Santa Monica College has announced the release of the spring 2022 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, April 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 Elaine Lewinneck and Thuy Vo Dang of A People’s Guide to Orange County, and readings by five recent contributors to the magazine: Meghan Cason, Parveen Parmar, Lisa Black, Garrett Saleen, and Rhoda Huffey.
The spring 2022 issue, edited by Andrew Tonkovich, celebrates the journal’s 34th year of publication. The issue includes 14 short stories and two essays, many responding to the pandemic and our shared or disputed political moment. “I’m pleased to present some of the best new writing on our weird virtual lives, here offered variously with humor, despair, analysis, and empathy,” says editor Tonkovich.
Artist and writer Saleen delivers a hilarious noir fiction about a dentist in Orange County, California, while fellow OC writer Lisa Black examines the sardonic escape of middle-aged friends from the Cult of Delusion in Dana Point. Geographies of both place and imagination loom large in the issue, with reports real and fictional from California. Tom Andes’s short story weighs the burned wreckage of Paradise against other personal and political catastrophes. Mindela Ruby shares a travel memoir of necessary and urgent devotion and faithfulness during the pandemic.
Librarian and essayist Megan Cason channels Evelyn Waugh in a standout nonfiction piece reconsidering literary life in Los Angeles and beyond. Debut fiction writer and Santa Monica College creative writing student Parveen Parmar shares an all-too-real nightmare human rights fable. John Tottenham flirts gamely with identity and perspective in a hysterically doomed love (or not) story. Frequent contributor Richard Wirick (Kicking In) constructs a fictional legal case and instructive case study with satirical resonance.
Return appearances from the legendary author, poet, and screenwriter Barry Gifford (Wild at Heart), award-winning Ashley Farmer (Dear Damage), and always-engaging James Warner (All Her Father’s Guns) manifest in perversely dark, cathartic, and funny stories; respectively, a sepia-toned revisionist flash fiction, a romantic getaway overshadowed by trauma, and the mock-heroic return of a team of smart, self-involved, literate cat detectives!
Brian Walter spins the classic Childe Roland fairy tale for a new era. Journalist Terena Elizabeth Bell fictionalizes a frightening civic attack from an earlier one, this time from a personal angle. Rebecca Blondin deftly, confidently, repurposes the myth of Cerberus, guard dog of the Underworld. Jill Maio offers a grown-up contemporary tale evoking dark childhood adventure, and Erin Popelka tells a sincere love story of both emotional and ecological loss.
“With inclusion of two recent stories in the Pushcart anthology and welcome critical and popular attention,” says Tonkovich, “we receive more and more submissions, and most of incredibly high quality. This makes my job both easier and harder, forcing me, happily, to choose lately some of the very best work I have read in years of editing the magazine. I’m pleased to be in this predicament, and glad, gratified Santa Monica Review can feature diverse, challenging, wildly imaginative work, whether realism, hyper-realism, or fabulist fiction.”
The issue’s cover art is by collagist Garrett Saleen, also a short story writer and sometime contributor to Santa Monica Review.
Santa Monica College and the Review will host a booth April 23-24 at this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, offering complimentary copies of the magazine to visitors at Booth #72 at the USC campus, as well as distributing information on SMC’s abundant academic and cultural opportunities.
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, Rhoda Huffey, Lisa Teasley, Gary Amdahl, 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 sold online at the Review website (smc.edu/sm_review) and at the SMC Campus Store, Beyond Baroque, and Small World Books in Venice, and other area booksellers. Copies may also be ordered by mail and by subscription. Details are available at smc.edu/sm_review.
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. All events subject to change or cancellation without notice.
Submitted by Grace Smith