Jul/Aug 2019

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.

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.

Ben Adams is a writer, servo-clerk, research assistant, and festival cash wrangler from Australia, with honors in History and English. His poetry has appeared in a range of print and online publications, including Australian Love Poems, The Grapple Annual, Red Fez, Tulpa Magazine, and InDaily. Recently, his poem "Wet Leaves" was included as part of the 2018 Raining Poetry in Adelaide street-art project, while several poems were performed for Quart Short Collective's Spring Shorts reading night. His essay “A Radical Liberalism” is an intellectual memoir that uses the author's own experience of political and ideological development to explore contemporary Western sociopolitical issues regarding a resurgent far-right, the apparent decline of traditional liberal ideals and the liberal status quo, along with the apparent failure of many nominally progressive voices to adequately identify or confront these challenges. It will be his first significant piece of published nonfiction. Ben can be found on Facebook (@bts.adams), shares poems and photography on Instagram (@bts.adams), while poems and politics can be found on his Twitter feed (@badbadams).

Jason Arment is this issue's Spotlight Author. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Machine Gunner in the USMC. He's earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. His work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Rumpus, ESPN, the 2017 Best American Essays, and The New York Times, among other publications. His memoir about the war in Iraq, Musalaheen, stands in stark contrast to other narratives about Iraq in both content and quality. Jason lives in Denver, where he coordinates the Denver Veterans Writing Workshop with Lighthouse.

Vashti Bowlah is a writer from Trinidad and Tobago. Her stories have appeared in various Caribbean and international journals such as Poui, The Caribbean Writer, St. Petersburg Review, WomanSpeak Journal, Akashic's Duppy Thursday, Signifyin' Guyana, Tongues of the Ocean, Jewels of the Caribbean, Susumba, St. Somewhere Journal, and Thicker Than Water. She also has a short story in the anthology, Sunspot Jungle: The Ever Expanding Universe of Science Fiction & Fantasy. Her stories have also gained her literary awards and nominations. She is the author of Under The Peepal Tree and Sugarcane Valley - Stories of East Indian Folklore & Superstition.

Elizabeth Boquet teaches English and chairs The Pernessy Poets in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she lives with her husband, a watchmaker. Her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Snapdragon, Stoneboat Literary Journal, Necessary Fiction, Rock & Sling, Offshoots, and in various other literary journals. Naomi Shihab Nye awarded her a Geneva Writers' Group Literary Prize (2nd place) in 2017, and her poetry has been featured by National Poetry Writing Month. Regarding "The Recruit," she says, "When my son was 19, he came home with a Harley—proud, confident, and carefree. Rather than haunting his happiness with my dark maternal fears of what-could-go-wrong, I wrote this poem."

Peter Bridges is a former Spotlight Author. Also 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. He is also the author of biographies of two once-famous Americans, John Moncure Daniel and Donn PIatt. His stories, essays, and poems have appeared in Eclectica and many other journals.

Michelle D'costa is a Mangalorean from Bahrain. She has poetry and prose published in various journals like Queen Mob's Teahouse, Coldnoon, The Sunflower Collective, Guftugu, Vayavya, The Bombay Literary Magazine, Visual Verse, and more. She loves to interview writers and runs the ezine Kaani.

M. A. Dennis resides in Staten Island. He moved there to get away from homeless shelters and slam poetry, in hopes of living a more literary lifestyle. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, both print and online, including The Bard (Local Gems Press 2019), Eclectica Magazine, Madness Muse Press (Addiction & Recovery 2018), The Pangolin Review, and The New York Times (New York City Haiku 2017). He has a poetry collection available on Amazon (The Many Attitudes of Dennis: Spoken Word Poems 2019) and was recently named winner of Care for the Homeless' Sixth Annual Stories of Success writing contest. Social justice and food are recurring themes in his work, and he firmly believes that a pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream is only enough for one person.

Francis Duffy began writing via letters home to a loved one who'd ordered, "Show me places I'll never see except through your eyes. No details are too small." That led to war (Danang, Chu Lai), then college (LA, SF, Tokyo) and grad school (TX, HI), then editing/writing at newspapers (Tokyo, Jidda, Seoul), magazines (TX, Tokyo), tech pubs (Tokyo), then web-content work for the DoD (DC). And lately, fiction (Amarillo Bay, Typishly, Connotation, Junto). About "Bar Kafka," he says, "Regarding #MeToo—What of males born to matriarchy (family) yet they must live and work within patriarchy (society)? If they decline male bonding they'll be ostracized. How to remove that arrow from macho quiver? Self-ostracize—not easy when a cog in that most hardened of patriarchies: marines at war. But Joe saw how when a child, whispering lies to Jesus through perforated plastic."

Jane Penaz Eisner is a writer and psychologist living in San Francisco. Her poetry has appeared in The Journal, Orbis Quarterly International Literary Journal, Neon Highway Poetry Magazine, Smoke, and Fire, and also in poetry-film at several international film festivals, most recently Zebra Poetry Film Festival and Chicago International Film Festival. About "Lairs," she says, "During a recent heat wave here in California, I recalled a childhood memory of our neighbors in Texas, an Estonian immigrant and his British wife, who worked earnestly year-round to cultivate their garden. They populated it with flowering plants, none native to Texas, but instead those they loved from their home countries. During summer, the blooms cooked in the deadly Texas heat, and near dusk the couple would emerge without exception, tending the garden daily, no matter how high the temperature outside. The alchemy of this memory and the California heat gave rise to a sense of domestic dread, which became the basis of this poem."

Jim Gialamas has published work spanning a wide range of media, including the New York Times, The South Carolina Review, Medium, Forbes, and Glamour. He was a commentator on the public radio program Marketplace and wrote the script for the Corporate Warrior video game. Regarding "Grand," he says, "Even among the most highly educated and articulate, words can fail us when confronted by powerful emotions. Grand imagines a narrator who depends on ideas, such as aesthetics, political theory, and personal career management, to project the tumult of his inner life. When things don't work out, we watch him retreat to the world of ideas to restore his emotional equilibrium."

Ken Gosse prefers writing short, rhymed verse with traditional meter often filled with whimsy and humor. First published in The First Literary Review–East in November 2016, his works are also in The Offbeat, Pure Slush, Parody, The Ekphrastic Review, Eclectica, and others. Raised in the Chicago suburbs, now retired, he and his wife have lived in Mesa, Arizona, nearly 25 years.

Gretchel Hathaway is the Dean of Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at Union College, New York. She holds a BA in psychology from Manhattanville College, a MA in psychology from Yeshiva University, and a PhD in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. She teaches in the Sociology Department at Union College, and her research interests include diversity, equity, and inclusivity in higher education; child physical and sexual abuse; teenage abuse; and marital rape and spousal abuse. Her book, A Bonded Friendship: Moses and Eliphalet, is based on the true story of Eliphalet Nott, President of the Union College for 63 years, and Moses Viney, who escaped slavery and was employed by the College President.

Yael Herzog is an MFA candidate at Bar Ilan University and received the Andrea Moriah Poetry Prize in May, 2017. She grew up in New Jersey and now lives in Tel Aviv, Israel, where she teaches English to middle school and high school students. She is a previously unpublished student writer.

Stephanie A. Hunter teaches English to speakers of other languages at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, Washington, when she's not traveling or hiking. Traveling and teaching frequently inspire her stories. Additional projects can be seen on her website. "Expecting" is her first published story.

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.

Nancy K. Jentsch has taught German and Spanish for over 35 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 Gyroscope Review. Her chapbook, Authorized Visitors, has been published by Cherry Grove Collections, an imprint of WordTech Communications. Seven of her ekphrastic poems appear in the collaborative chapbook Frame and Mount the Sky. Regarding "Survivors," she says, "This poem began as a comment on unfulfilled hopes, related to the weeds that took over the garden despite the best laid of plans. My thoughts led me deeper: to my three pregnancy losses. This topic is one I had never written about. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to put voice to grief that has survived for 30 years."

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.

Amy Kenyon is a historian and writer-photographer. She is the author of Dreaming Suburbia, a study of Detroit and postwar sub-urbanization (Wayne State University Press) and a first novel, Ford Road (University of Michigan Press). As a writer of fiction and nonfiction, she has published with Great Lakes Review, Salon, Eclectica Magazine, Belt Magazine, Bright Lights Film Journal, Streetlight Magazine, Cobalt Review, and The Detroit News. Born and raised in Michigan, Amy now lives in London. She has worked as a mental health advocate, a literacy campaigner, and has taught at universities in Leeds and London.

PD Mallamo has appeared in Lana Turner, Sunstone, Barcelona Review, Granta, decomP, Eclectica, Construction, Conte, Otoliths, and the anthology Fire In The Pasture. He has degrees from BYU and the University of Kansas, and lives with his family in Lawrence.

Eric Margolis is a freelance writer based in New York. His reporting, fiction, and translations from Japanese have been published in Vox, Times of Israel, the American Library of Poetry, the Yale Literary Magazine, and he ghostwrites for outlets such as Chief Executive and American Lawyer.

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, Midwestern Gothic, and elsewhere. His poetry has been nominated for The Best of The Net and a Pushcart. He lives in his hometown of Chicago.

Mary Shay McGuire is this issue's Spotlight Author runner up. She was introduced to poetry in grammar school when she was given a book of poetry. Poetry has been with her since then, and the gift was the impetus for her beginning to write poetry. She graduated from Newton College of the Sacred Heart—now part of Boston College—and then studied painting in Paris. Later she graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with an MFA in Writing Poetry. She has published poems in Vita Brevis, Literary Heist, Literary Yard, Eclectica, and other venues, and has won the Hackney Prize and the New Millennium Prize for poetry.

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. Her work has appeared in Eclectica Magazine, The Women's Review of Books, West Branch, Word Fountain, and the Ekphrastic Review.

Dave Mercel has elected to forego a bio.

John Palcewski is a former Spotlight Author. He has enjoyed an eclectic career as a publishing house copywriter, wire service photojournalist, corporate magazine editor, music/drama critic, short story writer, and fine arts photographer. His work appears in the literary and academic press as well as in a substantial number of online publications. He has a BA in Journalism from Moravian College, and studied photography and videotape production at New York University. Palcewski's profile of jazz great Miles Davis appears in Miles on Miles, an anthology recently published by Lawrence Hill Books, an imprint of Chicago Review Press.

Scudder Parker grew up on a family farm in North Danville, Vermont. He's been a Protestant minister, state senator, utility regulator, candidate for Governor, consultant on energy efficiency and renewable energy, and is settling into his ongoing work as a poet. He's a passionate gardener and proud grandfather of four. He and his wife, Susan, live in Middlesex. Scudder has published in Sun Magazine, Vermont Life, Northern Woodlands, Wordrunner, Passager, Eclectica, Twyckenham, Crosswinds, Ponder Review, La Presa, Aquifer, and Stonecoast Review.

Huntley Gibson Paton is this issue's Spotlight Author runner up. A longtime business journalist and publisher, as well as a professional photographer, he is writing a novel about the early days of professional baseball, set in 1880s St. Louis. He and his wife Dawn live near Asheville, North Carolina.

LeeAnn Pickrell lives in Richmond, California, where she works as a freelance editor and writes poetry and prose. She is also the managing editor of Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche. Her work recently appeared in Eclectica Magazine's anthology of best poetry and has been published in various journals including In Posse Review, Regarding Arts & Letters, and Chanterelle's Notebook. LeeAnn has just completed a long essay about her experience in the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Christine Potter is a writer and poet from the lower Hudson River Valley. Her work has appeared in Eclectica, Rattle, Fugue, American Arts Quarterly, and she just had a couple of poems in Mobius, The Journal of Social Change. Her time traveling young adult novels, The Bean Books, are published by Evernight Teen, with a fourth in the series (Gracie's Time) coming soon! Regarding "Bell Ringing in East Bronx," she says, "I love the Eclectica word challenges. This one zoomed me back to the 90's, when I was in charge of the bell tower at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Westchester Square. The thing I played was strictly speaking a "chime." Carillons are bigger, but no one knows what a chime is, so I used the more familiar word. A chime has about an octave of notes. I rang hymn tunes and English-style changes every Sunday and for weddings and funerals. It was hard, physical work, especially when I was learning, but it was more fun than I've had doing many things in my life!"

Patrick T. Reardon is the author of eight books, including the poetry collection Requiem for David and Faith Stripped to Its Essence, a literary-religious analysis of Shusaku Endo's novel Silence. His poetry has appeared in Silver Birch Press, Ariel Chart, Cold Noon, Eclectica, Esthetic Apostle, Ground Fresh Thursday, Literary Orphans, Rhino, Spank the Carp, Main Street Rag, Down in the Dirt, Picaroon, Time for Singing, Tipton Poetry Journal, UCity Review, Under a Warm Green Linden, and The Write City, and he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize twice. Reardon, who worked as a Chicago Tribune reporter for 32 years, has published essays and book reviews widely in such publications as the Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, National Catholic Reporter, and U.S. Catholic. His novella Babe was short-listed by Stewart O'Nan for the annual Faulkner-Wisdom Contest. His blog is called Pump Don't Work.

Kyra Rogers is a Pittsburgh-born California raised writer, who got her bachelors degrees in Philosophy and Media Studies from UC Irvine before being catapulted into a full-time position as Chief Executive Sidewalk Botanist. Recently, she has pivoted into the equally lucrative world of independent film producing with two feature films premiering at SXSW and Tribeca respectively, and hopefully many more successes to come.

Gerard Sarnat is a physician who's built and staffed homeless and prison clinics, as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. He won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for Pushcarts and Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is published in academic-related journals including Stanford, Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Virginia Commonwealth, Arkansas, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan, Slippery Rock, Appalachian State, Grinnell, American Jewish University and the University of Edinburgh. His creative writing has also appeared widely, including recently in such US outlets as Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, MiPOesias, American Journal Of Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Blue Mountain Review, Danse Macabre, Canary Eco, Fiction Southeast, Military Experience and the Arts, Poets And War, Cliterature, Qommunicate, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, The Los Angeles Review, and The New York Times. Pieces have also been accepted by Chinese, Bangladeshi, Hong Kongese, Singaporian, Canadian, English, Irish, Scotch, Australian, New Zealander, Australasian Writers Association, French, German, Indian, Israeli, Romanian, Swedish, and Fijian among other international publications. Mount Analogue selected Kaddish for the Country for pamphlet distribution nationwide on Inauguration Day 2017. Amber Of Memory was chosen for the 50th Harvard reunion Dylan symposium. He's also authored the collections Homeless Chronicles (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), and Melting the Ice King (2016). Gerry's been married since 1969 with three kids and five grandsons, and he's looking forward to future granddaughters.

Belinda Subraman provided the artwork for this issue. Beside writing and publishing for decades, she was an RN for 14 years, mostly in hospice. She's also an artist working in ink and acrylics and has been a member of several drumming groups, playing rhythms taught directly from African masters for over five years now. She also has a daily yoga practice and a book of poetry called Left Hand Dharma published by Unlikely Books in 2018. She's known as "mysticalhouse" on Instagram and has a Facebook page by the same name.

Justin David Stone grew up in rural southern Missouri but lives now with his wife and daughter in El Paso, Texas, a community he cherishes. "Gateway to the Rest," which he describes as set in a landscape between dirt realism and bruised myth, below past, present, and future, is his first publication. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Texas El Paso Bilingual Creative Writing Program and a BA in film/video production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He has taught creative writing and first-year writing at UTEP. He writes novels, stories, poetry, and screenplays. He wrote and directed the DIY feature Motel, Glimpse. He produced one season (so far) of a performative podcast called Rookie Night Radio Theater. He's acted in numerous movies, music videos, and stage productions. He plays with prose, poetry, and comedy many places online, including the website Justin Stone's Creekbed.

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.

B.A. Van Sise is an internationally-known photographer and the author of the visual poetry anthology Children of Grass. His visual and written work has previously appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Washington Post, and Buzzfeed, as well as major museum exhibitions throughout the United States.

Richard Weaver lives in Baltimore City where he volunteers with the Maryland Book Bank, acts as the Archivist-at-large for a Jesuit college, and is the Official poet-in-residence at the James Joyce Pub and Restaurant. He's the author of The Stars Undone (Duende Press). His poems have appeared in River Poet's Journal, Southern Review, Little Patuxent Review, Loch Raven Review, Adelaide, Slush Pile, and Elsewhere.