Oct/Nov 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.

Paul Sampson is Eclectica's Nonfiction and Miscellany Editor and has been a regular contributor to the Salon. A professional writer and editor for many years, he worked until recently for a mammoth corporation. He has since 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.

Mike Spice is Eclectica's Travel Editor. He is working on a Master's Degree in International Business at the University of Wollongong in Dubai. His poetry and prose have appeared previously in Eclectica and Modern Haiku.

Thom Ingram served as the Assistant Poetry Editor for this issue. He has been involved in poetry communities, both online and off, for the last decade, participating in poetry slams, writing conferences and weekend retreats. Main influences on his poetry include rock music, hip-hop, Sufi mysticism, pop culture, politics and baseball. He is currently completing his MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Linera Lucas was one of three Assistant Fiction Editors for this issue. She is pursuing an MFA in Fiction at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has been a theatre director, lead buyer for a large independent bookstore, systems analyst, editor, and she now tutors middle and high school students.

Jessica Handler also served as Assistant Fiction Editor for this issue. She lives and writes in Atlanta. Her essays and journalism have been featured in McSweeneys.com, Brain, Child Magazine, The Washington Post, Southern Accents Magazine, and have been an Utne Magazine "Best of the Alternative Web" selection. She is a student in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte.

Jodi L. Laughlin rounded out our trio of Assistant Fiction Editors for this issue. She holds a BA in philosophy from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte, NC. She lives in Virginia Beach with her two young girls.

Pauline Abbott lives in Yorkshire, England. She joined Boot Camp in October, 2003. Her first success was to win first prize worth £1,000 in a national short story writing competition in 2004.

Arlene Ang lives in Venice, Italy where she edits the Italian Niederngasse. Her poetry has been published online in Ecletica, Literary Potpourri, Melic Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Tattoo Highway and 2River View. An e-chapbook of her poetry, "Dirt Therapy," is being hosted by Slow Trains. She is also the web designer for the poetry arts journal, Reversal of Despair.

Michael Bahler recently escaped Washington, DC, and is now settling back into the New York / New Jersey metropolitan area. He has published fiction in Glimmer Train, the Brooklyn Rail, nerve.com, Hanging Loose and the (defunct) New Jersey Review of Literature. He studied at Boston University's graduate creative writing program.

Chris Bleach lives in Halifax, West Yorkshire in the North of England with his wife, two children and a dog who thinks she's human. He writes about business for a living but much prefers to write about life. He has only been writing seriously and submitting for a few months, but with the encouragement of his internet writing group has had several publications including, most recently, two stories in Southern Ocean Review.

Anne Boyer grew up in the middle of Kansas, just south of the World's Largest Ball of Twine. She now lives in Iowa. Her work can be found in or is forthcoming at Exquisite Corpse, Identity Theory, Pindeldyboz, New Leters, and others.

Nick Bruno has appeared in The Adirondack Review, Stirring, Snow Monkey, Sidereality, Thunder Sandwich, Verse Libre Quarterly, Poetry Super Highway, Electric Acorn, PoetryRepairShop and Poetry Magazine.com. He holds a Masters in Sociology and recently spent several years in Europe, where he taught English as a second language. He now lives and writes in Canada.

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.

Mike Chasar has appeared in journals such as The Antioch Review, Black Warrior Review and Alaska Quarterly Review, and he has reviewed over 50 new books of poetry for publications such as American Book Review, Rain Taxi Review of Books, St. Petersburg Times, Miami Herald, Kansas City Star and the Dayton Daily News. He is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Iowa, where he is writing about poetry and popular culture.

Fleur Chapman lives in London, UK. She is a freelance journalist, but has only begun to grasp what writing is really about since joining Boot Camp. This is her first story to be published.

Bill Collopy shares his birthday with George Washington and Drew Barrymore, though he has chosen not to follow their illustrious examples. Instead, based in Melbourne, Australia, he's had more than a dozen stories published in various magazines and anthologies. Married, with two children, receding hair and not enough bookshelves, Bill works as a social policy researcher, vainly trying to find more time in his day.

Nick Contreras is about to obtain double majors in Criminal Justice and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where under the tutilage of the World Famous Julie King, he has used a mandatory English class to refine his poetic "skill." You can see his work on Poetry.com where he still awaits multiple plaques, a poetry book, cash prizes, and whatever else they'll send you for $59.95 + s/h.

Rosemarie Crisafi lives in Wappingers Falls, New York, and works in White Plains for a non-for-profit agency that serves individuals with disabilities. Her poems have appeared in Red River Review, Millers Pond, Canopic Jar, 2River View, Nthposition, Rock Salt Plum Poetry Review, Tin Lustre Mobil, Poems Niederngasse, Astropoetica and Experimental Poetry.com. Other poems are forthcoming in SubtleTea, Wicked Alice Poetry Journal, Ancient Paths, Promise Magazine, and The Carriage House Review.

Lightsey Darst was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, a residency at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota, and an AWP Intro Journals Award, all last year. Her recent work appears or is forthcoming in The Antioch Review, Permafrost, Quarterly West, and Cutbank.

Barbara De Franceschi 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.

Adriana DiGennaro is 20 and a creative writing major at Bennington College in Vermont. Her first book of poetry, Peripheral Vision, was published in June 2001 by Writers Ink Press. In 2003 she was one of the featured poets in the summer issue of Triplopia.Com. Her poetry has been featured in Red River Review, BigCityLit.Com, Clean Sheets, Sidereality, City Writers Review, Southern Ocean Review, Waterways, Long Island Quarterly, and The Improper Hamptonian. She was on Red River Review’s list of nominees for a Pushcart Prize in 2001. Her second book of poetry, Acts of Contrition, will be published this fall by Writers Ink Press.

Roger Duncan is a West Australian writer researching the simulation of identity in contemporary culture. He is working on his first novel as part of the Doctorate of the Arts degree and was previously published in dot.lit, gangway, hackwriters, madswirl, surfaceonline, blank-magazine and the Australian Reader.

Mike Estabrook is a Marketing Communications Manager for a tiny division of a gigantic billions-of-dollars company, and says, "Man, going into an office every day can be excruciating. The stuffy air, the florescent lights are killing me. Thankfully I can retire in 10 or 15 years. But I still think that somehow I've got to get myself on some boat collecting phytoplankton, or into the rich brown hills of Montana searching for TRex bones. Then again, maybe I simply should've stayed on Northfield Avenue where I belong and learned to fix cars like my Daddy did."

Eli S. Evans was born in Milwaukee and lives in Los Angeles. He teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at Orange Coast College.

Carol Fant is a recovering lawyer living in Florida. She has a B.A. in English from The University of Texas, Austin, a law degree from Stetson University College of Law, a B.A. in Creative Writing from Eckerd College, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte. This is her first publication.

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

Elizabeth P. Glixman is a poet and writer whose interviews, poetry, and short stories have been published in print and online magazines including 3 A.M. Magazine, storySouth, The Richmond Review, Frigg, and Women of the Web, a poetry anthology.

David Graham teaches English at Ripon College. His most recent books are Stutter Monk (Flume Press, poetry) and After Confession (Graywolf), an essay anthology co-edited with Kate Sontag.

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada, and also helps her husband (a retired forester/wildlife biologist) with his field projects. Her poems have appeared in Grand Street, The Iowa Review, The New York Quarterly, Poetry International, and elsewhere, and she’s included in the new anthology, California Poetry: Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University, 2004).

J.D. Heskin lives in Northern Minnesota. His poetry can be found in literary magazines and e-zines such as Snakeskin, Southern Ocean Review, Pierian Springs, Circle Magazine, Yellow Bat, sidereality, Gin Bender and many others. He believes the answer to a satisfying life is a lack of want for the excessive.

Eric Heyne has been teaching American literature, Alaskan literature, and critical theory at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for 18 years. As of September 8, he reported there was ice in the buckets but still too much smoke to see the mountains.

Karla Huston was the winner of the 2003 Main Street Rag Chapbook contest. She recently earned an MA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She received writing residencies from the Ragdale Foundation in both 1998 and 2002 and earned five Pushcart nominations. Her poems, reviews and interviews have been published in many regional and national journals, including Wisconsin Academy Review, Cimarron Review, 5 A.M., Margie, North American Review, One Trick Pony, Pearl, Poet Lore, Rattle, Smartish Pace and others. Two new chapbooks are forthcoming in 2004-05: Virgins on the Rocks (Parallel Press) and Catch and Release (Marsh River Editions). Her chapbook, Flight Patterns, led poet Denise Duhamel to say she has "a knack for the perfect-pitched narrative, the delicious revelation of a storyline in verse."

Andrea Jazwiecki is a co-founding member of the Quick and Dirty Poets, a poetry critique group in southern New Jersey. She is also an active member of the Burlington County Poets. You can find her work in the Quick and Dirty Poets chapbooks, as well as in the Philadelphia Inquirer and now Eclectica. Andrea is also co-editor of the Quick and Dirty Poets magazine, Up and Under, and actively seeks further publication for herself. She works full-time as a Real Estate Professional and is newly married. Along with reading and writing, she enjoys cooking, fine wines, travel, and fixing up her old, historic house.

Tim Keane recently completed the novel That Strange Flower the Sun, from which "Greta Garbo's Hair Was Made in Egypt" is excerpted. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in numerous magazines.

Alex Keegan lives in Newbury, England with his wife Deborah, son Alex and daughter Bridie. Born in Wales in 1947 of an Irish mother and Welsh father, he played around with writing almost all his life, but only got serious when recovering from injuries and mental trauma after the Clapham (London) train crash in December, 1988. In October, 1992, he decided to "give up the day job" and give himself five years to get published. The result was five "Caz Flood" mystery novels, the first of which was shortlisted for an Anthony Award for best first novel. Since then Alex has moved to writing literary short fiction. His publications include Atlantic Monthly Unbound, Mississippi Review, Blue Moon Review, The Alsop Review, Crania, and of course, Eclectica.

Zoe King lives in Norfolk, Uk, where she divides her time between writing and editing. Her work has been widely published, and she is currently co-editor of both Cadenza and BuzzWords. See more at her website.

Sherri Linn Kline is a transplanted Appalachian who came to Michigan by way of Ohio. She is a gardener/storyteller/woodcarver who lives near Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband and four preternatural cats. She has had pieces in The Salt River Review (online), Cup of Wonder and The Seeker Journal.

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.


David Kopaska-Merkel lives deep in the South; so deep, that it's hard to see the sky. This makes his midwestern wife claustrophobic but doesn't bother him because he grew up in Virginia. He writes poetry in his spare time and describes rocks for a living.

Dorothee Lang works as an undercover agent for overdue intermediate transmissions, has web dreams on a weekly basis, and believes in noncoincidence and cotangents. Her work has appeared in Pindeldyboz, Drunken Boat, The Mississippi Review, Getundergound, Eyeshot, Word Riot and Cafe Irreal, among others. She edits the travel magazine subside.zine, lives in Germany, and for as yet undiscovered reasons only gets published abroad.

Zoe Lea lives in England, near Manchester. She has previously written factual articles and is now exploring fiction. This is one of her first stories to be published.

Alice Maahs recently finished four years of collegiate study at Pacific Lutheran University. She is now gathering strength in the Montana mountains, trying to dig up spiritual truth among the glaciers and lakes, before she begins her new adventure earning her MFA in creative nonfiction.

kat mcelroy was born in Laramie, Wyoming in 1950. She came to in Delta Junction, Alaska in 1986. She is a high school drop-out. She has a minor criminal record. She has been employed in a wide variety of occupations including drug dealing, bull-cook in a gold mine camp, bartender, wood-cutter, waitress, meat-wrapper, barroom floozie, and town drunk. She is a mother and a grandmother. She spent ten years living a subsistence lifestyle in the Interior of Alaska. During all this, she wrote, which she continues to do. She raises MacKenzie River Huskies and likes to play with fire. She has over-corrected in the criminal-behaviors arena and is now known as something of a stick-in-the-mud. The Shift Key on her computer does not work like that of a normal person.

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).

Steve McAllister traveled the country for a year and a half while writing "The Rucksack Letters." By car, by motorcycle, hopping trains, and hitchhiking, he shared his journey with an ever-growing number of readers by email using borrowed computers and public libraries. Afterwards, he lived in Los Angeles for a year and a half while working in film and television production and honing his skills as a screenwriter. He is currently directing his short film "Lesson Learned" and producing a documentary on Grand Ole Opry legend "Little" Jimmie Sizemore.

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. This is her second appearance in Eclectica, her first as a writer of fiction. 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.

Allen McGill is originally from NYC but now lives, writes, acts and directs theatre in Mexico. His published fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, photos, etc., have appeared in print as well as online in the NY Times, The Writer, Newsday, Literary Potpourri, Flashquake, Poetry Midwest, Poetic Voices, Herons Nest, Frogpond, Modern Haiku, World Haiku Review, many others. He is haibun editor for Simply Haiku.

Allison McVety was born and educated in Manchester, England, and has written poetry and prose for many years. A runner-up in the bloc online Prize 2004, her work has appeared in magazines and several anthologies. Recent pieces have been accepted for forthcoming editions of Ink Pot, Long Story Short, and Defenestration. She lives in Berkshire.

Mark Melton resides in Melbourne, Australia, although fragments of himself lie scattered across various parts of the globe. He dabbles in web design and is the editor of 3rd Muse Poetry Journal. His hobbies include spending ungodly amounts of hours in online computer games, procrastinating, and writing about himself in third person.

Colleen Mondor joins Eclectica this issue as a Childrens Book Review Contributing Editor. She has split her life between Florida and Alaska but is shortly moving to the Pacific Northwest in an attempt to find a happy medium between freezing and sweating. She has a BS in Aviation Management, a BA in History and an MA in Northern Studies, and she has spent four years working for a bush commuter in Fairbanks. She now knows how to load a full dog sled team into a Piper Navajo so no one gets bitten or messed on. She also spent five years teaching history to soldiers at Ft. Wainwright and still considers it the most fascinating and educational job she ever had. Until the move, Colleen lives with husband, son and dog four blocks from the beach in Florida, where she is working on a story collection about Alaska flying.

Billy O'Callaghan is 29 years old, Irish, and has been writing full time for the past five years. His work appears in a variety of Irish national and regional newspapers and magazines, including the Irish Examiner, Cork Holly Bough, City Living and The Munster Literature Centre's Quarterly Magazine, Southword. Principally a short story writer, he has published two collections, Tales Of Old Douglas (2001) and View From The Gods (2003). He is a featured writer at this year's Frank O'Connor Short Story Festival.

Tolu Ogunlesi was born in 1982 to Nigerian parents and has lived virtually all his life in Nigeria. He has just graduated in pharmacy from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is the author of a collection of poetry, Listen to the Geckos Singing from a Balcony (Jacobyte Books, Australia, October 2003). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in A Melody of Stones (PEN Anthology of New Nigerian Writing), Zacatecas, Perigree, Inkpot, Mississippi Review, Olongo, Times Arts Review, The Guardian, Hackwriters, Perigree, Sentinel, Expressionmag, The Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry, and others. He is presently working on a collection of short stories while at the same time gathering the courage to start a novel. About his work in this issue, he says, "Learning Painting" is more than just a poem. It's an expression of a serious "longing" to master the art of making sense—or "nonsense" (avant-gardism?)—with Art."

Tim Peeler constantly has his prayers to the rain god answered in Hickory, NC, where he is a developmental educator. His latest book is a collaboration with Brian McLawhorn titled Baseball in Catawba County.

Cedric Popa is a Romanian living in London. He has previously written articles and book reviews for an online magazine, but this Eclectica flash is his first published work of fiction.

Gilbert Wesley Purdy had had work in poetry, prose and translation appear in many journals, paper and electronic, including: Jacket Magazine (Australia); Poetry International (San Diego State University); Grand Street; SLANT (University of Central Arkansas); and Eclectica. His Hyperlinked Online Bibliography appears in the pages of The Catalyzer Jourrnal.

Elizabeth Roy lives in Columbus, Ohio. Her short stories have been published in BuzzWords, Flash Me Magazine, Pindeldyboz, and Peninsular. She has also served as a staff writer for The Historian, a regional magazine which focuses on the history of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

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

Sarah Sorenson has published poetry and short fiction in such print and online journals as The Liberty Hill Poetry Review , Poetry Motel, Stirring (where she was a Guest Editor) and The Morpo Review. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now finds herself adrift in the Heart of Dixie.

Siew Siang Tay was born in Malacca, Malaysia, and migrated to Australia in 1992. She has a degree in journalism and works as web editor for the University of South Australia. Her short stories have appeared in RedE2 and online in Saturday Short Stories (Australia), Paumanok Review, Melic Review, Snow Monkey (USA) and Dimsum (Hong Kong). She has completed one novel, The Whisper of Padi Fields, and is working on her second.

Mark Vender is an Australian living in the mountains of Bogotá, Colombia: 8,500 feet closer to the stars, but 8,500 feet further away from the beach. His writing has appeared at Slow Trains, The Summerset Review and Hackwriters. He has just completed his first novel and is looking for an agent.

Richard Walker lives in rural England. He is learning the business with the help of the Internet Writing Workshop and PD4P at thenewblueline. Pieces have appeared online in PoetryScotland, WORDsDANCE and The Surface.

Derek White has recently been published or is forthcoming in BlazeVOX, Call: Review, Taint, Sidereality, XCP, elimae, Exquisite Corpse, Cafe Irreal, Lungfull, Diagram, Snow Monkey, and elsewhere. He has publications available from Calamari Press and is the editor of SleepingFish Magazine.

Duncan White is now 26. Lives and works in London. Is currently working on a collection of short texts entitled Where We Are.

Alessio Zanelli is an Italian poet who has long adopted English as his artistic language, with many poems published or forthcoming in over 60 literary magazines worldwide, including California Quarterly, Italian Americana, Main Street Rag, Potomac Review, Eclectica, The Journal, Poetry Monthly and Poetry Salzburg Review. He is also the author of two collections, Loose Sheets (UK, 2000; second edition 2002) and Small Press Verse & Poeticonjectures (USA, 2003), and has appeared in various anthologies. He lives and works as a private financial advisor in his hometown, Cremona, northern Italy.