Apr/May 2004

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.

Kevin McGowin is Eclectica's Review Editor. He lives and writes in his hometown, Birmingham. He's done lots of things that will show up if you Google his name, including ghost-write George W. Bush's second inaugural address.

John Reinhard is a guest poetry editor for this issue of Eclectica. He is the author of two poetry collections, On the Road to Patsy Cline and Burning the Prairie, both from New Rivers Press, and 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.

David Alexander has appeared variously in web and print publications. He has lately also been reading his stories at venues in New York City, where he lives, works and rides the subway. Among his recent projects is Death and Venice, an anthology of fiction and poetry that he edited as an installment of the journal The Literary Review.

Anthony Brown edits Stickman Review: An Online Literary Journal. His stories and essays have appeared online in Recursive Angel and in such print magazines as Fiction, Hayden's Ferry Review, Sycamore Review, Kansas Quarterly/Arkansas Review, Yale Review, Habersham Review, Palo Alto Review and others. He says, "I wrote 'AquaSerene' out of an obsession with my fish tank and my inability to keep my fish happy and healthy for any period of time. After each subsequent failure, I began to feel an accumulating guilt that took the form of a question: how could anyone be so presumptuous to think he or she could create and sustain a world and truly understand its nature? How could anyone have real answers to who we are and why we are here (or why we are anywhere for that matter)? Ultimately, the things we tell ourselves, whether in the form of science, religion, secular mysticism, nihilism—take your pick—are all fish stories: grandiose in their ends and aims... descriptors of who we'd like to think we are. Truthfully, I think all of these stories—in their variety and determination to make meaning in a world driven fundamentally toward disorder—are pretty cool... and telling."

Leann Buhrow

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.

Barbara Defranceschi 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" and reports that her first collection of poems is to be launched this month, titled Lavender Blood.

Ana Doina is this issue's Spotlight Author. She is a Romanian born American writer with a Masters in Philosophy and History from the University of Bucharest. Due to political pressures and social restrictions, she left Romania during the Ceausescu regime. She has appeared in War, Literature and the Arts, Pinyon Poetry, Vision International, North American Review, Argestes, Rattle, Qualifornia Quarterly, Paterson Review, Crab Orchard Review and others. Her poems have also been anthologized or are forthcoming in American Diaspora: Poetry of Exile, Inside Grief, Clockpunchers: Poetry of America's Workplace, and Red White and Blue. She was nominated for the 2002 Pushcart Prize and has co-edited four anthologies for Bergen Poets, one of New Jersey's oldest community based poetry organizations, for which she is the acting secretary.

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

Steven Gajadhar hangs his hat in Canada's capital city. His work has appeared online in Lit Pot, Regina Weese, Words, and Quantummuse. His debut print work appeared in the first issue of Ink Pot.

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 is an assistant poetry editor with Cream City Review. Her first book, Dirty Birth, was the winner of the First Annual Sundress Publications Book Contest and will be available in spring 2004. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in: Eclectica, Gargoyle, The Pedestal Magazine, 2River View, Paumanok Review, Failbetter.com, Diagram and many others.

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.

Deborah P. Kolodji is a native Californian who works in information technology to fund her poetry obsessions and pay for her children's college tuition. She is a member of the Haiku Society of America, the Southern California Haiku Study Group, and the California State Poetry Society. Her short poems have appeared in Modern Haiku, Bottle Rockets, The Heron's Nest, Hummingbird, and many other journals both on and off the web. One of her haiku has been selected for the 2003 Red Moon Anthology. She is the editor and co-founder of Amaze: The Cinquain Journal, a webzine and print journal specializing in the cinquain poetry form.


Darby Larson is a Physical Design Engineer for Intel Corp. He lives near Sacramento, California with his wife, Sarah. Concerning his piece in this issue, he has this to say: "The idea for this piece has been a nagging thought in my head for a few years now. I can't remember when I thought of it, or how, or what influenced it." Darby would like to thank his wife for countless hours of confusing conversations concerning x and y (and z?) chromosmes. He has had literature published on the web at Kittenpants, Eyeshot, Yankee Pot Roast, and Insolentrudder.

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).

Peter Markus has appeared in such print journals as Black Warrior Review, Quarterly West, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, New Orleans Review, Post Road, Third Coast, 3rd Bed, LitRag, Seattle Review, Faultline, The American Journal of Print, as well as online at 5_Trope, failbetter, taint, elimae, pindeldyboz, Eleven Bulls, La Petite Zine, Sleeping Fish, Stickman Review, DIAGRAM, Word Riot, and Opium. The Moon is a Lighthouse, a series of twenty shorts, was recently published by New Michigan Press. His work has also appeared in the anthologies Sudden Stories (Mammoth Press), The Best of the Prose Poem (White Pine Press), and American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon University Press).

Clay D. Matthews has been published recently or is forthcoming in magazines such as Poetry Midwest, storySouth, Taint, Big Muddy, Rock Salt Plum Poetry Review, Mudlark, Oklahoma Review, and other fine print and internet publications. He is working towards a Ph.D. in creative writing at Oklahoma St. U. in Stillwater.

DJ McDougle is an obsessive gardener, an under-published short story writer, and an occasional poet. She lives in a tiny Georgia town with her husband and son and possibly too many pet-people. "Shadow Water" marks her first appearance in Eclectica. Her poetry has also appeared in Mississippi Review Online, plus another "almost poem" in Smokelong Quarterly. She says that her garden weeds are quite happy that her obsession with writing usually outweighs her obsession with maintenance, since it affords them the opportunity to nurture several generations before she finally catches on. They are very supportive of her efforts and consider themselves her biggest fans.

Michael Meyerhofer is earning his MFA at Southern Illinois University after a three-year stint in the "real world," where he floated between data entry jobs, perfected a typing speed of over one hundred words per minute, and briefly held a job collecting urine samples at a rehab center. His poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Free Lunch, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Main Street Rag, Snow Monkey, Modern Haiku, American Tanka, Rearview Quarterly, Verse Libre, Sometimes City, Steel Point Quarterly, Ariga, 2River View, bottle rockets, Snapshots, Famous Reporter, and others.

Andrea Moon is a playwright, performer and poet. She has had plays produced in small theatres throughout the country. Most recently her work was seen at the 78th Street Theatre in NYC, RED in Seattle and the Blue Bear Theatre in San Francisco. In the fall she will begin work on a PhD in Theatre with a focus on the intersection of body and text in performance. She makes her home in the Northwest with her partner and her puppy.

Crispin Oduobuk makes a living as the Group Production Editor of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust and Weekly Trust. eastoftheweb.com, kenagain.freeservers.com and members.rogers.com are websites were some of his work may be found. About "Parcel of trouble," Crispin says, "That really is my mother's story. She demonstrated to me how postmen had to do that sing-and-march-and-tap-your-pockets routine in colonial times, and I never could get the scene out of my head. And, of course, I couldn't help asking myself the 'what if?' question."

Shann Palmer lives in Virginia, by way of Texas and Arizona. She’s Vice-President Central and Student Contest Coordinator for the Poetry Society of Virginia. She hosts readings and workshops and publishes under her imprint, FlashPaperProductions. Event info for Virginia can be found at her website, also photos and links to her publications, which include Eclectica, Melic Review, and many other zines.

Julio Peralta-Paulino has most recently been published at Roman Candles. He is a member of Zoetrope and an associate at the Joseph Campbell Foundation. He reports being rather pleased that one of his poems has found a home at Eclectica.

Silvia A. Brandon Pérez is a poet and political activist, co-founder of Pocono Progressives and a staunch supporter of Dennis Kucinich and anti-globalization. She makes her home in Pennsylvania among the deer, black bears, cats, but no antelope. She writes poems in between marches and protests.

Gilbert Wesley Purdy has published poetry, prose and translation in many journals, paper and electronic, including Jacket, Poetry International (San Diego State University), Grand Street, SLANT (University of Central Arkansas), Orbis (UK), XS, The Danforth Review (Can.), Elimae, Thunder Sandwich, Cosmoetica, and Polyphony. He accepts poetry, poetry-related and topical nonfiction books for review at Gilbert Wesley Purdy, P. O. Box 5952, Lake Worth, FL 33466-5952.

Sambarta Rakshit grew up in Calcutta and later came to the US for graduate study. He now works as an electrical engineer and lives in the Boston area with his wife, Mayurika.

Charles Rammelkamp lives in Baltimore, MD. He has four poetry chapbooks in print: i don't think god's that cruel, and Go to Hell (March Street Press); A Convert's Tale (Pudding House), and FIRE DRILL! (Snark Publications). A fifth, ALL HALLOW'S EVE, has been accepted by Snark and will be available soon. He has a collection of short fiction, A Better Tomorrow, (PublishAmerica) and is the co-editor of a collection of essays on American cultural issues entitled Fake-City Syndrome (Red Hen Press).

Thomas D. Reynolds teaches at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from Wichita State University and published his first poems in 1987. He has appeared in Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, Alabama Literary Review, New Delta Review, Midwest Poetry Review, The MacGuffin, The Cape Rock, Potpourri, Tryst, The Green Tricycle, Prairie Poetry, 3rd Muse, Capper's, American Western Magazine, Miller's Pond Poetry Magazine, and Ariga. His poetry chapbook Electricity was published by Ligature Press of Topeka, Kansas. His full-length manuscript Ghost Town Almanac is under consideration by Woodley Press of Washburn University. In his work he strives to combine his interests in history, folklore, and poetry.

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.

Sumanta Sanyal is a freelance writer working from Calcutta, India. He also writes poetry, some of which have been published in various publications in the U.S.A., U.K., Canada and India. Some recent publications have been in The Richmond Review (U.K.), Pemmican (U.S.A.), and The Harrow, all ezines. Some of his poetry reflects the hardships faced by people living in a developing country, but he tries to bring out the strength of such people in the face of such hardships.

Janet Snell provided the artwork for this issue of Eclectica. She is a graduate, magna-cum-laude, of the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she studied painting with the late Ed Dugmore. She has shown her work in New York City, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Cleveland and other cities, and is the author of two books of art with poems: Flytrap (Cleveland State University Press Poetry Center, 1990) and Heads (March Street Press, 1998). Snell publishes regularly in the small magazines and paints commissioned portraits. Some of her work may be found at these sites: art-exchange.com, w3art.com, and the current issue of Pierian Springs.

Aaron Sitze lives and teaches along the Rock River in Illinois. His short stories have appeared in Carve, Snow Monkey, Towers, and Mindprints.

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

Joanna Spice trains English teachers at Fujairah Women's College in the United Arab Emirates. She dreams of a day when she can teach less and travel more. This is her first published travel log. She also writes on her research in social linguistics.

Mike Spice teaches basic computing skills at the same college. He has appeared previously in Eclectica, as well as in Modern Haiku. His latest project is creating an underwater breathing apparatus that works on the principle of the electrolysis of water.

Alex Stolis lives in Minneapolis and has appeared in Eclectica before.

Dennis Tafoya is 44, lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three children, and sells industrial electronics. He has published stories in Eclectica and Melic Review. He says, "'Sleight of Hand' comes from remembering the many missteps in my life that could have had terrible consequences, and the friends who lost struggles with their own demons."

James M. Thompson is a construction professional, who, after a twenty-year hiatus, began writing again about seven years ago. He has published poems in Texas Poetry Calendar 2004, Indian Heritage Quarterly, Frogpond, the Journal of the American Haiku Society, and Lynx. He also has poems in several online publications including Sol-Magazine, Rose and Thorn and Mail Call Journal as a second place finisher in their Fall 1998 History Poetry Contest.

Duncan White is a former Eclectica Spotlight Author. He lives and works in London. He has work currently online at Thundersandwich.com, 3amMagazine.com and Comrade.org.uk.

Chris Young lives in Eugene, Oregon, and teaches tennis. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Taint, MiPo, Stirring, Samsara Quarterly, The DMQ Review, Avatar Review, Wind, Miller's Pond and others.

Diane Zinna was originally from Long Island, but she received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Florida in 1998 and now teaches poetry and fiction workshops in the Washington, DC area. This is Diane's second appearance in Eclectica. Other stories have appeared in the magazines Evolution and The Northern Virginia Review. Her unpublished novel, Off-Track Betting, sits quietly in a fire-proof safe in her bedroom. She’ll be married this October.