Pacific Grove, Ca. and the Independence Gallery in Loveland, CO. She also teaches painting for adults working in oil and acrylic for the City of Monterey. Her paintings have been juried into numerous national exhibitions, where they have won many awards including Best of Show, 2nd and 3rd place as well as many Honorable Mentions, Purchase and Merchant Awards. Marie is also co-founder of Paint the Poudre Plein Air, a plein air painting event benefiting the Cache La Poudre River in Colorado and Founder of the Central Coast Plein Air Painters.

David 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.

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."

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.

John Palcewski has enjoyed an eclectic career as a publishing house copywriter, wire service photojournalist, corporate magazine editor, music/drama critic, short story writer, and fine arts photographer. His work appears in the literary and academic press as well as in a substantial number of online publications. He has a BA in Journalism from Moravian College, and studied photography and videotape production at New York University. Palcewski's profile of jazz great Miles Davis appears in Miles on Miles, an anthology recently published by Lawrence Hill Books, an imprint of Chicago Review Press.

Arjun Rajendran recently appeared at Berfrois, The Bombay Literary Magazine, The Sunflower Collective, and The Missing Slate. His first collection is called Snake Wine.

Irina Ruvinsky writes "My enduring interest in the subject of memory and remembering has been engendered in large part by the first hand experience of displacement and nostalgia as a Jewish refugee from the former Soviet Union. As a professor of Philosophy and Literature at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I have turned to the subject of memory, displacement, and exile in both my research and my teaching. This is my first attempt to engage with this experience in a work of creative non-fiction."

Sarah Richards is one of this issue's Spotlight runners up. She has published short fiction with The Danforth Review, Room, and UNBUILD walls, and non-fiction with Lonely Planet and BBC.com. She serves on the PRISM international editorial board, works as a writing mentor at Booming Ground, and is an MFA Candidate at the University of British Columbia. She was born in Campbell River, British Columbia, but now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids.

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.

Kristie Smeltzer has appeared in So to Speak and The Florida Review. Her story "Bridges" was a runner-up in Phobe: A Journal of Literature and Art's 2006 Fiction Contest. Her story "The Fine Art of Goldfish" received an honorable mention in the WriterHouse/C'ville Weekly 2015 Contest and is forthcoming in the Apeiron Review. She is working on a novel. Kristie received her MFA from the University of Central Florida. She resides in Charlottesville, Virginia, and teaches at WriterHouse.

Garrett Socol finds humor in just about everything. He has published short fiction in The Barcelona Review, 3:AM Magazine, The London Journal of Fiction, PANK, Hobart, Drunk Monkeys, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. His comic novel Tooth Decay, a tale of obsession, attraction and proper flossing, was recently published by Folded Word Press. His short story collection, Gathered Here Together, was published by Ampersand Books.

Karen Fox Tarlton has been a military spouse for 25 years. She paints whimsical animals and figures, textural florals, landscapes, and cityscapes, and her work, in addition to accompanying most of the writing in this issue, has a large online worldwide following. She works primarily on canvas in oil with a palette knife, using techniques that allow for interesting textural possibilities and complex color layers in an expressive, impressionistic style bordering on abstract. She is licensed with companies such as Uptown Art, All My Walls, Dianoche Designs, AFrame Audio, and others who sell images of her artwork on blankets, towels, rugs, and illuminated canvas among other items. You may find her art reproduced by these companies on sites such as One King's Lane, Rue La La, Josh and Main and Walmart. In 2015, she was commissioned by Tupelo Honey Cafe, Inc, to create Series of paintings for a new Tupelo Honey Restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, which opens in June 2015.

Christopher Thornton teaches in the writing program at Zayed University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Before relocating to the UAE, he taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Emerson College, in the Boston area, the American University in Cairo, and the European Institute for International Communication in Maastricht, the Netherlands. His essays have also appeared in The American Scholar, Commonweal, Michigan Quarterly Review, Confrontation, Atlantic Online, and many other publications in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.

Scott H. Urban lives and writes in southeastern Ohio, where he works with youth in rehabilitation. His most recent poetry collection is God's Will (Mad Rush Press) and his most recent anthology appearance is in Every River on Earth (Ohio University Press).

April Vazquez holds a B.A. in Literature and Language from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and an M.A. in the Teaching of English as a Second Language from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A native of the North Carolina foothill, she lives in León, Guanajuato, Mexico, where she homeschools her daughters, reads, and writes. Her work has been published by Connotation Press and in Windhover.

Michael Woods is a poet and journalist currently based in Berlin, Germany, where he's finishing his poetry and prose memoir Escaping Independence. The manuscript earned him Highest Honors in English at Vanderbilt University, which also awarded him the Merrill Moore Prize for Poetry in 2015. His poem in this issue, "Reasons to Wake up Long before Morning, Homesick" was such a pleasure to struggle with for this word challenge, mostly because this challenge requires poets to do what is always asked of them: to create a poem that can engulf the reader and dissolve in its own images and syntax, like the pre-chosen words. Otherwise, he wanted this poem to connect with his own experience as someone living abroad and as someone in their second year of marriage, balancing memory and nostalgia, new and old relationships, and the instability of all aforementioned. Find some of his work at the Nashville Review, Glass Mountain, and Five 2 One Magazine.