Jan/Feb 2024

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.

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.

D A Angelo is a UK-based poet with work in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Sage Cigarettes, Flights of the Dragonfly, Impspired, The Amazine, and Petrichor Mag. New work is forthcoming in Volney Road Review, A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Moss Puppy, SurVision, and Skipping Stone Review.

Toni Artuso is an emerging/aging trans female writer living in Salem, Massachusetts. Recently retired, she is transitioning, as well as trying to accelerate the emerging and slow down the aging. Her verse has appeared in Honeyguide Literary Magazine, which nominated one of her villanelles for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her poems have also appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Nixes Mate Review, Molecule, Salamander, The Cackling Kettle, The Lyric, Star*Line, The Aurorean, Ibbetson Street Press, Italian Americana, and Main Street Rag. X (Twitter): @TAltrina. Instagram: @tonialtrina.

Laurel Benjamin is a San Francisco Bay Area native, where she invented a secret language with her brother. She has work forthcoming or published in Lily Poetry Review, Pirene's Fountain, The Shore, Mom Egg Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, Sky Island Journal, South Florida Poetry Journal, among others. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Affiliated with the Bay Area Women's Poetry Salon and Ekphrastic Writers, she holds an MFA from Mills College. She is a reader for Common Ground Review and has featured in the Lily Poetry Review Salon. She looks forward to publishing her full-length manuscript soon.

Emma Buckley is a writer and poet based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is completing her Poetry MA at Queen's University Belfast. Her work can be found in The Honest Ulsterman, Superfroot, Overground Underground, and The Lumiere Review. She is a recipient of the Ireland Chair of Poetry Student Award 2023.

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.

Peter Cherches is this issue's Spotlight Runner-up. He has been called “one of the innovators of the short short story” by Publishers Weekly and has published four full-length fiction collections as well as a number of chapbooks and several nonfiction books. Since 1977, his work has appeared in scores of magazines, anthologies, and websites, including Harper's, Fence, Bomb, Semiotext(e), North American Review, Fiction International, and Billy Collins' Poetry 180 project. His next book, Everything Happens to Me, a collection of irreal autofictions, will be published by Pelekinesis this fall. He is a native of Brooklyn, New York.

Tim Christensen grew up under the big skies of the West, looking at the ground. A passionate interest in living things compelled him to get his PhD in Genetics from Cornell and become a biology professor at East Carolina University. His well-practiced attention to the small and unnoticed bits of nature fills his walks through North Carolina. While completing his MFA at ECU, he explored historical methods, including Cyanotype, Gum Bichromate, Van Dyke, and wet plate collodion. He has also pushed the boundaries of digital photography with his precision work in astrophotography and the creation of micro-panoramas.

Tina Denetclaw lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most of her publications involve math of some sort. Her first published poem resides with Silver Birch Press.

Gina Elia is a freelance writer who also teaches Mandarin Chinese in South Florida. Her work has been published or is forthcoming on the TED-Ed platform as well as in Psyche Magazine, Sangam Literary Magazine, Taiwan's CommonWealth Magazine, The China Project, and Geneologies of Modernity. She was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and earned a PhD in Chinese Literature from the University of Pennsylvania as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Comparative Literature from Cornell University. She has spent an extensive amount of time in China, Taiwan, Japan, and Southeast Asia. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, listening to music, and continuing to study Chinese and other languages. About "On Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia," she says, "The essay details a visit to Cambodia where I went to great lengths to visit a well-known bird-watching lake called Tonle Sap, which is not easily accessible to tourists. The experience leads to frustration but also joy, giving me insight into Cambodia's identity now, as a resilient country, and adding nuance to its reputation internationally as a recovering victim of genocide."

Perry Genovesi lives in West Philadelphia, works as a public librarian, and serves his fellow workers in AFSCME District Council 47. He's a '23 Best Microfiction nominee, and his published fiction is forthcoming or has been featured in Volume 1. Brooklyn, Expat Press, and The Disappointed Housewife. He's forever impressed by how many of life's problems seem impassable until one simply eats. Follow him on X/Twitter @unionlibrarian.

Melanie Hyo-In Han was born in Korea and raised in East Africa. She recently moved from the US to the UK, where she is a PhD researcher, teacher, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Flora Fiction. She is the author of Sandpaper Tongue, Parchment Lips (Finishing Line Press, 2021) and the translator of several collections of Spanish poetry (Hebel Ediciones). Nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Han has received awards from Boston in 100 Words, Valiant Scribe, The Lyric Magazine, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Poetry and Translation, an MEd. in Secondary English and Spanish, and a BA in English, Spanish, and Linguistics.

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.

Richard L. Matta is originally from New York's Hudson Valley and now lives in San Diego, California, after many stops along the way. A forensic scientist by occupation, some of his poems are in Healing Muse, Dewdrop, San Pedro River Review, and Hole in the Head Review.

Huntley Gibson Paton is this issue's Spotlight Runner-up. A former business journalist and news-media executive, his short fiction has appeared in Eclectica, Narrative Magazine, Bewildering Stories, and The Iowa Rag. Born in Kansas City, raised in Denver, he has lived all over the US during his career, including Pittsburgh, the setting for "Esmerelda." He and his wife live in the North Carolina mountains near Asheville.

Holly Payne-Strange has been lauded by USA Today, LA weekly, and The New York Times. Her poetry has been published by Door Is A Jar magazine, Quail Bell, In Parenthesis, and Dipity Lit Magazine, among others. Also upcoming in Academy Heart, Red Door, and Call me {Brackets}.

Meg Pokrass is the author of nine collections of flash fiction and two novellas in flash. Her work has been published in three Norton anthologies of flash including Flash FictionAmerica, New Micro, and Flash Fiction International; Best Small Fictions, 2019, 2022, and 2023; Wigleaf Top 50; and many literary journals including Electric Literature, McSweeney's, Plume, Washington Square Review, storySouth, and Passages North. She has two new forthcoming collections: Breath and Shadow: Six Sentence Stories (co-written with Robert Scotellaro), forthcoming from Mad Hat Press, and The First Law of Holes: New and Selected Stories by Meg Pokrass, forthcoming from Dzanc Books.

Ellen Sander abodes in midcoastal Maine, having made her way there from her Native NYC, through Bolinas, Venice Beach, and Beijing. She hosts a quirky poetry radio program on the local low-power station and a poetry critique group at her dining room table. A sourdough baker, a collagist, an author, poet, and wisecrack artist, she writes and publishes prolifically. Her latest poetry collection is Aquifer, published by Red Bird Chapbooks. She wishes frash were a word.

Kristen Sirianni makes drunk people tacos for money. She is a Nashville-based artist who enjoys studying people at bars, going to church, and playing with her bug collection. It took her an hour to write this bio. She's kinda slow.

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 emerging poet pursuing an MFA at Western Kentucky University. When she's not writing or teaching, she can be found browsing the aisles of thrift stores or taking care of her house plants and beloved cat, Phoebe. Hailing from the mountains of East Tennessee, she hopes to shine light on other creatives from Appalachia. Susanna has had work featured in the Sequoya Review, Eclectica Magazine, STRIKE Magazine, and The Attic.

Maya Shahler is this issue's Spotlight Author. A poet from Oregon, she is an MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her most recent work appears/is forthcoming in Longleaf Review, Squawk Back, Dialogist, and elsewhere.

D. W. White writes consciousness-forward fiction and criticism. Pursuing his PhD in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he serves as Founding Editor of L'Esprit Literary Review, Fiction Editor for West Trade Review, and Executive Editor and Director of Prose for Iron Oak Editions. His writing appears in 3:AM, The Florida Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Necessary Fiction, and Chicago Review of Books, among several others. Before returning to Chicago, he lived in Long Beach, California, for nine years. Regarding "Two Pasts for the Novel," he says, "This essay came out of my reading two remarkable novels at the same time I was reading two remarkable essay collections, all of it coetaneous with learning I'd be leaving California. I therefore set out to juxtapose Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Michael Nath's debut novel La Rochelle in the vein of Woolf's Granite and Rainbow and Zadie Smith's Changing My Mind. In working through the idea, I eventually settled on an autotheoretical refraction as the compositional framework, locating the essay in a somewhat vacillated state of being. I have connected with all four authors of these writers in various ways, and I quite enjoyed finding a manner of getting them all together. Thanks to Eclectica for bringing it to light."