Jan/Feb 2020

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.

Gilbert Allen writes both poetry and short fiction. His most recent books are Catma and The Final Days of Great American Shopping. His work has received the Robert Penn Warren Prize in Poetry from The Southern Review and Special Mention for a Pushcart Prize. A longtime resident of upstate South Carolina, he was elected to The South Carolina Academy of Authors, the state's literary hall of fame, in 2014.

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 lives, works, explores, and writes about it.

Margaret Donovan Bauer is a native of Louisiana. She teaches Southern literature at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, where she has served as the editor of the North Carolina Literary Review for almost a quarter century. She is also the author of four books of literary criticism, including A Study of Scarletts: Scarlett O'Hara and Her Literary Daughters. Over the past few years, though, she has turned to writing in creative genres, including mainly creative nonfiction, which she's published in storySouth, Cold Mountain Review, Deep South, and New Madrid.

Terry Barr is the author of Don't Date Baptists and Other Warnings from My Alabama Mother and We Might As Well Eat: How to Survive Tornados, Alabama Football, and Your Southern Family (Third Lung Press). His work has appeared in Call Me [Brackets], storySouth, The New Southern Fugitives, Cleaning Up Glitter, Wraparound South, Under the Sun, Coachella Review, Flying South, and Eclectica. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina, with his family and blogs at medium.com/@terrybarr.

Aileen Bassis is a visual artist and poet in New York City working in book arts, printmaking, photography, and installation. Her use of text in art led her to explore another creative life as a poet. She was awarded two artist residencies in poetry to the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Her poems have been nominated for Pushcart prizes and two poems are in anthologies on the subject of migration. Her journal publications include B o d y Literature, Spillway, Grey Sparrow Journal, Canary, The Pinch Journal, and Prelude.

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.

Kris Broughton lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He has had stories published previously in Eclectica, Carve, Exquisite Corpse, and Mipoesias. He received a Pushcart nomination in 2004.

Jeff Burt works in mental health in California. His poetry has appeared in Williwaw Journal, The Rabid Oak, ucity Review, and Mojave Heart Review. He says, "'One Way, Out and Only' unites two paths, the one outside the house where people traipse by hiking uphill, where I see them walking up but never walking down,lost to the mountain. The second path is our linear path from life to death to the lack of remembrance, the loss of my mother to cancer and desire to go back to a time to be with her again."

Michael Campagnoli taught literature and writing while studying for a Ph.D. and has worked at a variety of jobs, including journalist, fisherman, waiter, short-order cook. He now proofreads a local newspaper and coaches high school baseball. His awards have included the New Letters Poetry Award, the All Nations Press Chapbook Award, and The Chiron Review Novella Prize. His fiction and poetry have appeared in New Letters, Nimrod, Southern Humanities Review, Rosebud, Rattle, Descant, Natural Bridge, Palimpsest, Red Rock Review, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. He's published four chapbooks, and his poems and stories have been anthologized in Best New Writing of 2010, ISFN's Anthology #1, The Bethany Reader, Nothing to Declare, America is Not The World, and The Two Dreamers: Writing Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank. Three of his poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Antonia Clark is a medical writer and editor who has also taught poetry and fiction writing and is co-administrator of an online poetry forum The Waters. She is the author of a poetry chapbook, Smoke and Mirrors, a full-length poetry collection, Chameleon Moon, and the forthcoming collection, Dance Craze. Her poems have appeared in many issues of Eclectica over the past ten years, as well as in numerous other print and online journals, including 2River View, Cortland Review, Dodging the Rain, Innisfree Poetry Journal, The Pedestal Magazine, and Rattle. Toni lives in Vermont, loves French picnics, and plays French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.

Edward M. Cohen has published over 40 stories in literary journals. His novel, $250,000, was published by Putnam; his non-fiction books by Prima, Prentice-Hall, Limelight Editions, and SUNY Press. New work appears in the current issues of Porter House Review and Bacopa Literay Review.

Essah Cozett is a Doctoral Caribbean Literature and Languages student at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus. She is a first-generation Liberian-American, born and raised in Georgia. Her poetry explores African influences in the Caribbean and Latin America women's empowerment, identity, and spirituality. Her work has appeared in several print and online publications, including Moko Magazine, Tonguas, Odradek, and The Odyssey Online.

Michelle D'costa is a Mangalorean from Mumbai. She was born and raised in Bahrain. Her poetry and prose has been published widely in journals like Litro UK, Queen Mob's Teahouse, Coldnoon, and more. She loves to interview writers. Her debut full-length short story and poetry collections are complete. She edits Kaani, an ezine for fiction. She talks about books on YouTube and blogs on WordPress.

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.

Sanjyokta Deshmukh is a British-Indian writer pursuing a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing in the UK. She predominantly writes poetry, and her writing often attempts to understand the world around her as she enters adulthood. She was previously published in the Skinny Poetry Journal.

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, New Verse News, and The Ekphrastic Review. He was nominated for Pushcart Prizes in 2017 and 2018. His Chapbook, "Perhaps You Can," will be published in 2019 by Kelsay Press.

Robert Earle is this issue's Spotlight Author. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, and his short fiction has appeared in scores of North American and international literary journals, including Mississippi Review, The Common, december, 34thParallel, Steel Toe Review, Toronto Quarterly, Consequence, The Literary Review, The Baltimore Review, Atticus Review, and The MacGuffin. Vine Leaves Press published his most recent collection of stories, She Receives the Night. He also has published a nonfiction book about Iraq, Nights in the Pink Motel (Naval Institute Press), and a novel, The Way Home (DayBue). "Jabber from the Streetworld" is the eighth and final story in an interconnected series focused on two runaway street kids who travel from LA to St. Paul and then down the Mississippi to New Orleans.

Rose Fairfield lives in the Appalachian mountains, where she serves her community as a behavioral health professional. Only recently, she began submitting her poetry to online journals. Her work also can be found in Rue Scribe and Amethyst Review.

Jennifer Finstrom is a former Spotlight Author and longtime (13 years!) former Poetry Editor. An adjunct instructor at DePaul University in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse Department and also Outreach Coordinator at DePaul's University Center for Writing-based Learning (UCWbL), recent publications include Escape Into Life and MockingHeart Review. Her work also appears in Silver Birch Press's Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks and other Silver Birch Press anthologies.

Brad Gottschalk is a writer and cartoonist who has lived most of his life in Wisconsin. In a previous life, he worked with an amateur theater troupe, First Banana Productions, but now spends most of his free time writing and drawing. His comics, illustrations, and fiction have appeared in such publications as Raven Chronicles, Berkeley Fiction Review, and Fugue.

Doug Gower is a produced and published playwright. His plays have been staged in New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Houston, and San Francisco, including such venues as the Julliard Theater Center, Vineyard Theatre, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. He has been a recipient of an NEA Fellowship. This is his second appearance in Eclectica.

Christy Alexander Hallberg is a Teaching Associate Professor of English at East Carolina University, where she earned her BS and MA in English. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. In addition to her teaching duties, she serves as Senior Associate Editor for North Carolina Literary Review. She has published short stories and creative nonfiction in such journals as Main Street Rag, Fiction Southeast, Riggwelter, Eclectica, Litro Magazine, STORGY Magazine, and Concho River Review.

Patricia Haney is a student at DePaul University studying Writing & Rhetoric and Creative Writing. At DePaul, she works as a peer tutor and head writing fellow at the University Center for Writing-based Learning. Although a long time creative writer, she only recently began submitting her work to literary magazines, appearing in Motley. She is originally from Michigan and finds inspiration for her work from reflecting on her upbringing in the Midwest.

Stephanie L. Harper recently relocated from Hillsboro, Oregon, to Indianapolis, Indiana, to pursue her MFA in Creative Writing at Butler University. Harper is a Pushcart Prize Nominee, Judge of the 2019 AWP Intro Journals Prize in Poetry, and author of the chapbooks This Being Done and The Death's-Head's Testament. Her poems appear in Slippery Elm, The High Window (Featured American Poet), Panoply, Isacoustic*, Underfoot Poetry, Eclectica, Cathexis Northwest, The Winnow Magazine, and elsewhere.

Bob Haynes has appeared in New Letters, Nimrod, Rattle, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. His latest book of poems is The Grand Unified Theory (2001).

Mary Beth Hines is a writer following a career as a project manager. Her work has appeared in journals such as Brilliant Flash Fiction, Crab Orchard Review, The Galway Review, Literary Mama, MockingHeart Review, and Sky Island Journal among many others. She resides in Massachusetts where she was born and bred—the perfect location for swimming in summer and "working from home" as described in this poem, in the depths of winter.

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.

Erin Kirsh is a writer and performer based in Vancouver. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has been published in The Malahat Review, EVENT, Geist, Arc Poetry Magazine, QWERTY, Cosmonauts Avenue, Noble/Gas Quarterly, and more. Follow her on twitter @kirshwords.

John Leonard is an English teacher and poetry editor of Twyckenham Notes, a literary journal based out of South Bend, Indiana. He holds an MA in English from Indiana University. His previous works have appeared in Poetry Quarterly, North Dakota Review, Roanoke Review, Sheila-Na-Gig online, Rappahannock Review, Mud Season Review, Fearsome Critters: A Millennial Arts Journal, Rock & Sling, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Rockvale Review, Trailer Park Quarterly, Genre: Urban Arts, and Burningword Literary Journal. His work is forthcoming in Chiron Review, December Magazine, and The Blue Mountain Review. He lives in Elkhart, Indiana, with his wife, three cats, and two dogs. You can follow him on Twitter at @jotyleon and @TwyckenhamNotes.

Jayne Marek has appeared in One, QWERTY, Folio, About Place Journal, Women's Studies Quarterly, Grub Street, Spillway, Forage, Cold Mountain Review, Raven Chronicles, Notre Dame Review, and many other journals. Her full-length poetry books are In and Out of Rough Water (2017) and The Tree Surgeon Dreams of Bowling (2018). Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she won the Bill Holm Witness poetry contest and was recently a finalist in the Yemassee, Joy Bale Boone, Naugatuck River Review, and Up North poetry competitions. This piece is part of a longer project prompted by A. R. Ammons' classic (and, alas, ever more pertinent) meditation on the unfortunate trends in modern existence in Garbage. The poem is conversational, tracing intersections between the curiosities of modern culture and direct observations of the natural world. She says, "I weave in humor as I explore what engages as well as threatens us—and what I wish we valued."

Phoebe Marrall was orphaned at the age of nine and was a survivor of The Depression and a grueling childhood. When she died in 2017 at the age of 84, her daughters Jane Hendrickson and Camille Komine inherited hundreds of poems she had written. They remained unpublished during her lifetime, but it is the intention of her daughters that a collection be compiled for readers to appreciate. Relief, Have You a Name? is a work in progress, being edited by Gayle Jansen Beede.

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.

Kat Meads is a runner-up Spotlight Author for this issue. She is the author of 20 books and chapbooks of prose and poetry, including, most recently, Foreword Reviews Book of the Year finalist Miss Jane: The Lost Years. Her short plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and elsewhere. She lives in California.

Erika Michael has a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Washington and has also taught at Trinity University, Oregon State, and the University of Puget Sound. She has participated in extended workshops with Carolyn Forché, Thomas Lux, Linda Gregerson, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, and Tim Siebles. Her poems have appeared in Poetica Magazine, Cascade, Drash: Northwest Mosaic, Mizmor l'David Anthology, Bracken Magazine, The Winter Anthology, The Institute for Advanced Study Letter, Belletrist Magazine, and elsewhere.

Michael Milburn lives in Hamden, Connecticut, and teaches high school English in New Haven. His nonfiction has appeared recently in Confrontation, Poemeleon, and previous issues of Eclectica.

Dike Okoro is professor of English and Chair of the Department of Humanities at Harris-Stowe State University. His nonfiction, book reviews, and book chapters have in or are forthcoming from Far Villages: Welcome Essays for New & Beginner Poets (Black Lawrence Press, NY 2020), The Routledge Handbook for Minority Discourses in African Literature (2020), Eclectica, Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal, Imbizo: International Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies, The Caribbean Writer, Dictionary of Literary Biography, and elsewhere. Recipient of a Newberry Library Scholar-in-Residence and a finalist for the 2016 Cecile De Jongh Poetry Award, Okoro has edited multiple anthologies of poetry and fiction, including Speaking for the Generation: Contemporary Short Stories from Africa, and We Have Crossed Many Rivers: New Poetry from Africa, which was shortlisted by Human Rights Careers.com Magazine, UK, as one of the 5 Vocal Human Rights Poetry Books inspiring Change. His poems have appeared in Universal Oneness: An Anthology of Magnum Opus Poems from around the world, Yellow Medicine Review, Witness, Rigorous, Bolts of Silk, and elsewhere. He is always at work on multiple projects.

Ken O'Steen is from Los Angeles and resides in Proctor, Vermont. His fiction has appeared in Cleaver Magazine, Switchback (University of San Francisco), ELM (Eureka College Literary Magazine), Litro, Pif Magazine, Litbreak, Connotation Press, Flash Fiction Magazine, Riggwelter, Whistling Shade, Blue Lake Review, and others. "Godsent Vermin," which appeared in Sleet, has been nominated for a Best of the Net Award. "Dinner at Musso and Frank," appeared in the anthology, The Muse in the Bottle: Great Writers on the Joys of Drinking, published by Citadel.

Landen Parkin is a Minnesotan who is just trying to survive the winters. He studied Film and English at Minnesota State University, Mankato, as well as St. Cloud State University. He resides in the Twin Cities where he loves to occupy himself with writing and spending time with his sweet dog, Zoey.

David Raney is this issue's Spotlight Author Runner-Up. A writer and editor living near Atlanta with his wife, kids, and a titanic Labrador, his essays have appeared in numerous journals and on the Notables list in Best American Essays 2018 and 2019.

Jessica Ripka is a creative nonfiction writer and audio producer working in film in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in Chaleur Magazine, Prometheus Dreaming, and Pidgeonholes. A 2015 Summer and Winter Tin House Fellow and a 2016 graduate of the Transom Story Workshop, she is working on a memoir.

Russell Rowland is a seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee who writes from New Hampshire's Lakes Region, where he has judged high-school Poetry Out Loud competitions. His work appears in Encircle Publication's Except for Love: New England Poets Inspired by Donald Hall. A full-length collection, We're All Home Now, is available from Beech River Books.

Shoshauna Shy is founder of Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf and the Woodrow Hall Top Shelf Awards. Her poetry has recently appeared courtesy of Verse Virtual and Gulf Stream Magazine. Author of five collections of which two won an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association, she is also a flash fiction writer. About "Whiskey Neat," she says, "Timing is everything. It never fails to amaze me how many things have to fall into delicate sequence before something astonishing happens, either good or bad. For something to fall into a delicate sequence and result in good and bad at the same time is even more astonishing."

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.

Robert Stone was born in 1961 in Wolverhampton in the UK. He was educated at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, and at Jesus College, Cambridge. He has worked as a press analyst in London for more than 25 years. Before that he was a teacher and the foreman of a London Underground station. He has two children and lives with his partner in Ipswich. He has had stories published in Stand, Panurge, The Write Launch, and Wraparound South. He has had a story accepted for Nicholas Royle's Nightjar chapbook series. That will probably come out next year. A micro story has been published by Palm-Sized Press, Star 82, and another in Clover & White. Another will soon be published by 5x5. A longer story will soon come out in The Wisconsin Review. When not at work, he spends his time reading, writing, and mooching about.

Matthew Wade Thomas is retired, lives in Sparks, Nevada, and is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition to Eclectica Magazine, he has published in the Write Launch and the Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review.

Elana Wolff is a Toronto-based writer of poetry and creative nonfiction, a literary editor, and a designer and instructor of social art courses. Her Kafka-quest essays are featured in The New Quarterly, Humber Literary Review, The Nashwaak Review, Cargo Literary, Wanderlust Journal, and The Bangalore Review. Her sixth solo collection of poems, SWOON, is forthcoming with Guernica Editions in 2020.

Stephanie Yu lives in Los Angeles with her husband Nate. She is a lawyer for the State of California. This is her first published piece.