Oct/Nov 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.

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.

Evan Martin Richards is Eclectica's Poetry Editor. He grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and lives in Chicago. He received his MA in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University, where he worked as a writing tutor and facilitated creative writing and EdD candidate writing groups. His poetry has appeared in Poetry East and Eclectica. He has read fiction for Another Chicago Magazine and served as a poetry judge for the Golden Shovel Anthology Competition hosted by Roosevelt University. He works as an editor, both freelance and in the nonprofit management field.

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.

Daryana Antipova is a drummer and vocalist. Originally from Siberia, Daryana formed the experimental folk outfit Vedan Kolod with her siblings in 2005 and has since released eight acclaimed albums with the group. Drawing on ancient and medieval Slavic folk traditions, Vedan Kolod has attracted an impressive global cult following and toured extensively throughout Russia and Europe. In addition to her performing work, Daryana works as a freelance music journalist and recently started writing short stories in English when she moved to Bloomington, Indiana.

Kiran Bhat is a global citizen formed in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, to parents from Southern Karnataka, in India. An avid world traveler, polyglot, and digital nomad, he has currently traveled to over 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. His list of homes is vast, but his heart and spirit always remains in Mumbai, somehow. He currently lives in Melbourne.

David Brabec is a former teacher at a juvenile detention center, where writing about his feelings and actions is essential in maintaining a positive outlook in a difficult time. After his wife got into med school in Albuquerque, he became a middle school special education teacher for children with behavior issues. "Picasso" originates from a letter he wrote to his 93-year-old grandmother who still loved getting letters in the mail. Today, he stays home with his three boys (age 9, 13, and 15) and two dogs to help with distance learning so his wife can work nights in the ER as a physician. He has previously been published by The Big Brick Review.

Bob Bradshaw is a retired programmer living in California. He is looking for the perfect hammock to spend his retirement in. Recent work of his can be found at Dodging the Rain, Eclectica, and Ekphrastic Review.

Peter Bridges is a former Spotlight Author whose great-grandfather emigrated from County Donegal. Several years ago he led a trek across County Kerry, whence St. Brendan sailed for America. Bridges holds degrees from Dartmouth College and Columbia University, and spent three decades as a career Foreign Service officer, ending as American 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. He has self-published a second memoir, Woods Waters Peaks: A Diplomat Outdoors. His shorter work has appeared in Eclectica and many other journals.

Joyce Brinkman was Indiana's Poet Laureate from 2002 to 2008. She believes in poetry as public art and creates public poetry projects involving her poetry and the poetry of others. Collaborations with visual artists using her poetry for permanent installations include her words in a 25-foot stained glass window by British glass artist Martin Donlin at the Indianapolis International Airport, in lighted glass by Arlon Bayliss at the Indianapolis-Marion County Central Library, and on a wall with local El Salvadoran artists in the town square of Quezaltepeque, El Salvador. Her printed works include two chapbooks, Tiempo Español and Nine Poems In Form Nine, and two collaborative books, Rivers, Rails and Runways, and Airmail from the Airpoets with fellow "airpoets" Ruthelen Burns, Joe Heithaus, and Norbert Krapf. Joyce has received fellowships from the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and the Vermont Studio. She received a 2013 grant from the Indiana Arts Commission to explore poetry with the orangutans at the Indianapolis Zoo, and an Arts In The Park Grants from IAC for 2016 and 2017. The 2017 grant supports workshops called H2O Haiku at Clifty Falls State Park. Her latest books include the multinational, multilingual book Seasons of Sharing A Kasen Renku Collaboration from Leapfrog Press, and Urban Voices: 51 Poems from 51 American Poets from San Francisco Bay Press, which she co-edited with Dr. Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda. Joyce organized the collaborative poems for the Bicentennial Legacy Book Mapping the Muse. She recently completed a public art project in Martinsville, Indiana, featuring poetry she wrote inspired by the life and words of UCLA basketball coach and Hoosier native John Wooden. She is a graduate of Hanover College and lives in Zionsville, Indiana, with her husband and a cantankerous cat.

Sara Dallmayr is originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she attended Western Michigan University and graduated with a BA in Creative Writing/poetry. She works for the post office as a rural mail carrier in South Bend, Indiana, where she lives with her husband and three cats. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Esthetic Apostle, Texas Literary Review, Third Coast, High Shelf Press, 3Elements, and others.

Deborah H. Doolittle has lived in lots of different places, but she now calls North Carolina home. She has an MA in Women's Studies and an MFA in Creative Writing and teaches at Coastal Carolina Community College. She is the author of two chapbooks, No Crazy Notions (Birch Brook Press) and That Echo (Longleaf Press), and one full-length collection, Floribunda (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.) Some of her poems have recently appeared (or will soon appear) in Comstock Review, Evening Street Review, Pinyon Review, Rattle, Ravensperch, Slant, The Stand, and in audio format on The Writer's Almanac. She is a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator who volunteers some of her free time at Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary. She shares a home with her husband, four housecats (all rescues), and a backyard full of birds. Regarding "Chippewa River," she has this to say: "When one has lived in two dozen places, moving on average, every two years, how can one become homesick? When I was in high school, we lived in southern Wisconsin. The cabin in the north had been in the family for a long time, but I had never been there before. It was right on the Chippewa River, in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do except be a family together. That time, that place, that space we made in our lives for each other... yes, I miss that."

Leah Erickson has appeared here and at many other literary magazines, such as Pantheon, The Saint Ann's Review, The Coachella Review, and many more. She is the author of the novels The Brambles, Blythe of the Gates, and The Gilded Lynx. She is the winner of numerous awards for her novels, including a gold medal at the Independent Press Publishing Awards and a silver medal at the Reader's Favorite Awards. She is at work on her fourth.

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.

Sandra Florence received her Master's in English/Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, and has been writing and teaching in Tucson, Arizona, for the last 35 years. She taught at the University of Arizona for 19 years, at Pima Community College, and in a number of community education settings working with refugees, the homeless, adolescent parents, women in recovery, and juveniles at risk. She has also run writing groups for children and parents. She is the recipient of two NEH grants, one in 1997 under The National Conversation on American Pluralism and Identity initiative, and through the grant ran a community writing project for three years, and the second in 2015 entitled Border Culture in the Classroom and in the Public Square. She has published scholarly articles on writing and healing and writing as a tool for public dialogue. She published a book of poems, entitled The Radiant City in 2015 and is working on a short story collection.

Katherine Huang is a graduate student in genomics and computational biology at UPenn. Her work has appeared in/at Rattle (online), Gyroscope Review, The Ekphrastic Review, and elsewhere. When not writing or sciencing, she enjoys dancing and taking naps. You can find her on Twitter @Katabolical.

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.

Jenifer Joseph hasn't told us anything about herself.

Thomas Kearnes is this one of this issue's Spotlight Runners-Up. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an MA in film writing. His fiction has appeared in Gulf Coast, Berkeley Fiction Review, Timber, Foglifter, Hobart, Gertrude, Adroit Journal, Split Lip Magazine, Cutthroat, Litro, PANK, BULL: Men's Fiction, Gulf Stream Magazine, and elsewhere. He is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and three-time Best of the Net nominee. Originally from East Texas, he now lives in Houston and works as an English tutor at a local community college. His Lambda Literary Award-nominated debut collection of short fiction, Texas Crude, is now available from Lethe Press at numerous online booksellers. About "Ten Bucks Says He Beats Her," he says, "I'd wanted to write about mass shootings for some time. They're such a uniquely American phenomenon. I got the idea listening to a teenage coworker at my old job cashiering at a restaurant. He was a smart guy that I admired, always reading Chekov short stories for fun. Anyway, the kids were discussing the mass shooting du jour, and he commented it would just interrupt their programming and be promptly forgotten. I was taken aback by the cavalier heartlessness of the comment. I decided to write about shootings from the POV of a character for whom they were just the price of admission of living in America. The story basically took off from there."

Karla Khine lives in Houston, Texas, and attends the University of Houston, majoring in biochemistry with minors in English and film studies. Karla plans on pursuing a master's in fine arts in creative writing. In their free time, Karla watches films, reads, writes, and plays with their pet bunny.

Michel Steven Krug is a Minneapolis poet, fiction writer, former print journalist, litigator, and Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars graduate. He's also Managing Editor for Poets Reading the News (PRTN) literary magazine. His poems have appeared in Writers Resist, Sheepshead, Mizmor Anthology, 2019, PRTN, Ginosko, Door Is A Jar, Raven's Perch, Tuck Magazine, Poetry24, Main Street Rag, the Brooklyn Review, and others. A comment on "Wheeze": "COVID's first appearance was insidious until one by ten by hundred etc. felt it overwhelm lives, foreshadowing how the loss of breath, would alter the country, while a portion, denies it all."

Georgia San Li is this issue's Spotlight Author in both poetry and nonfiction. She is at work on a novel, short stories, and other writings. Most recently, her work in creative nonfiction was shortlisted in La Piccioletta Barca. She has worked in cities including London, Tunis, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Paris, Wilhelmshaven and Tokyo. She is American. She was born in the Midwest and lives in New England with her husband and daughter.

Denton Loving is the author of the poetry collection Crimes Against Birds (Main Street Rag) and editor of Seeking Its Own Level, an anthology of writings about water (MotesBooks). His writing has recently appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Chattahoochee Review, The Threepenny Review, and Iron Horse Literary Review.

Kat Meads has published pieces in Eclectica, Full Stop, The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, World Literature Today, and The Best New Writing from California. Her memoir-in-letters to a nonexistence niece, Dear DeeDee, will be published in December by Regal House Publishing

James Miller won the Connecticut Poet Award in 2020. His poems have appeared in Cold Mountain Review, The Maine Review, Lunch Ticket, Meat for Tea, Main Street Rag, The Atlanta Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, Rogue Agent, Thin Air, The Inflectionist Review, Panoply, A Minor, Typehouse, and elsewhere.

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.

Huntley Gibson Paton is a former journalist and media executive who now lives and writes near Asheville, North Carolina. His short story, "Unincorporated Road," was the Spotlight runner-up in Eclectica's July 2019 issue. He has completed a first novel, historical fiction set in 19th Century St. Louis, for which he is seeking a publisher.

Martha Patterson has been published by Smith & Kraus, Applause Books, Sheepshead Review, Silver Birch Press, Pioneer Drama Service, Syndrome Magazine, and others. She has degrees from Mt. Holyoke College and Emerson College and lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She loves being surrounded by her books, radio, and laptop.

Pascale Potvin is a Canadian writer and prose editor for Walled Women Magazine. She's placed work in BlazeVOX, Quail Bell Magazine, The Writing Disorder, Poke Magazine, and several others. She has a BAH from Queen's University, and she is working on a budding book series. She occasionally writes about writing and literature for One Lit Place.

Ashley Reynolds holds a master's degree in English Education. Her poems have appeared in Life As Ceremony, The Blue Mountain Review, and Fearsome Critters Magazine. Her non-fiction writing has been published online at Her View From Home and Motherly. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two boys.

Richard Risemberg was born into a Jewish-Italian household in Argentina and brought to Los Angeles to escape the fascist regime of his homeland. He has lived there since, except for a digression to Paris in the turbulent '80s. He attended Pepperdine University on a scholarship won in a writing competition, but left in his last year to work in jobs from gritty to glitzy, starting at a motorcycle shop and progressing through offices, retail, an independent design and manufacturing business, and most recently a stint managing an adult literacy program at a library branch in one of the poorest neighborhoods of the city. All has become source material for his writing.

Russell Rowland is a seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee writing from New Hampshire's Lakes Region, where he has judged high-school Poetry Out Loud competitions. His latest poetry book, Wooden Nutmegs, is available from Encircle Publications.

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.

Leela Srinivasan is a poet and MFA student at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a BA in Psychology and MA in Communication from Stanford University, where she wrote and published a collection of psychological poetry as her undergraduate honors thesis. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Gregory Stephenson grew up in Colorado and Arizona but has lived in Denmark for many years. His most recent book is Tempe, du Stadt Meiner Träume (Heidelberg: Ober Limbo Verlag, 2020.)

Lakshmi Arya Thathachar is an academician based in India. She is a historian by training and a philosopher by aspiration. Her poems have previously been published in Eclectica Magazine, Pratilipi, and Mojave Heart Review. Place and emotion come together in her poems and in this story, "The Monsoon Child."

Ursula Troche is a writer, artist, and double migrant living on the Irish Sea Coast in the north of England. Inspired by space, place, and the in-between, inner lives and hidden stories. Most recently published in the Sublunary Review. Also at the Cabinet of Heed, Morimaru, and others. More details on her blog.

Anagha Unni is a writer and filmmaker based in Kerala, India. Her stories have appeared in The Bombay Review, Jotted and Twist, and Twain. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication and a Diploma in Screen and Media Studies from Sydney Film School. Her blog offers insightful pieces on sustainable living and humanity for The Lush Ways, an eco organization based in Kochi, India.

Elizabeth Wahmhoff is a PhD student in the Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture program at Michigan Tech. She recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she majored in creative writing.

Alessio Zanelli is an Italian poet who writes in English and whose work has appeared in over 170 literary journals from 16 countries. His fifth original collection, titled The Secret of Archery, was published in 2019 by Greenwich Exchange (London).

Hantian Zhang grew up in China and is living in San Francisco. His day job is a data scientist.