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.
Julie King shares a birthday with Eminem. She has a Master's in creative writing, which she teaches along with film studies at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside. Her work appears in the Iowa Press anthologies Boomer Girls and are you experienced? and she has published in Fiction International, Sundog, Puerto del Sol, Quarterly West, Gulf Coast, and others. She wrote, directed, and produced the short film Worlds, sometimes stars in B-horror movies, and is a mother to four personality-rich cats. She first appeared in the magazine back in 1996 and has been a member of the staff since 1999.
Tara M. Gilbert-Brever has appeared in Primavera (V.23), Stirring (2/02), and Children, Churches, and Daddies, Poems Niederngasse (5/02), Wicked Alice (summer and fall '02), Poetalk (spring '02), forthcoming editions of artisan and Copious. She is proud to be a) an American and b) the assistant poetry editor for Eclectica. Having finally graduated from college, she has no idea what she wants to do next.
David Aronson is a poet and visual artist active in the underground zine and mail-art world. His work has appeared in Spunk, Gristle, Driver’s Side Airbag, Siren’s Silence, The Cherotic Revolutionary and The Brobdingnagian Times, as well as in collaboration with experimental poet Mark Sonnenfeld for Marymark Press and his own zine of underground art and poetry, The Alchemical Wedding. The alchemical wedding refers to his artistic exploration of the union of opposites and interest in paradox. David resides in the Philadelphia area where he also teaches art and practices holistic healing.
Beau Boudreaux is an assistant professor in English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
C.E. Chaffin published his first book of poems, Elementary, in 1997 with Edwin Mellen Press, available through Amazon and bookstores. He recently edited and published the anthology, The Best of Melic, available at the Melic Review website. Regarding one of the poems featured in this issue, he says, "My little poem on Dylan, of whom I am a huge fan, came to me while listening to his new album, Love and Theft (surprisingly good despite his degenerating voice)."
Gabriel Dean resides in Atlanta, Georgia where he writes short stories, plays, and poetry. His first play, "Saltwater in the Eye" was produced in 1998. He has self-published two literary collections; "Titans in the Shadows" and "Emergence." In his some of his poetry, including those featured in Eclectica, he pursues what Rilke deemed the "unsayable"—those elusive and transitory sensations caused by the tangible and intangible action of day-to-day living. Recently, for the second year in a row, he was awarded Oglethorpe University's Sidney Lanier Prize in Writing. He is 22 years old. Look for more of his work in Melic Review.
Jess DelBalzo is an expectant mother living in Flemington, NJ with her baby-to-be's expectant dad. She is a freelance writer and has spent the past six years targeting the adoption industry with her research and writing. In addition, she is a family preservationist and one of the founding members of Adoption: Legalized Lies.
Bob Dornberg's art was featured in the October/November 2001 issue of Eclectica. He returns to accompany the fiction and poetry of this issue.
Alan Arthur Drew received a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach. After some time living in Montana searching for himself, he moved to San Francisco and searched some more, discovering that he really wanted to teach. He has taught English literature in both the San Francisco Bay area and Istanbul, Turkey. The next step in life takes him to Iowa where he'll continue to figure out how to write short stories and, he hopes, novels.
Keleigh Friedrich turns 20 on Ernest Hemingway's birthday and lives in Southern California. She has written for the now-defunct Merlyn's Pen and almost received a writing scholarship to UNC Chapel Hill, but didn't. When she grows up she is going to travel, eat starfruit, and have daughters named Finnian and Loula Belle. Unlike her character in "Bulk," she has no experience in the stripping world.
Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada, where she reports the solar cooking season is "in full swing." She helps her husband, a retired wildlife biologist, with his bird projects. She has poems recent or forthcoming in Blue Unicorn, Buckle &, Freshwater, The Iowa Review, Poetry International, and Reed Magazine. Her poems also appear in Cider Press Review, Descant, The Distillery, Red Wheelbarrow, The Chattahoochee Review, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere; online, she was featured in the May issue of Poetry Magazine and is a former contributor to Eclectica. Her collection, "An Hour in the Cougar's Grace," received a Pipistrelle Best of the Small Press Award, she has a new collection called "This Morning According to Dog," a stocking-stuffer for lovers of dogs and cats, and she has a new book out, part of the Pudding House "Greatest Hits" archiving series.
Jason Gurley is the author of Close Program: Stories and over one hundred published short stories. He is presently writing his fourth novel. Most recently, his work appeared in Manual, an anthology of work by writers with web sites. Jason makes his home at Deeply Shallow. Regarding the story, he says, "'The Last Rail-Rider' was supposed to be a moving story about an orphan and his experiences riding a train around the country. And then it went berserk."
D.W. Hayward was born in Boston, Massachusetts as the United States detonated its first Hydrogen bomb. He attended Kent State University and may have been the first student to flunk out of the Experimental and Honors College, a distinction that was not entirely intentional. He never returned to college. Mr. Hayward is a partner in a Recycling Development Company. He is a highly regarded musician and has been a working guitarist for more than 30 years. He lives near a river with his wife of 22 years, his children, and two dogs: a big one and a little one.
Stanley Jenkin's stories and essays have or will appear in Amelia, 32 Pages, The Blue Moon Review, CrossConnectand the Oyster Boy Review. A former Spotlight Author, Stanley has written a regular column for the Salon. He lives and works in Queens, New York.
Don Mager has published some two hundred and fifty original poems and translations from Czech and German over the last thirty years, including two books: To Track The Wounded On (1986) and Glosses (1995).
Drew McNaughton is this issue's Spotlight Author. Currently in his second year at the University of Montana graduate program in creative writing, he lives in Missoula, Montana with his girlfriend Molly and their turtle, Gunyump. Though he's never seen waterfowl fall from the sky, it is something that happens. "Often," he says, "it seems the chaos of the natural world around us helps us find our place within it."
Patty Mooney is a poet living in San Diego. Her works have appeared in Stirring, Fairfield Review, Freezone Quarterly, pif Magazine, Thunder Sandwich, Pierian Springs, Eclectica and others. She is also an avid photographer, mountain biker and computer artist. Regarding the poems in this issue, she says: "'Last Flight' is based on a true story. 'Intoxication' is a remnant from a Catholic girlhood. 'Death Gets Around' is about that mysterious entity; that knowing smile is what death knows that we don't—yet."
John Palcewski is a former Eclectica Spotlight Author. He has enjoyed an eclectic career as a photojournalist, music and drama critic, magazine editor, literary fiction writer, poet, and fine arts photographer. His most recent work can be seen in Pierian Springs, Archipelago, Magaera, Adirondack Review, Aileron, Moonwort Review, and Samsara, among others.
Shann Palmer is from Texas and lives in Virginia. She's published in Artemis, Eclectica, Miller's Pond, Moondance, Wicked Alice, Maelstrom, Melic Review and others, and was awarded the 2001 Mandy Poetry Prize. Her short stories have appeared in Conspire and other zines. She hosts local poetry readings and teaches workshops, is Vice-president-Central for the Poetry Society of Virginia and will be reading at the University of Virginia. Under her imprint FlashPaperPoetry, she has self-published four chapbooks and the Shockoe Poets Anthology, works from local writers from the bi-monthly readings in Shockoe Slip in Richmond. Regarding the poem in this issue, she says, "My (not then) ex-husband and I lived in this four-room adobe house for three years while we attended University of Arizona. We rented the second bedroom for extra money though entire house rental was only seventy-five dollars a month. This house is also featured in the poem "You Can't Spit" from Eclectica's August 1997 issue."
Sara Penrod was born in Columbia, Missouri, but she now lives in Birmingham, Alabama and is a junior creative writing major at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. Aside from writing, she enjoys playing the clarinet and bass clarinet, practicing gymnastics, reading, scuba diving, and skydiving. About "How to Get Over Therapy," she says, "I wrote this piece after coming back from an appointment with my current therapist. Most of it is true. The therapist's name has, of course, not been used to protect the quasi-innocent."
Paul Sampson labors heroically as a technical writer for a mammoth corporation. He has been a professional writer and editor for many years, but he prefers to do the kind of writing you can't make a living from. Some of his recent essays and poems appear in The Alsop Review, The 2River View, the British publication World Wide Writers II, and the new anthology Best Texas Writing (Rancho Loco Press). He lives on the outskirts of a small town east of Dallas, Texas.
Jessica Schneider has had poems published in Avatar Review and online on cosmoetica.com. She says, "This may be silly, but I am dedicating these pieces to my cat, Chia, who escapsed from our house on 5/27/02. We are desperately trying to locate her. Come home Chia!"
Tom Sheehan has been retired for eleven years. He operates Newwriters.com with his partner, Larry Bucaria. He has work in Paumanok Review, 3amMagazine, AJP, Small Spiral Notebook, Literary Potpourri, Dakota House, Stirring, Samsara, Duct Tape Press, Comrades, Split Shot, Melange, Red River, Nefarious, Carnelian, New Works Review, Eclectica, Slow Trains, Clackamas Review, Burning Word, Electric Acorn, Split Shot, Fiction Warehouse, etc. A print novel, "Vigilantes East," has just been released by Publish America. Another, "An Accountable Death," is serialized on 3amMagazine. He has been awarded a 2001 Silver Rose Award for Excellence in the Art of the Short Story by American Renaissance for the Twenty-first Century (ART) (New Works Review), nominated for Pushcart (Paumanok) and e-2-Ink (Small Spiral) and The Zine Yearbook (Snowbound). His "Three Fishermen" won first place in Eastoftheweb's nonfiction competition. He has completed seven other novels. Three books of poetry are out of print. A short story collection, "A Collection of Friends," has 25 or more pieces published separately, and seeks a publisher. His house was built in 1742 and cries for attention. Last year he visited four comrades in Chicago he has not seen since 1951 in Korea, an experience he will not soon forget.
Ann Skea lives in Australia. She is the author of Ted Hughes: The Poetic Quest (UNE Press, Australia).
Gary Sloan is a retired English professor in Ruston, Louisiana, and a frequent contributor to freethought media. His essays often appear in Free Inquiry, American Atheist, and The Freethinker (London). He also writes editorials for the Scripps Howard News Service.
D.A. Taylor was born in Alexandria, Virginia and lives in Connecticut with his wife Lisa Smith. His stories have appeared or will appear in Main Street Journal, Potpourri, Potomac Review, The Baltimore Review, and elsewhere, and he has received a Literary Arts Film Award from Web Del Sol. He has also written nonfiction for DoubleTake, The Village Voice, The Nation, The Atlantic Unbound and Wired News. He reports that the story in this issue unfolded from the first line, in what might be called punctuated evolution.