Apr/May 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. "The Eye of the Needle" will be included in his second collection of linked stories, The Beasts of Belladonna, which will be published by Slant Books in 2021. His first collection, The Final Days of Great American Shopping, was published by the University of South Carolina Press in 2016.

Bob Bradshaw is a big fan of the Rolling Stones and easy times. Mick may not be gathering moss, but Bob is. Bob has recently retired to a hammock. His work can be found at Apple Valley Review, Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, Cha, Dodging the Rain, Eclectica, Pedestal, and many other publications.

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.

Bill Capossere has published work in Colorado Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, In Short, and Man in the Moon, and has been recognized with several Pushcart nominations and mention in the "notable essays" section of multiple Best American Essays. His full-length and shorter plays have received readings through GEVA Theatre and Writers and Books events, including GEVA's Festival of New Plays and the Rochester Fringe Festival. He lives in Rochester, NY, where he writes, bikes to work as an adjunct English instructor, and wears a size 32 waist.

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.

Tarek Ghaddar is a graduating student of Biochemistry at the University of Miami. Ghaddar came to Miami from Beirut, Lebanon, where they spent middle and high school. Their interest in poetry began to develop when, as a high school junior, they read the following two lines from Henley’s Invictus: “I am the master of my fate,/ I am the captain of my soul." Regarding the poem in this issue, Tarek says, "Mellification is a piece of born of anguish. Mellification is the process by which honey is used to preserve biological specimens— as detailed in tales from China and Arabia. The poem, beyond an elegy for a fallen friend, is a lament for a lost childhood in the mountain dayaas of Southern Lebanon, and the inevitable fate of life and memory."

Mary Grimm has had two books published, Left to Themselves (novel) and Stealing Time (story collection), both by Random House, and a number of flash pieces in places like Helen, The Citron Review, and Tiferet. She teaches fiction writing at Case Western Reserve University and is working on a dystopian novel about oldsters.

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, 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, and he was the founding editor of the pioneering online publication Gowanus. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, which remains his chief inspiration.

Penny Jackson has appeared in magazines both here and abroad such as The Edinburgh Review, The Ontario Review, The Croton Review, and The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses. Her novel, Becoming The Butlers, is published by Bantam Books.. Awards for her writing include a Pushcart Prize, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and The Elizabeth Janeway Prize in fiction. She is also a playwright and a screenwriter. Her most recent film, My Dinner With Schwartzey, is currently showing in the film festival circuit.

Nancy K. Jentsch has taught German and Spanish for over 35 years. She has recently published poetry in Gyroscope Review, 3 Elements Review, and Panoply. In 2019, her poetry has appeared in the anthologies Riparian (Dos Madres Press) and A Walk with Nature (University Professors Press). Her chapbook, Authorized Visitors, was published in 2017 and was the Fall/Winter Editor’s Chapbook Choice (2017) of the Aurorean. Seven of her ekphrastic poems appear in the collaborative chapbook Frame and Mount the Sky (2017).

John Leonard is a professor of English at Rhodes State College in Lima, Ohio. His poems have appeared in The Minnesota Review, The Alaska Quarterly, Another Chicago Magazine, The Beloit Poetry Journal, and Illuminations. His latest book of poems is Midwest Theodicy (Taj Mahal Review, 2019).

Linera Lucas won the Crucible Fiction Prize. Her poetry has been published in Clover, Elohi Gadugi, PageBoy Magazine, The Museum of Northwest Art, Spillway, What Rough Beast, and elsewhere. She is co-editor of Writings on Domestic Verbal and Physical Abuse, forthcoming from McFarland Books. She has a BA from Reed College, an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, and lives on a salt-water island near Seattle.

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.

Warren Merkel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, located in Trondheim, Norway. His creative work has also been published in Hippocampus, Two Hawks Quarterly, The Raven's Perch, and Lowestoft Chronicle.

Kameron Ray Morton is an MFA candidate in fiction at Columbia University. Their prose has appeared or is forthcoming in FLARE: The Flagler Review, Soundings East, and Valparaiso Fiction Review, among others, and their chapbook Intersections was a finalist in Paper Nautilus's Debut Series Chapbook Contest. They feel pressured to drink less coffee, but find their best ideas emerge from a caffeine-induced high. They serve as a Senior Prose Editor for Typehouse Magazine.

Sharona Muir is the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the Alfred Hodder fellowship, and three Ohio Arts Council creative writing fellowships. She teaches at Bowling Green State University. Her debut novel, Invisible Beasts (Bellevue Literary Press) was praised in O, the Oprah Magazine, as a "Title to Pick Up Now," and was a finalist for the Orion Prize. She has authored four books, including a memoir, The Book of Telling (Random House/Schocken Books). Other writing has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, The Paris Review, Orion, Kenyon Review, and numerous periodicals. Regarding her piece in this issue, Animal Truth, she says, "Two scientists trying to find a cure for a genetic plague re-enact the Oedipus drama, with shattering results different from the ancient myth. Today, we're starting to realize the cost—not of ignoring Olympian gods—but of overlooking our vulnerability as animals within the living system. This story is about the search for truth: in sexual experience, in scientific discovery, in the bonds of friendship, and in spiritual practice."

Marlene Olin was born in Brooklyn, raised in Miami, and educated at the University of Michigan. Her short stories have been published or are forthcoming in journals such as The Massachusetts Review, Catapult, The American Literary Review, and Arts and Letters. This is her third appearance in Eclectica. Her twitter handle is @writestuffmiami.

Benjamin Nash hasn't told us anything about himself.

Christine Potter is a writer and poet from the lower Hudson River Valley, where she lives in a very old house with her husband and two spoiled kitties. Her poetry has appeared in Eclectica, Rattle, Stirring, The Axe Factory, and has been featured on ABC Radio News. Unforgetting, her latest collection of poems, is on Kelsay Books. Her young adult novels are about time travel. The Bean Books are published by Evernight Teen.

David Sapp is a writer, artist and professor living along the southern shore of Lake Erie in North America. A Pushcart nominee, he was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence grant and an Akron Soul Train fellowship for poetry. His poems appear widely in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. His publications include articles in the Journal of Creative Behavior; chapbooks Close to Home and Two Buddha; and a novel, Flying Over Erie.

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.

Larry Smith is a former spotlight author nominee whose "Isms: A Guide for Children" appeared in the July/August 2018. His story collections, A Shield of Paris and Floodlands were published in 2019 by Adelaide Books. His novella, Patrick Fitzmike and Mike Fitzpatrick, was published in 2016 by Outpost 19. Smith's stories have appeared in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Serving House Journal, Sequestrum, Exquisite Corpse, The Collagist, and [PANK], among numerous others. His poetry has appeared in Descant (Canada) and Elimae, among others. He lives in New Jersey.

Gregory Stephenson grew up in Colorado and Arizona but has lived for many years in Denmark. His most recent book is Speaking Volumes: Ken Nordine's Word Jazz (Ober Limbo Verlag.)

Elizabeth Brewster Thomas has appeared in Poet Lore, The Paris Review, Nimrod, Fugue, Southern Poetry Review, Many Mountains Moving, Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, The Sunflower Anthology, and other publications. She received two Academy of American Poets Prizes while earning her Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Rhetoric from the University of Missouri. Other awards received include an International Merit Award for Poetry from the Atlantic Review, third place in The World Monuments Fund Haiku Contest, and finalist placing in the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, Fugue Poetry Prize, and the New Millennium Writing Award for Poetry. She lives with her husband and daughter in Columbia, Missouri.

Emily Burton-Uduwana is a poet and short fiction author based in Southern California. Her literary publications include work in Specter Literary Magazine and Straylight Literary Arts Magazine, along with upcoming pieces in Miracle Monocle and the Owen Wister Review. Uduwana is working towards her Ph.D. in history at the University of California, Riverside.