Jan/Feb 2023

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.

Sarah Blackmon is a poet and educator from Florida who draws inspiration from mysticism and "dimensional otherness" to shape her voice as a Black writer. She can be found on Twitter @LouisMyyLove.

Jill Bossert has appeared in Ploughshares, Ontario Review, 100 Distinguished Stories in The Best American Short Stories, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She was the Philip Guston Fellow at Columbia University and received the Herbert C. Jaffa Alumni Award, NYU. She says, "'North Fork Sunday Morning' came to me nearly full-blown during a visit to a friend in Southport, Long Island, NY."

Bob Bradshaw is retired and living in the Bay Area. He is a big fan of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Mick may not be gathering moss, but Bob is. Until his stone stops rolling, he can be found in many publications, including Apple Valley Review, Dodging the Rain, Eclectica, Ekphrastic Review, and many others.

Joyce Brinkman was the Indiana 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. Her poetry is on permanent display in a 25-foot stained glass window in an airport, in lighted glass artwork at a library, and on a wall in the town square of Quezaltepeque, El Salvador. Collaboration is a key part of Joyce's approach to literary art. She has collaborated with Airpoets (Ruthelen Burns, Joe Heithaus, and Norbert Krapf) on two books, with collaborators from Virginia, Germany, Mexico, Japan, and France on two others, and with Elizabeth Barrett Browning's work in another. Joyce co-edited Urban Voices 51 Poems from 51 American Poets with Dr. Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda and the children's book What I See I Can Be with Barry Harris. She is lead editor for a world anthology to be sent to the Moon on a NASA flight in 2024 and has received fellowships from the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, the Vermont Studio, and the Indianapolis Arts Council. She is a graduate of Hanover College and lives in Zionsville, Indiana, with a cantankerous cat. She is a founding board member of Brick Street Poetry Inc, the producer of the poetry podcast Off the Bricks, which can be heard on Spotify and other podcast platforms or through the Bricks Street Poetry website.

Holly Day recently appeared in Analog SF, The Hong Kong Review, and Appalachian Journal.

Judith Day is a retired psychotherapist who lives in northern California with her husband. She has published fiction in several small journals and is seeking publication for a short story collection. She is also working on a novel.

Oline Eaton teaches first year writing as non-tenure track, full-time lecturer at Howard University. Her biography of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, entitled Finding Jackie, will be released in January 2023.

Vincent Francone is the author of Like a Dog and The Soft Lunacy, and the editor of Open Heart Chicago: an Anthology of Chicago Writing. He is Editor-in-Chief at Jabber and teaches at Roosevelt University. See what he's up to on Instagram (@vincentfrancone) or Facebook.

John Gu is this issue's Spotlight Author Runner-Up for Fiction. His writing has appeared in the Southern Review, the Missouri Review, the Massachusetts Review, and the Chicago Review of Books. He grew up in Houston and studied mathematics at the University of Texas, and he now lives in Austin, Texas, where he spends most of his free time sitting in cafes, working on his novel.

Madronna Holden won the 2022 Kay Snow Poetry Award and a contributor's prize from Camas Magazine, and her work was selected as poem of the day by Verse Daily. She has appeared in over 30 literary journals, including The Bitter Oleander, Cold Mountain Review, Equinox Poetry and Prose, and the Christian Science Monitor. She is the author of the chapbook, Goddess of Glass Mountains (Finishing Line Press 2021).

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.

Erin Jamieson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio. Her writing has been published in over 80 literary magazines, and her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the author of Clothesline, a forthcoming poetry collection (NiftyLit). Her Twitter handle is @erin_simmer.

Robert Klose teaches at the University of Maine. He is a regular contributor of essays to The Christian Science Monitor. His work has also appeared in Newsweek, The Boston Globe, Ascent, and elsewhere. His books include Adopting Alyosha: a Single Man Finds a Son in Russia, Small Worlds: Adopted Sons, Pet Piranhas and Other Mortal Concerns, The Three-Legged Woman & Other Excursions in Teaching, and the novels, Long Live Grover Cleveland, which won a 2016 Ben Franklin Literary Award and a USA BookNews Award, and Life on Mars, which was a Finalist for a 2019 Best Book Award sponsored by American Book Fest and was also a Finalist in the International Book Awards and American Fiction Awards. His latest book is a memoir, Adopting Anton: a Single Man Seeks a Son in Ukraine.

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.

Margaret Marcum lives in Delray Beach with her three cats, Angel, Adam, and Alice. She recently graduated from the MFA program in creative writing at Florida Atlantic University and now teaches English Language Arts to 4th and 5th graders at a Montessori school in Lake Worth. Her literary interests include ecofeminism and healing the collective through personal narrative. Her poems have appeared in Amethyst Review, NonBinary Review, Scapegoat Review, October Hill Magazine, Writing in a Woman's Voice, and Children, Churches, and Daddies, among others. She was a finalist for the 2021 Rash Award in Poetry sponsored by Broad River Review.

Gregg Maxwell Parker is the author of the middle grade book Troublemakers as well as the grown-up novels The Real Truth and Murder, She Vaped: The Ironic T-Shirt Caper. His work has been featured by Blue Mesa Review, Five:2:One, The Broadkill Review, Pif, New Pop Lit, Phoebe, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Robot Butt, and The Woven Tale Press. He lives in Japan, where he and his wife write the blog As Seen In Japan, which focuses on Japanese life and culture (mostly convenience store snacks); you can find them at @SeenJapan on Twitter and Instagram. He says, "This draft of 'The Bad Guy Problem' is the beginning of what will hopefully become a book-length research project into the things we don't talk about when we talk about movies. To follow my progress as I write future chapters, check the 'Press' section of my website, which I will update as more pieces are published."

Indu Parvathi is a teacher and poet from Bengaluru, India. Her work has been published in various literary magazines and journals in India including The Sunflower Collective, Punch Magazine, nether Quarterly, The Alipore Post, and The Yearbook of Indian Poetry, 2021. In 2022, her poems appear in EKL Review, Narrow Road, and Usawa Literary Magazine (December issue). She says, "Poetry processes my experiences, both past and present, and maps them into terrains. My identity, in both its spatial and temporal contexts and nature-inspired metaphors drive my writing practice." Regarding "My pen is a rake, moist with unpeeling," the poem is part of an evolving collection exploring her experiences with trees and life in general explored through tree metaphors. She says, "It takes inspiration from Peter Wohlleben's book, The Hidden Life of Trees, and uses mythology to celebrate the Indian banyan tree and the interconnectedness of plant life through the subterranean network of fungi. It was written after spending time with and internalizing images of The Big Banyan Tree (Dodda Alada Mara) in Bangalore."

Kelly Piggott is a lesbian writer and educator raised in the Chicagoland area, now living in Atlanta. Holding a BA in Creative Writing from Agnes Scott College and MFA in Fiction from Georgia College and State University, she writes about bodies, shame, complicated relationships, and obsesses over folklore, fairy tales, and the uncanny. "The Liberata Virus" was inspired by an obsession with the folk saint, Wilgefortis. Her writing has been published with Impossible Archetype, Body Parts Magazine, If There's Anyone Left, Defunct, and forthcoming elsewhere. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @kellbellhells.

Jordan Ranft is this issue's Spotlight Author. He lives in NYC with his partner and small dog. He writes poetry and music criticism. He has been previously published in Rust + Moth, Bodega, and Midway.

Will Richter lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Threepenny Review, Witness, subTerrain, Arts & Letters, The Fiddlehead, Fiction International, and Fictive Dream. His work also made the CBC Short Story Prize longlist in 2019 and 2021 and was runner-up in subTerrain's Lush Triumphant literary competition.

Kivleen Sahni was born in Delhi, India in 1998. Both sides of her family came from Pakistan during the partition of India and Pakistan. She is a journalist and has worked with major Indian newspapers. While she has reported on various beats in her domain, she is an emerging poet who is trying to build her own voice.

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.

Reem Hazboun Taşyakan is a PhD candidate in the Literature Department at University of California, San Diego. She performs critical research on the post-9/11 Arab-American novel and is editor-in-chief of Alchemy, UCSD's journal of translation. She studied creative writing as an undergraduate student at University of Arizona, where she subsequently earned her MA in Middle Eastern and North African Studies. Reem writes both fiction and poetry and also translates literary works from Arabic into English. Her poetry has appeared in Other People literary magazine.

Andrew Tibbetts is this issue's Spotlight Author Runner-Up for Nonfiction. This is his second appearance in Eclectica, and he 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.

Mary Zelinka lives in Oregon's Willamette Valley and has worked at the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence for over 30 years. In addition to Eclectica Magazine, her writing has appeared in The Sun Magazine, Brevity, Memoir Magazine, and others.