Oct/Nov 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 from UW-Parkside, which isn't quite "panning out," at least where finding a "real" job is concerned. Her fun job is to work as assistant poetry editor for Eclectica. When not searching for that real job, she likes to monkey around on her computer, writing poems or creating photoart. She also loves to take her cat (Ponyboy) outside and watch him roll all over the patio. Tara's work has appeared in or is forthcoming in the following publications: Muse Apprentice Guild, Riven, Small Spiral Notebook, Poems Niederngasse, Wicked Alice, Eclectica, Stirring, Blind Man's Rainbow, Poetalk, and Primavera.

Kevin McGowin edited the review section of this issue.

Ann Anderson lives in Los Angeles, where she earns ridiculously high pay as a voice-over actor and ridiculously low pay as a writer. Information about her book, "Snake Oil, Hustlers and Hambones: The American Medicine Show," can be found on Amazon and on the link provided.

David Ayers is a poet. He lives in Georgia, where it just might rain.

T.E. Ballard is a professional artist and writer living in the Midwest with her two young daughters. She has been nominated for two Pushcarts and her poem "Seal Island" recently won second place with the American Association of University Women. She was also the Special Merit Winner in the 2002 Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award sponsored by The Comstock Review, and her poem, "Revelation" was included in the BEST OF MELIC POETRY: THE FIRST FIVE YEARS. You may find more of her work in The Drunken Boat, The Paumanok Review, The Melic Review, Mandrake Press, Tryst, Three Candles, Gumball Poetry, The Poet's Canvas, Red River Review, Verse Libre and Snow Monkey. She is currently at work on her first book of poetry.

Theresa Boyar lives in Helena, Montana, with her husband and two sons. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Florida Review, Lynx Eye, The Adirondack Review, Poet's Canvas, The Paumanok Review, Rattle, Slow Trains, and the DMQ Review. Currently, she is working on a collection of short stories.

Joseph Brunetti has just completed his first year teaching abroad in Costa Rica. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from San Diego State University where he worked for 3 years on the literary journal, Poetry International. He has had poems published in San Diego Writer's Monthly, Limestone Review, and he has work forthcoming in Dream People E-zine (July 2003). He was the recipient of the Pennsylvania State University Eddie Nichols Short Fiction Award. He is currently seeking publication for his book of poetry, Life Cycles, and many short stories.

Susan H. Case as Susan H. Gray, teaches at the New York Institute of Technology. In addition to her academic work, she has studied at the Unterberg Poetry Center. Her recent poems and short stories can be found in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Slant, Fireweed, Ariel, Stray Dog, Jewish Women's Literary Annual, Zeek and nycBigCityLit, among others. She is the author of the chapbook, The Scottish Café (Slapering Hol Press, 2002) and a winner of this year's Annual Salute to the Arts Poetry & Graphics Contest, judged by the well-known Illinois poet, G. E. Murray.

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.

Alberto Coscorrón

Daniel Cubias is a writer living in Minneapolis. He has been published in such places as The Harpweaver and Word.com. He had the top short story in the 2000 New Century Writing Contest, and he is at work on his first novel.

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.

Diane E. Dees is a psychotherapist and writer in Covington, Louisiana. Her short stories, essays and political commentaries have appeared in many publications, including: The Raven Chronicles, Palo Alto Review, Thema, Literary Potpourri, and Eclectica. She also writes a column for Moondance. Diane and her husband, Orvin, are the webmasters of Princess Cafe, the world's only virtual rock and roll restaurant.

Barbara De Franceschi OAM lives with her husband in Broken Hill (where she was born) a small mining town in outback Australia, where they own and operate an earthmoving business and have a grown-up family of three sons and two daughters. In 2002 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community especially in the area of multiculturalism. Barbara joined the Broken Hill Writer's Forum in 2000 when she started to take her writing seriously. Since then she has had her poems and short stories published in literary journals and magazines throughout Australia, including Famous Reporter, Centoria, The Bunyip, Poetrix, The Tablet and Yellow Moon, in which her poem titled "Dust Storm" won first prize in the nature poetry section (to be published in July 2003). She has also read her poetry on radio live to air. She describes her poetry as "immediately accessible."

Zdravka Evtimova is this issue's Spotlight Author. She was born in Bulgaria in 1959 and lives there now with her husband, two sons and her daughter in Pernik, Bulgaria. In her native country she has published three collections of short stories and three novels. The novels are Your Shadow was My Home, Lindy, and Thursday. Her short stories have been published in the UK in the literary magazines New London Writers, Quality Women's Fiction, The Text, The Dream Catcher, Cluster Magazine, the Mighty Organ, and NTH Position, Texts' Bones; in the USA in Literary Salt, Mississippi Review online, Moon Dance, Adirondack Review, Cauldron, Metropole Magazine, Dream Forge, Muse Apprentice Guild, Grey Borders; in Canada in Lichen literary review, Slingshot; Germany in Leipziger Zeitung; and her story "200,000" won the biannual prize for a short story in Germany in 1999. In addition, she has published stories in France (Lieux d'etre), Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Macedonia and Serbia. She works as a literary translator for the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and has translated 24 novels by English, American and Canadian authors into Bulgarian. At present she's also working on her PhD thesis on Toni Morrison's novels.

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

Phoebe Kate Foster a previous contributor to Eclectica (Jan./Feb. 2001), lives on the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her husband, children and pets. Her short fiction has appeared/is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, The Mid-South Review, Flashquake, Slow Trains, Electric Acorn (U.K.), Tattoo Highway, Starry Night Review, Megaera, The Dead Mule, The Distillery: Artistic Spirits of the South, Emrys Journal and The Pink Chameleon, among others. She is an associate editor for PopMatters, an online magazine of global culture, and assistant editor at The Dead Mule, a literary ezine showcasing the works of Southern writers. If all goes well, two collections of her short stories will be out early next year. When not busy writing, she spends her time spoiling her already over-indulged cat, watching old movies, and maintaining her hard-earned reputation as the only person on the Southern coast without a suntan.

Ken Fowles is 32, from New Jersey originally. He lives in Mesa, AZ, and describes himself as an ex-con and an ex-junkie. He says, "I drink too much and write on an ancient laptop that I lug from bar to bar and everywhere else. I don't have a car and I work for 5 an hour under the books for a charitable mom and pop computer store, as a jack of all trades."

Rosa Garza was born in Manila, Philippines and grew up in southern VA. After attending school in Wellesley, MA, she moved to Washington, D.C. "In Observance" was written during an unexpected sojourn in Chicago's O'Hare airport.

Judy Goodwin is an emergent poet living in Squamish, BC, Canada. She works as a web designer, editor, and illustrator. She was a Featured Poet on the Poetry Super Highway early 2003. Otherwise her work is new. Judy shares her home with a young girl and a dog and races mountain bikes as a hobby.

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.

Linda Sue Grimes is a poet/songwriter/essayist and former Ball State University professor. She maintains a web site devoted to the study of classic poetry—for students who hate poetry—and serves as the Contributing Editor in American Poetry and 20th Century American Poetry at Suite101.com. She has published academic essays in The Explicator and poetry in RATTLE: POETRY FOR THE 21st CENTURY, Sonoma Mandala, The Comstock Review, and The Berkeley Poetry Review, and in the ezines FZQ, Salt River Review, and The Fairfield Review. She holds a doctorate in American, British, and World Literature from Ball State University, where she also completed two masters degrees, one in German 1971 and one in English 1984, and where she was a poetry, composition, and humanities professor from 1983-1998. About the poem in this issue, she says, "I wrote it about 10 years ago, and it just strikes me as funny now."

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!"

Nicholas Hogg was born in Leicester, England, in 1974. He graduated from the University of East London with a degree in psychology before working as a counselor, road worker, window salesman and teacher. He has traveled extensively and is now a journalist onboard a Japanese NGO cruise ship that delivers humanitarian aid and raises awareness of various causes throughout the world. Recent work has been published in UK magazines and on the web at anothersun, greatworks and wanderingdog. He is looking to publish a first collection this year, and more work can be seen and heard at his website.

Thomas J. Hubschman is the author of the novel Billy Boy (Savvy Press) and publisher of Gowanus, an ezine for authors in and from the so-called Third World. He is also editor of The Best of Gowanus: New Writing from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean (Gowanus Books). His short stories, articles and reviews have appeared in The Blue Moon Review, Morpo Review, New York Press, on the BBC World Service and in numerous other print and online publications.

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.

David S. Kaufman is a 34 year old pre-law student in Southwest Florida. He has been writing for most of his life and has published poetry in anthologies and some short stories online. He has written several one-act plays that have been locally performed and some longer works that have had public readings. His brother, James Corey Kaufman, is a playwright who has an off-Broadway musical, Discovering Magenta, with a CD Soundtrack widely available. David is currently finishing his first novel, Who Says Words With My Mouth? and co-authoring a psychology textbook on critical thinking. Regarding the story, "The Exchange Student," he swears it isn't a true story or based in fact in any way.

Jan Kristy studied English lit and creative writing at the University of British Columbia. Since graduating a few years ago, she's been working as a writer for a more-or-less-educational company. Her first non-student story will be published in the fall of 2003 in the first of an intended yearly special "gallery" arts issue of a scholarly magazine.

Oswald LeWinter is a 72 year old American poet living in Lisbon, who has published very little since 1965. In 1963 he published a book, "Shakespeare in Europe," and was teaching at Columbia University. He has also taught at the University of Essen and at Wuerzburg, Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, Jagiellonska University of Cracow, and Carabobo University in Venezuela. He published nearly 100 poems in Shenandoah, Sewanee, Contact, the noble savage, Epoch, The Adelphi, Argonaut, Hudson Review, Paris Review, The Literary Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, New Mexico Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Richmond Review, Tarpaulin Sky, Niederngasse, Avvenimenti (Rome) Botteghe Oscure, Kuerbiskern (Germany), Chelsea, and many more. He has been anthologized in the U.S. in Best Poems of 1962 and Best German Poems and received a number of prestigious prizes, including the International Rilke Prize for poems in German and English. His poetry has been praised by Robert Lowell, John Berryman, and Patrick Kavanagh, among others. He has read for the Library of Congress collection, and William Carlos Williams has discussed his work in a letter. Saul Bellow called him an "American Rimbaud."

James Lineberger is a professional playwright and screenwriter. He was Playwright in Residence at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis for three seasons. His rock opera, The Survival of Saint Joan, was developed at the Buffalo Studio Arena, and the production transferred to Broadway. His screen adaptation of the Devery Freeman novel Father Sky was filmed as TAPS. His poems have been published in Berkeley Poetry Review, Exquisite Corpse, Hanging Loose, Hayden's Ferry Review, The New Laurel Review, New York Quarterly, Ontario Review, Oxford Magazine, Pembroke Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Snake Nation Review, Sonora Review, and Verse, as well as numerous online publications, such as Stirring, Disquieting Muses, The 2River View, Unlikely Stories, etc.

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).

Kevin McGowin holds degrees from Auburn University and the University of Florida, and has taught Humanities at the college level for over a decade. He has published two volumes of poetry, three novels, a novella, many poems, essays, stories and reviews. He has also traveled widely, to Paris (where he saw Modigliani's studio in Monmartre), San Francisco (to give readings from his first novel, serialized in Oyster Boy Review) New York City (where he worked an an assistant to the novelist and playwright James Purdy) and New Orleans (where he lived for some time, writing and directing Chekhov). He will be Eclectica's new Review Editor starting with the next issue, and he remains a frequent contributor to Oyster Boy and other publications. He has a son, Holden, and hopes to soon find a suitable print publisher for his story collection All That and Then Some and a novel-in-progress.

Tim Millas lives in New York City. His stories have appeared in Nuvein Magazine, Muse Apprentice Guild, and Confrontation.

Steve Mueske holds an MFA in Writing from Hamline University, where he also received a BA in English and Philosophy. He has published prose and poetry in print and online journals such as Rattle, Water-Stone, ArtWord Quarterly, the Drunken Boat, Tryst, The Pedestal Magazine, the Wisconsin Review, the South Dakota Review, Red River Review, Southern Cross Review, Mobius, ForPoetry, Poetry Magazine (online), Canwehaveourballback?, Pierian Springs, Niederngasse, and others, and has work forthcoming in Full Circle Journal. He lives in Minnesota with his wife and two daughters and edits the online literary journal, three candles. Regarding the work in this issue, he says, "I like to work in a wide range of lengths and styles, and these two pieces represent my interest in short work. 'A Body at Rest' is a somber interrogative from an amazing photograph by Jan Groover. 'Playing Catch With the Dogwood' makes light of my long-standing battle with a tree in my backyard."

Joe L. Murr grew up in Australia, Brazil, Tanzania, and South Africa and has since lived in Canada, Belgium, and Finland. He currently resides in Helsinki, where he works as a translator. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in WestWord (SFU), Bloodlust-UK and Bee Museum: The Journal of Baltic Writers.

Rajgopal Nidamboor is a Mumbai-based features writer, critic, and editor.

Mike O'Driscoll was born in London and brought up in the south-west of Ireland on a diet of boiled ham, cabbage, cowboy films and science fiction. His youthful ambition was to grow up to be the next John Wayne, but Clint Eastwood beat him to it. Undeterred, he ventured out to discover the world, cramming ten years into two so he could take the rest of the time off to fall in love, get married, raise a child and teach a new dog old tricks. He began writing short stories to distract himself from reality, and his fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies including Fatgering the Bones, The Dark, Lethal Kisses, BBR, The Third Alternative, Interzone and others. In 2001, he saw his first translated story appear in a Norwegian magazine for women; he feels sure John Wayne would have approved. As well as his fiction, Mike has written articles on the films of David Cronenberg and David Lynch, and his "Night's Plutonium Shore" column on Horror and fantasy appears at Alien Online. As for "The facts in the Case of Mr P—," he says, "While probably not regarded as Poe's best work, I've always found it an intriguing tale. I'm fascinated by the implied biographical elements here and in other of his stories—by the extent to which they were influenced by his precarious mental state. My story takes this a stage further and raises the possibility of Poe's participation in M. Valdemar's case. It's not so much an interrogation as a fictional lament."

Shann Palmer is Texan living in Richmond, Virginia, where her jazz/poetry combo Villanelle performs at bookstores, coffee shops, and clubs. She has been published on the Web in Eclectica, Melic Review, RealPoetik, Conspire, and others. As Vice-President (Central) for the Poetry Society of Virginia, she supervises the annual student contest and has three poems in the 80th Anniversary Anthology. Regarding "Passed Times," she says it is melded from adventures in Arizona and Mexico as a young woman.

John Reinhard is the author of two poetry collections, On the Road to Patsy Cline and Burning the Prairie, both from New Rivers Press. His poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies, most recently Ice-Floe, Lux, and Are You Experienced? He received a Hopwood Award in Poetry while working on his MFA at The University of Michigan and was later honored with a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in Poetry. He now teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Alaska and lives in Fairbanks with his wife, Chris, and their two children, Quinn and Matthew.

Tom Rogers is 40 years old, living in Chicago, Illinois with his wife and daughter. He collected bills from insurance companies for a living and taught history part-time. "When I grow up," he says, "I would like to teach history full time at the college level." He has a Master's Degree in History and a BA in Anthropology from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, IL. He speaks Yiddish and German, reads and understands biblical Hebrew and Greek. Regarding the piece in this issue, he says, "I think it is time to take the historical Jesus out of the hands of the theologians and give him back to the common person.

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.

Ann and David Skea live 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.

Cheryl Snell has appeared in many journals, including Antietam Review, Bogg, Comstock Review, Potomac Review, threecandles, 2River view, Stirring, Tryst, and miller’s pond. Her chapbook of poetry, Flower Half Blown, was published in 2002 by Finishing Line Press and nominated for the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry. She is a classical pianist.

Alec Solomita is a writer and illustrator who lives in Somerville, Mass. His work has appeared in the New York Sun, The Mississippi Review, Tikkun, The Boston Phoenix, and other publications. This is his second appearance in Eclectica.

Sandy Steinman taught Black & White Photography and Photography as Fine Art at Fairfield University, CT, from 1980 to 1990. Twelve years ago she and her husband Paul returned to California and now reside in Fairfax, in a kitsch cozy cottage under a prolific persimmon tree that shades their sun-drenched deck. She writes poetry, prose, and short plays. Many of her poems, including "Zones of Gray," draw on her photography background. Other work can be found online in Mipo Digital 13, Amarillo Bay, The Adirondack Review, Zimmerzine, The Third Muse, Pulse, Doorknobs and Bodypaint, Countless Horizons, Big Bridge, Mentress Moon, The Blue Moon Review and others.

john sweet says, "things here chaotic, dead cars, screaming children, insane neighbors, etc etc. recent work in Atomic Petals, Double Dare, Powhatan Review, Curbside Review and a few others, and a new full-length collection, Human Cathedrals, available from Ravenna Press."

Dennis Tafoya is 43 and sells industrial electronics. This is his second published story. He started writing in his thirties and has previously published in Melic Review. Regarding the piece in this issue, he says, "The characters in this story experience life as much of the world's people know it. It was suggested by a lot of reading I've been doing about Africa and Latin America." Tafoya lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three children, and is currently expanding "Ascensions and Declinations" into a novel.

Rob Yeatman was born and have lived all his life in Bath, England, and works for a small paper mill on the edge of the city. He has been writing for about five years, but is unpublished until now.