Santa Monica College is pleased to announce the release of the fall 2021 issue of Santa Monica Review, SMC’s esteemed national literary arts journal. Published twice yearly, the Review showcases the work of established authors alongside emerging writers, with a focus on narratives of the West Coast, and is the only nationally distributed literary magazine published by a U.S. community college.

To celebrate, “Santa Monica Review Presents…” — an issue launch party featuring Review author readings — will be held online from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 10. Tickets ($10 donation suggested) and access to the party are available through Brownpapertickets.com.

The celebration — to be introduced by Review editor and Emcee Andrew Tonkovich — features a welcome by Quentin Ring, Executive Director of Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center, and readings by five recent contributors to the magazine: Tom Whalen, Mary Taugher, Lisa Teasley, Diane Lefer, and Adolfo Guzman-Lopez.

The latest issue of Santa Monica Review — edited by Andrew Tonkovich (Keeping Tahoe Blue) — features 15 original short stories from first-time and returning contributors.

“The stories in this issue represent the best of a wider local and national literary community,” says Tonkovich about the issue, which reflects the journal’s commitment to multiple perspectives. “Included are fictional reports, dreams, narratives from Southern California and beyond, with a vigorous exercise of voice representative of many cultures, traditions, and perspectives. Separated by the pandemic and responding to a political assault on reality, these writers answer with the creative power of diverse imaginings. This issue offers realism, surrealism, humor, and experiments in language and point of view.”

Frequent contributor novelist Leslie Daniels (Cleaning Nabokov’s House) shares a wise, funny psycho-fable of perverse generosity. Other past contributors include Daniel Libman (Married but Looking), with a Hanukah story about the Festival of Lights celebrated during a power outage; Jeff Solomon (So Famous and So Gay: The Fabulous Potency of Truman Capote and Gertrude Stein), with a bittersweet dispatch from the animal-rescue community; and Diane Lefer (Out of Place), who presents a fictional profile of a disappointed psychologist addressing a crime writers’ convention.

Tom Whalen (April Fireball), the preeminent translator of “mad” Modernist Swiss writer Robert Walser, offers a wry, funny meta-fictional short story. Award-winning short story author Caroline Kim (The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories) constructs a spooky American immigrant political allegory featuring a family encountering “people-sized shadows.”

Mary Taugher empathetically assembles an end-of-life journey with tenderness and gorgeous detail. Amy Stuber offers a darkly instructive millennial tale of generational betrayal. Jim Marino shares a horrifying COVID-era fatherhood story of displacement and resentment. Screenwriter Andrew Rothschild pieces together a romance story over decades. Emily Mirengoff constructs, then deconstructs, a familiar #MeToo episode with further moral and political complications. Emily Greenberg romps through a manic internal monologue told from the fake news world of a member of the Trump inner circle. First-time-in-print writer Kion You chronicles a Korean American father-and-son road trip to Salvation Mountain, leading to revelation and reconciliation.

Lisa Teasley (Heat Signature) explores the unlikely development of an awkward L.A. courtship, challenging expectations of racialized culture. Legendary public radio journalist (KPCC) and poet Adolfo Guzman-Lopez completes the issue with a cathartic coming-of-age story and revisionist history of person and place by way of National City, California.

“This issue has It all,” says Tonkovich. “These stories seem to integrate both autobiography and recent history, as well as pushing back, responding to, and reconsidering. They reassemble elements of our broken moment in satisfying, if often challenging art-making.”

The issue’s cover art is collage by sometime fiction contributor Dylan Landis, a novelist (Rainey Royal) and short story writer.

Santa Monica Review was founded by editor, acclaimed novelist, and beloved SMC creative writing instructor Jim Krusoe (Parsifal, The Sleep Garden) to showcase established authors and emerging writers. Over the past three decades, the Review has achieved a solid reputation as one of the West Coast’s leading literary arts journals, and has presented experimental, thoughtful, and funny original writing — including essays and short stories by Michelle Latiolais, Keenan Norris, and Gary Soto. Recent stand-out work from the Review appears in the annual Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories, and PEN/O. Henry anthologies. Two recently published stories are included in the upcoming Pushcart anthology.

Santa Monica Review is available for sale online at the Review website (smc.edu/sm_review) and at the SMC Campus Store, Beyond Baroque and Small World Books in Venice, Skylight Books in Los Angeles, and other area booksellers. Copies are also available by mail and by subscription through Santa Monica Review, Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica 90405.

The publication costs $7 per issue or $12 for the two issues each year.

More information is available at the Santa Monica Review website (smc.edu/sm_review) or by calling 949-235-8193.

Santa Monica Review is a project of Santa Monica College, part of its mission to promote literacy and engagement with the literary arts in Southern California. Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Submitted by Grace Smith, SMC