Jan/Feb 2022

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.

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.

Gilbert Allen has contributed both poems and short stories to previous issues of Eclectica. His most recent books are Believing in Two Bodies and The Beasts of Belladonna. Some new work will soon be appearing in Epoch and The Southern Review. He is the Bennette E. Geer Professor of Literature Emeritus at Furman University.

Peter Amos lives in Queens, New York, with his wife and young son. He studied jazz and classical guitar in college before moving to the city. You can read more of his work at The Bitter Southerner, Cleaver Magazine, and Brevity.

Molly Anne Blumhoefer writes creative nonfiction, short fiction, hybrid, and poetry. She grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and now lives with her partner in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her work has been published in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Sad Girls Club Lit, Red Wing Arts, and forthcoming, Landlocked Magazine.

Peter Bridges is a former Spotlight Author. He 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.

Kelly Burdick is a poet, artist, and librarian living in a tiny town in the Pacific Northwest. They have been published in Inscape, Segullah, and Schwa, and they are an editor of COOP: Chickens of Our Poetry. They love bugs, birds, language, and obscure facts about all three.

Rachel Dacus is the author of four novels: The Time Gatherer, The Renaissance Club, The Invisibles, and the forthcoming Undoing Time. Her poetry has been published in four collections: Arabesque, Gods of Water and Air, Femme au Chapeau, and Earth Lessons. It has also appeared in journals including Boulevard, Gargoyle, and Prairie Schooner, as well as the anthologies Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California and Ravishing DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Adam Day is the author of Left-Handed Wolf (LSU Press, 2020) and Model of a City in Civil War (Sarabande Books), winner of a PEN Award, and the recipient of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha. He is also the editor of the forthcoming anthology, Divine Orphans of the Poetic Project, from 1913 Press, and his work has appeared in the APR, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Volt, Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, and elsewhere.

Robert Detman has published fiction, poetry, and essays in over 50 publications, including Antioch Review, Causeway Lit, New Orleans Review, The Smart Set, The Southampton Review, Tusculum Review, and elsewhere. His stories have been finalists for the New Letters Literary Awards and nominated for the Best of the Net, and a story collection was a semifinalist for the Hudson Prize from Black Lawrence Press.

Robert Earle lives in Durham, North Carolina. His short fiction has appeared in many North American and international literary journals, including Mississippi Review, The Common, december, 34thParallel, Steel Toe Review, Eclectica, Toronto Quarterly, Consequence, The Literary Review, The Baltimore Review, and Atticus Review. 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).

Jennifer Finstrom is both part-time faculty and staff at DePaul University. She was the poetry editor of Eclectica Magazine for 13 years, and recent publications include Atlanta Review and Escape into Life. Her work also appears in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks and several other Silver Birch Press anthologies.

Marko Fong is this issue's Spotlight Author. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, dog, and two cats. He's written fiction and non-fiction for many years and publications include Solstice, Prick of the Spindle, RKVRY, and Volleyball Magazine. This is his second appearance in Eclectica. He's working on a longer piece about the Asian-American quest for civil rights.

Lou Gaglia has published two books of short stories: His first, Poor Advice & Other Stories, won the 2016 New York Book Festival Award, as well as the 2015 New Apple Literary Award for Short Story Fiction. His second book of short stories, Sure Things & Last Chances, was a finalist for the 2017 Next Generation Book Award for Short Story Fiction. His stories have appeared in Columbia Journal, Menda City Review, Eclectica, Waccamaw, Blue Lake Review, FRiGG, and other places. Lou taught in New York City for many years and now teaches in upstate New York. He is a long-time T'ai-chi ch'uan practitioner.

Janay Garrick resides in Woodland, California, where she writes from her grandmother's pink antique secretary desk. Her work has appeared in Narrative, TriQuarterly, Helen Literary, and Florida State Poets Association Anthology. She's working on a debut collection of genre-bending stories exploring the nature of color (ROY-G-BIV), power, and gender justice.

William Han is a writer and (former?) lawyer. Pre-pandemic, he spent several years wandering the globe. His travelogue detailing an adventure along the Silk Road from China to Europe, From the Wall to the Water, will be forthcoming later this year.

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.

Miriam N. Kotzin is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently, Debris Field (David Robert Books 2017). Her new novel, Right This Way, will be published by Spuyten Duyvil Press in 2022 and joins a novel, The Real Deal (Brick House Press 2012), her collection of short fiction, Country Music (Spuyten Duyvil Press 2017), and a collection of flash fiction, Just Desserts (Star Cloud Press 2010). Her fiction and poetry have been published in anthologies and numerous periodicals such as Shenandoah, Boulevard, SmokeLong Quarterly, Eclectica, Mezzo Cammin, Offcourse, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. She teaches creative writing and literature at Drexel University.

J Eric Miller is a professor of creative writing at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he faculty advisor to the MSU Roadrunner Review. His short story collection, Animal Rights and Pornography was published by Soft Skull Press and has since been translated and published in France, Russia, and Turkey. His novel Decomposition has been translated and published in France, Spain, and Italy; a cinematic version is in pre-production with Fatcat Films. His short stories have appeared in various journals, including Clementine Unbound, LitBreak, decomP, Semaphore, Starry Night Review, The Scarlet Leaf Review, eFiction, Pindelyboyz, Clean Sheets, Manera, Burning Word, Ink Pot, and Outsider Ink. One of them, "Invisible Fish," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Tom Nakasako is a writer from Bexley, Ohio. He studies English Literature at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Heidi Naylor writes and teaches in Idaho. She and her husband have three grown sons, a daughter in law, and a little granddaughter. Heidi's short story collection, Revolver, was published by BCC Press in 2018. She says, "My first overseas memory features landing at Gatwick Airport as a young woman, flummoxed by the little customs card the flight attendants so briskly distributed. Did they want my home address? Or the address where I was headed? The agent on the ground took my card and peered over his glasses at me: 'Do you not know your name? Do you not know your address?' He pinned me: when I travel, I lose track of myself in ways both unsettling and exciting. 'Postcards From Viterbo' tries to capture that sensation."

Prateek Nigam has been living in Bangalore for the past decade. He writes code for a living. In his more youthful days, he used to moonlight as a kickboxing instructor. More recently he has taken to writing short stories. Some of his works have appeared in Wasafiri magazine, Jaggery Lit, Muse India, and Out of Print. His story "Less Than Perfect" was short-listed for the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize in 2019. He is a graduate of the Bangalore Writers Workshop. He likes to cook, eat, sleep, read, write, and collect art prints from glossy magazines and old calendars.

Marlene Olin was born in Brooklyn, raised in Miami, and educated at the University of Michigan. Her short stories and essays have been published in journals such as The Massachusetts Review, Catapult, PANK, and The Baltimore Review. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of The Net, Best Small Fictions, and for inclusion in Best American Short Stories. This is Marlene's fifth contribution to Eclectica.

Adrienne Pilon is a writer, editor, and teacher. She serves as a reader at Kitchen Table Quarterly, is Associate Editor at BoomerLitMag, and was part of the editorial team at Poets Reading the News. Recent publications appear in the Dillydoun Review, Vita Brevis, The Dirty Spoon, and elsewhere. She enjoys promoting writers and lit mags on Twitter @unatocaya.

David Raney is 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, 2019, and 2021.

Jayanthi Rangan has published poems in various journals and magazines including Elevation Review, Rigorous, Poet's Choice, Wingless Dreamer, and Indolent Books. Her short stories are published in Twisted Vine Literary Publication, Corner Club Press, and Bookend Review. She is involved with teaching varied groups, creating dishes, and being a town meeting member.

Stuart Ross is a former Spotlight Author and the author of the novel Jenny in Corona (Tortoise Books, 2019). He lives in Chicago. You can follow his work @myskypager.

David Sapp is a writer, artist, and professor who lives along the southern shore of Lake Erie in North America. A Pushcart nominee, he was awarded Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Grants for poetry and the visual arts. 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, a novel Flying Over Erie, and a book of poems and drawings titled Drawing Nirvana.

Kandala Singh is a writer from New Delhi and one of this issue's Spotlight Runners-Up. She lives in a flat that looks out at Ashoka trees, and escapes to the mountains as often as she can. Her poems have appeared in Rattle, SWWIM Every Day, Hindustan Times, The Alipore Post , Sonic Boom, and Aainanagar, among other places. You can find her on Instagram @kandalasingh.

Susan Sink is a poet and writer living on 80 acres in central Minnesota and one of this issue's Spotlight Runners-Up. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in poetry. Her poems have appeared in many literary magazines, fiction in Santa Monica Review and Pigeon Review. She has published two books of poetry, The Way of All the Earth and H is for Harry and a book of 100-word stories about nuns, Habits. Her debut novel, Officer Down, was published in November 2021 and is available from lulu.com or susansinkblog.com. She publishes poems and essays at Medium.com/@susansink. The story of the bear and the struggle of the Sisters and priest to butcher it is legendary at Saint Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Susan first heard about it when she was the Order's communications director. Other than the premise, this piece is entirely fictional. None of these characters are based on actual Sisters.

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.

Kimm Brockett Stammen has appeared or is forthcoming in December Magazine, CARVE, The Greensboro Review, Pembroke, Prime Number, and many others. Her work has been nominated for Pushcart and Best Short Fiction anthologies. She holds an MFA from Spalding University.

Kelli Weldon was born and raised in Louisiana and now resides in Texas. She studied journalism and English literature at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and served on the executive board of its literary magazine, Argus. She now works in communications and loves reading poetry any chance she gets.