Oct/Nov 2022

Tom Dooley co-founded Eclectica in 1996 and serves as its Managing and Fiction 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.

Stuart Ross is Eclectica's Review Editor and a former Spotlight Author. A writer from Queens living in Chicago and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame's MFA program, he is the author of the novel Jenny in Corona (Tortoise Books, 2019). His work has appeared in Diagram, Expat Press, HTML Giant, Necessary Fiction, New World Writing, The Awl, The Rumpus, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and many others.

Marko Fong is Eclectica's Nonfiction Coeditor. A former 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.

Gilbert Allen writes poetry and prose fiction. His most recent books are Believing in Two Bodies and The Beasts of Belladonna. You'll find some of his newest work in EPOCH, The James Dickey Review, New Verse News, Salt, and The Southern Review.

Haseeb Andrabi completed an MA in English Literature in 2019 from Kashmir University. He grew up in a family of teachers and is a poet and storyteller. His research focus is on Metaphysics and Art with a special interest in Abrahamic religion. As background to his piece in this issue, he says, "The Kashmir conflict is a territorial conflict over the Kashmir region, primarily between India and Pakistan, with China playing a third-party role. The conflict started after the partition of India in 1947 as both India and Pakistan claimed the entirety of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a dispute over the region that escalated into three wars between India and Pakistan and several other armed skirmishes. According to scholars, Indian forces have committed many human rights cases of abuse and acts of terror against the Kashmiri civilian population, including extrajudicial killing, rape, torture, and enforced disappearances."

Ankush Banerjee is this issue's Spotlight Runner-Up in poetry. He is a poet, Culture Studies PhD research scholar, and serving Naval Officer, as well as the author of An Essence of Eternity (2016). He has been recipient of the 2019 All India Poetry Prize, as well as the United Services Institution of India Gold Medals in 2013, 2017, and 2022, for his essays on Military Ethics and Leadership. His poetry, reviews, and essays appear in Eclectica, Cha, The Bombay Literary Magazine, The Tupelo Quarterly, Kitaab, and The Indian Express, among others. His work has also appeared in the anthologies Yearbook of Indian Poetry 2020 and 2021, Best of Asian Poetry 2021, and Converse: Contemporary English Poetry by Indians. He is currently stationed at New Delhi.

Nicholas Barnes earned a Bachelor of Arts in English at Southern Oregon University. He works as an editor in Portland and enjoys music, museums, movie theaters, and rain. His least favorite season is summer. His favorite soda is RC Cola.

Jai Bashir was born to Pakistani-American artists. Jai's work has appeared in POETRY, American Poetry Review, Guernica Magazine, The Adroit Journal, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Frontier, Radar Poetry Journal, and others. Jai has received an Academy of American Poets Prize and the Zocalo Public Square Poetry Prize. A graduate of Columbia University, Jai lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Nathaniel Calhoun lives in the Far North of Aotearoa. He works with teams monitoring and restoring biodiversity in ecosystems around the world. He has published or upcoming work in New York Quarterly, Oxford Poetry, Quadrant, Hawaii Pacific Review, Poetry Aotearoa, and others. Rarely he tweets @calhounpoems.

Gresham Cash is a writer, musician, and filmmaker from Athens, Georgia. His work can be read at Five on the Fifth, Popshot Quarterly, Litro, Trampset, and elsewhere. He is currently composing scores for short films and for his first full-length documentary, The Green Flash. He says, "I wrote this story in the early pandemic, and it felt like a surreal connection to a freer past. Exploring the subject of being and nothingness (!) is always thought provoking for me. I also enjoy how this story explores the world of filmmaking, in which I split my time!"

Marcia Calhoun Forecki has an MA in Latin American Studies and attended the University of Nebraska MFA program. She has earned two national awards for her writing and serves as a contributing editor for Fine Lines literary journal. She is a member of Larksong Writers Place in Lincoln, Nebraska. She is working on her fourth novel.

David A. Goodrum is a writer/photographer living in Corvallis, Oregon. His poems are forthcoming or have been published in Fireweed: Poetry of Oregon, Willawaw Journal, Spillway, Star 82 Review, The Write Launch, The Louisville Review, among others. Even before his early 30s, he was certain he would never write poetry again. He continues, it seems, to be wrong. About most things. On "Dark Matter": "The fall season is full of detachment and other attenuations, which, sadly, often apply to relationships as well. The Eclectica word challenge led to revisions which brought this final version to completion."

Peter Gordon lives in Massachusetts. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, Glimmer Train, The Yale Review, and elsewhere, with recent work forthcoming in North American Review and Litro Magazine. His fiction has been the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and numerous citations in the Best American Short Stories series.

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.

Mickie Kennedy is a gay American poet who resides in Baltimore County, Maryland, with his family and two feuding cats. He enjoys British science fiction and the idea of long hikes in nature. A prior Washington Review poetry award winner, his work has appeared in The Bangalore Review, Hole in the Head Review, Midway Journal, Plainsongs, Portland Review, Rattle, and Wisconsin Review. He earned an MFA from George Mason University.

Caleb Libbey is a 22-year-old college graduate from the East Coast who has recently moved to Oregon in order to focus on poetry, short fiction, and screenwriting. Libbey grew up in a small New Hampshire town and writes often about it, for better or for worse. On "A Homecoming": "This piece is loosely based on the recurring dreams I had at a young age after my father left my mother and me. He would often light his cigarettes with matches, and this would remain one of my only memories of him."

Courtney Ludwick is a writer, teacher, and doctoral candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at USD. Her words have appeared or are forthcoming in Jet Fuel Review, Oxford Magazine, Watershed Review,Milk Carton Press, and elsewhere. You can connect with Courtney on Instagram @courtlud.

James McKee enjoys failing in his dogged attempts to keep pace with the unrelenting cultural onslaught of late-imperial Gotham. His debut poetry collection, The Stargazers, was published in the otherwise uneventful spring of 2020, while his poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Burningword Literary Journal, Spoon River Poetry Review, Another Chicago Magazine, New Ohio Review, Grist, New World Writing, Illuminations, CutBank, Flyway, THINK, The MacGuffin, and elsewhere. He spends his free time, when not writing or reading, traveling less than he would like and brooding more than he can help.

J. Alan Nelson is a writer and actor whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in New York Quarterly, B O D Y, Conjunctions, Stand, Acumen, Pampelmousse, Main Street Rag, Texas Observer, California Quarterly, Connecticut River Review, Adirondack Review, Red Cedar Review, Wisconsin Review, South Carolina Review, Kairos, Ligeia, Strange Horizons, Illuminations, Review Americana, Whale Road Review, and North Dakota Quarterly. He has received nominations for Best of Net poetry and Best Microfiction. He also played the lead in the viral video "Does This Cake Make Me Look Gay?" and the verbose "Silent Al" in the Emmy-winning SXSWestworld.

Huntley Gibson Paton is this issue's Spotlight Runner-Up for fiction. He is a former journalist and news-media executive. In addition to his past contributions in Eclectica, his short fiction has appeared in Narrative Magazine and Bewildering Stories. He lives near Asheville, North Carolina, and his twitter handle is @huntley_paton.

Sara Pirkle is a Southern poet, an identical twin, a breast cancer survivor, and a board game enthusiast. Her first book, The Disappearing Act (Mercer University Press, 2018), won the Adrienne Bond Award for Poetry. In 2019, she was nominated for Georgia Author of the Year in Poetry. She is the Assistant Director of Creative Writing at The University of Alabama.

Gretchen Rockwell is a queer poet who can frequently be found writing about gender, science, space, and unusual connections. Xe is the author of the chapbooks body in motion (perhappened press) and Lexicon of Future Selves (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press) as well as two microchapbooks; xer work has appeared in AGNI, Cotton Xenomorph, Whale Road Review, Palette Poetry, and elsewhere. Find xer on Twitter at @daft_rockwell.

Jo-Anne Rosen is this issue's Spotlight Author. She has appeared in over 30 literary journals and has been nominated for a Pushcart. Since 2010 she has published Wordrunner eChapbooks, an online hybrid chapbook/journal and co-edited the Sonoma County Literary Update. What They Don't Know (2015) is her debut fiction collection. Her yet-to-be published novel in stories, Libidoland, along with the Dobbs decision, inspired this essay. She is a book and web designer living in Petaluma, California, working on a sci fi novel about mental health treatment and mind manipulation in the next millennium.

Carol Runyan recently retired from a 40-year career in public health, teaching, and doing research on injury and violence prevention. Though she has published more than 200 works in her field, she is just beginning to venture into publishing nonfiction.

Claire Rychlewski is a writer living in Chicago. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Portland Review, MoonPark Review, blush lit, witch craft mag, Hot Pink Mag, and Sour Cherry Mag. Her chapbook, Born to Rot, was published in 2022 by Bottlecap Press.

Samantha Schnell is a writer living in New York City. She has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Columbia University, but lately the strange thoughts in her head have been finding a home in poetry.

Kay Sexton provided the artwork for this issue. She began eco-printing as a way of using up waste materials from her allotment. She combines prints with embroidery and embellishment to highlight the natural beauty of plants.

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.

Susanna Skelton is an MFA student at Western Kentucky University studying poetry and rhetoric. Her work has appeared in the Sequoya Review and STRIKE Magazine. Hailing from the mountains of East Tennessee, she hopes to shine light on other creatives from Appalachia.

Gregory Stephenson grew up in Colorado and Arizona but has lived in Denmark for many years. His most recent book is Alias Akbar del Piombo: Annotations to the Life & Work of Norman Rubington, Ober-Limbo Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, 2022.

Don Stoll lives in the Southern California desert. His fiction has appeared here in Eclectica and more recently in Terror House and Jupiter Review. In 2008, Don and his wife founded their nonprofit, which continues to bring new schools, clean water, and hospitals to several remote Tanzanian villages. In that extremely devout community, many people, like the central character in this story, bear the name "Praise God."

Andrew Tibbetts has had writing published in This Magazine, Descant, The New Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Existere, Smokelong Quarterly, FRiGG, and Moods Magazine. His novella, Dead Man's Wedding, won the 2008 Canadian National Magazine Award for best fiction. He has embarked on PhD studies to research the uses of Life Writing in therapy, research, and activism. He works the odd shift at his local country grocery store, which is where the events occurred that inspired this piece.