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)

 

Birthday Cake

She was ninety-three and had nineteen nine-inch diameter chocolate birthday cakes from Bill Knapp’s restaurant in her basement freezer. How could she say no? They were a free gift, no coupon necessary. Each cake came with a sixteen-year-old waitress smiling straight rows of braces; with a balding manager clapping chapped hands to that tune everyone loved. (Except her, the ditty going round and round her brain and into her dreams, waking her at 3:00 am. Alone.)…

Marjorie Maddox is a Sage Graduate Fellow of Cornell University (MFA) and Director of Creative Writing and Professor of English at Lock Haven University. Her short story collection, What She Was Saying, was published by Fomite Press 2017). She has had five chapbooks and over 450 poems, stories, and essays in journals and anthologies.  In addition, Marjorie is the co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (PSU Press 2005) and an author of two children’s books from Boyds Mills Press. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Marjorie lives with her husband and two children in Williamsport, PA. Read more at marjoriemaddox.com.

The Dream Catcher

Gray, of Gray’s Agency, sat at his desk, the neon sign outside flashing, rain dripping against the window. It was dusk.

He heard the door down the hallway open, and looked up to see a man in a mackinaw on his threshold. His face was sharp with shadows.

“My name is Rogers,” the man said, approaching Gray. He stopped and took a deep breath. “And you’re a dream thief.” It wasn’t a question.

“I am.”

“I have a job for you.” His mouth twisted to the side. He had made up his mind, Gray decided, but it had been a struggle.

“There was a woman…,” Gray prompted him…..

Karen Heuler’s stories have appeared in over 100 literary and speculative magazines and anthologies, from Conjunctions to Clarkesworld to Weird Tales, as well as a number of Best Of anthologies. She has received an O. Henry award, been a finalist for the Iowa short fiction award, the Bellwether award, the Shirley Jackson award for short fiction (twice), and a bunch of other near-misses. She has published four novels and three story collections, and in July Aqueduct Press released her novella, In Search of Lost Time, about a woman who can steal time.

I Am Not Damian Lewis

Stealing the piece of Evander Holyfield’s dismembered ear that was bitten off by Mike Tyson from a rich man’s safe was my best friend Aaron’s idea. He wanted Real Deal’s ear back. He’d lost it in a poker game….

Michael Nye is the author of the story collection Strategies Against Extinction (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2012) and the novel All the Castles Burned forthcoming from Turner Publishing in February 2018. He was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended the Ohio State University, where he graduated with a BA in English Literature, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he earned his MFA in creative writing. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in American Literary Review, Boulevard, Cincinnati Review, Crab Orchard Review, EpochKenyon ReviewNew South, Normal SchoolSou’wester, and South Dakota Review, among many others. His work has been a finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in fiction and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He and his wife live in Washington D.C.

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?

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Essays

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

 

Fear of Heights

The magnificent tree that we had admired for our more than twenty years in this house is now a stump after a week-long process of devastation, men with chain saws dangling from ropes in the upper reaches, the heavy thuds of dropping branches. It had been our favorite tree in the neighborhood, possibly the whole town, much taller than the others, perhaps one hundred and fifty feet high, and symmetrically ideal—an archetypal tree. Although we didn’t want to watch, we couldn’t help being aware of the pace of denuding, looking out to see lushness hewn, long leafless shafts. Why would anyone want to destroy such a beautiful thing?

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. He teaches in the graduate creative writing programs at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Vita Brevis, Ars Longa

“Miss Merritt has retired,” so the letter I received in the late ‘80s began. At the time, I was teaching at Jones County Junior College where my colleagues and I were enjoying Robert Fulghum’s bestseller, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

“I must have been a slow learner,” I told my coworkers. “I made it all the way to high school before I learned anything really useful.”

After 30+ years in the college classroom, Allison Chestnut rejoined the other side of the desk and in August 2018 finished the MFA from Mississippi University for Women. She is a Florida native, attended university both at the last state supported nunnery—Mississippi University for Women—and at Louisiana State University, where she passed David Duke every day on the way to class. She can read, sing, pray and starve, and hopes to add publish to the list. As a Southern spinster with a Bible and a gun, she grew up reading Fannie Flagg, Jerry Clower, Florence King, and Lewis Grizzard. She has seen a squirrel get loose in a Baptist church. She has ridden a mule in Bonifay, Florida. Please do not hold her disdain for Faulkner against her. In high school she was nearly arrested for attempting to take a picture with Bruce the Shark on the movie set of Jaws II. She has read poetry and prose at meetings of SAMLA, SCMLA, and the Conference on Christianity and Literature. She holds the PhD from Louisiana State University and is currently professor of English at William Carey University.

Women, Walking

1.

As I sell my art and craft for a living—both in markets, street fairs or street festivals, and through galleries or stores—I walk miles. I don’t walk to the markets, of course. I load (rather overload) my car and drive to my destination. Then I carry my stuff (tables, canopies, racks and shelves, crates of potteries, heavy sculptures, large canvases) from my vehicle to their display location. Sometimes I use a wheeled contraption, but delicate items (the most numerous) need to be transported by hand, one by one, repeating ad libitum the trajectory between car and booth, store, or gallery. I don’t sweat, don’t fret. I breathe quietly. But I walk miles, several times a week. I have for my entire life.

Toti O’Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. She was born in Rome then moved to Los Angeles, where she makes a living as a self-employed artist, performing musician and professional dancer. Her work has most recently appeared in Scryptic, Voice Of Eve, Blue Tiger Review, and Projected Letters.

Essay and Other Nonfiction Workshops at Eckleburg

Personal Essay

Lyric Essay

Body Narrative

Modern Memoir

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Poetry

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

 

3 Poems

by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

Yom HaShoah: April 19, 2012

I forgot to light a candle for them, I tell my husband, ask him to remember./He answers: Dick Clark died. It was all over the radio. Remember him? 

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine as a Jewish refugee when she was six years old. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania where her research focuses on contemporary American poetry related to the Holocaust. Her poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, The Missouri Review Online, and Narrative Magazine, among others. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf and TENT Conferences as well as the Auschwitz Jewish Center. Julia is the author of The Bear Who Ate the Stars, winner of Split Lip Magazine‘s 2014 Uppercut Chapbook Award. She is also Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine.

The Sea Sunk Door

I walk the constellations / like ferries slide the line / from dock to dock / the clockwork of my days . . .

Katy E. Ellis is a poet, freelance writer and teacher through Seattle Arts & Lectures’ WITS (Writers in the Schools) program. Her poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals including Floating Bridge Review, Literary Mama, Calyx: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and the Canadian journals Grain and Fiddlehead. She is the author of two chapbooks, Urban Animal Expeditions (Dancing Girl Press) and Gravity (Yellow Flag Press). Katy has received grants from the Elizabeth George Foundation and a Centrum Writing Residency through Artist Trust. She has worked as a Public Health—Seattle & King County secretary, an over-excited whale watching tour guide, and a failure of an ESL teacher in Istanbul, Turkey.

Woman’s Card

Hey, you knew the score / walking out in that dress / I can see all that you’re worth / The declining value of spent bodies   cheap metal clanking in the machine . . . .

Dorothy Bendel is the author of Expatriate (Finishing Line Press). Her work can be found in The Rumpus, Connotation Press, Green Mountains Review, Microchondria II: 42 More Short-Short Stories Collected by Harvard Book Store, and additional publications. She currently lives in Washington, DC, where she writes, teaches, and serves as an editor at Atticus Review.

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

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Submit Your Poems

Groove

 

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 …

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.

THE MAX LEVINE ENSEMBLE @ Black Cat 12.21.18

Sometime around the turn of the century a small gang of boys grouped together in the noble pursuit of transcending suburban boredom through the traditional performance of punk rock songs. 3 of these young products of white America never moved on from this adolescent rebellion phase, and some 16 years later The Max Levine Ensemble continue to rock basements, bombed out buildings and other holes in the fabric of the status quo, with lofty aspirations of creating moments of pop catharsis for angsty teenagers and maybe shaking punk rock from the mediocrity of its ritualistic lulls. Which is to say, here’s another punk rock band. You’ve definitely seen this before.

FUZZQUEEN @ Black Cat 12.18.18

Forged in the glowing embers of Washington DC following the 2016 election and subsequent Women’s March, the members of FuzzQueen are entrenched in the thriving DIY community of the nation’s capital. While keenly aware of the inescapably political nature of their locale, they coalesce around issues of social injustice and feminine power while also reveling in a “seething tension” that serves to both mirror and confront the political climate through sonic exploration. Following a stint in California, frontwoman Erin Frisby returned to DC with husband and bandmate Chris Stelloh. Reuniting with their longtime friend and drummer Ben Tufts, and adding the bass talent of Clinton Cole, the band shed their former Americana aspirations in favor of a more urgent, visceral project. Drawing from the energy of bands like Fugazi, Queens of the Stone Age, and PJ Harvey, FuzzQueen filters raw energy through compositional complexity and Frisby’s operatic training. Although rooted in the current social climate, forthcoming single “Ribbons & Flowers” exudes a more primeval energy. Deftly melding ideas of femaleness with environmental awareness, the song exists in the present but alludes to something more ancient. Combined with their affinity for community engagement, the band taps into a collective power that serves both to heal and embolden.

 
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