Apr/May 2003

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 a BA in English Literature and is pursuing certification as a graphic artist. A former contributor to Eclectica, she now serves as an assistant poetry editor. Her literary publications (past, present, and forthcoming) include: Primavera, Stirring, Children, Churches, and Daddies, Poems Niederngasse, Wicked Alice, Poetalk, Blind Man's Rainbow , artisan, and Copious.

Brie McGinn is a senior at UW-Parkside. She is majoring in English with a writing concentration. After graduation she plans to pursue a career in the publishing field. As an Eclectica intern this past semester, she served as an assistant poetry editor.

Carolyn Steele Agosta is a former Spotlight Author whose short fiction and essays have been published in Conversely, Inscriptions, Lonzie's Fried Chicken, Independence Boulevard, Buzz Words (UK), Literary Potpourri, Skirt! Magazine, and Peninsular (UK). "Coming to My Senses" was written as a result of advice: to write not what you know, but what you love. The story was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in March 2002. Carolyn has also written two novels.

Zett Aguado lives in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, with her husband. Trained in Fine Arts, she found her true calling three years ago when she began writing her first short story. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Vestal Review, Painted Moon Review, Small Spiral Notebook, Snow Monkey, Literary Potpourri, In & Out Magazine and The Vallarta Voice. She is the 2001 National Short Story Winner for Mad Dog Publishing. She has lived most of her life as an expatriate in one country or another, and has lived in the Middle East for two years. She wrote "Eclipses" in response to the change of attitudes and feelings she experiences every time she boards a plane and goes to the West. As with everything she writes, "Eclipses" was inspired by the duality of things—especially ourselves.

Arlene Ang lives in Venice, Italy as a translator and web designer. She is also the Italian editor of Niederngasse. Her poetry has recently appeared in Slow Trains, Tryst, Scrivener's Pen, Poet's Canvas and Sometimes City. Awards include: 2002 Eros & Thanatos Prize Winner (Absinthe Literary Review) and Clean Sheets' 2003 Poetry Contest 2nd Place Winner.

Andrew Boobier was born in Haworth, West Yorkshire (home of the Bronte sisters) in 1963. After various jobs, he attended York University and gained a first class degree in English. After spending a number of years on an aborted PhD on Seamus Heaney, he got down to writing his own poetry rather than writing about others, and has been published in the UK in magazines such as The New Yorick, Orbis, versus, The Rue Bella and forthcoming in USA in the Schuykill Valley Journal. He has published online in Poems Niederngasse and is the editor of the Alsop Review's online quarterly magazine, Octavo. He is also a senior manager within a web design company, for his sins.

Barrett Brown has dropped out of the University of Texas once and has been kicked out twice; as of this writing, he is not permitted to return until 2006. He still owes UT $3,000, and he'll be damned if those pseudo-intellectual button sorters get one red cent. His work has appeared in everything from porno magazines to British libertarian newsletters, and he currently pays the bills by writing fluff content for a well-known media giant. In late April, Brown will be moving to Mexico, where he hopes to marry a nice Catholic girl and then convert to Catholicism. He is 21 years old and unbelievably handsome. His hobbies include engaging in shameless self-promotion and writing short autobiographies.

Beatríz Cedillo figured now was a good time to publish her poetry for the first time. She has lived in Mexico City, where she wrote poetry and worked for the film industry. She currently resides in the Midwest and continues to write. She lives comfortably and enjoys her family, her best friend, her partner's warm existence, and her eyelash curler.

C.E. Chaffin is a regular contributor to Eclectica and the editor of The Melic Review. He 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 website.

Srinjay Chakravarti is a journalist, economist and poet working in a newspaper in Calcutta, India. He was born in Calcutta in 1973 and has a B.Sc. degree with honors in Economics from St. Xavier's College, Calcutta. His poetry has been published in journals, magazines and webzines in India, USA, UK, Israel and Sweden, including The Journal of the Poetry Society (India), The Telegraph, Snakeskin, Ariga and The New Miscellany. His work is forthcoming in Voices Literary Magazine. His first book of poems Occam's Razor (Writers Workshop, Calcutta) received the SALT literary award from John Kinsella and a literary trust in Melbourne, Australia in 1995.

Barbara Cohen-Kligerman has a BA from Barnard College and an MA in English Literature from the University of Toronto. She began writing fiction two years ago after a long career as an editor and publisher. She has completed several short stories and is now living on the outskirts of Philadelphia where she grew up, working on a novel. She has loved stories and storytelling for as long as she can remember. She says, "The long, quiet Saturday afternoons of my childhood were punctuated by the sound of my grandmother's voice, sometimes reading but more often telling tales of her girlhood or of the town in Eastern Europe where my parents were born, which I knew only from their memories."

J.P. Dancing Bear is the host of "Out of Our Minds," a weekly poetry program on public radio station KKUP, and Editor-In-Chief of the DMQ Review. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the following: Verse Daily, Seattle Review, The Evansville Review, Poetry International, New York Quarterly, Black Bear Review, Potpourri and many others. In 2002, his chapbook, What Language, won the Slipstream Press Chapbook Contest. His latest chapbook, Blue Hand, was published by Pudding House Press in late 2002.

Jennifer Finstrom lives in Chicago, IL. She is a former Eclectica Spotlight Author.

Jack Goodstein is a retired professor of English. He has published stories and essays in College English, The Pittsburgh Pot Gazette, The Maine Review, Critique, and The Jewish Digest, among other print periodicals. On-line, in addition to Eclectica, his work has appeared in 3 A. M., Writer's Write, and Senior Citizen's Magazine. Also a playwright, he has had one act plays produced by the Pulse Ensemble Theatre in Manhattan, The Gallery Players of Park Slope in Brooklyn and Collaboraction in Chicago. "Deconstructing Mandelbaum" is the seventh Mandelbaum story to be published in electronic magazines since the first "Mandelbaum Reviewed" appeared in Eclectica in 2001. Other titles include "Mandelbaum Writes," (Bovine Free Wyoming), "Lo (Mandelbaum) ve" (Ken*again), "A Monologue for Mandelbaum" (Wild Violet), "A Vision of Mandelbaum" (In Posse Review), "Shakespeare According to Mandelbaum" (The Coffee Press Journal). In print "Mandelbaum in the Movies," has appeared in Rites of Passage, and "Ehrlichman’s Mandelbaum" is scheduled for publication in The Unknown Writer sometime this year. A reading of "A Mandelbaum by Any Other Name" has been taped along with an interview for broadcast on KSJE radio’s Write On 4 Corners at 10:30 (New Mexico time) on May 14, 2003. Jack Goodstein also reviews books regularly for The Compulsive Reader.

jj goss resides with her husband in central Massachusetts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Happy, The New England Writers Journal, The Beltane Papers, Net Authors E2K, Babel, Branches Quarterly, Amarillo Bay, Lummox, 52%, Poetry Superhighway, Red Booth Review, Sometimes City, Writer’s Monthly, Copious, Seeker, Kimera, Blindman’s Rainbow, Unlikely Stories, Slow Trains, and Lightening Bell. Her short story, "Missing a Beat," was nominated for a 2001 Pushcart Prize.

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.

Annalynn Hammond lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and pursues a bachelors degree in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has appeared in the ezines Can we have our ball back? and Wicked Alice. She also has work appearing or forthcoming in Branches Quarterly, Unlikely Stories, and Snow Monkey.

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. His first book, a poetry collection titled "Around in Circles," is available at Amazon.com for only $8.95, which, he assures, is "The best value for your poetry dollar!"

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.

Kathryn Koromilas is a freelance writer. Born and bred in Sydney, Australia, she now lives on a beach in Greece with her Aristophanean other half.

Carol Krauss lives and teaches English in the South Florida area with her daughter, Kelly. Her poems, which she describes as tending to be "slow and simple," can be (or will be) found at online at Amarillo Bay, E2K, Burning Word, Red River Review, Neidengasse, Kota Press, Dead Mule, and a bevy of other small print and e-zine publications.

Thomas Larson is this issue's Spotlight Author. He writes personal essays, memoir, feature articles, and art and literary criticism. He is a contributing writer for the weekly San Diego Reader where he specializes in investigative journalism, creative nonfiction, and profiles. His work has been published in The Gettysburg Review, Southwest Review, Antioch Review, and the Anchor Essay Annual: The Best of 1997, edited by Phillip Lopate, Doubleday Books. Read Larson's article about parents who've lost children, "Jenna's Dad," by clicking HERE.

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).

Elise McKenna resides in a turn-of-the-century Victorian house in Sanford, Florida, with her babies of various species, and teaches composition at the University of Central Florida and literature at Valencia Community College. She spent her formative years in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England; has been involved with the arts in many capacities from artist to actress; feels a deeply spiritual kinship with the sea and her "Other," Tom, mo leannan àlainn; and is profoundly influenced by cultural music and folklore, occasionally playing her ocarina to entertain the sidhe.

William Starr Moake grew up in Michigan and worked for several years as a journalist. He is the author of two published books of fiction, a novel and a collection of short stories. A second novel, Terpsichore's Children, is scheduled to be published later this year. When he is not writing, Moake freelances as a web designer and software programmer from his home in Honolulu, Hawaii. "Confessions Of A Nihilist" was inspired by Dostoevsky's novella "Notes From Underground" and the psychological insights of Nietzsche.

JB Mulligan is married with three grown children and has poems and stories in dozens of magazines, including Entropic Desires, Curbside Review, Steel Point Quarterly, White Pelican Review, and Bayou and Numbat. He also has two chapbooks: "The Stations of the Cross" and "THIS WAY TO THE EGRESS" (Samisdat Press).

Silvia Antonia Brandon Pérez was born 1949, La Habana, Cuba and now lives in Pennsylvania. She is the mother of four sons and one daughter, and the new abuela to two beautiful little girls. In addition to being a former Eclectica spotlight author, she has appeared in Conspire, Disquieting Muses, Recursive Angel, Third Muse, The Poet's Canvas, and Melic (forthcoming). She is the editor of the Spanish edition of Niederngasse and is also involved in a new venture with MiPo Poetry Zine called "La Rosa Blanca," a bilingual quarterly for any type of literature that has to do with the experience of being a latino or a transplanted anything in exile.

Stuart Plesser was born in New York. He works as a financial analyst. He spends most of his spare time trying to finish a novel which he started three years ago while living in Europe. Not so long time ago, when the novel stalled on him yet again, he finally decided to take up short story writing to change the pace. The story "Happy Man" was recently published in the winter issue of Si Senor. In addition, he has written several articles for Our Town, a Manhattan based newspaper. Nowadays he resides in Brooklyn with his wife, whom he took against her will from overseas.

Chris Potter is a 50 year-old high school English/creative writing teacher at Clarkstown High School North, in New City, NY. She moderates at The Gazebo, The Alsop Review's bulletin board, and has been published recently in The Artemis Journal and Can We Have Our Ball Back. She has two (spoiled) young cats named Desmond and Molly. She says, "I ring tower bells at the big old Victorian pile of an Episcopal church where my husband plays the organ. I send both hymn tunes and English changes all over the Westchester Square area of the East Bronx every Sunday morning, much to the delight of those who like to sleep late." Regarding "To My Husband, Who Builds Porch Steps," she says, "This was one of the first stories about his life my husband ever told me. Cruger, who is mentioned in the poem, was Cantor (musical director) of the Nikolaikirche in East Berlin. He wrote the hymn in the poem, 'Now Thank We All Our God.' Many years after Cruger's death, Felix Mendelssohn wrote the harmony with which we still sing and play the hymn. The porch steps came out really well."

Suzanne Rivecca is in the MFA program at the University of Minnesota, working on a collection of short fiction. Her work has appeared in So to Speak and is forthcoming in The Journal and Third Coast.

Paul Sampson has been a professional writer and editor for many years. Until recently, he worked for a mammoth corporation. Now he has been downsized, although he remains the same height and weight as formerly. Some of his essays and poems have been published in Image, The Alsop Review, The 2River View, Illya's Honey, The Sulphur River Literary Review, the British publication World Wide Writers II, and the anthology Best Texas Writing (Rancho Loco Press). He lives on the outskirts of a small town east of Dallas, Texas.

Tom Sheehan 12 years retired, operates with his partner Larry Bucaria the Internet site Newwriters.com. His novel Vigilantes East was published last year, and one is serialized on 3amMagazine.com ("An Accountable Death"). He is co-editor of the sold-out 2500-copy issue of "A Gathering of Memories, Saugus 1900-2000." He has three Pushcart nominations, won Eastoftheweb's 2002 nonfiction competition, was cited with a Silver Rose Award by ART for Excellence in the Short Story, and nominated for other anthologies that celebrate excellence in the written word. His work has appeared in Eclectica before, as well as in StorySouth, Literary Potpourri, The Paumanok Review, Three Candles, Tryst, Iguanaland, Pierian Springs, Stirring, Samsara, and canwehaveourballback. He continues to celebrate as a writer his family, his hometown of Saugus, MA and his comrades from Korea.

Anis Shivani writes frequently for CounterPunch, is a graduate of Harvard, and has written two novels: The Age of Critics and Memoirs of a Terrorist.

Ann and David Skealive in Australia. Ann is the author of Ted Hughes: The Poetic Quest (UNE Press, Australia).

Gary Sloan is a retired English professor in Ruston, La. He writes on religion and literature for Free Inquiry, Skeptic, Skeptical Inquirer, American Atheist, and The Freethinker (London). He also writes syndicated political commentaries for Nando Media, a newspaper service. Of the piece in this issue, he says, "When I began to do research for the essay, I assumed I would find clearcut evidence that Frost died an atheist since several scholars had asserted that he was a lifelong atheist. I was surprised to discover that he grew more and more devout as he aged. My findings reconfirmed the perils of believing everything one reads, even when the sources are supposedly authoritative. I had originally planned to submit the article for Free Inquiry, but, having discovered Frost's late flight from unbelief, I felt it was inappropriate for the magazine."

Michael Spice was born in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin, on the day men first walked on the moon. He has a BS in Literature from Excelsior College. He lives in Seattle with his wife and works as a Technical Trainer at a huge cable company. When not collecting professional technology certifications, he ponders the nature of being human. He spends the rest of his time in traffic. He has edited the English language version of Gdansk: Spirit of the City, and has had work published in Modern Haiku.

Teresa White is a former Eclectica Spotlight Author. She has been writing and painting since she was a teenager and has had over 200 poems published in online journals over the past three years including Avatar, Blue Moon Review, Conspire, Eye Dialect, Small Spiral Notebook, Stirring, Melic Review, and Pierian Springs. She has been featured poet at Poet's Canvas, Poetry Sz, and in Melic Review's Erotic issue. She has a book of her early poetry published called In What Furnace (available through Amazon.com). She was nominated for a 1999 Pushcart by the Melic Review. A former Seattleite, she now makes her home in Spokane, Washington, with her husband and six cats. Her greatest accomplishment to date is quitting smoking, which she says was the hardest thing she’s ever had to do.