Fiction

Featured Artist | Kim Buck

“Being a good lit citizen means supporting lit pubs. Donate. Buy. I’m going to show some #AWP17 mags that you need to support…. @NoTokensJournal, @EckleburgReview, @open_letter.” —Meakin Armstrong (Guernica)

The Mother and the Rock Star

Jesse shuts his eyes to the hotel room’s stark white décor. Imagines he is in a French bordello. Thick velvet drapes framing the window. A soft canopy above the bed. Brass table lamps with beaded shades. He leans back on his elbows, kicks off his sneakers. He likes a good firm mattress….

Deborah Batterman is the author of Shoes Hair Nails (short stories) and Because My Name Is Mother (essays). A native New Yorker, she is a Pushcart nominee and took 3rd place in the Women’s National Book Association 2012 Short Fiction Contest. Her stories and essays have appeared in anthologies as well as various print and online journals, including Akashic Books Terrible TwosdaysEvery Mother Has a Story, Vol. 2 (Shebooks/Good Housekeeping), Open to Interpretation: Fading Light (Taylor & O’Neill), and Mom Egg Review, Vol. 14.

The Lost Boy

The red velvet curtain rises. Music plays, a piece heavy with woodwinds, flittering flutes set off by the depth of oboes and clarinets. The lights above the aquarium shoot rays of violet and neon pink through the water. The smell of chlorine is strong, but it doesn’t bother the boy; it smells like sanitation, like germs burning away into the ether….

Brittany Kerfoot is a writer, dancer, and lover of animals. She watches way too much reality television, and, by a normal person’s standards, listens to an alarming amount of true crime podcasts. An obsession with the strange led her to research and write about everything from sex dolls to mermaids to trolls in Iceland. When she’s not Netflix-bingeing, adopting yet another pet, or teaching English at her alma mater, Brittany fantasizes about a life as an interior decorator to the rich and famous, island-hopping, and owning a goat farm.

The Dolphin

When the dolphin appears in Ava Long’s swimming pool, she thinks at first it is a shadow, the gray outline of a zeppelin circling above her house. Then, the gray sliver flicks its tail and dives to the bottom of the amoeba-shaped pool, and Ava thinks the neighborhood kids are playing some sick joke on her….

Jaclyn’s fiction and poetry have been published in a number of literary magazines, including Ploughshares, Blackbird, Columbia Poetry Review, The Journal, Rattle, Prairie Schooner, New Ohio Review, and Witness. She earned an MFA from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD in Creative Writing from Florida State University. She is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Malone University.

BIG BLISS @ Slash Run 3.7.19

Very rarely these days does a band enter our lives with the ability to speak to every corner of the heart. Brooklyn trio Big Bliss to navigate the beauties and pains of the human experience on their new LP, At Middle Distance. Having come together in late 2015, Big Bliss is the beautifully ruminating post-punk brainchild of brothers Tim and Cory Race. The brothers, having been split early on, each with a separate parent, had never played together over a cumulative 25 years of music, until both moved to New York from the Midwest. Years into living blocks from each other, they formed the band with friend and collaborator Wallace May, initially as a casual recording project. However, after the 2016 release of their debut EP Keep Near, motives and motivations shifted, and it became pretty difficult not to see the name Big Bliss on a show bill, especially at the remaining DIY spaces in NYC. Tireless efforts and undeniable passion on and off the stage landed the band on FIVE tours, and earned them the title of Oh My Rockness’ Hardest Working Band of 2017.

At Middle Distance speaks in urgent tongues, desperate to convey unknowable longing, like every great post-punk artist who came before. Moments of joy, moments of unspeakable sadness, moments of rage, all rub shoulders through these songs, and by the record’s end, you’ve undoubtedly run the gauntlet.

 

 

Eckleburg Workshops in Fiction

Short Story Workshop

Short Short Story Workshop

Novel: From Start to Finish Workshop

Magic Realism Workshop

Writing Sex in Literary Fiction: Are Your Sex Scenes Essential or Gratuitous?

View All Fiction Workshops

Submit Your Fiction

Essays

“Refreshing… edgy… classic… compelling.” —Flavorwire

Fear Fact(or), Fear Fiction

If, one day while watching TV on the couch, your wife offhandedly mentions she went to college with the tall, dark-haired guy in the Bud Light commercial, under nocircumstances should you…

A) Suspect that “went to college with” is code for “once had amazing sex with” (Good luck with that…);

B) Notice that when she tells you his name, she does it in a way that seems like she’s only pretending to have to think about it…

Casey Pycior is the author of the short story collection, The Spoils (Switchgrass Books/NIU Press, 2017), and he was awarded the 2015 Charles Johnson Fiction Award at Crab Orchard Review. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Fiction Journal, Midwestern Gothic, Harpur Palate, BULL, Wigleaf, Yalobusha Reivew, The MacGuffin, Wisconsin Review, and Crab Orchard Review among other places. He is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Southern Indiana and serves as Fiction Editor of Southern Indiana Review.

Needles’ Eyes, Wealth, Learning and Virtue

How do those who claim to be Christians today reconcile the modern world’s quest for material gain with Jesus’s severe injunctions against riches? Most notably in verses 10:25-26 of The Gospel According to Mark: “But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (King James version).

I suspect a representative answer came from a pink-cheeked young business major when I asked that question in a core literature class years ago. Without a second’s hesitation, he told me, “Things were different then.”

 

Walter Cummins has published seven short story collections—Witness, Where We Live, Local Music, The End of the Circle, The Lost Ones, Habitat: stories of bent realism, Telling Stories: Old and New. He also has a collection of essays and reviews called Knowing Writers. More than one hundred of his stories, as well as memoirs, essays, and reviews, have appeared in magazines such as New Letters, Kansas Quarterly, Virginia Quarterly Review, Under the Sun, Arts & Letters, Confrontation, Bellevue Literary Review, Connecticut Review, in book collections, and on the Web. With Thomas E. Kennedy, he was founding co-publisher of Serving House Books, an outlet for novels, memoirs, and story, poetry, and essay collections. For more than twenty years, he was editor of The Literary Review.

Driving Home

My kids had dressed themselves, indifferent as always to color clashes, and somehow, both had put on bright red t-shirts and plaid shorts. They sat in the backseat between piles of backpacks, blankets, books; and the still wet bathing suits were drying in the back window of the car. The floor was littered with sand and sea shells, flip flops, a rain boot, an unopened caguama, and the fresh green coconuts that we had bought from the roadside vendors as we left the humid heat of the coast. Heading for the mountains and plateaus of our home in central Mexico, we smelled salty and damp. Our fingers were sticky with sweet cocadas and pistachios, and we wound our way up towards Tepic. In the mountains, before Rio de Ixtlán, I spotted the first semi. The truck was piled high with people and backpacks, which I immediately recognized as part of the infamous second migrant caravan of 2018 heading towards the States from Central America.

Lisa López Smith lives and writes from her home in central Mexico. When not wrangling kids or rescue dogs or goats, she can probably be found riding her bike. Her recent and forthcoming publications include: Sky Island Journal, Masque & Spectacle, SAND Journal, Tilde, Esthetic Apostle, Mothers Always Write, Lacuna Magazine, and Coal Hill Review

Essay and Other Nonfiction Workshops at Eckleburg

Personal Essay

Lyric Essay

Body Narrative

Modern Memoir

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Submit Your Nonfiction

Poetry

“The most exciting and adventurous and gutsiest new magazine I’ve seen in years.” —Stephen Dixon

 

last year, as a lush

start with you: silvered eyes that made / me. a violet knee, a sucked neck. heavy . . . 

Charlotte Covey is from St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Currently, she is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. She has poetry published or forthcoming in journals such as The Normal School, Salamander Magazine, Slipstream, The MacGuffin, and Cider Press Review. She is co-editor-in-chief of Milk Journal.

The God of Today

We are in the far country, / green pastures and a scatter / of stars. Morning! /  The water clobbered with light . . .

Amanda Sharon often thinks about the cylindrical nature of time, the illusion of fear, and ancient cultures. She currently lives in Columbus and studies at The Ohio State University. 

The Allegory of the Paddle Boat

You and your paddle-boat-mate are on a paddle boat at sea, which, according to the owner’s manual, is “not recommended.” You toss the owner’s manual overboard . . . 

Jenelle Clausen received an MFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University and resides in Madison, Wisconsin. She drafts poems on loose-leaf college-ruled notebook paper with an 0.5 mm black gel pen, sometimes in the fluorescent glow of her living room floor lamp, sometimes in the incandescent glow of her side table lamp, and sometimes in a commingling of artificial lights.

Eckleburg Workshops in Poetry

The Poetry Workshop

The Poetry Chapbook Workshop

Writing the Short Poem Workshop

The Beats Workshop

Spirit of Writing Workshop

Mindfulness & Writing Workshops

Hybrid: Crafting, Publishing & Promoting Hybrid Work

Literary Matchmaking Workshop

Breaking Rules: When and How to Leave Linguistic Conventions Behind  Workshop

Evolving Origins in Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction and Hybrid Workshop

View All Poetry Workshops

 

Submit Your Poems

Groove

 

BIG BLISS @ Slash Run 3.7.19

Very rarely these days does a band enter our lives with the ability to speak to every corner of the heart. Brooklyn trio Big Bliss to navigate the beauties and pains of the human experience on their new LP, At Middle Distance. Having come together in late 2015, Big Bliss is the beautifully ruminating post-punk brainchild of brothers Tim and Cory Race. The brothers, having been split early on, each with a separate parent, had never played together over a cumulative 25 years of music, until both moved to New York from the Midwest. Years into living blocks from each other, they formed the band with friend and collaborator Wallace May, initially as a casual recording project. However, after the 2016 release of their debut EP Keep Near, motives and motivations shifted, and it became pretty difficult not to see the name Big Bliss on a show bill, especially at the remaining DIY spaces in NYC. Tireless efforts and undeniable passion on and off the stage landed the band on FIVE tours, and earned them the title of Oh My Rockness’ Hardest Working Band of 2017.

At Middle Distance speaks in urgent tongues, desperate to convey unknowable longing, like every great post-punk artist who came before. Moments of joy, moments of unspeakable sadness, moments of rage, all rub shoulders through these songs, and by the record’s end, you’ve undoubtedly run the gauntlet.

 

 

PARROT DREAM @ Slash Run 3.7.19

“Hypnotized with angelic shoegaze vibes that touch on the bigger questions in life.” ~ The Wild Honey Pie

Light Goes is a fully realized album experience set to accompany and enhance whatever mood you may want to indulge and lose yourself in.” ~ New Noise Magazine

“Beneath the dreamy contours of their music lies heavy thematic content that seeks to better understand relationships, time and place, purpose, and so forth.” ~ Atwood Magazine

The dazzling, sprawling sonic atmospheres conjured by Brooklyn-based band Parrot Dream envelop and spur the dreamer in all of us. Formed by Christina Hansen Appel (vocals, keys) and Gonzalo Guerrero (guitar) in Santiago, Chile in 2013, the duo relocated to Brooklyn, NY and quickly began making strides amassing more than half a million streams on Spotify.

GENIUS REDUX: Erykah Badu @ NPR Tiny Desk

 

Aug. 15, 2018 | Felix Contreras — Some folks around the NPR Music office said they felt an almost spiritual connection to Erykah Badu during her visit to the Tiny Desk. And that was before she and her band even played a single note. It came from the waft of earthly scents that followed in her wake, to the flowing dreads and clothes that hung on her like robes . . . SO MUCH MORE.

THE CHILLS @ Black Cat 2.24.19

The Chills are a band from Dunedin, New Zealand fronted by the rare talent of Martin Phillipps. Martin has a single-minded determination to take quality, original NZ-sounding, melodic rock music global. His requirement of band members has been to meet a standard of musicianship, which is necessary to deliver The Chills songs with essential consistent energy. This determination stems from the punk rock ethics of Martin’s musical awakening and from the subsequent proximity to people like Chris Knox who drove home how crucial it was to deliver music always with intensity and conviction. This live energy is the central reason why The Chills are remembered fondly in all of the thirty-nine countries that they have thus far visited. It’s the combination of this AND the consistent quality of their songs which have established The Chills as one of the most well-known New Zealand groups to date – particularly in the US, UK and Europe. The band have many faithful friends around the world and a new generation (Peter Bjorn and John, Songs, The Go Find, Panda Bear, The Shins et al) are now covering or attempting to emulate The Chills unique sound. A new album is due for release Sept 2018 and a feature film on Martin’s life is now in post-production, due for release 2019.

COLOR PALETTE @ Black Cat 12.22.18

Color Palette – comprised of Jay Nemeyer, Joshua Hunter, Matt Hartenau, Rogerio Naressi, and Maryjo Mattea – is an Indie/Electro/Rock band from Washington, DC. Since their first release, Color Palette has garnered hundreds of press hits worldwide. Press highlights include features in NME Magazine, USA Today, and NPR. Color Palette released their debut full-length album, Vaporwave, in 2016. Color Palette has shared bills with the following notable artists: Charli XCX, The Naked and Famous, Soccer Mommy, Mother Mother, Day Wave, Yumi Zouma, Mr Little Jeans, The Kickback, and Spirit Animal. They will release their second full-length album in 2019.

 
Being a good lit citizen means supporting lit pubs. Donate. Buy. I’m going to show some #AWP17 mags that you need to support… .” Meakin Armstrong (Guernica)
 
The most exciting and adventurous and gutsiest new magazine I’ve seen in years.” Stephen Dixon
 
Refreshing… edgy… classic… compelling.” Flavorwire
 
Progressive….” NewPages
 
Eye-grabbing… fun… bold… inviting… exemplary.” Sabotage
 
 
Eclectic selection of work from both emerging and established writers….” The Washington Post
 
Literary Burroughs D.C…. the journal cleverly takes its name from the The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald….” Ploughshares
 

Proud member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.

 

The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review was founded in 2010 as an online and print literary and arts journal. We take our title from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and include the full archives of our predecessor Moon Milk Review. Our aesthetic is eclectic, literary mainstream to experimental. Write hard. We appreciate fusion forms including magical realist, surrealist, meta- realist and realist works with an offbeat spin. We value character-focused storytelling and language and welcome both edge and mainstream writing with punch aesthetics. We like humor that explores the gritty realities of world and human experiences. Our issues include original content from both emerging and established writers, poets, artists and comedians such as authors, Rick Moody, Cris Mazza, Steve Almond, Stephen Dixon, poets, Moira Egan and David Wagoner and actor/comedian, Zach Galifianakis.

Currently, Eckleburg runs online, daily content of original fiction, poetry, nonfiction, translations, and more with featured artwork — visual and intermedia — from our Gallery. We run annual print issues, the Eckleburg Reading Series (DC, Baltimore and New York), as well as, the annual Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction, first prize $1000 and print publication, guest-judged by award-winning authors such as Rick Moody and Cris Mazza. Write hard.

We have collaborated with a number of talented and high profile literary, art and intermedia organizations in DC, Baltimore and New York including The Poetry Society of New York, KGB Bar, Brazenhead Books, New World Writing (formerly Mississippi Review Online), The Hopkins Review, Boulevard, Gargoyle Magazine, Entasis Press, Barrelhouse, Hobart, 826DC, DC Lit and Iowa’s Mission Creek Festival at AWP 2013, Boston, for a night of raw comedic lit and music. We like to promote smaller indie presses, galleries, musicians and filmmakers alongside globally recognized organizations, as well as, our local, national and international contributors.

Over the ashheaps the giant eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg kept their vigil, but I perceived, after a moment, that other eyes were regarding us with peculiar intensity from less than twenty feet away.  —The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald