October 8, 2020

Author Readings Launch Santa Monica Review Fall 2020

Santa Monica Review Cover
A launch party with author readings will celebrate the release of the fall 2020 issue of Santa Monica Review from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. October 25 online through brownpapertickets.com. Cover art is by is by novelist and short story writer Kenneth Calhoun.

Author Readings Celebrate Release of Fall 2020 Santa Monica Review

SANTA MONICA, CA — Santa Monica College is pleased to announce the release of the fall 2020 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 25. Tickets ($10 donation suggested) and access to the party are available through Brownpapertickets.com.

The celebration will be introduced by novelist Keenan Norris (Brother and the Dancer), and feature readings by five recent contributors to the magazine: Ryan Ridge (New Bad News), Gettysburg Review editor Lauren Hohle, Yxta Maya Murray (Locas), Sean Bernard (Desert Sonorous), and Michelle Latiolais (She; Widow).

 The Review will also join the LA Lit Crawl 2020 Vision (with LA Library) on Saturday, October 24, at 3 p.m. to present a half-hour, live online “Read It Forward” segment featuring So Cal literary notables reading work by emerging writers recently showcased in the magazine. Presenters include Dana Johnson (In the Not Quite Dark), Victoria Patterson (This Vacant Paradise), Michael Jaime-Becerra (This Time Tomorrow), and Yxta Maya Murray (Art is Everything). A link to the free virtual event can be found at litcrawllosangeles2020.sched.com.

The latest issue of Santa Monica Review — edited by Andrew Tonkovich, who is also host of the weekly show “Bibliocracy” on KPFK (90.7 FM) — features 16 original pieces, with work including both stories and essays from first-time and returning contributors.

 “These stories and essays travel near and far, in territories of the imagination,” says Tonkovich of an issue that features nonfiction meditation and political analysis, as well as short stories and a singular novella. “In no particular order, you’ll find a girl stranded on a magical island, revisionist Western frauds, an atheist waitress, urban cycling culture, a suburban squatter, and a kids’ film that may or may not — as so much memory — have even ever existed.”

 Short story writer Katherine Sharpe updates Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” from Miranda’s perspective. Neal Hammons presents the flim-flam biography of a flamboyant huckster. Frequent contributor Matt Greene offers a meta-revisionist anti-history of collective mis-memory, with laughs. Eric Rawson (Banana Republic) takes on hipster philanthropy, social justice, and urban bicycle culture in a short story set in Los Angeles. Collaborators Ryan Ridge (New Bad News) and Mel Bosworth (Freight) do cut-up style social satire and language romp. Marina Hatsopoulos meditates on the theft of time and joy by technology and commerce, finding respite and meaning in a Greek village. Ben Preston tells the imagined history of a revolutionary cell in an excerpt from his novel of 19th-century Polish American labor justice struggles in Milwaukee in 1886.

Canadian writer Adam Barrows offers a psycho-spiritual dream journal of a doomed Arctic expedition. Sophia Veltfort constructs a story of love by proxy, and a reunion of sorts. Gettysburg Review editor Lauren Hohle explores love and the loss of faith. Alisa Slaughter (Bad Habitats) travels from Portland to Las Vegas and Algeria to Mexico, and into and out of Trump Country. Sean Bernard (Desert Sonorous) shares two stories, one a made-up vacation, the other of trespass. Novelist Kevin Allardice (Family, Genus, Species) invents a hapless protagonist in his excerpt from a novella about an over-the-top version of the infamous Bohemian Grove, here occupied by the dead. Andrew Furman (Jewfish) blends ecological and culinary expertise in a touching, artful story of domestic caring. Joachim Glage tells another in his series of fabulist mock-historical tales of our impossible national mythology.

“In the months of COVID and the political assault on reality, I find hope, relief, and justifiable push-back in so many of these stories and essays,” says editor Tonkovich. “They go places, real or imagined, to revisit, occupy, examine, or destroy what we think we have seen, or been told to believe. In these pieces, at this moment, I feel lucky and privileged to share work by familiar and new writers each constructively, creatively undermining expectations and offering thrilling or challenging alternatives.”

Cover art for the fall 2020 edition is by Kenneth Calhoun, a novelist (Black Moon) 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 Gary Amdahl, Michelle Latiolais, Janice Shapiro, and Diane Lefer. Recent work from the Review appear in the annual Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories, and PEN/O. Henry anthologies.

Santa Monica Review is available for sale online (smc.edu/sm_review) and at the SMC Campus Store, Beyond Baroque in Venice, 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.

For more information, visit the Santa Monica Review website (smc.edu/sm_review) or call 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).

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