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Santa Monica Review Fall 2023 Launch Party
Oct 15 • 5:00 pm PDT
Santa Monica College is pleased to announce the release of its 35th-year edition of Santa Monica Review (SMR), 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 the fall 2023 edition, an issue launch party featuring Review author readings will be held at Santa Monica College. The party — “Santa Monica Review Presents…An In-Person Celebration of the Fall 2023 Issue with Readings by Recent Contributors” — will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15, in The Edye at the SMC Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th Street (at Santa Monica Boulevard), Santa Monica.
Tickets for the launch party — available at smc.edu/tickets — cost $10. Refreshments will be served. Zibby’s Books will have a variety of titles available for purchase. 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 special welcome from Kelly Sather — the 2023 Drue Heinz Literature Prize winner and author of Small in Real Life — and readings by authors Rebecca Schultz, Tess Canfield, Rafael Zepeda, and Victoria Patterson.
The fall 2023 issue — edited by Andrew Tonkovich, also host of the weekly show Bibliocracy Radio on KPFK (90.7 FM) — celebrates the journal’s 35th year of publication and features cover art by celebrated Los Angeles artist Mark Vallen. “The issue includes nine short stories and four essays,” says editor Tonkovich, “a collection rich in wisdom, humor, and social commentary. And also presents excellent cover art with ‘Welcome to Los Angeles,’ a piece celebrating pride, struggle, and community.”
The issue features new and returning writers. First-time contributors Tess Canfield and Rebecca Schultz offer insightful fictional portrayals of unlikely moments of recent domestic life. Canfield takes on front-door delivery politics in Santa Monica, and Schultz offers a meditation on climate events during Zoom-time.
Lisa Julin Sharon tells a dystopic parable of real and metaphorical threats to children and the future. Laurel Leigh tells a feminist noir detective story about the murders of performing mermaids. Novelist and poet Rafael Zepeda (Horse Medicine and Other Stories) engages the supernatural power animating the search for a totemic lost sailboat.
The issue features four essays from acclaimed nonfiction writers. J. Mark Smith, a frequent contributor, explores fighting grief through running and reconsiders drinking as a shortcut to empathy. Laura Glen Louis (Talking in the Dark) considers the mystery of a neighborhood murder through meditation on place and poetry, asking “Where is here but the self?” George Chandous (Until All You See Is Sky) examines the conflicting, if hilariously coordinated disparities of aging with wisdom, drollery, and family hijinks. Responding to the struggle for Black lives, Lauren Hohle finds in baseball an ethos of redemptive honesty helpful to engaging both political and family discourse.
Marcus Spiegel, Pushcart Prize–winner for a previous SMR story, sends up the commodification and spectacle orchestrated by a reality show producer who exploits his own family. Joachim Glage shares another in a series of philosophical meta-romps with reliably arch atmospherics, if sincere insights.
The issue celebrates writing from returning SMR contributors Victoria Patterson (The Secret Habit of Sorrow) and Michael Guista (Between the Eyes). Patterson considers the difficult secrets of friendship, and the purposefully obscured, yet defining bargains of privilege and vulnerability. Guista confronts the repercussions and challenges of masculinity learned while growing up in the San Joaquin Valley, another in his series of short autobiography-inspired stories.
“This issue,” says Tonkovich, “offers variations on the theme of reconciliation, with both fiction and nonfiction writers asking hard questions, and exploring and dramatizing grief, loss, and betrayal. Helpfully, the darkness and confusion of our shared circumstances are answered with curiosity, empathy, and humor in multiple genres.”
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 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, Lisa Teasley, Gary Amdahl, 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.
Santa Monica Review is sold online at the Review website (smc.edu/sm_review), and in print editions at the SMC Campus Store, in Venice at Beyond Baroque and Small World Books, and at 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.