The Spring 2022 edition of the Santa Monica Review.

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Complete contents of the Spring 2022 issue

Meghan Cason – LA Ruins
Parveen Parmar – Dhaba
Rebecca Blondin – Cerberus
John Tottenham – Epilogue
Richard Wirick – Flashbox
Garrett Saleen – Orange County Gothic
Lisa Black – Gather Up
Jill Maio – Flashlight
Terena Elizabeth Bell – Sniper Watch
Erin Popelka – A Kind of Vigil
Brian Walter – The Tower
Mindela Ruby – The Lovers of Almendres
Tom Andes – Paradise
Ashley Farmer – Cause and Effect
Barry Gifford – Good Kids
James Warner – Ragwell, or The Intelligentsia


Tom Andes’ writing has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories 2012, Witness, Tough: Crime Stories, Valparaiso Fiction Review, and many other places. He won the 2019 Gold Medal for Best Novel-in-Progress from the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society. He has taught writing at institutions including San Francisco State University, Northwest Arkansas Community College, and the New Orleans Writers Workshop, which he co-founded. He lives in New Orleans, where he works as a freelance writer and editor and moonlights as a country singer. His website is

Terena Elizabeth Bell has published in The Atlantic, Playboy, The Yale Review, Juked, and others. Her novel was excerpted by Malarkey Books, and her short stories have won grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Originally from Sinking Fork, Kentucky, she lives in New York, where she edits Writing Through the Classics, a series of classic novels annotated with prompts and notes on fiction craft.

Lisa Black wrote a culture column for Orange County Weekly called “Paint It Black” for years, until the paper was slammed shut the day before Thanksgiving 2019. For decades she devised original theater, with ensembles and as a soloist, and got to perform them in North and South America and Europe. “Gather Up” is her first work of fiction. She is at work on another and is also concocting a performance piece, while freelancing for Patch.

Rebecca Blondin is a fiction writer, grant writer, and scriptwriter raising two children with her husband in San Francisco. She received a MAT from the University of San Francisco and a BA from Northwestern University in Chicago. Her fiction has appeared in Atticus Review, and she received an honorable mention in The 2021 Finish Line Script Competition.

Meghan Cason is library faculty at Los Angeles Valley College and the Library Program Director for Access Books, an LA-based non-profit that revitalizes inner-city elementary school libraries. For seven years, she skated with the Los Angeles Derby Dolls under the nom de guerre Judy Gloom. She is currently working on her first essay collection.

Ashley Farmer is the author of the forthcoming essay collection Dear Damage (Sarabande Books, 2022), winner of the 2020 Series in Kentucky Literature, as well as three other books. Her work has been published in places like Gay Magazine, TriQuarterly, The Progressive, Buzzfeed, Flaunt, Nerve, Potomac Review, Gigantic, Salt Hill Journal, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of Ninth Letter’s 2018 Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction, The Los Angeles Review’s 2017 Short Fiction Award, and fellowships from Syracuse University and the Baltic Writing Residency. Ashley lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with the writer Ryan Ridge.

Barry Gifford’s most recent books are The Boy Who Ran Away to Sea, Roy’s World, and Sailor and Lula: The Complete Novels.

Jill Maio’s work has appeared in Ploughshares, Alaska Quarterly Review, Third Coast, and Massachusetts Review, among other journals. Her story “Tallying,” published in The Los Angeles Review, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Jill holds MFAs in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia and Boston University, and was a 2018 recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Artist Fellowship in Fiction. Also a professional aerialist, she was the founder of an aerial arts school in Boston and now teaches in Seattle.

Parveen Parmar is an emergency physician and global health researcher at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on health disparities, human rights, and access to health care among conflict-crisis-affected populations.

Erin Popelka is a reader, writer, and the founder of Must Read Fiction. Her short stories and essays have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Puerto del Sol, The Los Angeles Review, and Berkeley Fiction Review, among others. As founder of Must Read Fiction, she facilitates an online community of readers, including author interviews, book recommendations, and free book giveaways. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Mindela Ruby has published prose and poetry in The Writing Disorder, Coachella Review, Rivet: The Journal of Writing That Risks, Marathon Literary Review and other journals as well as the anthology Unmasked. Her work has been Pushcart Prize and Sundress Best-of-the-Net nominated. Mosh It Up, her dark comedy novel, came out in 2014. She teaches at a community college and the UC Berkeley Osher Lifelong Learning program and is a member of the California Arts Council.

Garrett Saleen is a writer and visual artist from Southern California. His fiction has twice appeared in Santa Monica Review, and in other places such as Funicular, The Collagist, and Data Epics with Studio Tilt at the University of Washington’s School of Art, Art History, and Design. He is a member of the PNW Collage Collective, and his art has been featured in galleries around Seattle and in Holiday in Mar-a-Lago, a collage zine inspired by the Dead Kennedys. His art can be found @jan_homm on Instagram. He lives in Seattle, where he is editing his first collection of short fiction.

Andrew Tonkovich edits the Santa Monica Review. He is the co-editor with Lisa Alvarez of Orange County: A Literary Field Guide and author of two fiction collections: The Dairy of Anne Frank and More Wish Fulfillment in the Noughties and Keeping Tahoe Blue and Other Provocations. He is founding editor of the online literary quarterly Citric Acid.

John Tottenham is a writer, artist, performer, failed visionary, and a sorely underused resource.

Brian Walter is a compulsive reader and a slow, tortured writer. His work has appeared in (among others) Boulevard, North Dakota Quarterly, Southern Quarterly, Elder Mountain, and Dragon Poet Review; he also appears as an “old coot” with a magic camera in the final chapter of Donald Harington’s final novel, Enduring.

James Warner now lives in Long Beach, California. His stories have appeared most recently in Rivet Journal, Interzone, and Georgia Review. He has been to Bobby Fischer’s grave.

Richard Wirick is the author of One Hundred Siberian Postcards (2005), a nominee for the PEN/Bingham Prize for best first work by an American author and a London Times notable book for the year. It was followed by the short story collection Kicking In (2009) and the novel The Devil’s Water (2011). His essay collection, Hat of Candles, was published in 2020, and his new novel Sudden Mountain: Chapters from the Ghost Year, is forthcoming, as is a new story collection. He practices environmental law and lives in Southern California with his family.

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