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.
Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Some places of publication include Visual Verse, I am not a silent poet, Degenerate Literature, Illumen, and Star*Line Journal. In her free time, she vacillates and oscillates between the science of everything called imagination.
Melissa Lewis-Ackerman is a bi-coastal English Professor, dividing time between Los Angeles and New York. She holds an MFA in fiction from Queens University of Charlotte and has appeared in Awakened Voices, Compose, Crab Fat Magazine, Claudius Speaks, Flights, DUENDE, and BOOMTOWN, Explosive Writing From Ten Years Of The Queens University of Charlotte MFA Program. She received a Pushcart nomination for her story "The Ducks and the Vagrant." Her essay, "Missy's Got a Gun," was just published in The Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Review.
Peter Amos is a native of rural Virginia. The son of an English teacher and a librarian, he studied music in college and moved to New York City where he works, performs, explores, and writes about it.
Ankush Banerjee is a mental health professional and Ethics and Organizational Behavior instructor. He published his first collection of poetry, An Essence of Eternity (Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 2016). He is the recipient of the 2014 USI Gold Medal and 2017 Silver Medal for his essay on Military Ethics. His poetry has appeared in Indian Literature, Muse India, Eclectica, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and Linden Avenue Literary Journal.
Joe Bardin is a writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona and one of this issue's Spotlight runners-up. His essays have appeared in Louisville Review, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Superstition Review, Pithead Chapel, and Rock & Sling, among others. He has poems selected for the Voices of Israel Anthology 2017. A scholarship alumni of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, he is a Rhode Island International Film Festival screenplay semifinalist and a member of the Dramatists Guild, whose plays have been performed professionally. He is also Director of Communications for the Coalition for Radical Life Extension and RAADfest.
Michael Beeman has published fiction in The Sewanee Review, Indiana Review, Epoch, Superstition Review, failbetter.com, storySouth, Juked, The South Carolina Review, Volume 1. Brooklyn, New Plains Review, Necessary Fiction, Per Contra, and elsewhere. He was awarded The Sewanee Review's Andrew Nelson Lytle Fiction Prize in 2013. Originally from New Hampshire, he now lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
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 received degrees from Dartmouth and Columbia, served as a US Army private in France in the Cold War, and spent three decades as a career Foreign Service officer, ending as ambassador to Somalia. Kent State University Press published his diplomatic memoir, Safirka: An American Envoy, and the biographies of two once famous Americans, John Moncure Daniel and Donn Piatt. His outdoors memoir, Woods Waters Peaks: A Diplomat Outdoors, has now appeared and has been praised by a number of notable writers. His prose and poetry have appeared in Eclectica and other journals across America and in Europe.
Jeff BurtJeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California, with his wife and a July abundance of plums. He has work in Rabid Oak, Terrene, Young Raven's Review, Bird's Thumb, and won the 2017 Cold Mountain Review Poetry Prize.
Mark Crimmins is one of this issue's Spotlight runners-up. He was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize, a 2015 Best of the Net Award, and a 2015 Silver Pen Authors Association Write Well Award. His short stories have been published in Confrontation, Cha, Split Rock Review, Penmen Review, Trainless Magazine, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Kyoto Journal, Prick of the Spindle, Microliterature, Eclectica, Cortland Review, Tampa Review, Ellipsis, Columbia, Queen's Quarterly, Apalachee Review, Del Sol Review, and Chicago Quarterly Review. His flash fictions have been published in Happy, White Rabbit, theNewerYork, Eunoia Review, Flash Frontier, Portland Review, Pif Magazine, Gravel, Eastlit, Restless Magazine, Atticus Review, Apocrypha & Abstractions, Dogzplot, and Flash. He teaches English at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen.
Darren Demaree has appeared, or is scheduled to appear, in numerous magazines/journals, including Hotel Amerika, Diode, North American Review, New Letters, Diagram, and the Colorado Review. He is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently Two Towns Over (March 2018), which was selected as the winner of the Louise Bogan Award by Trio House Press. He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. Darren is currently living and writing in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and children.
Steve Deutsch in State College, Pennsylvania. His recent publications have or will appear in The Blue Nib, Thimble Magazine, The Muddy River Poetry Review, Ghost City Review, Borfski Press, Streetlight Press, Gravel, Literary Heist, Nixes Mate Review, Third Wednesday, Misfit Magazine, Word Fountain, Eclectica Magazine, The Drabble, and The Ekphrastic Review. In 2017, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His Chapbook, Perhaps You Can, will be published next year by Kelsay Press.
Grace Glass lives and writes in Frederick, Maryland. Her "day job" is serving as a dean at a local university. Her fiction focuses on characters with serious, often irredeemable flaws, that emerge in ordinary interactions. "Wednesday at the Casino" was inspired by watching the absorption of patrons at a West Virginia Casino.
Betinna Hansen is the creative force behind several short stories. Most recently, her work was featured in the June 2018 issue of 34th Parallel Magazine, the July 2018 issue of Midway Journal, and the October 2018 issue of Conceit Magazine. Hansen is also the author of the award-winning children's book Sally and the Singing Whale and holds a BA in creative writing from Columbia University. She lives in New York City with her husband and their three children.
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.
Romana Iorga is this issue's Spotlight author. Originally from Chisinau, Moldova, she is a Romanian-American poet living in Switzerland. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and published two poetry collections in Romania. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ruminate, saltfront, Borderlands, Chicago Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. Some of her written efforts can also be found on her poetry blog.
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).
Judy Kaber recently retired after 34 years teaching elementary school. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals, both print and online, including Atlanta Review, december, The Comstock Review, Tar River, and Spillway. Contest credits include the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, the Larry Kramer Memorial Chapbook Contest, and second place in the 2016 Muriel Craft Bailey Poetry Contest.
Ian Keith lives with his wife and two children in the Phoenix area, where he works as a ghostwriter. His fiction has previously appeared in Valparaiso Fiction Review.
Miriam N. Kotzin teaches creative writing and literature at Drexel University. Her collection of short fiction, Country Music (Spuyten Duyvil Press 2017), joins a novel, The Real Deal (Brick House Press 2012), and a collection of flash fiction, Just Desserts (Star Cloud Press 2010). She is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently, Debris Field (David Robert Books 2017). Her fiction and poetry have been published or are forthcoming in Shenandoah, Boulevard, Smoke Long Quarterly, Eclectica, Mezzo Cammin, and Valparaiso Poetry Review, among other periodicals, and in anthologies. She is a contributing editor of Boulevard.
Nancy LaFever teaches Composition and Rhetoric classes at DePaul University. She recently developed a workshop for faculty on better ways to engage introverts in the classroom.
Sharon and David Mathews are a mother and son duo from Chicago. David's recent work can be found in CHEAP POP, Midwestern Gothic, and Eclectica Magazine. 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, their recent work together can be found in Eclectica Magazine.
Lisa McMonagle grew up on the Allegheny Front of Central Pennsylvania. She works as the Coordinator of English as a Second Language for an Adult Education program in State College, Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in Eclectica Magazine, The Women's Review of Books, West Branch, Word Fountain, and the Ekphrastic Review.
Jesse Minkert lives in Seattle. He is Executive Director of Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences. For over 20 years he has written short radio plays to be performed and produced by blind and visually impaired young people in the Blind Youth Audio Project, and many pieces for the Jack Straw New Media Gallery workshops at the Jack Straw Cultural Center, Seattle, Washington, in collaborations between Jack Straw and Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences. In 2008, Wood Works Press published a letterpress chapbook of his microfiction, Shortness of Breath & Other Symptoms. In 2014 Minkert self-published his chapbook, RAFT, with poetry and graphics by the author. His work has appeared in over 70 journals including the Cream City Review, Confrontation, Eclectica, Mount Hope, the Floating Bridge Review, the Minetta Review, Poetry Northwest, Common Knowledge, and Harpur Palate. Thanks to Raven Chronicles, he is a 2016 Pushcart Nominee. In 2017, Finishing Line Press published his poetry chapbook, Rookland. Regarding "Autonomic System," he says, "I am a 70-year-old poet, and since I have survived so much longer than I had any reason to expect, I have several issues of health to deal with. 'Autonomic System' was written with regard to a condition called atrial fibrillation, a constant flutter in my pulse which puts me at risk of a stroke. The tone of cynicism speaks of the aggravation that comes out of all these struggles with age. I'm doing what many older people do: complaining about all I have to endure because I'm too attached to life to give it up without a fight."
Marjorie Mir is a retired librarian, living in Bronxville, New York.
Gary Moshimer has stories in Frigg, Pank, Wigleaf, Smokelong Quarterly, Necessary Fiction, Monkeybicycle, and many other places.
Aidan O'Brien is a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College where he studied literature, took numerous fiction workshops, and received the Jane Cooper Scholarship for his writing. He received the Nancy Lynn Schwartz Prize for short fiction, and has been previously published in the Sarah Lawrence Review. He lives in New York City with his wife, Robyn.
Nicky P. is a prolific writer and reader from Houston, Texas, who lived in Taipei, Taiwan, for three years and Shenzhen, China, for just over one. She graduated from the University of Houston with a BA in Political Science and Chinese Studies in addition to a minor in History. Soon after graduating, she received her certification in TESOL and now holds a Master's in the same subject. She maintains a blog which focuses on travel, music, and her other hobbies.
Richard Pool has spent the past 35 years working as a chaplain at a homeless shelter and teaching science in urban middle and high schools. He became a teacher hoping to write during summers, but only now can afford it. He has master's degrees in psychology, divinity, and biology, and experiences that should provide writing material for the rest of his life. Regarding "Did I Already Have My Piece of the Pie?" he says, "As a teacher in a high-poverty school district, I have kept my affluent childhood a secret. This essay made me realize my privilege freed me to help my students climb towards the American Dream."
Hannah Radeke is a poet, picture-taker, piano-player, and poem-while-you-waiter. They were born outside of Chicago and studied art history and creative writing at DePaul.
Will Reger is a founding member of the CU (Champaign-Urbana) Poetry Group, has a Ph.D. from UIUC, teaches at Illinois State University in Normal, and has published most recently with Front Porch Review, Chiron Review, Paterson Literary Review, and Zingara Poetry Review (forthcoming). His first chapbook is Cruel with Eagles. He can often be found wandering in the woods playing his flute.
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.
Kevin Simmons is a pseudonym for a teacher and writer who lives in Arizona with his wife and two daughters.
John Van Kirk has received the O.Henry Award (1993) and The Iowa Review Fiction Prize (2011). His work has been published in The Hudson Review, The Iowa Review, Kestrel, The New York Times Magazine, West Branch, and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. His O.Henry Award winning story, "Newark Job," has been reprinted in three anthologies, including one printed in Germany for students of English, and his newest story appears in the anthology Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods, published in 2017. His novel, Song for Chance, was published in August of 2013 by Red Hen Press. He teaches literature and writing at Marshall University.