Apr/May 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.

Linda Baldanzi has a master's degree from Columbia University School of Social Work, a master in clinical psychology from Fairleigh Dickerson University, and a MFA in Poetry and Poetry in Translation from Drew University. She teaches poetry at the Fort Lee Public Library and screens for a publisher of poetry books. She lives in NJ right next to the GWBridge and enjoys walking her dog along the banks of the Hudson River. Her dog and the River write great poetry together. She has been published in Barrow Street, Redivider, Cold Mountain Review, Thin Noon, Euphony, and others.

Simon Barker is an Australian living in Sydney, although for a number of years he lived in the Bay Area of California. Last year his work appeared in Green Briar Review, Halfway Down the Stairs, Literally Fiction, Fiction On the Web, London Journal of Fiction, and Tincture Journal. "How were things in America?" his friends asked when he moved back to Australia. "American," he told them, "more American than you can possibly imagine." That, he felt, seemed like the most useful thing one foreigner could tell another about living in the United States.

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.

L.M. Brown has appeared in several magazines and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. "White Trout" is from her linked short story collection Someone to Talk To. Other stories from that collection are due out with Storyteller and Americana. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three daughters and their dog, but she grew up in Ireland and loves to write about the old Ireland of the '80s and '90s.

Benjamin Buchholz is a retired US Army officer who has published fiction, non-fiction, and poetry widely, including the novel One Hundred and One Nights (Little, Brown: 2011), the non-fiction book Private Soldiers (WHS Press: 2007), the poetry chapbooks 13 Stares (Magic Helicopter Press) and Windshields (Blazevox), and the forthcoming novel Quixote in Yemen (just went to publishers). He tweets on writing things @mialaylawalayla.

Eli Cranor used to could throw a football seventy yards. On some days, when he holds his mouth right, he can still hit sixty. Now he writes from Arkansas where he lives with his wife and daughter. His work has appeared in Every Writer, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Foliate Oak, and New Pop Lit.

Mikaela Curry is a writer, environmentalist, and mother. She holds multiple degrees in environmental and earth sciences and spent most of her early career working in scientific fields in North Carolina and Florida. She has written poetry for most of her life, however, and while living in Florida, she started sharing her work through local open mic events and then performing poems at women's conferences and local universities. She lives in Southeastern Kentucky, where she is now dedicating herself to pursuing and publishing her poetry.

Rachel Dacus is the author of Gods of Water and Air, a collection of poetry, prose, and drama, and the poetry collections Earth Lessons and Femme au Chapeau. Her poetry, book reviews, and essays have appeared in Atlanta Review, Boulevard, Drunken Boat, Eclectica, Prairie Schooner, and Valparaiso Poetry Review, as well as in many other journals and anthologies. The daughter of a rocket engineer, she grew up in the southern California seaside fishing town of San Pedro. She raises funds for nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and is at work on a time travel novel involving the great Baroque sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini.

Jen Davis lives, loves, and peddles her wordly wares in Northern Kentucky. She has poetry published or forthcoming in Eclectica, Door is a Jar, Whale Road Review, Peacock Journal, Thank You for Swallowing, Yellow Chair Review, Licking River Review, Vine Leaves (including their 2015 "Best of" anthology) and NEAT. She is seeking shelter for her unpublished works and creating a list of potential titles for a memoir she isn't writing.

Steve 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 the blog stevieslaw@wordpress.com. His most recent publications have been in Eclectica Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, The Drabble, New Verse News, Silver Birch Press, Misfit Magazine, and One-sentence poems. As an adult, he had the good fortune to sit in on two poetry classes taught by first class poets and teachers and has been writing poetry ever since. Of the poem in this issue, he says, "When we first moved to State College, we were able to make good friends of our neighbors, many of whom were of a different political persuasion. Sadly, I don't think that would be possible today. There is little discourse, even on the most basic topics—for example, the weather—across the political divide. That thought was the impetus for the poem."

Lou Gaglia is the author of Poor Advice (2015) and Sure Things & Last Chances (2016). His fiction has appeared in Menda City Review, Eclectica, Lowestoft Chronicle, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. He lives and teaches in upstate New York and is a long-time teacher and T'ai Chi Ch'uan practitioner.

Michael Graves is the author of Parade, a novel. He also composed Dirty One, a collection of short stories, which was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist and an American Library Association Honoree. His fiction and poetry have been featured in numerous literary publications, including Post Road, Pank, Velvet Mafia, and Chelsea Station Magazine. His short work can also be found in several anthologies, such as Cool Thing, The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered and Eclectica Magazine's Best Fiction, Volume One.

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 is seeking a publisher for his first book of poems, Getting Lost.

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.

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.

Kevin Kearney is a writer and teacher living in Philadelphia. He recently received his M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies from La Salle University and is finishing a novel about what happens when a Christian rock star loses his faith.

Elizabeth Kerper lives in Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a BA in English literature. Her work has appeared in the Nancy Drew Anthology from Silver Birch Press, as well as in Eclectica, NEAT, Midwestern Gothic, and No Assholes Literary Magazine, where she is a contributing editor.

Chuck Kramer is a Chicago writer of fiction, poetry, journalism.

Lee L. Krecklow is the author of the novel The Expanse Between (2017, Winter Goose Publishing) and this issue's Spotlight Author. He won the 2016 storySouth Million Writers Award for his story "The Son of Summer and Eli." His other shorts have recently appeared in Oxford Magazine, Gravel, Midwestern Gothic, and Storychord. Before turning his attention to literature, he earned a bachelor's degree in film studies and produced and directed two short films.

Mike Malloy is a writer, tutor, and mummer who lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has previously published stories in Toasted Cheese and Down in the Dirt. His hobbies include attempting to cook Georgian (the country, not the state) food and playing the banjo.

David Mathews earned his MA in Writing and Publishing at DePaul University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Eclectica Magazine, After Hours, CHEAP POP, One Sentence Poems, OMNI Reboot, Word Riot, Silver Birch Press, The Ghazal Page, and Midwestern Gothic.

Jesse Minkert lives in Seattle. He is Executive Director of Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences. In the 1990s and 2000s he was active in Red Sky Poetry Theatre. In 2008, Wood Works Press published a letterpress collection of his microstories, Shortness of Breath & Other Symptoms. His work has appeared in about 50 journals, including Common Knowledge, Confrontation, Cream City Review, Eclectica, Floating Bridge Review, Georgetown Review, Harpur Palate, Mount Hope, and Poetry Northwest. Minkert's chapbook, Rookland, will be published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. Thanks to Raven Chronicles, he is a 2016 Pushcart nominee. He says, "'Dusk' was the product of one of my depressive states of mind. I read an article that made the claim that other planets might potentially be more hospitable to life than ours. That thought took off toward ideas of survival based on imperfection. We are flawed creatures living of a flawed world. As for the ending, well, black is my favorite color. 'Waiting for the Dogs' grew out of some experiments based on the Oso, Washington, mudslide of a couple of years ago in which 42 people died. I was working with emotions of loss, damage, helplessness, and also survival and rescue. Most of those experiments went nowhere. 'Waiting for the Dogs' survived."

Marjorie Mir is a retired librarian, living in Bronxville, NY.

Sarah Tran Nhu An Myers is one of the runners-up for this issue's Spotlight Author. She is a writer who contemplates in her literature the autonomy of women and feminine assertion in the capitalist, democratic, and academic world. She is an aspiring critic, philosopher, scientist, and businesswoman. She calls herself @ladonnadavinci on Instagram, Wordpress, and in life.

Michael Penny has published five books of poetry, most recently Outside, Inside with McGill-Queen's University Press. He makes a bit of a living as a consultant on regulating lawyers and lives on Bowen Island, British Columbia. Looking around his home island gave him the poem in this issue.

Judith Serin has a collection of poetry, Hiding in the World, published by Diane di Prima's Eidolon Editions, and her Days Without (Sky): A Poem Tarot, 78 short prose poems in the form of a tarot deck with illustration and book art design by Nikki Thompson, was published by Deconstructed Artichoke Press. She writes fiction and creative nonfiction as well as poetry, and her work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Columbia Journal, Catamaran Literary Reader, The Paterson Literary Review, First Intensity, Bachy, The Ohio Journal, Writer's Forum, Nebraska Review, Woman's World, Colorado State Review, and Barnabe Mountain Review, Proposing on the Brooklyn Bridge (Grayson Books), When Last on the Mountain (Holy Cow! Press), Impact, Reverie, and Reflections (Telling Our Stories Press), and in a chapbook of nine prose poems, Family Stories (Deconstructed Artichoke Press). She has been teaching literature and writing at California College of the Arts since 1980 and lives in San Francisco with her husband, Herbert Yee.

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. Essays in this and recent issues of Eclectica are excerpts from a road trip memoir, a European odyssey that inspired him to become a writer. His recent essay for The Good Men Project was adapted from a memoir about the challenges of parenting a risk-taker, who, to his father's relief, became neither a Wall Street stock broker nor a stunt pilot.

Penelope Scambly Schott is a past recipient of the Oregon Book Award for Poetry. Her newest books are Serpent Love: A Mother-Daughter Epic, an exploration of a crisis between mother and adult daughter, and a collection called Bailing the River. She lives in Portland and Dufur, Oregon, where she teaches an annual poetry workshop.

Leslie Schwartz is the author of two novels, Jumping the Green, winner of the James Jones Literary Society Award for best first novel, and Angels Crest, which was adapted to the screen and is now a Netflix favorite. Both novels have been translated into 13 languages between them. She has written for the Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Shape, Self, Mademoiselle, and many other nationally distributed publications. Additionally, her short stories and essays have been published in dozens of literary magazines around the globe. Her latest essay was commissioned by the acclaimed Jewish Women's Theatre and was performed in Los Angeles and San Francisco. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Kalliope Magazine Woman Writer of the Year Award, the West Hollywood Algonquin Award for Public Service in the Arts, as well as numerous grants and awards, including three Artist-in-Resident Grants from the Department of Cultural Affairs in Los Angeles and over a dozen residencies. A past president of PEN USA, Schwartz has worked collaboratively with many groups that sustain and support writers of color, and writers and children at risk both globally and in low-income communities of Los Angeles. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

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.

Cassandra Yarnall is a runner-up for this issue's Spotlight Author. A poet and English teacher at Chicago's Marshall High School, she recently had her first poem published in After Hours literary magazine.

Kami Westhoff has appeared in various journals including Meridian, Carve, Third Coast, The Pinch, Passages North, and West Branch. She teaches creative writing at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.