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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: April 4, 2005

Acclaimed Journal Will Also Be at L.A. Times Festival of Books

Beyond Baroque, Los Angeles' leading literary center, is celebrating Santa Monica College's release of the spring issue of the acclaimed Santa Monica Review, its national literary arts journal, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 22. Beyond Baroque is located at 681 Venice Blvd. in Venice.

The event will feature readings by three contributors who have work in the latest issue: Ariane Simard, Diane Lefer, and SMC English professor Jim Krusoe, author of the acclaimed Iceland. (Tickets are $7 general admission, $5 students and senior citizens, and free for Beyond Baroque members. Call (310) 822-3006.

Featuring fiction and essays by both new and established writers, the journal will also be available at the SMC booth at the upcoming Los Angeles Times Festival of Books April 23-24 at UCLA.

Review Editor Andrew Tonkovich said he is especially pleased to include work by Jim Houston, Michelle Latiolais and Sharon Doubiago, three important Western writers. Houston's most recent novel, Snow Mountain Passage, is only the latest offering in a long career full of fiction and nonfiction successes, including the classic Farewell to Manzanar. Latiolais is a short story writer and novelist teaching at UC Irvine.

Tonkovich describes her work as "elegant, painful...reading it is like unwrapping a scroll full of dangerous and beautiful news."

Doubiago's work was recently named to an essential reading list by the state of Oregon. She is a celebrated poet and author of The Book of Seeing with One's Own Eyes.

Tonkovich recommends a sobering, poetic story by Flannery O'Connor Award-winner Gary Fincke. "It's so generous of Gary Fincke to share this amazing piece of writing with us. The Santa Monica Review is so very proud to have published his work in the past, but this particular story is a knock-out."

"This is also a very, very funny issue," says Tonkovich. Frequent contributor Trinie Dalton, whose first short-story collection appears next year, is a favorite of Tonkovich's for her humorous work. Another Review veteran contributor, Janice Shapiro, presents another of her droll, slow-motion stories of hypersensitivity, introspection and their consequences. First-time contributor Chris Hood's "How I Met My Third Wife in Siberia" doesn't disappoint in its deadpan follow-through to the wonderfully nutty premise indicated in the title. And Roy Glassberg's short story is told, crankily, by a cranky old man at a convalescent home book club meeting.

The issue also includes the first four chapters of Dylan Landis award-winning novel Floorwork and long, prismatic short stories by Roberto Ontiveros and Paul Eggers. Ontiveros writes about real and imagined characters in a comic book universe. Eggers is a former chess master whose experiences inform this beautiful, wrenching story.

Essayists Jonathan Cohen and Meredith Resnick take on, respectively, recollections of a dysfunctional Jewish education and of a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship. Resnick's essay is excerpted from her book about adopting her own children, teenagers from Russia.

UC Irvine writing student Ariane Simard contributes another long story about characters whose young lives come back to them, years later.

The issue’s cover work is by Southern California artist Mark Vallen. More of his work on view at

Founded by Krusoe 18 years ago, the Review has presented readers experimental, thoughtful, and humorous works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, interviews, and essays including works by well-known authors such as Harold Pinter, Gary Soto, Lynn Freed, and Alan Cheuse. In its 17 years of publication, the Review has achieved a reputation as one of the West Coast’s leading journals.

The current issue is available for sale at the SMC Bookstore, Dutton’s Brentwood, Beyond Baroque in Venice, and other local booksellers. Copies are also available by mail and by subscription through Santa Monica Review, Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405. Past issues, when available, can be ordered using the same address.

Tonkovich encourages submissions and reads year-round, but advises picking up a copy of the journal beforehand and including a self-addressed-stamped envelope with all works submitted. The Fall 2005 issue appears in October.

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