Jan/Feb 2017

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.

Ryan Blacketter is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the author of Down in the River. His reviews and interviews have appeared in Paste, the Rumpus, Fiction Writers Review, Largehearted Boy, and elsewhere. He works as a mentor for PEN America's Prison Writing Program, and his short stories appear in Antioch Review, Image, Crab Orchard Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. His non-fiction has been published in the Rumpus.

Michelle Brooks has published a novella, Dead Girl, Live Boy (Storylandia Press) and a poetry collection, Make Yourself Small (Backwaters Press). A native Texan, she has spent much of her adult life in Detroit, her favorite city. She recently completed a collection of essays, Second Day Reported.

Antonia Clark is a writer, editor, and teacher, and co-administers an online poetry forum, The Waters. She has published short fiction and poetry in numerous print and online journals and is the author of a poetry chapbook, Smoke and Mirrors (2013), and a full-length poetry collection, Chameleon Moon (2014). Toni lives in Vermont, loves French picnics, and plays French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.

Jen Davis is a Northern Kentucky-based freelance writer with poetry published or forthcoming in Whale Road Review, Peacock Journal, Licking River Review, Eclectica Magazine, Vine Leaves (including their 2015 "Best of" anthology) and NEAT. 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 "(W)holes," she says, "This poem is my peepshow into an hour of overwhelm and frustration that mothers everywhere know all too well. An hour later, perhaps I could have written a sonnet to the love I bear for my family. But I think we spend too much time shaming ourselves for having natural human emotions and I refuse to pretend I never feel resentment or anger or even despair."

Barbara De Franceschi is this issue's Spotlight Author. An Australian poet, she 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.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (2016, 8th House Publishing). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is living in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and children.

Nandini Dhar is the author of the book Historians of Redundant Moments: A Novel in Verse (Agape Editions, 2017). Her fiction has been published in Little Patuxent Review, Puerto del Sol, and The Bombay Literary Magazine. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, Memorious, New South, Best New Poets 2016, and elsewhere. Nandini hails from Kolkata, India, and divides her time between her hometown and Miami, Florida, where she works as an Assistant Professor of English at Florida International University.

Joel Fry lives in Athens, Alabama. He has had poetry published in Off the Coast, Relief, Eclectica, Iodine Poetry Journal, and several other places.

Elizabeth P. Glixman is a poet, artist, writer, and former interview editor for Eclectica. She is now an Assistant Editor at Frigg, and a new poem will appear in the Worcester Review's next issue. She has a BFA in studio arts and a MEd, and she's worked with preschoolers to seniors in arts and activities program. Her recent art is focused on textures color, design, and movement. She is exploring several different creative possibilities, experimenting with adhering fabric without glue, tying fabric or anything else that can be knotted on surfaces to create visual delights as well as digitalizing images to change the composition and textures. Hurrah for Photoshop. And she is using simple printing techniques, actual flowers and leaves, craft papers and paper clay in collages that relate to nature.

Nathan Elias writes out of Los Angeles where he is earning an MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University. He is Co-Lead Editor of Art and Flash Prose at Lunch Ticket, and his work has appeared in Hobart, Literary Orphans, Red Fez, the beatnik, Dogzplot, and Birdville Magazine. In 2016 he received second place in the Toledo City Paper Short Fiction Contest. In 2015 his short film "The Chest" premiered at Cannes Film Festival.

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.

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, Panoply, and Blinders. Her first chapbook, Authorized Visitors (Cherry Grove Collections, imprint of WordTech Communications), will be published in 2017. She enjoys living in rural Kentucky with her family, and her hobbies include knitting and Sudoku. Regarding "Tiger," she says, "Franz Marc and his fellow Blue Rider artists worked at the borders of abstract art and were most concerned that their paintings displayed the essence of their subjects rather than their exact appearance. In the case of the painting Tiger, the animal's energy is more essential to the painting than his stripes."

Chris Jenkins is a former bartender and educator from Evergreen, Colorado. His writing has appeared in Burnt Pine Magazine, Inland, Essential Teacher, and Rural Educator. He lives at 8,000 feet with his family and two dogs. He has a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

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.

Chuck Kramer is a writing teacher with MFA and cohosts the Weeds Poetry Open Mic every Monday night in Chicago. He's worked as an advertising copywriter, a public relations writer, and the theater critic for the Oak Leaves newspaper. He's also a photographer who freelances for the Windy City Times and other media outlets. His poems and short stories have appeared in many publications. He's written two unpublished novels and is working on a third.

Inderjeet Mani is a Spotlight Runner Up for this issue. He divides his time between Thailand, India, and the US. His books include The Imagined Moment: Time, Narrative and Computation, and his stories, essays, and poems have been published in 3:AM Magazine, Aeon, Apple Valley Review, Asia Writes, Drunken Boat (Finalist for the Pan Literary Award, also one of Story South's Million Writers Award Notable Stories of 2007), Eclectica, Lakeview Journal, New World Writing, Nimrod (Finalist for Katherine Anne Porter Prize), Plum Ruby Review, Short Fiction Journal, Slow Trains, Storgy, Unsung Stories, WIND (2003 Short Fiction Award), Word Riot, and other venues.

James Mele is a graduate of the Antioch International Writing Program and of the Anglo-Irish Studies program at University College, Dublin. He has published poetry, fiction, and articles in several publications in the US, Ireland, and England, most recently in Common Ground Review and Connecticut River Review. He recently retired from a career as an English teacher in private schools and colleges; however, at various times over the years, his whims, the vicissitudes of life, or his disdain for circumspection led him into jobs as a farmhand and a construction worker. He lives in Bristol, Connecticut, and he says, "I am a bit of Luddite. I am not affiliated with any web sites, social media, or such. This was actually my first submission to an online publication. I come from peasant stock, and my consciousness has not fully entered the 20th century, never mind the 21st!"

Lee Nash lives in France and freelances as an editor and proofreader. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in print and online journals in the UK, the US, and France, including Angle, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Mezzo Cammin, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, The French Literary Review, The Interpreter's House, The Journal, The Lake, and The World Haiku Review.

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.

Candace Rex lives and works in Seattle, Washington. She is a writer, musician, a social justice advocate, and an MFA student at Antioch University.

Kurt Schmidt is a retired technical writer and the author of the novel Annapolis Misfit (Crown Publishers). His coming-of-age memoir was a finalist in a Breadloaf creative nonfiction competition. A book titled Introduction to Network Performance won an award from the Society for Technical Communication. His essay in this issue of Eclectica is an excerpt from a road trip memoir, a European odyssey that inspired him to become a writer. Work-in-progress includes a third memoir about the joy of parenting a risk taker. This adult son ages his parents now by racing a red Mazda Miata in SCCA competitions when not developing radar software to protect US fighter jets.

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.

Annie Stenzel appeared most recently (or is forthcoming) in the print journals Quiddity, Ambit, Kestrel, and Catamaran Literary Reader, and in the online journals The Lake, Rose Red Review, Peacock Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, and Blue Lyra Review. Her work has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and once for a Best of the Net. She received a B.A. in English Literature and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, both from Mills College. By day, she works at a mid-sized law firm in San Francisco. Regarding "The Ache of Lack: A Play in Words," she says, "The fact is, this poem originated a couple of years ago at a time when I was feeling quite fallow. It came from a self-assigned exercise (to focus mainly on the phonic aspect of words), and evolved to became a helpful reminder that poetry can be playful.

Lyn Stevens lives in New York City. She was the 2014 first prize winner in Saturday's Child Press fiction contest and has published short stories in Prism Review, Greensboro Review, and the American Literary Review. In 1999 she had the prizewinning story in the American Literary Review Fiction Contest judged by Antonya Nelson. She has three fantastic children and a beautiful, new granddaughter.

Ian Stoner lives in St. Paul and teaches philosophy at several colleges in the Twin Cities. His short stories have appeared in South Dakota Review, The Blue Mesa Review, and a speculative fiction anthology titled This Is How You Die.

Lakshmi Arya Thathachar is an academician based in India. She teaches and researches in the areas of law, gender, history, and philosophy. She has been a Fulbright visitor to the US, and has been awarded other academic fellowships. She also writes creatively. Her poems have previously appeared in Pratilipi. Her current work, which includes short fiction and poetry, owes much to the muse who inspires it, and to her mother's world.

Jane Van Slembrouck is a Spotlight Runner Up for this issue. She holds a PhD in American literature from Fordham University and lives in New York City.

David Vardeman was born and raised in Iowa. He now lives in Maine. His fiction has appeared in Little Pautuxent Review, Dukool, Whiskey Island, Writing Tomorrow, Printer's Devil Review, and Sand, Berlin's English Language Literary Journal, among other publications.