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.
Matt Basiliere has appeared in Verdad, Pindeldyboz, The Heat City Review, The Fifth Street Review, and other publications. His poetry has appeared in Ghazals for Foley, an Hinchas Press publication celebrating the spirit, life, and work of conflict journalist James Foley. Matt is a graduate of Hunter College in New York City and holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he was awarded the Slosberg Memorial Award for Substantial and Worthy Achievement in Prose. He, his wife, and their three daughters live in the suburbs west of Boston.
Aaron Bauer is a Pushcart-nominated poet and educator living in Colorado. He received his MFA from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. His work has appeared in Prism Review, Poemeleon, and others. His chapbook Colloquy of Sparrows was published Blue Lyre Press.
Virginia Boudreau is a recently retired Learning Disabilities Specialist living in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Canada. Her most recent work has appeared in Intima, Adanna Review, Cumberland River Review, Balloons (Children's) Literary Review, Dying Dahlia, Jonah, and Fox Adoption Magazine. Poems will soon be appearing in the Scrivenir Review, Galleon, Cricket (children's) Magazine, and the anthology Writing Menopause which will be available in 2017. She is completing both a novel for middle grade readers and a full length poetry manuscript. She says, "The poem, 'Seed Spinner' evolved as a personal response to an incident that occurred in June, 2014. Three RCMP officers were slain and two others wounded by a gunman in the small, quiet city of Moncton, New Brunswick. This close maritime community continues to recover from the aftermath of the horrific attack. Constable Dave Ross, age 32, left behind his wife, Rachel, who was expecting their second child at the time. Her haunting image stayed with me. Now, I thank Eclectica for the word challenge which provided me with a framework for processing that distressing event."
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.
Alan Bray worked as a musician and psychotherapist before turning to fiction writing. His short stories have appeared in 10,000 Tons of Black Ink, Bartleby Snopes, and Black Denim Lit, among others. His novel, The Hour of Parade, was a 2014 IndieReader Discovery Award winner for Best Literary Fiction. He lives in New Hampshire with his family. Regarding "Root," he took the title from Rilke's poem "Orpheus, Eurydice, Hermes," because the story refers to Orpheus/Eurydice. He admits to being a "Blue" stater, but he wasn't trying to make a big political statement in "Root."
Peter Bridges was born in New Orleans and raised in Chicago, and holds degrees from Dartmouth and Columbia. After serving as an Army private, he was commissioned as a Foreign Service officer and spent three decades on four continents, ending as the American ambassador to Somalia. He is the author of a memoir and two biographies published by Kent State University Press, and has self-published a volume of 100 sonnets. His shorter work has appeared in a number of publications, and includes sonnets and earlier essays in Eclectica.
Stacey E. Bryan was raised in the San Fernando Valley but born in San Francisco, where she left part of her heart. She received a BA in English from UCLA, studying under world-renowned Irish journalist and novelist Brian Moore. Her work has appeared in several literary magazines in New York and LA, including Ginosko and The Rag. She is working on various short stories and the sequel to her novel Day for Night. She lives in "beautiful downtown Burbank," as Johnny Carson used to say, with her husband who is also a writer.
Rachel Burns is a writer living and working in New York City. She is a previous recipient of Harvard's Edward Eager Memorial Prize for Poetry, and her poems have appeared in Literary Laundry and Florida English.
Jane Collins has appeared in Puerto Del Sol, The Greensboro Review, Confrontation, River Oak Review, California Quarterly, and other journals.
Jen Davis is a Northern Kentucky-based freelance writer with a degree in theater. She has published poetry in Vine Leaves (including their 2015 "Best of" anthology) and multiple issues of NEAT. Magazine. She took first prize in the adult poetry contest at the Kenton County Fair in 2014 and 2015, and third prize in 2016. Jen is actively seeking shelter for her unpublished works while toiling over her first chapbook, rehearsing for a play, and driving her two children to every single place in a 50-mile radius. About the poem in this issue, she says, "My favorite poetry professor always said to 'write the poem that scares you.' 'The Seafarer' is one of those poems."
Barbara De Franceschi is an Australian poet who lives in Broken Hill, a small mining town in outback New South Wales. Besides two collections of poetry, her work has appeared in anthologies and journals Australia wide, on-line, and in other countries, as well as being featured on national radio. For the past four years, Barbara has been part of the Enrich-Art in Health programme, an initiative of the NSW University Department of Rural Health to increase communication skills through creative writing and expand attitudes to compliment undergraduate studies for health professionals. She is also a member of The University of the Third Age and shares her skills with the community at large and people in aged care facilities.
Steven Deutsch is a semi-retired practitioner of the fluid mechanics of mechanical hearts and heart valves. He lives with his wife Karen—a visual artist—in State College, Pennsylvania, where he writes poetry, short fiction, and his blog. His most recent publications have appeared in Eclectica Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, New Verse News, Silver Birch Press, Misfit Magazine, and One-sentence poems. Regarding the work in this issue, he says, "The poem arose out of my continuing attempt to understand a man, who was in many ways my exact opposite—but who was at the same time, my brother. I write about him a lot."
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. He was inspired to write the essay in this issue as a response to the growing interest in matters of philosophical importance both online and in the rest of American culture.
Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, and teacher. Recent poems are published or forthcoming in Verse-Virtual, Panoplyzine, Your Daily Poem, First Literary Review–East, Public Pool, Blue Lyra Review, Indiana Voice Journal, Scarlet Leaf Review, Third Wednesday, Alexandria Quarterly, Sheila-Na-Gig, and Ghost City Review. He is a champion of the underdog who often composes to an obscure power pop soundtrack. His first collection, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press), and a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire, (Finishing Line Press) are available from Amazon.com. Regarding the work in this issue, he says, "The 27-year-old Annie Dillard, in her Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, refers to nature as a 'now you see it, now you don't' affair. This gives an insight into the title—as to the rest, you are on your own."
Christy Alexander Hallberg is a Teaching Associate Professor of English at East Carolina University, where she earned her BS and MA in English. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. In addition to her teaching duties, she serves as an assistant editor for North Carolina Literary Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as Main Street Rag, Fiction Southeast, Emerge Literary Journal, and Concho River Review. She is working on a novel. "Third Party" is inspired by not only the 2016 presidential election, but also by the three actual third party candidates featured in the story, whose words are direct quotes by them.
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 third appearance in Eclectica. She was the Spotlight Author runner-up for the Jul/Aug 2016 issue. Regarding the work in this issue, she says, "I wrote a draft of the poem about eight years ago. Sadly it's still relevant."
Jason Lee Helm has a BA in French and a Masters in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. He is a writing professor at Pratt Institute. Jason's short stories have appeared in Eclectica, Birds of Lace, Lumina, and Union Station, among others. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband and two cats.
Thomas J. Hubschman is a regular contributor to Eclectica's Salon and is the author of five novels (Look at Me Now, Billy Boy, Fr. Walther's Temptation, My Bess, and Song of the Mockingbird), a short story collection (The Jew's Wife & Other Stories) and two anthologies of writing from the 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.
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).
Nancy Jentsch has taught German and Spanish at Northern Kentucky University for over 30 years. She has published numerous scholarly articles and her short fiction and poetry have appeared in journals such as The Journal of Kentucky Studies, the Aurorean, *82 Review, and Panoply. Her first chapbook, Authorized Visitors (Cherry Grove Collections), will be published in 2017. She enjoys living in rural Kentucky with her family, and her hobbies include knitting and Sudoku.
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.
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 with Great Lakes Review, Salon, Belt Magazine, Bright Lights Film Journal, Streetlight Magazine, 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. Amy is also a regular blogger for Huffington Post UK.
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 Sándor Rákos's Catullan Games (Marlboro Press, Marlboro, VT) won the Translation Award from the National Translation Center. His latest volume of fiction, Siren Songs & Classical Illusions: 50 Modern Fables, appeared in December of 1992 (McPherson and Co., still in print, and reissued as a Kindle eBook, 2014, much enlarged to 75 fables). His translation of King Oedipus, with a Translator's Preface, appeared in Sophocles, 2 (2000, 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 collection of 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. His latest work of fiction is King Solomon's Seal, 476 pages of confabulations, with an Introduction and Afterwords (xLibris, 2013. Hardback/Paperback/eBook versions available).
Martina Mihelicova is revisiting her interest in stringing words together and finding what's there.
Marjorie Mir is a retired librarian, living in Bronxville, NY.
Jillian Schedneck lives in Adelaide, Australia, with her husband and daughter. She runs the travel memoir writing website Writing From Near and Far, and is the author of the travel memoir Abu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights. She holds an MFA in creative writing and a PhD in Gender Studies. Her writing has appeared in The Manifest-Station, Brevity, and The Lifted Brow, among others.
Kurt Schmidt is a retired technical writer and the author of the YA novel Annapolis Misfit (Crown Publishers). His coming-of-age memoir was a finalist in a Breadloaf creative nonfiction competition. One of his company-branded computer software books won an award from the Society for Technical Communication. This is his first appearance in Eclectica Magazine, a personal essay that is an excerpt from a European road trip that caused him to leave mechanical engineering to become a writer. He is seeking a publisher who is interested in a memoir fanatic. Work-in-progress includes a third memoir about the joy of parenting a risk taker while living in the shadow of Mt. Monadnock. This adult son is aging his parents by racing a red Mazda Miata in SCCA competitions when not developing radar software to protect US fighter jets.
Vic Sizemore is a widely published writer of short fiction and nonfiction and the novel in stories Eternity Rowboat. His fiction has won the New Millennium Writings Award and was nominated for Best American Nonrequired Reading and two Pushcart Prizes.
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.
Lesley Trites lives in Montreal. Her debut story collection, A Three-Tiered Pastel Dream, is forthcoming from Vehicule Press (Spring 2017). She is also the author of a collection of poetry, echoic mimic, and her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Maisonneuve, The Tupelo Quarterly, carte blanche, and the anthology Salut King Kong: New English Writing from Quebec, among others.
James Underwood is an American poet and English teacher hailing from the Great Lake State of Michigan. After graduating from UMBC in 1995 with a BA in English Literature, he moved to Asia, where he lived and traveled for 20 years. He completed his Master's of Education from Framingham State University in August 2016 and is residing in New York.
Becca Yenser is a born-again Kansan, by way of Oregon and New Mexico. A recent graduate of the Independent Publishing Resource Center, her work appears in HOOT, Metazen, the Nervous Breakdown, and decomP Magazine.