Apr/May 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.

Joe Bardin is an essayist, playwright, screenwriter, and messaging strategist. His essays have appeared in Pithead Chapel, Rock & Sling, Outside In Magazine, JMWW, Burrow Press Review, Toad Suck Review, and the futurist magazine, Immortal Life, among others. His plays have been performed professionally.

Andrew Bertaina lives and works in Washington, DC. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, Literary Orphans, Fiction Southeast,Sierra Nevada Review,The Journal of Microliterature, The Broadkill Review, Big Lucks, Manifest-Station, Whiskey Paper, Wilderness House Literary Review, Eunoia Review, Short, Fast, and Deadly, OxMag, and Bayou Magazine. He is also a reader and book reviewer at Fiction Southeast.

Nicole Borg is a former high school English teacher. Her poetry has appeared in several Minnesota publications: The Talking Stick, Lost Lake Folk Opera, Dust & Fire, and Poetic Strokes. Ten of her poems were recently included in the Nodin Poetry Anthology 2015. In 2014, she was the recipient of an Emerging Artist Grant from Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council. She is the editor of the Green Blade, the magazine of the Rural America Writers' Center out of Plainview, Minnesota. She is just completing a manuscript of her original poetry, All Roads Lead Home, which she hopes to have published soon. She lives in the town of Wabasha on the beautiful Mississippi with her husband and two sons, Lyzander and Lynx.

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, Pedestal, Stirring, Rose and Thorn, and many other publications.

Peter Bridges received degrees from Dartmouth and Columbia and spent three decades in the U.S. Foreign Service, roaming the world by rail, road, water, and air. Kent State University published his memoir of service as ambassador to Somalia, and his biographies of two 19th century Americans, an antislavery Ohioan and a racist Virginian. In 2013 he self-published a volume of 100 Sonnets from the Elk Mountains. His shorter work has appeared in American Diplomacy, California Literary Review, Diplomacy & Statecraft, Michigan Quarterly Review, Notes & Records of the Royal Society of London, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.

Paul Crenshaw writes stories and essays that have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Essays, Best American Nonrequired Reading, anthologies by W.W. Norton and Houghton Mifflin, Glimmer Train, Ecotone, North American Review, and Brevity, among others. He teaches writing and literature at Elon University.

T. L. Cummings is a 2015 Woody Guthrie Poet and hosts the monthly Poetry @ the Paramount OKC reading and open mic in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She is published in Dragon Poet Review, Illya's Honey, Red River Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, Ancient Paths Online, Still Crazy, and elsewhere. In March of 2016, Village Books Press will publish her first poetry book, Tales to the Wind.

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.

Thomas Ferraro is a psychoanalyst in private practice treating professional athletes and his work as a sport psychologist has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,and the London Times. In addition he has published the cartoon strip Yin & Yang: Tales of Neurotic Golfers both in Asia and the United States. This strip has been made into a book of the same name in Korea. His dissertation was on humor from SUNY Stony Brook and still has a wide interest in humor and satire. The work published in this issue of Eclectica is based upon the irony of Donald Barthelme and his famous essay "The Emerald."

Erica Goss served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, California, from 2013 to 2016. She is the author of Wild Place (Finishing Line Press 2012) and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets (PushPen Press 2014). Erica teaches poetry workshops and works as a Development Director for California Poets in the Schools. Her poems, reviews and articles appear widely. Regarding "Love Poem With Broken Things," she says it is an affectionate take on her husband's amazing ability to fix almost anything, provided he can find the right tool. "As an example, last week he repaired our espresso machine and one of my shoes. He hates to pay anyone to do something he can do himself." "The Art of Smoking" is about the power of addiction, and how her grandmother's death from lung cancer finally forced her to quit smoking.

Scott Gould has appeared in Kenyon Review, New Madrid Journal, Carolina Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, Bull: Men's Fiction, New Stories From the South, and The Bitter Southerner, among others. He has work forthcoming in The Raleigh Review. He is a two-time recipient of the S.C. Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in prose. Gould lives in Greenville, South Carolina, where he teaches creative writing at the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts. He's on Twitter at @scott_gould.

Jennifer Hanno is an English teacher and short story writer from Northern New York. Her short fiction has been published in Ploughshares, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Satirist, and Empirical. You can read more of her writing on her blog, Seriously.

Paul Holler is a writer of short stories and an occasional journalist on literary topics. His previous works have appeared in Southern Cross Review, Copperfield Review, Critique Magazine, Bookslut, Skylark, Conversations with Jay Parini, and Portraits De L'Escrivain En Biographe. His current project is a series of short stories about the life of Aesop, several of which have been published on line at Southern Cross 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.

Judy Kaber has appeared in both online and print journals including Eclectica, Off the Coast, The Comstock Review, and The Guardian. Contest credits include the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest and the Larry Kramer Memorial Chapbook Contest. She is a retired teacher and has lived in Maine for 44 years.

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.

Mark Magoon writes poetry, short stories, and secret songs for his dog. His poetry can be found in print in After Hours and Midwestern Gothic, and on the web at DIALOGIST, Ghost Ocean Magazine, and The Nervous Breakdown. His creative nonfiction piece, Chef!Chef!Chef!, can be found at Burrow Press Review. His work has been shared at The Poetry Foundation, as part of The Midwestern Gothic Summer Reading Series in Milwaukee, and as part of The Marble Room Reading Series in Chicago. His first book of poetry, The Upper Peninsula Misses You, was published by ELJ Publications in 2015. Magoon earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He lives in the Windy City with a wife far too pretty.

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.

Sharon Fagan McDermott is a poet and musician who teaches literature at a private high school in Pittsburgh. She has published three chapbooks, including Alley Scatting (Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin) and Bitter Acoustic, winner of the 2011 Jacar Press chapbook competition, chosen by poet Betty Adcock. Fagan McDermott was a 2001 recipient of a Pittsburgh artist award and a 2002 recipient of a PA Council on the Arts award. Her work has been published in many anthologies and literary journals, including Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, West Branch, and the anthologies Intimacy, and ...and so love, published by Jacar Press (NC).

John McMahon is a writer, motorcycle tour operator, and sometimes antiques exporter who lives on the banks of the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. His fiction and non-fiction has appeared online and in print all over the world. His latest novel is available to read on his blog.

Marjorie Mir is a retired librarian living in Bronxville, New York.

Michael Mungiello is from New Jersey. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Nanoism, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Short Fiction Break, Construction Literary Magazine, and Cheap Pop.

Jack Murphy lives in Chicago.

Terry Ofner has published humor in Eclectica and poetry in World Order, 100 Words, and Right Hand Pointing. He has poems forthcoming in Flying Island. He is an editor for an educational publishing company headquartered in Iowa, where he grew up not far from the Mississippi River.

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.

E-MailSimon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. For more information, including his essay "Magic, Illusion and Other Realities" and a complete bibliography, please visit his website.

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.

Garrett Socol began his career in television, creating such cult classics as Talk Soup and The Gossip Show for E! Entertainment Television. When he focused on writing fiction, his short stories were published in The Barcelona Review, The Dublin Quarterly, The London Journal of Fiction, and even some publications in the USA. His collection of short stories, Gathered Here Together, was published by Ampersand Books and garnered the following quote from PANK: "Truman Capote wishes he could have written with such wit." His quirky novel Tooth Decay was published by Folded Word Press. He is an avid dog lover.

Chris Tannlund studied Literature and Creative Writing in college, then fell asleep and had a 20 year nightmare he was a bureaucratic middle manager with barely enough time in the average day to read, let alone write. He's glad to be awake and writing again, but he has to admit the pension is nice.

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 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.