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.
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. His writing is available to read on his website, The Imagined Thing.
Terry Barr is a Spotlight Runner Up for this issue. Of "Goin' Up the Country," he writes, "I value Eclectica as a home for this essay, because this longform piece takes chances and seeks to relate how much I love the area I describe—rural Alabama—but also how much I still don't understand about it, even though it's my 'home-place.'"
Andrew Bertaina has appeared or is forthcoming in many publications including, The Best American Poetry 2018, The ThreePenny Review, Tin House online, Redivider, Crab Orchard Review, and Green Mountains Review. He says of "Being and Time," "I wrote this piece inspired by my religious upbringing and the fabulist work of Borges and Calvino in mind. I wanted to think about the role that time would play for a creature who lived outside of it."
Peter Bridges is this issue's Spotlight Author. A former US Ambassador to Somalia, he holds degrees in Russian studies from Dartmouth and Columbia. After serving as an Army private in Europe during the Cold War, he was commissioned as a Foreign Service officer and spent three decades on four continents, including service at the American embassy in Moscow during Khrushchev's reign. In recent years he has published two memoirs, one about his diplomatic career and, in October 2018, a memoir entitled Woods Waters Peaks: A Diplomat Outdoors. His stories, essays, and poems have appeared in Eclectica and many other journals.
Russell Carmony is a fiction writer and essayist based in New York City. He also draws a little bit when he's not composing stories about characters trying to navigate the larger social, economic, political, and cultural forces closing in on them, as in "Out of Visual Range." When he is rich and famous, he will never fly coach again.
Antonia Clark is a writer and editor and co-administers an online poetry forum, The Waters. She has published a chapbook, Smoke and Mirrors, and a full-length poetry collection, Chameleon Moon. Her poems and stories have appeared in many journals, including 2River View, The Cortland Review, The Pedestal Magazine, and Rattle.
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 lives in State College, Pennsylvania. His recent publications have or will appear in Panoply, Algebra of Owls, 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. He was nominated for Pushcart Prizes in 2017 and 2018. His Chapbook, Perhaps You Can, will be published next year by Kelsay Press.
Earl Fendelman happily taught for many years at Lehman College, CUNY. He has also taught at the University of Rome as a Fulbright Lecturer and at the University of Amsterdam as a visiting instructor. Although there are several very big gaps in the time he has devoted to writing, he has recently turned to it again and has had a first piece published in the current issue of River Teeth. He lives with his wife in New York City but is originally from the Midwest.
Nate Ferguson is a former newspaper reporter and editor who worked in Utah, Wyoming, and California. As an experienced pilot, he went on to become an editor for AOPA Pilot, the world's largest aviation magazine, and later worked for an Internet startup, among other adventures. His nonfiction stories have been published by a variety of outlets, including Flying, Popular Mechanics, and Air & Space/Smithsonian. His short stories have appeared in Pooled Ink, a literary anthology published by Northern Colorado Writers (NCW), and Anomaly Literary Journal. He recently completed his first novel. He and his wife, Sonia, live in Denver, Colorado. Regarding the piece in this issue, he says, "My wife, Sonia, was at a three-day meditation retreat when the idea of traveling to Nepal popped into her mind. I had always wanted to go, so we started planning immediately. Little did we know that we'd find ourselves in the midst of an international news story."
Virginia Bach Folger lives in an 1885 Victorian house in Schenectady, New York. She has worked as a gas station attendant, paralegal, claims adjuster, and corporate learning and development manager. Her recent work is published in Constellations: A Journal of Poetry and Fiction, The Fourth River, Lumina, Eclectica, and The Mantle.
Stephanie L. Harper holds an M.A. in German literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and author of the chapbooks, This Being Done (Finishing Line Press) and The Death's-Head's Testament (Main Street Rag, Spring 2019). Her poems appear in such journals and anthologies as Slippery Elm, Isacoustic, Rat's Ass Review, Panoply, Underfoot Poetry, Stories that Need to Be Told (TulipTree Publishing, LLC), and elsewhere. She lives with her family in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Tim Hawkins has lived and traveled widely throughout North America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and Latin America, where he has worked as a journalist, technical writer, communications manager, and teacher in international schools. His career also has taken some interesting detours into such posts as salmon cannery slime table worker, stevedore, nose-hair clipper model, and cram school teacher. He has published more than 100 pieces of poetry and fiction in more than 30 print and online publications. He has been nominated for Best of the Net (2018), for a Pushcart Prize (2011, 2017) and was chosen to serve as preliminary judge for the 47th Annual Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition (2015) judged by Mark Doty. His poetry collection, Wanderings at Deadline, was published in 2012 by Aldrich Press.
Thomas J. Hubschman is a regular contributor to Eclectica's Salon and is the author of Look at Me Now, My Bess, Billy Boy, Father Walther's Temptation, Song of the Mockingbird, and The Jew's Wife & Other Stories, as well as three science fiction novels. His work has appeared in New York Press, The Antigonish Review, Eclectica, The Blue Moon Review and many other publications. Two of his short stories were broadcast on the BBC World Service. He has also edited two anthologies of new writing from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, which remains his chief inspiration.
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).
Steven Julson lives in Orlando, Florida, where he works in the video game industry. He has a fondness for his family and eating over the sink where no one will bother him. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and his work has appeared in Morpheus Tales. He is also the founder of a site that suggests music to writers based on the genres they're working in. He says, "'The New Hire' is a humor piece I did following a string of onboarding new hires at my game development studio. After doing my best job for these folks, I wondered what a terrible job might look like."
Judy Kaber has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals, both print and online, including Atlanta Review, december, Eclectica Magazine, The Comstock Review, Tar River, and Spillway. Her 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.
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.
Sharon Fagan McDermott is a poet and literature teacher at Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh. Her work has been published in three chapbooks: Voluptuous, Alley Scatting, and most recently, Bitter Acoustic, which was chosen by poet Betty Adcock as the 2011 winner of the Jacar Press chapbook contest. McDermott's book, Life Without Furniture, was published in May 2018 by Jacar Press (NC).
Matt Morgan is originally from Mississippi, but he now lives and teaches English in Kalamazoo, Michigan. You can find more of his recent creative work in New Orleans Review and Cold Mountain Review.
Nicole Perez conquers her Poet™ imposter syndrome by reading books she didn't have time to enjoy in college. Most notably, her poems have appeared in the unread pages of a special notebook that seems to only open in the throes of Chicago public transportation. Notes on "Worn": "Knitting reminds me that there is more than one way to feel productive and creative."
Christine Potter still lives in a very old house on a creek in the Hudson River Valley with her organist-choirmaster husband and two spoiled tomcats. Her third collection of poetry, Unforgetting, is out from Kelsay Books. Christine's work has also appeared in Autumn Sky Poetry, Rattle, and The Anglican Theological Review. Her time-traveling novels for young adults, The Bean Books, are available from Evernight Teen.
Mala Rai is a Spotlight Runner Up for this issue. A recent graduate of the Poetry workshop series at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, and a past president of the Society for Technical Communications Canada West Coast chapter, she now works as a software technical writer on the lower mainland. Regarding "puja": "The poem arose because of the challenge, but the thoughts behind it were a reflection in part by the timing: close to Christmas, thinking of family traditions, who we've lost along the way. My grandma or "Nanee" as I called her was the diamond in our eyes for so many reasons." Regarding "suit and bone": "The poem was written exactly four years to the date of my father's death anniversary. I was staring into the cove where I scattered his ashes, watching a small herd of seals feast on millions of herring."
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.
Leigh Stevens is a professor of psychology and has authored or co-authored seven peer-reviewed academic journal articles. "Return Address: The Labyrinth" is her first creative publication.
Eric J. Steere is from New Jersey, but he is not there. His work has appeared recently in Eclectica, The Stillwater Review, The Esthetic Apostle, and Red Fez. He works for a residential school in Calicut, India, where he lives with his wife and two children. Regarding "Looking out on the Kerala Floods, 2018: Tanka," he says, "Since moving to this part of Kerala three years ago with my wife, I have witnessed some of the most extraordinary acts of kindness and generosity, especially during the emergency of last year's monsoon floods. Hundreds of people died in the worst flooding this place has seen in over a hundred years, but what struck me most was how quickly communities came to adapt and return to the routine of living... even though our school was converted to a shelter we punched in every day bar one!"
Don Stoll taught English in the Middle East during the Arab Spring, like the protagonist of "Hanged Man." His fiction appeared in 2018 or will appear in 2019 in The Helix, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Sarasvati, Down in the Dirt, Children, Churches and Daddies, and Erotic Review. He works in the admission and marketing offices of Idyllwild Arts Academy, a residential arts high school in Southern California.
Kami Westhoff received the Dare to Be Award from Minerva Rising for her collection of poems Sleepwalker, and her collaborative chapbook, Your Body a Bullet, co-written with Elizabeth Vignali, was published by Unsolicited Press. Her work has appeared in various journals, including Meridian, Third Coast, The Pinch, Passages North, Redivider, Decomp, West Branch, and Waxwing. She teaches Creative Writing at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
John Ziegler is a poet, painter, and former art teacher living in State College, Pennsylvania. His poem "Chestnuts" arises from childhood memories rooted in the liminal that continue to crystalize.