Jul/Aug 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.

Deborah Allbritain recently retired from a career in Speech Pathology and now devotes her time to writing and reading poetry. She is a candidate to begin study at San Diego State University's MFA program in poetry. Publications and awards include The Antioch Review, The Cortland Review, B O D Y Literature, Front Porch, The Taos Review, Michigan Review, Connecticut River Review, and the Cimarron Review. Her poetry has been anthologized in Stand Up Poetry: The Anthology, The Unmade Bed, The Book of Birth Poetry, and In the Palm of Your Hand. She received two Pushcart Prize nominations in 2015. Her poem "The Fire" was a finalist for the Wabash Poetry Prize.

Urvashi Bahuguna is this issue's Spotlight author. Her debut poetry collection won the Emerging Poet's Prize and will be published by The Great Indian Poetry Collective in 2018. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Nervous Breakdown, Barely South Review, Kitaab, Jaggery, The Four Quarters Magazine, The Missing Slate, and elsewhere. She was recently shortlisted for the Beverly Prize and the Wingword Poetry Prize. She has a poetry pamphlet forthcoming from Eyewear Books (UK). In summer 2017, she was a Writer-in-Residence at PartlyPurple, Bangalore (India). In 2017, she will be one of ten Indian and Pakistani artists to create collaborative art in The Pind Collective. She was awarded an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom in 2014.

Emily Ansara Baines lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in Narrative, Fourth River, The Stirring, Bird's Thumb, Jezebel, The Huffington Post, The Independent, The Bold Italic, and Hello Giggles. She received her BA from USC and her MFA from Otis College of Art & Design. Emily is also the author of The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook and The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook, both published by Adams Media. She currently teaches high school English. As Emily began reading Eclectica in high school, she requires her students to do the same. Her favorite word is "murmur."

Andrew Bertaina is delighted to have his work appear in Eclectica for the second time. He lives and works in Washington, D.C. and obtained his MFA in creative writing from American University, where he is now an instructor. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in more than 30 publications, including The ThreePenny Review, Tin House Flash Fridays, Hobart, Apt, Bayou, and Catamaran. He is also a reader and book reviewer for Fiction Southeast. Of the piece in this issue, he says, "This particular piece came out of an honest assessment of myself, my skills, abilities, thoughts etc. It was an exploration, not a piece with an agenda. I often struggle to identify a coherent identity for myself, and I think this piece reflects that struggle. How much of who we are is unique or uniquely driven by our perspective?"

Steve Bogdaniec is a writer and teacher at Wright College in Chicago. Steve has had poetry and short fiction published in numerous journals, most recently Silver Birch Press, Eclectica Magazine, One Sentence Poems, and Blood Lotus. His work can also be found in the recent book Nancy Drew Anthology: Writing & Art Inspired by Everyone's Favorite Female Sleuth.

Linda Boroff is a runner-up for this issue's Spotlight Author. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English and works in Silicon Valley, waxing eloquent over Artificial Intelligence and other technologies. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney's, The Guardian, Hollywood Dementia, Drunk Monkeys, Word Riot, Hobart, Ducts, Blunderbuss, Adelaide, Thoughtful Dog, Storyglossia, Able Muse, The Furious Gazelle, JONAH Magazine, The Boiler, and others, as well as in several anthologies. She was nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize for fiction and won first prize in The Writers Place short story competition. She has written one feature film which played in theaters and film festivals in 2010. Her short story published in Epoch is under option to Sony and director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) for development as a TV series. She also wrote the script for the upcoming biopic of film noir actress Barbara Payton, Fast Fade, currently casting with producer Don Murphy (Transformers).

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.

Peter Bridges holds degrees from Dartmouth College and Columbia University. After service as an Army private, he was commissioned as an officer of the U.S. Foreign Service and spent three decades in Washington and at American embassies in Panama, Moscow, Prague, Rome, and Mogadishu. His memoir of service as the ambassador to Somalia, and his biographies of two once-famous Americans, John Moncure Daniel and Donn Piatt, were published by Kent State University Press. His shorter writing has appeared in Eclectica, American Diplomacy, California Literary Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.

Lâle Davidson is a lifestyle blogger for Albany's newspaper, The Times Union, and a distinguished professor of writing at SUNY Adirondack. Her stories have appeared in The Collagist, Big Lucks, and Eclectica, among others. Her story, "The Opal Maker," was a finalist for the Franz Kafka Award from Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review and was named one of the Wigleaf top 50 (Very) Short Stories of 2015. A collection of her stories was a finalist for the Black Lawrence Chapbook Contest of 2015. An essay won the Talking Writing Award for humorous writing advice. Her unpublished novel, The Ciphery, was a finalist for the Heekin Group Foundation James Fellowship.

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.

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. Steve blogs and writes poetry and short fiction. 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, Steve had the good fortune to sit in on two poetry classes taught by first class poets and teachers. He has been writing poetry ever since.

David Farrah is Professor of English at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies in Japan. He has lectured and given poetry readings in Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and the United States. His poems and essays have appeared in various journals, including Asiatic, Denver Quarterly, Kyoto Journal, The Ohio Review, and Poetry Ireland Review. His books, Small Sounds in the Brush (poetry and short tales), The Poems of Nunobiki Falls (translations), Parity's Ground (poetry), and Borrowed Landscapes (poetry) were all published by Shinbisha of Tokyo.

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.

Wil Gilmore grew up near New Orleans. He is an undergraduate student studying Arts and Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Ruth Kogen Goodwin is a writer and editor living in Southern California with her husband and their daughter. Her work has appeared on Kveller.com and in the Eunoia Review and Vine Leaves Literary Journal, among other publications. She earned an MFA in creative writing from American University.

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.

David Jalajel is the author of Moon Ghazals (Beard of Bees Press, 2009), Cthulhu on Lesbos (Ahadada Books, 2011)—which is book-length poem in Sapphic stanzas—and a chapbook in Dan Waber's This is Visual Poetry series (2013). His work has appeared in a number of online and print journals, including Otoliths, Shampoo, experiential-experimental-literature, Recursive Angel, The New Post-Literate, and Gulf Coast. Poems in the "qasida" series have appeared in The Ghazal Page, Anti-, Lynx, Mizna, and Eclectica.

Seth Jani resides in Seattle, Washington, and is the founder of Seven CirclePress. His own work has been published widely in such places as The Chiron Review, El Portal, The Hamilton Stone Review, Hawai`i Pacific Review, VAYAVYA, Gingerbread House, Gravel, and Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry.

Nancy Jentsch has taught German and Spanish for over 30 years at Northern Kentucky University. She has published scholarly articles, short fiction, and poetry in journals such as Journal of Kentucky Studies, Eclectica, Aurorean, and Blinders. Her chapbook, Authorized Visitors, has been published by Cherry Grove Collections, an imprint of WordTech Communications (2017). A collaborative chapbook Frame and Mount the Sky (Finishing Line Press) was also published in 2017.

Gracjan Kraszewski has published fiction in Wilderness House Literary Review, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, PILGRIM, Five on the Fifth, The Southern Distinctive, and on The Short Humour Site. His also the author of an absurdist-existential novel, Job Search, currently in circulation. His academic articles have been published in Religious and Sacred Poetry, North Alabama Historical Review, The Polish Review, and Idaho Magazine. A translation (Polish to English) is chapter one of Aleksandra Ziólkowska-Boehm's book, The Polish Experience through World War II. Holder of a PhD in history, he played baseball in college, professionally in Europe, and for the Polish National Team.

Antonio Lopez is a runner-up for this issue's Spotlight Author. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he received a double BA in Global Cultural Studies (Literature) and African-American studies from Duke University (Class of 2016). He's an inaugural John Lewis Fellow, a recipient of Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award, and a finalist for the 2017 Nazim Hikmet Poetry Prize. In 2017, he attended the Yale Writer's Conference, the Santa Barbara Writer's Conference, as well as was awarded the Lucille Clifton Memorial Scholarship to attend the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. His nonfiction has been featured in TeenInk, The Chronicle, and PEN/America and his poetry in After Happy Hour Review, Gramma Press, Somos en Escrito, Hispanecdotes, La Bloga, Acentos Review, Sinking City, What Rough Beast, By&By, Permafrost, and Track//Four. He is pursuing a Master in Fine Arts (poetry) at Rutgers. University-Newark.

Alissa Marmol is an aspiring writer. She likes myths, legends, and horror fiction. Her work can be found in the self-published music zine Et in Arcadia Ego and literary journal New Thoreau Quarterly.

Sharon and David Mathews are a mother and son duo from Chicago. Sharon enjoys reading multiple books at the same time, frequently visiting her grandchildren, and of course shinrin-yoku ("forest bathing"). Coming back to poetry with encouragement from her son, this is her first publication. David's recent work can be found in CHEAP POP, Midwestern Gothic, and Eclectica Magazine.

Jacki Maynard is a consultant and lawyer by day and a writer by morning and night during her commutes into Manhattan. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her husband. The story featured in this issue is her first published piece of fiction. You can find her on Instagram @jacquelynleee.

Karly Lake McCullough owns an herbal apothecary in Colorado, where her paying customers are under the carefully-maintained delusion that she is a sweet minded, innocent nature lover. She relishes the chance to express other aspects of her personality through her writing. Regarding "The Shark Dancer," she says, "I've always dreamed of sea monsters. Despite living in the mountains my whole life (or maybe because of it) white sharks hold an intense fascination for me. This story was written in one sitting, in a burst of creativity which I recognize is rare, though hopefully not singular. It came about as a synthesis of years of reading and learning about white sharks, where the knowledge I had stored away suddenly fit together into a narrative. The process of writing it was just as exciting to me as seeing it published, and I hope to have many more such experiences."

Billy McEntee is a freelance writer and graduate of Boston College. His writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Indiewire, Brooklyn Magazine, and HowlRound, among others. He has been fortunate to work at arts not-for-profits in Berkeley, Denver, Boston, and New York, where he now resides.

Michael Milburn teaches English in New Haven, Connecticut. His poems have appeared recently in Mudlark, and his essay "Teaching to Read, Reading to Teach" appeared in Eclectica's July/August 2016 issue.

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

Jack Murphy lives in Chicago.

Robert Okaji lives in Texas. He is the author of the chapbooks From Every Moment a Second (forthcoming from Finishing Line Press, October 2017), If Your Matter Could Reform (Dink Press, 2015) and The Circumference of Other, included in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks (Silver Birch Press, 2015). He's also penned two micro-chapbooks published by Origami Poems Project (2015 & 2016), as well as Interval's Night (Platypus Press, 2016), a mini-digital chapbook. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crannóg, Blue Fifth Review, deLuge, Wildness, The Mantle, and elsewhere. Visit his blog, O at the Edges.

Marlene Olin has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as The Massachusetts Review, Prime Number, Upstreet Magazine, The American Literary Review, and Arts and Letters. Her stories have been nominated for the Pushcart as well as the Best of the Net Prizes, and for inclusion in Best American Short Stories. She is the winner of the 2015 Rick DeMarinis Short Fiction Award. Her twitter handle is @writestuffmiami.

Chelsey. L Slattum has been published in Bricolage Literary and Visual Journal Issue 32. She is a Pacific Northwest native who left the hustle of independent book publicity to teach 23 kindergartners. She adores red velvet ice cream. The cake is another matter.

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.

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 and Eclectica. Her current work, which includes short fiction and poetry, owes much to the muse who inspires it, and to her mother's world.

Richard Weaver resides in Baltimore's Inner Harbor where he volunteers at the Maryland Book Bank and acts as the Archivist-at-large for a Jesuit College founded in 1830. His publications include crazyhorse, LRR, NAR, Poetry, BWR, NER, Southern Quarterly, and the ubiquitous Elsewhere. Recent poems have appeared in the Little Patuxent Review, Red Eft Review, Crack the Spine, Gingerbread House, Steel Toe Review, and Conjunctions. Forthcoming work will be appearing in Clade Song, Dead Mule, and Magnolia Review.

Maddie Woda is an emerging writer from Columbus, Ohio, studying English at Columbia University in New York City. She is a member of the Columbia Review and has pieces or forthcoming pieces in South 85 Journal, Midway Journal, Flash Fiction Magazine, and others.