XX Eccentric (Stories About the Eccentricities of Women)


In stock

Edited by 

S. Craig Renfroe, Jr.

Poetry chapbook, 37 pages, $16.95 cover price

ISBN: 978-1-59948-187-6

Release date: 2009




Dick Bentley, Amherst, MA.
Dick Bentley’s books, Post-Freudian Dreaming and A General Theory of Desire, are available on amazon or at www.dickbentley.com. He attended Yale and the Vermont College of Fine Arts and his paintings, which he combines with graphic poetry, have been exhibited in New York and western Massachusetts. His fiction, poetry and memoirs have been published on three continents. Before teaching creative writing at the University of Massachusetts, he was an urban planner for inner-city housing, serving as Chief Planner for the Mayor’s Office of Housing in Boston.


William Borden, Toyse City, TX.
William Borden’s novel Dancing with Bears has just been published by Livingston Press. His novel Superstoe, first published in the U.S. by Harper & Row and in England by Victor Gollancz, was reissued by Orloff Press in 1996. His short stories have won the PEN Syndicated Fiction Prize and The Writers Voice Fiction Competition and have been published in over 50 magazines and anthologies. The film adaptation of his play, The Last Prostitute, starring Sonia Braga, was shown on Lifetime Television and in Europe. His plays have won over 100 playwriting competitions and have had over 300 productions throughout the world. A Core Alumnus Playwright at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, he was Fiction Editor of The North Dakota Quarterly 1986-2002. He is a member of PEN, The Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, and the Authors Guild.


Jane Bradley, Toledo, OH.
Jane Bradley has published two books, and her stories have appeared in numerous journals including The Literary Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, Crazyhorse and Confrontation. Her story collection Power Lines was listed as an “Editor’s Choice” by the New York Times Book Review. Her novella Living Doll is used in many programs for professionals who work with emotionally disturbed children. She has received both NEA and Ohio Arts Council Fellowships for her work as well as three grants from the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo. She has received numerous awards for her plays and screenplays. Her screenwriting text Screenwriting 101: Starting Small While Thinking Big is forthcoming in 2009, and is currently circulating a new story collection and a novel. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toledo. Originally from the hills of Tennessee, she is still trying to adjust to the accent and the multitude of parking lots all around her in Toledo.


Christopher Bundy, Atlanta, GA.
Christopher Bundy’s stories and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Glimmer Train Stories, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Atlanta Magazine, The Rambler, The Dos Passos Review, and others. He is a founding editor of the journal New South.


Melody Clayton, Southport, NC.
Melody Clayton is, by and large, a writer and member of the Horror Writer’s Association.  She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with an M.F.A degree in Creative writing.  A collage artist, family party planner, as well as a master gardener in training, Mrs. Clayton describes herself as “a jack of all trades, master of self delusion, self doubt, and self indulgence.”  She lives in Southport, North Carolina and is currently at work on an award winning novel.


Steve Cushman, Greensboro, NC.
Steve Cushman has worked as an X-ray Technologist for the last fifteen years. He is the author of the novel Portisville and the short story collection, Fracture City. More information on Steve, and his writing, can be found at www.stevecushman.net


J. K. Dane, Chippewa Falls, WI.
J.K. Dane is a writer and artist residing in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin where she may be seen riding her bicycle in a wig, evening gown, and rose colored glasses. She is a founding member of the Freaks and Geeks, Chippewa Falls Premiere Lunch Club, serving a variety of lentils, casseroles, and other oddities. She carries, among other necessities, a harmonica and bamboo flute. Her short story “Treading Water” was published in Big Water, Main Street Rag’s 2008 Fiction Anthology. “Place of Beauty” (her story in XX Eccentric) is a dream-like story of the loves, failures, and intertwined memories of a lineage of women written as a response to works by Jamaica Kincaid.


Rayne Debski, Boiling Springs, PA.
Rayne Debski’s stories have been published in Rose & Thorn, Thema, and other journals. Her fiction has been selected for dramatic readings by theater groups in Albany and Philadelphia. She reads and writes in central Pennsylvania and is working on a collection of short stories.


Steve Fayer, Boston, MA.
Steve Fayer’s work as a documentary writer for PBS has been recognized with a national Emmy for Eyes On The Prize and a Writers’ Guild of America Award for George Wallace: Settin’ The Woods On Fire. He is also co-author of Voices of Freedom, a history of the civil rights movement, one of the New York Times “notable books of the year” [Bantam,1990]. His fiction has recently appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Dos Passos Review, Natural Bridge, New York Stories, North American Review, and Saranac Review.


Rachel Furey, Carbondale, IL
Rachel received her BS from the State University of New York, College at Brockport. She is currently a student in the MFA program at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where she also teaches. Rachel previously studied in Ireland on assistantship, received third place in the graduate division of the Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest, and was a finalist for the Charles Johnson Student Fiction Award. Her nonfiction has appeared in Women’s Basketball Magazine and the Press 53 Open Awards Anthology. In addition to writing, Rachel enjoys the great outdoors and has spent time working as a member of Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, Southwest Conservation Corps, and Gulf Coast Recovery Corps.


Kathleen Gerard, Township of Washington, NJ.
Kathleen Gerard has had her fiction and nonfiction widely published in literary journals and anthologies, as well as, broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR). Her fiction was awarded the Perillo Prize for Italian American Writing 2007 and was nominated for Best New American Voices 2003, a national prize in literature. Sustaining Falls is the headline story from a novel-in-stories of the same name, which is currently in search of a publisher.


Sam Howie, Spartanburg, SC.
Sam Howie has published fiction and nonfiction in such periodicals as Shenandoah, The Writer’s Chronicle, Fiction International, Potomac Review, and Southern Humanities Review.  His work has been included in anthologies by Main Street Rag and Hub City Writers Project and his forthcoming collection of short stories, Rapture Practice, will also be published by Main Street Rag in 2009. Sam has served as Acting Director of Creative Writing at Converse College, where he currently teaches and directs the college’s Young Writers Summer Workshop.  He received his MFA in 2002 from Vermont College.  He lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina with his wife, Margaret, and son, Jed.


Marilyn Harris Kriegle, San Francisco, CA
Marilyn Harris Kriegel has occupied a place on this planet for 70 years. During this time she has been married, divorced and married again. She raised one child who became an artist and schoolteacher in NYC. During the 60’s, Ms Kriegel taught school and as president of her teacher’s union was instrumental in obtaining rights to collective bargaining for the profession. In the 70’s she became a psychotherapist and was a pioneer in the human potential movement leading encounter groups around the world. In the 80’s she was co-chair of Antioch West University’s MA in Holistic Studies and co-authored a popular non-fiction book with her husband. In the 90’s Ms Kriegel had a practice in couples counseling and dedicated herself to writing. In the 21st century, Ms Kriegel became a certified teacher of TriYoga and is currently a student in San Francisco State University’s MFA program in Creative Writing.


Kerry Langan, Oberlin, OH.
Kerry Langan’s fiction has appeared in literary journals in the United States, Canada and Hong Kong in places such as Other Voices, StoryQuarterly, Cimarron Review, American Literary Review, Thema, Rosebud, Phantasmagoria, Eureka Literary Review, Yuan Yang, The Antigonish Review, Fireweed and others. Her work is also included in the anthology,Families, The Frontline of Pluralism, and will appear in the forthcoming anthology, Solace in So Many Words. Her non-fiction has appeared in Working Mother.


Pat Lynch, Sacramento, CA.
Pat Lynch lives in Sacramento, California. She has published in The New Press, Alimentum and Weber. She has written for the Sacramento News and Review and is currently working on a collection of short stories.


Molly McCaffrey, Bowling Green, KY
Molly McCaffrey teaches creative writing at Western Kentucky University and works for Steel Toe Press. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati and has served on the editorial staffs of The Cincinnati Review, Oxford Magazine, and The G.W. Review. Nominated for a 2008 Pushcart Prize, an AWP Intro Journals Award, and Scribner’s Best of the Fiction Workshop, her work has also been recognized in the North Carolina State Brenda L. Smart Fiction contest and has appeared in Vestal Review, Cairn, Gravity Hill, Antipodes,Word Salad, and Quirk. In addition, she has a critical essay in the newly released Gilmore Girls and the Politics of Identity.


Raymond Morrison, Winston-Salem, NC
Ray Morrison’s stories have been published in more than a dozen journals and magazines, including Ecotone, Night Train, Aethlon, Carve Magazine, Foliate Oak, and others.  He has twice won Honorable Mention in the Lorian Hemingway Short Fiction Competition.  A practicing veterinarian, he lives, works, and writes in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where he shares his home with his wife, three children, and an ever-changing number of animals.


Dorene O’Brien, West Bloomfield, MI
Dorene O’Brien is a fiction writer and a teacher of creative writing at the College for Creative Studies and Wayne State University in Detroit. She has won numerous awards for her fiction, including the international Bridport Prize, Red Rock Review’s Mark Twain Award for Short Fiction, the New Millennium Writings Fiction Award and the Chicago TribuneNelson Algren Award. She was also awarded a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her short stories have appeared in the Connecticut Review, The Chicago Tribune, Carve Magazine, Ellipsis, Passages North, Cimarron Review, Detroit Noir and others. Her short story collection, Voices of the Lost and Found, features many of her prize-winning stories. Visit her at www.doreneobrien.com


Cari Oleskewicz, Hagerstown, MD
Cari Oleskewicz is a writer and mother presently living in Western Maryland. Her fiction, essays and opinion pieces have been published in The Pedestal Magazine, Colere, Italian Cooking and Living, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and New York Magazine, and her poetry has appeared online in Unlikely Stories. An essay has recently appeared inDog Blessings: Poems, Prose, and Prayers Celebrating our Relationships with Dogs (published by New World Library, June Cotner, editor). Cari is currently working on a novel which keeps trying to morph into an epic poem. Follow Cari on Twitter (http://twitter.com/carilynn72) and look for her page on Facebook!


Daniel Pearlman, Providence, RI
Dan Pearlman’s stories and novellas, most of them falling into the various “fantastic” genres, began appearing in 1987 in magazines and anthologies such as Amazing Stories, The Silver Web, New England Review, Quarterly West, Semiotext(e) SF, Synergy, Simulations, Imaginings (Pocket Books, 2003). His books of fiction to date are The Final Dream & Other Fictons (Permeable Press, 1995); a novel, Black Flames (White Pine Press, 1997: a twisted excursion into the Spanish Civil War); a second fiction collection, The Best Known Man in the World & Other Misfits (Aardwolf Press, 2001); and a science-fiction novel, Memini (Prime Books, 2003). His work has received outstanding reviews in periodicals such asPublishers Weekly, Booklist, and the Washington Post. Though a native of New York City, he has lived with Lovecraft’s ghost in Providence, RI, since 1984.

Charles Rammelkamp, Baltimore, MD
Charles Rammelkamp lives in Baltimore, MD. He edits an online literary journal called The Potomac http://thepotomacjournal.com. His novel, The Secretkeepers, was published in 2004 by Red Hen Press, for whom he also edited a collection of essays on American cultural issues, Fake-City Syndrome. In addition to a collection of short fiction, A Better Tomorrow, (PublishAmerica), he has published half a dozen poetry chapbooks, and a collection of poetry, The Book of Life, was published by March Street Press, which also published his other a collection of short fiction, Castleman in the Academy, which contains eleven stories about a community college writing professor. For ten years, Rammelkamp was on the adjunct English dept. faculty at Essex Community College. He is also a staffwriter for several magazines and contributes a regular column on urban legends for Mysteries Magazine.

Nicole Louise Reid, Evansville, IN
Nicole Louise Reid is the author of the novel In the Breeze of Passing Things (MacAdam/Cage). Her stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Quarterly West, Meridian, Black Warrior Review, Confrontation, turnrow, Crab Orchard Review, and Grain Magazine. She is the winner of the 2001Willamette Award in Fiction, and has also won awards from the Pirate’s Alley William Faulkner Short Story Competition and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Society. She teaches creative writing at the University of Southern Indiana and is fiction editor of Southern Indiana Review.

Claude Clayton Smith, Ada, OH
Professor of English Emeritus at Ohio Northern University, Claude Clayton Smith is the author of a novel, two children’s books, three books of nonfiction, four produced plays, and a variety of poetry, short fiction, essays and reviews. He holds a B.A. from Wesleyan, an M.A.T. from Yale, an M.F.A. in fiction from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, and a D.A. from Carnegie-Mellon. His books have been translated into five languages, including Russian and Chinese. He was the 2008 Claridge Writer in Residence at Illinois College. His latest book, forthcoming from Kent State University Press, is Ohio Outback.

Merry Speece, Columbus, OH
Merry Speece has published two chapbooks of poetry and has been a recipient of a state arts commission fellowship in prose. Her Sisters Grimke Book of Days (Oasis Books, England), which one reviewer called a prose poem, is a mixed-genre work of fragmented historical scholarship.

Steve Taylor, La Crescenta, CA
Steve Taylor teaches at Glendale College where he has won a whole bunch of teaching awards due to a system he worked out where the students do all the work and give him all the credit. Before that, he had a whole bunch of different jobs where he did all the work and someone else got all the credit. He likes the new system. He went to a lot of schools, such as UCLA, Columbia, and Claremont, and some even gave him impressive-sounding degrees, but his favorite was Vermont College because of all the trees. The stuff he writes has got him an L.A. Arts Council Literature Award, made him a finalist in the Katherine Anne Porter Prize and runner-up in the New Millennium Writings Awards, and won him the MSR Short Fiction Contest. Humoring him in this way has only increased his urge to write even more stuff.

Bryan Walpert, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Bryan Walpert holds an MFA from the University of Maryland and PhD from the University of Denver. He won the 2007 Manhire Creative Science Writing Award-Fiction, which led to his first published story. His poems have appeared widely, however, in such journals as AGNI, Crab Orchard Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Runes, and Tar River Poetry; he won the 2007 James Wright Poetry Award from Mid-American Review. His first book of poems, Etymology, is forthcoming from Cinnamon Press. A recipient of a National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award in New Zealand, he teaches creative writing at Massey University and is the poetry editor of the literary journal Bravado.

Dede Wilson, Charlotte, NC
Dede Wilson is the author of three books of poetry, Glass, finalist in the Persephone Press Competition, Sea of Small Fears, winner of the Main Street Rag Chapbook Competition, and One Nightstand (Main Street Rag). Her short stories have been published by Negative Capability and in the Nightshade Short Story Reader. Her poems have appeared in many journals including Spoon River Poetry Review, Carolina Quarterly, Tar River Poetry, Cream City Review, Poet Lore, Asheville Poetry Review, The Lyric, Poem and the New Orleans Poetry Review. She has been a Blumenthal Reader and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Two full-length manuscripts of poetry and a chapbook are seeking publishers.

Josh Woods, Carbondale, IL
Josh Woods is Editor of The Versus Anthology (Press 53, 2009), Associate Editor of Surreal South ’09 (Press 53, 2009), and Assistant Editor at Crab Orchard Review. His fiction won the 2008 Press 53 Open Awards Contest in Genre, in print through the book Press 53 Open Awards Anthology, and he is contributing fiction to The Versus Anthology andSurreal South ’09. His non-fiction and book review works have appeared in The Susquehanna Review, UE Magazine, and Crab Orchard Review. He is currently enrolled in the MFA Fiction Program at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and he is at work finishing his first novel, in encyclopedia form, about paranormal pandemonium invading small-town Kentucky and the blue-collar machinist who stands in its way.

Lisa Zerkle, Charlotte, NC
Lisa Zerkle’s poetry has appeared in Crucible, The Main Street Rag, Thrift Poetic Arts, and online at literarymama.com. She is a co-editor of Kakalak: Anthology of Carolina Poetry. In 2008, she wrote a monthly column for the Charlotte Observer as one of their Community Columnists. Lisa advises everyone who loves poetry to search out Sarah Lindsay’s luminous new book, Twigs & Knucklebones. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and their three children.


Dear reader, you may recall from basic biology that women have the XX sex chromosomes, opposed to the male XY. Is that little letter, that one X instead of Y, is that what explains the mysteries of the woman. Here in this short story collection we have sterling fiction that brings to emotional life women and not just biology.

These stories are about women and not your ordinary women–if there is such a thing. These women are eccentric, which can too often be just another euphemism for weird or annoying. Some of the women here are weird and annoying. Mostly they are eccentric in not following convention, in finding their own path.

We’ve all known the mothers and the daughters and their endless struggle. We’ve read all about the grandmothers cooking and the teenagers experimenting. We wanted to see other sides of women, beyond the normal roles ascribed to them.

The women in this anthology give us what we want, but maybe not in the way we knew we wanted it. They pay their way through college by selling themselves to ice fishermen, they obsess over George Harrison or Abe Lincoln, they find a dead monkey, they think about walking on all fours in a past life, they have bad instincts for relationships, they have really bad instincts for relationships, they get stuck on a giant crucifix, they embalm pets–that sort of thing.

Whatever the form of their distinct path, these characters raise our expectations and our understanding. They challenge our definitions of what women should be and can do. We can fall in love with them, be frustrated by them and be betrayed by them. We can live their lives for a short moment and in doing so experience the world anew.

Dear reader, enjoy the eccentricities of these women.

–S. Craig Renfroe, Jr.

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