Santa Monica College (SMC) announces the release of the fall 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. The journal is the only nationally distributed literary magazine published by a U.S. community college.
To celebrate, an issue launch party featuring Review author readings will be held at Santa Monica College. The party — “Santa Monica Review Presents…” — will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 30, in The Edye at the SMC Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th Street (at Santa Monica Boulevard), Santa Monica.
Tickets for the launch party — available through Brownpapertickets.com — cost $10. Refreshments will be served, and books will be available for purchase and author signing. Abundant free parking available on premises. Seating is on a first-arrival basis.
The celebration — to be introduced by Review editor and Emcee Andrew Tonkovich — features a welcome by Leland Cheuk (No Good Very Bad Asian) and readings by Josh Emmons (A Moral Tale), James Morrison (Said and Done), Yxta Maya Murray (Art Is Everything), and SMR founder Jim Krusoe (The Sleep Garden).
The fall 2022 issue, edited by Andrew Tonkovich, celebrates the journal’s 34th year of publication and features cover art by writer and cartoonist Janice Shapiro,also a short story writer and frequent contributor. The issue includes 10 original short stories, six by first-time Santa Monica Review contributors and a perhaps predictable, if urgent, shared engagement with themes of crisis and reconciliation, skepticism, and revision.
“There’s a lot of sobering telling of childhood experiences,” says editor Tonkovich, “of loss and disappointment, but always with insight, however difficult. It’s heavy,” he says, “on what one contributor’s story identifies as ‘collective trauma.’ Not surprising, perhaps, but revelatory by way of each of the stories’ resonance, analysis, and effort at not quite setting the record straight — but perhaps revisiting it.”
With a fabulist’s analysis of political economy, Anu Kandikuppa’s short story “The Fact Collector” considers the commodification of knowledge in a reliably dystopic corporate future. First-time contributor Tim Griffith poignantly charts the distribution of emotional justice by a self-aware teenage girl. Shane Castle reconstructs and reconsiders the varieties of accountability and betrayal to which kids are subject vis a vis slasher movie culture and confused adults.
Brittney Corrigan constructs a tender story of struggle featuring a trans sibling and their older sister. Hadley Moore (Not Dead Yet and Other Stories) recreates the shared childhood of sisters who survive their messed-up parents, bonded, and survived, but are never quite able to reunite. Frequent short story contributors Matt Greene and Michael Mattes are back. Greene continues his long streak of astonishingly funny and wise social satire (a la Barthelme and Saunders) responding to our absurd politics with a romp through virtual cult reality. Mattes charts an all too real, moving, and loving journey of unlikely discovery toward familial reconciliation or at least insight after an absent father’s death.
UC Riverside writing program director Josh Emmons (Prescription for a Superior Existence) breaks up the mood, if still darkly, with the comic tale of a heartbroken and mildly doomed innkeeper trying to unload her fantastically contrived bed and breakfast and return to reality, where she’s supposed to care for her old folks. Not even wealthy Russians will buy it!
Anchoring the issue is longer work by multiform prose writers Gregory Spatz (What Could Be Saved) and James Morrison (Said and Done). They offer masterful fictions with long timelines and long memories. Spatz tells the story of a one-time teenage Kabbalistic seer trying as adult graduate student to reconcile the mystical, the virtual, and the language used to apprehend history and love.
Morrison, author of a previous novella, here shares a brilliantly honest fictional decades-long autobiography of an alternative news weekly arts critic who witnesses, then laments, the corporate takeover of his magazine, and the parallel assault on popular culture — “There was so much more still to be lost” — but with a revenge-story twist and sardonic, witty, politically sharp observation throughout.
“This issue,” says Tonkovich, “is rich in big ideas, dramatic moments, and brave writing.”
Santa Monica Review was founded by editor, acclaimed novelist, and beloved SMC creative writing instructor Jim Krusoe (Parsifal, The Sleep Garden) toshowcase established authors and emerging writers. Over the past 35 years, 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.
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 inVenice, 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.
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